Health Magazine

Is Your Spouse Sabotaging Your Healthy Lifestyle?

By Gjosefsberg @gjosefsberg

romantic dinnerOne of the few areas that I still struggle with is how to fit a healthy lifestyle in with married life.  It sounds easy, we cook at home quite frequently, but there are always a few areas of conflict.

  • I get home after a long day and Julie is hungry.  So we go out and I eat too much.
  • We’re hanging out and having fun and one of us suggests a treat like frozen yogurt.  I end up eating too much.
  • We go out with friends and have a good time.  I end up eating too much.

Do you see a pattern there?

It doesn’t happen often, certainly not every night, but there are at least one or two days a week where I end up eating too much simply because of married life.  Is this my wife’s fault?  Of course not.  Julie is very healthy herself and is incredibly supportive.  So who’s fault is it and what do I do about it?

Who’s Fault Is It?

First of all, it’s no one’s fault.  This is a fitness blog and not a marriage blog so I won’t get into too much detail here but it’s true.  No one is trying to sabotage me, least of all my wife.  By the way, the same applies to friends, parents , coworkers and anyone else who occasionally gets me to eat a bit more than I should.  Sometimes life just happens.  You can either accept that or you can try to change it through good communication, which brings me to my next item.

What Can I Do About It?

Easy, I can talk to my wife and figure out a better way.  So that’s what we did last week and the solution was incredibly easy.  Turns out she’s been having the same issue that I was.  She wasn’t upset at all and was glad that we were talking about it.  Through our conversation we discovered that we go out to eat because we’re trying to find fun things to do as a couple and going out to dinner is an easy choice.  However, while easy, it was causing both of us to eat too much and actually decreasing the quality of our life together (marital hint 101: spending the evening on the couch because you ate too much Indian food is not romantic).

So we talked some more and we came up with the following:

Unless we’re trying to plan something special, we’re not going to go out and eat at a restaurant.  We’re either going to stay home and cook, stay home and eat a few small snacks or go out and grab some food at the local supermarket salad bar.  All three of these choices lead to far lower food consumption and leave us not feeling bloated and tired.  (bonus: all three options are cheaper than a night out).

We also made a list of fun things to do at home after we eat.  These include cards games, board games, puzzles, walks, TV shows we both like on Hulu and so on.  In other words, rather than go out and spent 90 minutes at a restaurant followed by 90 minutes on the couch, we spend 30 minutes on food and then 2 hours together doing something fun.

End result: I’m eating less.  As a bonus, I’m also more active and I’m saving money.

Replacing Food As The Center Of Our Social Life

I think we’ve gotten too used to centering our lives around food.  If you think about your social activities, how many of them are based on “lets go grab lunch together”, “lets go out for some drinks” or “lets get together for dinner”?  It seems like food is our social lubricant of choice because it’s easy and everyone likes it.  However, in doing so we’ve actually gotten into a really bad habit.

Well, my wife and I are determined to change this.  We’re going to give food less of a central role and focus more on the other fun activities that we really enjoy.  I’m glad we talked and I’m looking forward to many more years of being healthy with Julie.


Next I’m going to try to do something similar with my friends.  Rather than center our activities around eating, I’m going to try to find other activities we can do together that will have us eating less and moving more.

Also, did another set of 305lb bench presses today!  I guess last week wasn’t a fluke


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