Marriage and FitnessIt hurts so much to type exist right now.

You see, I started anew this week on a quest for improved fitness.  You may have heard of the P90X home training system or seen one of their super-persuasive infomercials.  Trust me, it’s the real deal if you have the right sadistic serious attitude to take on some varied, but quite intense, workouts.

I know it’s the real deal not from my three days of agony training thus far, but because I actually bought and used this system over a year ago when Engaged Marriage was but a twinkle in my eye.  I used it for about 10 weeks to build my base fitness level before training to ride my first Century (100 miles) bike ride on my 30th birthday last July.

I was truly in the best shape of my life.  Alas, as I approach my 31st birthday and the birth of our third child this July, I sit here in probably the worst shape of my life.  Completely damn annoying Funny how that happens.

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Get Fit and Have a Healthy Marriage

As I look back at the last year, I can see how I basically got burned out after the big culminating event with the Century and just never returned to my active habits.  I actually turned my attention to a new hobby obsession at that point…and you’re reading it right now!

That’s right, I started Engaged Marriage at the end of August 2009 right after we returned from a vacation.  And unless you were one of the 10 people who were hanging out here in those early days, I doubt you’ve ever read a series I wrote called Get Fit and Have a Healthy Marriage .

Even though my writing’s changed a bit since then, and the formatting of the posts is a bit strange, I actually enjoyed reading the series again recently and ended up motivating myself to get my fat pleasantly plump butt back in gear!  Here are the links if you’d like to check them out:

  1. Get Fit and Have a Healthy Marriage: The Realization
  2. Get Fit and Have a Healthy Marriage: The Reasons
  3. Get Fit and Have a Healthy Marriage: Where Do I Find the Time?

Motivated by Marriage and Family

Have you ever been motivated by the stark realization that you aren’t practicing what you preach?

Well, that was my initial spark when I thought back to all I was doing in preparation for my 30th birthday, looked at the Facebook pictures of my exhaustion joy at the end of my Century ride, and then rediscovered those posts where I was telling the world why they should remain fit. Existing data justifying the use of Soma in musculoskeletal disorders, rehabilitation after the operationsand CP, are very limited and insufficient. However, the use of Tolperisone in persons suffering from spasticity after a stroke allows us to confirm the efficiency of this medication.

However, I’ve since realized that my motivation runs deeper.  Here a few of the thoughts that have weighed (literally and figuratively) on me lately and pushed me back to a healthier lifestyle:

  • My wife is so strong and tough at 8 months of pregnancy…I should be more like her.
  • We have a new baby on the way…I need to get ready physically for all that entails.
  • I have a very crazy active 5 year old boy who needs an equally active Daddy…and a sweet 3 year old girl who needs her Daddy to be patient and “present” even after he’s done playing outside with the crazy boy.
  • My Dad is in very poor health with lots of heart problems and damage from years of abuse…I need to take care of my own heart.
  • A good family friend is battling the last stages of ovarian cancer…I can’t take my health for granted.
  • God has been way too good to me and blessed me with all that I could ever ask for…and it’s only right that I honor the awesome gift of a healthy and able body by keeping it that way.
  • I preach taking a proactive approach to marriage and life every day…and I need to apply to this to all areas of my own life.

So I have a lot to think about each morning at 6 a.m. as I head downstairs to kick my own ass.  And even more to pray in thanksgiving about when I lay down next to my beautiful wife each evening.

And it makes me smile with every painful step as my body reminds me that I’ve been complacent for too long…

So, what are some of your best sources of motivation?


About the author 


Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.

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  1. Since Thanksgiving 2009 I’ve lost 23 lbs & I have another 24 to go. 🙂 My motivation is that I felt terrible. I felt terrible about myself, I didn’t look how I felt on the inside, I had no stamina, & I didn’t see the woman DH married in the mirror any more. Now, I’m 13 lbs lighter than when we married. DH is really supportive & has expressed that his committment to me isn’t based on what the scale says. I love him for that. But now, 2 years later, he’s married to a “new” woman. I feel better than I’ve ever felt, I feel more confident & I’m happy with myself. DH is taking Judo & working out regularly also. I guess one of the biggest motivations was that when we’re ready to start a family I want my kids to see a bowl of fruit available to them & actually reach for it. I’m changing because I want a better life for my now family & my future family. 🙂

    1. Wow Skeemer, that’s awesome! My wife is 8 months pregnant right now, but she got in the best shape of her life last Fall as well (except she stayed that way until the pregnancy while I did not). I really think there is a lot to be said about both spouses taking a proactive approach to their health, and I’m happy to hear that you and your husband are doing that now.

