It might sound cheesy and cliché, but for us it’s the truth. When I was out of shape and severely over weight, I was not happy. I was a miserable mess of a person and it spilled out into our family life. Looking back I see that I judged more, I snapped more, and I was flat-out negative about everything.
I picked apart people’s weaknesses because I didn’t want to face my own and it wasn’t healthy. Nothing in my life was healthy at that point. Nothing in our family life was healthy either (aside from our beautiful healthy and happy son). Both of us would come home and melt into the couch with our bags of take out (or fast food) and sink into a Netflix coma. We didn’t connect with one another very much, we cohabited just fine and loved each other, but we were like two passing ships fighting our own battles. We’d drown our boredom by stuffing our faces and watching our shows until it was time for bed.
Intimacy took it’s hit too, neither of us were particularly fond of our new bodies. I had trouble accepting my post-baby body and any loving compliment doled out by my husband was easily brushed off. How on earth could this man think I’m beautiful when I look and feel the way I do? My insecurities got the best of me and I could not fathom that he was being honest. In short, there were a few months where things were rough. I’m not one for hiding the truth and in all honesty I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a healthy relationship that didn’t face trying times.
For us, this period of being unhealthy left us both with a lot of self-reflecting. It turns out a lot of our unhappiness was because we weren’t taking care of ourselves. Like many new parents, we put our son’s needs ahead of our own and our focus was constantly on him. We lost sight of ourselves and each other and it became apparent that the major problem in the equation was our inability to tend to our own needs.
Outwardly, these problems weren’t obvious and I didn’t even awaken to the problem until my husband expressed his concern about the life we were leading. He could feel the lifestyle of laziness taking hold and didn’t like where it was going. I was still in denial and didn’t want to accept the fact that I had lost touch with a healthy way of life. After all, I was only exhausted all of the time because I was busy caring for our baby into the wee hours. It clearly had nothing to do with my poor diet choices and lack of physical activity.
Fast forward to today, I’m feeling so much more confident and I can now better accept a compliment. My husband and I do our best to make time each day to focus on ourselves and each other. We have gym dates where we push each other to be better and work harder. We get out more as a family and do our best to be active together by hiking, jogging, or running around the playground with our son. Our overall moods are better, we have more energy and we’ve found a common ground once again. We share in each others’ successes and support each others’ goals. Hell, I even convinced my husband to buy running shoes and compete in our first race together! Now, that’s a big deal!