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Get Fit Together! Success Stories from A Married Couple

Get Fit Together! Success Stories from A Married Couple

I’m getting married on Sunday! Eeeeeeeeee!

Ok, I got it out. Don’t worry; the rest of this post won’t be me gushing about girly bridal things. ;)

I will, however, gush about some of my super duper clients that have achieved tremendous results… as a married couple!

Originally, I was going to share their stories separately, but then I realized that their stories shared together present a unique opportunity. This couple is proof that it can be done together, even with date nights, the stress of life, and different goals!

I hear all too often that it’s “just so hard” to get fit with a significant other. When one person wants to give in to temptation, it’s just too hard to say no to it yourself. Or maybe your goals are drastically different. Or maybe you’re starting from a point of not knowing what to do first, overwhelmed by the situation and your lovey just ain’t any help.

Jenn & Derrick are going to show us that amidst all those obstacles, you can come out on top together!

Think about it this way: you guys are in this for the long haul. You are a team, and your goal is victory.

Think of all the things you can do together to achieve those goals! Think of how much more variety that will bring into your relationship!

Instead of going to a movie, go rent bikes and toodle around for the day exploring your own city.

Instead of going out to a chain restaurant on date night, spend that money on ingredients you’ve never worked with before and make a healthy gourmet dinner together.

Don’t feel like working out? Gotta stay accountable to your Sweetie Pie!

Yes, it can be difficult to gain good fitness ground when you’re a couple, but it’s completely do-able with some adjustments on both sides. Get ready to get motivated, because these love birds are going to teach us a thing or two about achieving goals as a team!

Without further ado, I’d love to introduce you to Jenn and Derrick, a couple of clients of mine that had some big goals when they first came to me. I’ll let them tell you all about their journeys, and what keeps them motivated when it gets rough!

Here’s Jenn!

Jenn Before & After

I was always the skinny kid.  I never had to watch what I ate.  I always attributed that to being an “active” person.  I ran cross country and swam in high school, and I never really sat still for very long and with my young metabolism, I falsely believed that being active alone would keep me healthy.

That theory got me through college and two marathons, but by my third I was puzzled as to why my jeans were starting to not fit right.  I shrugged it off as, maybe I’m just bloated today, or blamed my husband for putting pants in the dryer that I normally air dried.

Meanwhile, I started working a high stress job with long hours where soda and chips became both my way of coping with the stress and to have the energy to finish my work tasks.

When I finally admitted to myself that things were taking a turn, that I was no longer that 18 year old that could put away the entire dollar menu from Wendy’s and not gain an ounce, I decided that I would just work out harder.  That makes sense, right? 

I poured through health magazines and set up ridiculous workout schedules for myself that only led me to feel bad when I worked late and could not complete them.

On Sundays I would declare to my husband, “We are eating healthy this week!”  I would buy the ingredients for all of the recipes in those health magazines only to be horribly disappointed that they didn’t taste like macaroni and cheese.

By Wednesday (if I was lucky to get that far) I was back to the chips and soda, and all the healthy food in the fridge sat there until it spoiled. 

My husband, noticing my struggles, and perhaps his own, delicately suggested that we see Amy for some training sessions.  I balked at the idea.  Why should I pay someone to help me fail at what I was already miserable at on my own?  Plus at that point my confidence was completely shot.  What if I couldn’t do it?  Or worse, what if I did and could not maintain it?

Working with Amy has completely changed my lifestyle.  I have been working with her for the past nine months and have lost over 15 pounds and lost two sizes.  What’s more awesome is I have kept it off for the last six months.

What I soon realized was that those magazines took a “one-size fits all” approach to health and wellness and did not fit the reality that I was at work for 10-11 hours a day.  Amy helped me realize that sometimes less is more, that I didn’t need to log marathon training miles to be fit, and that I can actually be stronger with high intensity interval training.  With workouts that sometimes only last 20 minutes, how could I not fit that into my schedule?

Since I have always loved working out, I think the most helpful thing has my approach to eating.  Amy gave us clear rules for eating clean, including what to look for in the ingredients of the products we buy. The idea that we can take “opportunities” has been amazing, because it has helped me let go of my perfectionist, all or nothing approach not just to eating but to life in general.

Instead of thinking about what I can or cannot eat, I know I can splurge sometimes and have been having so much fun looking up healthy recipes on Pinterest.  I have learned to take the things I like but aren’t always healthy, and prepare them in a different way with whole ingredients so they fit my clean eating plan.  I feel so great when I bring my creations to work and everyone asks me where I got them from!

Amy has helped me kick my soda habit (haven’t had one since last New Year’s Eve) and most importantly helped me learn a few things about myself.  The most important of which is that I can do it. 

I have so much more confidence in my abilities, both at work and life in general now that I am stronger and fit.

I have more energy than I ever have, and that’s more than enough motivation to keep at it.

Jenn’s tips for losing the junk:

I’d say the biggest tip to not getting discouraged is that often when we start trying to lose weight or just eat healthy, is to cut yourself some slack.  Our society has not really been the most straightforward in letting us know what’s really healthy and what the company wants us to buy because it says it’s healthy.

Really taking the time to educate yourself and working with someone with a nutrition background is helpful.   I’m someone who–when told what the rules are–will follow them, so that’s why this works for me.

I think another thing is really taking it day by day mentally, but planning your meals out for the week and do one big shopping trip. That way you can map out as many healthy meals as you can.

And here’s Derrick!

Derrick before & after

I have previously tried to lose weight with minimal success – it wasn’t abject failure, but it wasn’t resounding success, either.

Most of my previous endeavors involved lots of long, slow cardio, like marathon training.  I didn’t focus enough attention on changing the way I ate or on performing explosive, muscle-building exercises.

