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How a healthy lifestyle is like a marriage...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I can remember 34+ years ago standing at the back of the church sanctuary on my father's arm looking down the aisle at my husband to be and thinking for a brief instant -- do you know what the hell you are doing?? But the thought was fleeting and I walked down the aisle and said my I do's without regretting it.

How did I know that our love was true and I wanted to commit to this man for the rest of my life?

Without a doubt it was the first time that I visited his apartment and we had made popcorn. I tipped the bowl a little and spilled a few kernels on the floor. He quickly PRODUCED A BROOM AND SAID "MAN! I JUST WASHED THIS FLOOR"!
Despite my youth and raging lust hormones, wisely I recognized that there was more to life than making out, and that any man that owned a broom and a mop AND knew how to use them, was a viable candidate for my lifetime mate!
I haven't been disappointed all these years. To this day, he pulls his share of the housework.
BUT -- I can remember the first time we argued about anything after we were married. No, I can't recall what it was about, but I can remember that I was mortified. The only thing we even remotely argued about before getting married was jokingly who loved who the most!
My parents rarely argued, but my husband's parents were divorced and couldn't stand to be in the same room together. At our wedding instead of asking friends of the bride or friends of the groom in order to be seated on one side of the pews or the other , the ushers asked friends of Veta or friends of Russ?
Not really but you might as well have - there are NO pictures of his parents with us together.
So our frames of reference for marital arguments were skewed. My parents had a long, happy marriage with rare arguments. His parents had bitter arguments for years and ended up divorced and loathing each other. We had to learn that disagreements were a normal part of a healthy marriage. You have them, resolve them, and move on. Despite them, you can still love and be committed to your spouse.
Plus, like those of us who have been married for many years have learned - those petty spats get less and less over the years. They aren't worth the energy!

So what's the point of telling you all this?

Well it hit me this weekend that committing to a healthy lifestyle was a lot like committing to a marriage.

I've blogged before about my long history of yo-yo "dieting". I'd start off with great enthusiasm, much like I started my marriage wildly in love. I'd go great guns following whatever diet I happened to be following at the moment, UNTIL I "cheated" that first time. Just like I thought that an argument in marriage meant that you were headed to divorce, I thought that slipping up once and over eating or eating the wrong thing was like a nail in the diet divorce coffin. Isn't that why they call it cheating?
Unforgivable. Divorce the diet. Just another excuse to give up and gain the weight back...

I just had a wonderful weekend at a hotel/casino/spa with my dear husband. Of course they had good restaurants - including a HUGE buffet with the usual prime rib and a dessert bar longer than my house. I did well with my selections for the most part, but didn't obsess since it was a special occasion.
Plus I worked out for 45 minutes in the state of the art gym that the hotel provided for guests, so I don't think that the scale will be too punishing.

34 years ago I made a commitment to my husband and I've never regretted it. We have our occasional arguments but they just clear the air and never last and I never stop loving him.

5 years ago I made a commitment to myself to lose 70 pounds and I've never regretted it. I have my occasional caloric indulgence, but it's NOT cheating - it just "clears the air" and it never lasts, and I never stop loving how I feel when I eat healthy and exercise.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    thanks i think this is a great blog and a new prospective on how to see diets or should i say lifestyle changes.thanks.
    2893 days ago
    Thank you Joanne, I needed this blog! It's called commitment!My husband and are looking at 20 years this August and there have definitely been ups and downs, just like my healthy lifestyle (a work in progress).

    What a great comparison you have made between marriage and a healthy lifestyle!

    2904 days ago
    This is priceless! What a wonderful way to look at long-term commitment, both marriage and a healthy lifestyle. I agree about the lessening of arguments as time goes on (almost 23 years for me and hubby!), and I've never once entertained the idea of divorce: I love this man too much to let disagreements get in the way.

    What a change to look at a healthy body the same way! I "can't" divorce my body, so why not treat it well? Thank you so much for the insight; this has helped me immensely!

    Take care!
    2912 days ago
    This post was the best.THANK YOU for it. It is so true. Hope youre feeling better. Congrats on 34 yrs. Hubby and I have 25 coming up and I hope my kids will one day experience love like ours. Thanks for the laughs.
    2912 days ago
    Thanks for sharing! Lots of food for thought! Enjoy the rest of your week and the holiday weekend!
    2915 days ago
    Good insight! Perseverance and integrity - two things that are not too common these days. And you can't really have one without the other. Had to smile at "divorce the diet."

