Happy Valentine’s Day! Today is a time we often think about romantic relationships, whether you have one, whether that one is good, whether you want one, whether you don’t, etc. There are good reasons for all those decisions! Whether a romantic partner, friend, co-worker, family member, or an acquaintance you’d like to know better, creating and working toward a healthy goal together can greatly increase personal and relationship wellbeing. Working toward your goal with another person keeps you motivated, can push you harder, and can make the process more fun! Connecting with others in general, whether romantically or not, has been proven time and again to have tremendous psychological and physical health benefits.
My husband and I have both maintained relative fitness throughout our relationship, though we were admittedly both more fit and exercised more consistently when we met and were dating. Dating in general can lead to weight gain… then marriage, and the combining of families, kids, activities, jobs and you know how it goes! My weight has fluctuated largely between 10-15 pounds in the past 1-2 years especially, in the wrong direction! It was time for a real lifestyle change again, and this time my husband was also on board!!
Today marks the end of week 3 of the America’s Fittest Couple’s Challenge 3 for us (we have 5 weeks to go)! We have had ideas and even started similar challenges in the past, but we have never gotten very far doing it together. Often, we found with our schedules, working out separately was better for time – but neither of us were as consistent as we’d like. One of us tended to be healthier while the other wasn’t, then that might flip for a few weeks, and it’s easier to get off track when your partner isn’t being their healthiest. Hence the cycle of our past couple years of marriage. While dating we actually exercised together more often, and it’s funny (and unfortunate) to think that living together and being married has made that harder to manage!
Sticking to this together has had tremendous benefits for us. It forces quality time when we have felt lacking in that, both our moods have improved, we are more playful and fun again with each other, it has been great to watch the scale and measurements change for the better, and it is fun having someone to join in the planning and preparing. When one of us has said, “ah, it’s been such a long day, let’s push the workout to tomorrow,” the other already has their workout gear on to ensure this workout happens – together! The kids also think it’s fun, and them knowing we are on this challenge makes us feel more like we have to see it through!
We have chosen America’s Fittest Couple’s Challenge 3 through aimfitnessnetwork.com. Here and many other sites have many options available. We love the challenge because it takes the guess work out of our workouts and nutrition. Everything is planned in advance, we stay on top of the shopping lists, and nothing is too crazy to make or too hard to eat! This time we spent a couple weeks really considering the plan, what it entails, our schedules, what have been barriers in the past, when to start, what days need to be workout versus rest, etc.Taking the time to be honest with yourself about what has and has not worked in the past will help you start on the right track and with higher likelihood of success!
So, consider finding a partner – romantic or otherwise – and get started on your own healthy living plan! What a better Valentine gift than the gift of health! If you don’t have a partner, don’t fret – make this a Valentine gift to you! There are many ways to find motivation through message boards and social media groups to meet people online to be your supportive partner, which is what I did during my initial weight loss journey!