Happily Even After
Fit as Fiddles
By Josh Noem
We both have become acutely aware in the past few years that we do not have the bodies we had when we were first married.
My metabolism is slowing down and we have a lifestyle that goes with having a family—I can’t just up and go out for a kayaking trip or a day-long hike up Mt. Hood. Additionally we have an office job that includes a lot of sitting. It has all added up to 20-30 extra pounds.
It is not like we’ve been bumps on a log, though. I play more than an hour of basketball in a regular pickup game at the parish and I box with friends when I can. Stacey jogs regularly and enjoys yoga in addition to basketball.
All in all, though, we’ve just not been losing the weight we know we should.
We’ve been watching The Biggest Loser on TV and so for Christmas, I gave Stacey the Wii fitness game that is based on the show.
I know that in general, it is pretty dangerous territory for a husband to directly or inadvertently refer to anything sounding like a comment about his wife’s weight, but we’ve always been open about what we’re noticing about our bodies.
One of the things I love most about marriage is its physicality. When all is said and done, the marital experience is fundamentally physical. Not just with sex, but also with sleeping and eating habits, sharing bathroom space while I shave and she dries her hair, washing kids before bedtime… Our bodies are essential ways we experience relationship with each other in marriage and family life.
We’ve been at this new fitness kick for about four months now. I’m down 20 lbs and Stacey is losing weight at about the same pace, so that is gratifying. We’re both losing a pound or two a week, which is good.
We’re starting to have fun with our younger bodies. It feels good to fit into clothes with room to spare, and we have more energy. I think I have literally added six inches to my basketball game. Not that I could ever jump, but it has been fun to make it up and down the floor without losing wind and to have an extra spring in my step for rebounds and defense.
The biggest help from the Wii game has been a calorie diary. Once a day, I enter the amount of calories I consumed. I’ve never counted calories before, but it has certainly helped me think twice about what I put in my mouth throughout the day. It has trained me to have good eating habits.
Another help has come in the form of exercise routines that I can do in our living room in the evening. So when Stacey is on campus for a student meeting, and the kids are in bed, I can get a good 30-60 minute workout in before settling in for the night.
We’ve even been able to do those workouts together, which is also fun, at least when we’re not cursing the cyber trainers.
It has been a big help that we are on the same page together—we are both committed to seeing progress towards our goals. When we sketch out our days together, we both figure in when we each will be able to fit in a workout. Sometimes it means just one of us getting kids out the door in the morning, or going through the bath and bedtime routine solo, but this is not a long-term state of affairs.
We’ve been encouraging one another and helping one another make good choices. It is a long haul, but we’re being consistent and it seems to be paying off so far.