The most important factor, in my opinion, to my success losing weight has been dramatically changing the food I eat and drink.  I didn’t realize just how much sugar and refined carbs (essentially sugar) I had been eating on a daily basis, and how quickly those foods are converted into fat in the body.

I’ve now changed my entire outlook on eating – I’ve learned to enjoy cooking with whole foods and look forward to the way I feel after eating clean. 

As a side note, I believe the change in nutrition has led to increased mental focus – I just feel smarter these days; I feel like I identify and solve problems much faster.

My nutrition program is so different this time: minimizing added sugar and processed carbs, and eating a ton of whole foods (especially fruits, veggies, nuts, whole grains, and lean meat).  I’m also consuming about 90 – 100 oz of water daily.

I’ve lost 14 lbs., and I’ve dropped at least 3 pant sizes and 2 shirt sizes.  I’m actually trying (slowly, but successfully) to gain muscle mass these days!

My exercise program during the weight loss focused much more on HIIT than slow, plodding cardio sessions.  Now that I’m trying to build muscle mass, I’m lifting much heavier weights and greatly reducing cardio.

Derrick’s tips for sticking to it:

The key to being able to stick to the nutrition plan, especially at the beginning, is the 90%/10% guideline.  I follow the nutrition plan roughly 90% of the time and eat whatever I want the other 10%.  For me, that’s about 4 meals per week, since I eat about 40 times per week.

I’ve noticed a significant shift in my palate, which makes things easier.  Some of the unhealthy foods that used to taste really good, especially the really sugary stuff, just taste kind of strange now.

Another key is to recognize that people aren’t perfect – if one week you’re at 86%/14% (or whatever) instead of 90%/10%, don’t call the whole program a failure and give it up.  Focus on the positive changes you’ve already made rather than solely focusing on the few times you haven’t met the standard you’d like to meet.

the couple & me

Tips from the couple on getting fit together:

What was the breaking point that made you decide to start this journey together?

Jenn: We’ve always worked out together as a couple from the beginning, but we both reached a plateau. After taking your bootcamp at Lululemon here in LA before 30×30, Derrick brought up the idea of training. It was so much fun and such high energy! We wanted someone to come in and jolt us out of our exercise boredom and give us some new ideas.

Amy: And originally Derrick called me about you guys training separately! I love that you guys decided to come in together in the end.

Derrick: And it really helped that we both went all in together. It would have been a lot harder if one of us didn’t want to commit and the other did. I think there would have been a lot of resentment.

How has your life shifted as a couple? How does being healthier affect your marriage?

Derrick: I think both of us are in a better mood most of the time. We just have a better overall emotional state. We both handle stress better now, whether that’s work stress or just life stress. I mean, we were a fully functional couple beforehand, so I don’t want to say it was horrible and now it’s happy-happy-joy-joy, but committing to getting fit was something that we tackled together. And it no longer feels like something we have to tackle. Now, it’s routine to eat healthy and exercise smart.

Jenn: This might not be what you’re looking for, but we always used to get in a rut with where we were going out to eat because we went out to eat all the time. Now, since we’re eating healthier and cooking at home a lot more, we don’t argue about where to eat out because it happens less often. We get excited about our nights out; basically, our new lifestyle has made our date nights more special.

How do you motivate each other to work out and eat healthy?

Jenn: Derrick and I are really good at holding each other accountable because we have what I like to call “healthy competition” in our marriage. If I ever feel like going off-plan, and Derrick doesn’t, I feel like I can’t let him beat me at being healthier! I have a “if you’re not going to eat that, neither am I,” mentality. We take our opportunities as a team for the most part!

Derrick: Yeah, I think accountability and healthy competition are the main ways we motivate each other, but supporting each other in our goals is another key to success. During the week, Jenn might get home late, but I’ll make sure she has a healthy dinner waiting for her and she’ll do the same for me when I come home from work late on weekends. That way, neither of us is tempted to go grab fast food on our way home.

What are some fun things you guys do now that you’re healthier, versus what you used to do when you weren’t?

Jenn: Everything is basically more fun now that we have all this energy! We hang out at the beach, we do more active things on weekends. For instance, I used to have chores to do on weekends that would leave me so spent that I wouldn’t have the energy to go out that night. Now, I can do chores AND go out without it wrecking me the next day!

Derrick: Pretty much what she said. :)

Strengthen from The Inside Out IntensiveIf you missed the announcement on Monday, The Fall Strengthen from The Inside Out Intensive is now open for enrollment!

This 8-week weight loss course focuses on getting you stronger inside so that you can let go of whatever it is that you’re holding onto. Whether that’s emotional or physical weight.

For more information and to sign up, click here.

Well, I’m off  to get hitched, but I’d like to leave you with this:

Whether you’re doing this with a loved one or on your own, remember that your health is priority. You will be a better person, parent, and partner when you are healthy inside and out.

Do this for you, even if you’re doing it for each other, too.

Stay strong,

Amy

1st photo background credit

4 Responses to “Get Fit Together! Success Stories from A Married Couple”

  1. Simone says:

    I love this! It’s definitely way easier to have your SO’s support. :)

    And HAPPY WEDDING! Congratulations! :)

  2. Tammy R says:

    I love this story! It is possible to support each other and get fit together. I can attest to the fact that it does enhance your marriage. After beginning our own journey to get fit and eat healthy about six years ago, we’ve both lost a combined total of 55 pounds and have kept it off. The key is doing it together. While we actually do exercise together every single day, I don’t think it means the couple has to physically be together when they exercise as long as they are mentally together. No guilting each other or berating ourselves here.

    So happy to see Jenn and Derrick have such success in your care, Amy! I am not surprised! But, as you would say I’m sure, they had to want it!

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