    2919 days ago
    We all have our choices to make. Success in all ventures comes from making a decision and commitment.
    2919 days ago
    Good analogy. We need more grace in our lives, both giving & getting!
    2922 days ago
    Great comparison, Joanne! Commitment is commitment, regardless of today's weather. Another great blog!
    2922 days ago
    My love/hate dramatic and overly passionate relationship with food has lasted longer than any of my love/hate dramatic and overly passionate relationships with men! My two vices! I was married to Will for seven years because he showed up at my job with a Super Nacho after I said it was over. I'm am beginning to settle down and find a happy medium with both relationships! Food and Men, never giving up on either!

    Good analogy!
    2924 days ago
    emoticon For sharing such a wonderful blog. Congrats on the 34 years of marriage. Hope you have many, many more.

    I, too am committed to my husband and my new lifestyle. And should an occasional tiff and/ or calorie splurge occur, I pledge to be remain happy and guilt free! emoticon
    2924 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/18/2010 11:51:03 PM
    What a beautiful way to describe a lasting relationship.
    I need to "work" on my relationship with SP!
    Thank you for the interesting blog
    2924 days ago
    Well said.
    2925 days ago
    You got it right, Joanne! I chose to eat red velvet cake and a couple cookies this weekend -- church work day, and then the congregational dinner the next day -- but overall, I made good choices and don't feel badly about the things I indulged in. Life includes a few splurges!! Hooray for your 34 years -- we will celebrate 40 in December!!
    2925 days ago
    Nice analogy. You're so smart!
    Divorcing your diet - that's exactly what happens, isn't it?
    2925 days ago
    You are too much! (in a good way, of course) Always enjoy your blogs. Big hug.
    2925 days ago
    I always said the first 15 years of marriage are hard, but after that it gets easier. I've been married 38 years. You just have to hang in there over the rough spots. My husband does quite a bit of cooking and housework, too. Most young women don't recognize how important that is.
    2925 days ago
    Great blog post. I must admit that I don't pull my weight around the house in terms of housework. My husband cooks, cleans and does laundry (although not mine unless it is one or two items because otherwise I would feel too guilty). Just like a marriage takes a lot of hard work, so does living a healthy lifestyle. Sounds like you are doing great on both fronts.
    2925 days ago
  • SHEILA8383
    Wonderful blog. I liked how you compared your commitment to increased health to marriage. Thaks you for sharing!
    2925 days ago
    Great blog, really liked what you said "committing to a healthy lifestyle was a lot like committing to a marriage."

    My marriage #1 lasted 20 years and my current one is in it's 19th year. I want my life style to last to the end of my life.

    thx again for posting

    2925 days ago
    Wonderful blog as usual! Thanks for a great way to start the week!
    2925 days ago
    Sweet! I love your blogs! I guess with my history of a relationship, it doesn't quite fit the bill (long story)! It sounds like you have it made in both worlds, Joanne.

    Maybe I'll gain the courage to have an affair with SparkPeople... and blog about it one day!

    Thanks again, Joanne for your wonderful writing!

    2925 days ago
    Thank you, what a wonderful way to frame the journey. I needed that this Monday morning.
    2925 days ago
    Great blog Joanne and congrats on the 34 years with the guy with the broom. I agree with you as you get older each year just gets easier. Too bad we can't get this through to more couples. I try explain to all who listen, a marriage is not to be treated like a used car and trade it off for another "used" one.

    Skeeter emoticon
    2925 days ago
  • TRINITY4001
    Great analogy! Thanks for sharing! emoticon
    2925 days ago
    I just lost everything I wrote, hope I can remember.
    Great blog Joanne and congrats on the 34 years with the guy with the broom. Glad you had a great weekend.
    I too agree every year gets easier, too bad we can't get that message through to many couples. My advice to any who will listen that marriage is not like trading off a car because of some flaw and getting another "used" one with just MORE .
    Thanks again for your great blog.

    Skeeter emoticon
    2925 days ago
  • MDEAL72
    Awesome blog! I love the way you think!
    2925 days ago
    Beautiful analogy!

    Sounds like you had SUCH a terrific time!

    2925 days ago
    This was a wonderful post and right on the money.

    I'd like to respond in more details but it's way past time for me to get some rest...

    Need to tell you, though!
    2926 days ago
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