How do yo balance your fitness life with being married? Q&A


Image credit: abc.net.au

Being a married person carries with it a variety of time constraints.  This is a normal part of the knot being tied.  For this Q&A session at run4change, the first question to come in was regarding this wonderful aspect of life.  Being married and losing weight all at the same time.  How did I do it?  First of all, my wife always wanted me to lose weight.  Not so much before we were married, but later on when she began to think of having her husband die young..  She never focused on the looks of it but rather the health of it.  That is when she began to desire it.  So I always had her support.

I also need to be honest about my struggle with balance, not only with fitness and marriage, but in all aspects of my life.  I tend to the extreme.  I go for it really hard in what ever I am doing.  I get things done very well, but I have the tendency to leave other important things behind.  Running is a prime example.  It was no problem at first, but as the races got longer so did the training.  Finally, this last summer while I was in the bulk of my training for a 100 miler, it all exploded.  Audrey was missing me, I wasn’t getting anything that I wanted done around the house done, and I had absolutely no free time.  This hurt my wife and I feel really bad for that.  I gave up the 100 miler to be with her more and to live a more balanced life.  Here are a couple of things that I changed in order to attain more balance between fitness, weight loss, and marriage.

  • I focused on what was actually the most important things and calculated the costs.  For me, the 100 miler was an ultimate dream, but at what cost.  I realized I was not willing to pay the price to attain the 100 miler at this time in my life.  So I focused on the most important things like:  keeping the weight off, to keep eating healthy, go to my meetings, and exercise regularly.  I had to realize that a 30 minute run on Tuesday would get the job done and that I did not have to run 3 hours.
  • I began to let my wife chose the places we went out to eat more often.  This was more balanced and added more variety.  It also forced me to learn how to eat at places that I did not have a plan for.  Before this, I was very stringent on where I went and it probably really sucked for my wife.  I remember getting in a fight because I thought we should go to Subway for our special dinner. 🙂
  • I started doing fitness activities that my wife wanted to do for recreation.  Skiing is a good example of this.  I did NOT want to go skiing.  My wife really wanted to learn and explore it.  So in the name of love and balance, I went along with it knowing that it is another way to get my activity in.  I liked it once I went too.

Recap:  I am horrible at balance but I am learning how to do it more as my journey continues.  Finding balance between fitness and marriage is a function of focusing in on the truly important things on your journey and trying to incorporate your spouse anyway you can.

19 Responses to “How do yo balance your fitness life with being married? Q&A”

  1. January 18, 2009 at 11:33 am

    I think that one of the most important lessons that marriage teaches you is balance. When you are single you don’t even realize that you over-indulge time/energy/money in certain areas of life. Having your spouse there is a a great reminder that a balanced life is so much more fruitful. I have found that through my efforts of trying to be more balanced and taking interest in my husband’s curiosities that I have found many things/foods/places etc…that have now become loves for me.

    Equally, I feel like my husband is learning from me now, as I am losing. 🙂

    • 2 run4change
      January 18, 2009 at 11:38 am

      Rebecca, I saw your comments pop up while I was writing a new post. It is a personal post for me. It is a post about my tendency toward being extreme and my yearning for more balance. Thanks for your comment. It came at the absolutely perfect time and I am blessed to have recieved it. Thanks

  2. 3 ladlam
    January 18, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Jason this is definitely something that a lot of us don’t think about but definitely should. I know my parter would prefer I skip a workout and spend time with her quite often, and this is definitely part of the reason I’ve started working out at home instead. Now my workouts take 40 minutes instead of one or two hours, which is great for both of us.
    Oh and, 100 miles?! You’re a mad man!

    • 4 run4change
      January 18, 2009 at 1:43 pm

      Yes I am a mad man. Thanks for the comment and keep spending time with you loved ones. When we die I am sure that we won’t be saying that we wish we had more money or a lower fat %, but will rather wish we had loved better.

