Thursday, 6 June 2013

Testing the research..

While reading Australian Womens Health today I came across a little nugget of research.

"According to researchers from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, US, 
happily married couples are more likely to put on the kilos than people in unsatisfying marriages."

I wonder why?  Is it because we don't feel the need to 'try' anymore?  Do we get comfortable in our little nest of love and more accepting of each other? Do we like making each other happy through food?

 Now I take studies with a grain of salt.  The first study followed 169 couples over a period of 4 years, and no further. So I decided to apply my own experience to test this theory out.

In 2 months time I will have been married to a gorgeous man for 13 years. In that time he has taken on the role of stepdad to my older two girls and became a father to another two children.  That's right, 4 children in total.

When we married,  he was 21, I was 28. Young, in love and totally for each other.

And yes I am that short I had to stand on a rock for our wedding photos.

In those first 4 years, we both gained weight....partly due to finances ( carbs are cheap, 99c pasta anyone?), partly due to time ( small children... pregnancies and work) and partly due because we didn't really know any better.  

Then we moved to Melbourne from Queensland.  Our youngest was only 10 months old and we set off into the big unknown, with no family or anyone we knew in Melbourne.  Those were our tough years.  Still in love yes, but lonely, all we had was our little family.  It was a make or break time, it could draw us closer or pull us apart....I'm glad to say it brought us closer. This happened about when the Southern Methodist University would have finished their study on our marriage.

Were we both heavier than when we married?  Yes. But not just due to being happily married, a whole range of different experiences left their mark on us.  Moving, children, both of us having limited 'foodology' experience, having both grown up in meat and 2 veg homes, ignorance of how our bodies work best....all contributed to weight gain.

And then six years ago....Troy won a raffle prize at our son's school....6 weeks personal training.

He lost the weight.  He got fit. But after the 6 weeks, the weight started creeping back on slowly but surely.  It did spark something in us both though, the idea that working out and being fit could be part of our marriage.

Fast forward a few years to 2011. I was fed up with the way I looked.  My marriage was happy but neither of us were happy in ourselves. Strange how happiness can be in different layers, unhappy with myself but happy as a couple. I found Michelle Bridge's website and joined Michelle Bridges 12 Week body Transformation.

At first Troy wasn't so keen. After all the things I had tried before, surely this was another phase. I have to be honest and thought I would probably give up as well.  But I proved it wasn't a phase and I didn't give up.  Not only did I lose the weight, I became happier and more confident in myself.  Troy signed up.

Now go look at the wedding picture.  And look at the transformation below, particularly with Troy. This picture was taken this year, in May...nearly 13 years married.

So, in my experience....does being happily married make you fat? 

No. Being happily married has very little to do with it. Perhaps satisfaction in yourself may have something to do with weight gain, perhaps life events changing the physiology ( like pregnancy) might have something to do with gaining weight, who knows?  

We educated ourselves on how our bodies work, and experienced how it feels living a cleaner, healthier lifestyle. We cut the fast food and raised the fresh food.  We cut the watching tv together and began working out together.(Best workout partner ever) We lost the weight together....

and we are still happily married.

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