  3. 5 whisfam4
    January 18, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    This is a good, thought provoking post. In my marriage my husband was always the fit one trying to fit in his workout. And I was not. When we had kids was when it got a little more tricky. He tries to workout in the morning or get it done right after work so he can have the most time with the kids. But no matter what to stay fit takes a little sacrifice. But what’s key is balance, like you said. Like giving up the 100 miler. You saw that wasn’t working and you were willing to give it up. We balance it now and it’s not too hard. I workout while he’s at work and the kids are in school. And we’re also, now that the kids are older getting them involved. Creativity, balance, hard work and some sacrifice I think. Great post!

    • 6 run4change
      January 18, 2009 at 4:41 pm

      Awesome comment. Thanks you so much for your contribution. I just love your down to earth real life solutions.

  4. January 18, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    It’s a difficult one this. On the one hand getting healthy is great for the family but it does eat into family time sometimes.

    One of the ways we’ve dealt with it is that my wife has taken up running too.

  5. January 19, 2009 at 5:21 am

    I think I’ve had that same Subway argument. LOL

    • 10 run4change
      January 19, 2009 at 5:23 am

      Thank God. That was a pretty good argumet that day. 🙂 We were supposed to have a special weekend and go out to dinner. We counldn’t decided and when we drove past a Subway I just said lets go there. Not good for a special night out 🙂

  6. 11 lissa10279
    January 19, 2009 at 6:16 am

    Jason, I totally could have written this (save for the 100-miler) not too long ago. Letting go of the extremes mentality isn’t easy, but like you, I’m trying to be a bit more flexible. Being married is about compromising and synergizing … it’s not all about one person (i.e., me) and I think it makes for a much happier marriage when I’m more easy-going. I’m fortunate in that my husband doesn’t eat fast food or anything really unhealthy, and he exercises regularly so we do have that shared passion for fitness and good health. In nice weather, a long walk or bike ride can be just as effective as a gym workout — and the change-up of routine is healthy and good. Just took me two years of marriage to “get it.” Like you, we’re thinking of starting a family in the next year or so, and so I want to be in the best shape possible … but not at the expense of our relationship. That’s too precious to screw around with.

    • 12 run4change
      January 19, 2009 at 6:22 am

      Well spoke my friend. Glad you came by again. I just love your contribution here. I agree with you, our relationships (and not only marriage) are the most precious things in life. I am glad that we are both coming around to be more balanced and healthy people. Great job.

  7. 13 lissa10279
    January 19, 2009 at 6:40 am

    I’m a loyal reader — I just don’t always have time to comment 🙂 But thank you 🙂

  8. January 19, 2009 at 9:23 am

    This is something I really have been thinking about lately. I started WW on my own in November 2006. By May 2007, I had lost most of my weight and wanted to tone up. In June 2007, I started running with my husband. We started the Couch 2 5K program together.

    We ran together 3 to 4 days a week. It was really nice. But, I wanted to move on to longer distances and began training for a half-marathon, and now a marathon. He really was not interested in that. So, I joined a Galloway group and run with them every Saturday.

    I miss the times we ran together. So does he. We have had to work again on finding things to do “just the two of us.” We also have 3 children who compete for our time. You are right. It isn’t easy.

  9. January 19, 2009 at 10:01 am

    We did that for a while.

    He actually ran 2 half marathons with me last Fall without training for them. Every experienced runner and coach we knew advised him against this. But, he really wanted to do the runs with me (just not the training). The first one on Thanksgiving Day went very well. We had a blast! And, no injuries.

    The second one, in December, did not go so well and he ended up with a fairly severe ankle injury.

    I have made a compromise with him. I will run any 5K with him that he wants, if he will stay away from the half marathons and marathons. Unless, of course, he trains for them!

    • 18 run4change
      January 19, 2009 at 10:05 am

      Good training is important. A funny story about the Strolling Jim 40 miler regards this training thing. A guy ran finished the 40 miler only running like 3 miles a couple of months before. Needless to say, he was absolutely miserable the whole time but he made it to the end. His friend said he couldln’t do it so he wanted to prove him wrong because he figured it was not that hard to go 40 miles 🙂

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