  2. I think you make great points. My wife and I have been married 4 years and have tried numerous times to get into better shape. It didn’t happen until recently. We set a goal of competing in a Sprint Triathlon on June 19th and we’ve been supporting each other and helping each other reach that goal. I’m now at my wedding weight and feel great, but there’s no way I’m doing P90X, i’m too intimidated by it, I’ve known many people who have done it and I guess I’m too much of a wus.

    My motivation has been to look good for my wife and to live a happy and healthy life, and exercising and its true, exercising and feeling good makes you very happy!
    .-= Eric – BHF´s last blog ..Parents Television Council and CBS’s New Show =-.

    1. Come on Eric, P90X isn’t that bad! 😉 (I say as I wince each time I shift my weight in my chair)

      I love the idea of training with my wife for a common goal, and maybe we can do that this Fall after the new baby is here and everything settles down a bit. I’ve always been a bit fascinated by Sprint Triathlons and I think I’ll look into that for a personal goal!

  3. Awesome post Dustin! I’m a big believer in Zig Ziglar’s motto, “If you want to have a complete success, you’ve got to have a complete individual.” This means not just spending time to make sure my financial house is in order (as a financial coach), but that I also spend time making sure my marriage is in great shape (which brings me here), AND that I’m physically in shape. @Skeemer118 was right on noting she’s more confident and happy with herself.

    My wife and I just recently discovered an amazing fitness sport we enjoy together called CrossFit. One reason it’s worked so well for us is that we can both do the exact same workout in the same class TOGETHER and get equally awesome workouts.
    .-= Deacon Bradley´s last blog ..What Freedom Sounds Like =-.

    1. Thanks so much, Deacon. Man, Zig Ziglar has an awesome quote for everything, and I really like that one!

      It sounds like CrossFit is a great fit for you guys, and I think it’s fantastic that you’re able to work out together. Does that program require access to a gym? I actually have a membership (I should cancel), but I find it much easier to get my workouts in at home while the kids are still sleeping.

  4. P90x is the real deal! I have done the set twice with great results. I had lost a bunch of weight 2 years ago through running, but unfortunately I melted off muscle as well. P90x has been a great addition to my running allowing me to put on some extra muscle weight while leaving the fat off.

    .-= Rex @ Hack My Life´s last blog ..A Toast to Toastmasters =-.

    1. That’s great, Rex! I really do find P90X to be really effective, and I love that I can do the whole program at home. The intensity is a bit much for the long term, though. After you reached your initial goals, how have you continued on with the P90X program…still 6 days per week or have you cut down to something less frequent?

      1. The 2nd time around I have cut out the cardio/plyo/kemp dvds. I run 30+ miles a week so I figured I have that covered. I focus much more on the strength and stretching dvds especially the legs and back. Running is a very quad intensive exercise so I focus on developing the hamstring muscles to balance it out. I have also been working on improving my pullup numbers by adding weight. I had kind of plateaued on those so just doing less reps but with added weight to mix it up and break through the plateau.

        .-= Rex @ Hack My Life´s last blog ..A Toast to Toastmasters =-.

  5. I know it is hard…but keep up the good work! It is so worth it!

    My motivation is:

    1. My husband and I are very active, hiking, camping, river rafting, mountain biking, bungee jumping, etc. Doing all of thos activities is so much more enjoyable when I’m fit and don’t feel like I’m dying by the end of a 4 or 5 hour hike. I love feeling fit and strong and knowing that I can push my body to what I think is the limit and yet it keeps going and surprises me every time.

    2. I volunteer with the ACS…so many cancers are avoidable if you are healthy!

    3. I want to still be active and living life to the fullest when I’m 95!

    4. When we finally do have a kiddo I wan’t to be in the best physical shape possible to combat the sleepless nights and activity that goes with little ones.

    1. Thanks for the words of encouragement, Jen! Your list of motivations is so great…you just motivated me! 🙂

  6. You’ve hit on something that I’m really passionate about. I kick my own ass an average of four times a week and I’ve been doing it for 2+ years now and I love it. It got me through a very healthy pregnancy with a wonderfully healthy baby and has helped me to get my energy (and my figure) back, which is a nice benefit. It’s harder to make time now that I have a baby, but it is so important to make that time. Good health is just so incredibly important that I can’t even express it enough. What made me realize this was, of all things, Oprah Friggin Winfrey, whose show I don’t even watch on a regular basis. Anyway, she was talking to all of these overweight, out of shape, unhealthy moms and caregivers who just never had any time to take to do the right things for themselves. They gave so much of themselves to their families that there was nothing left at the end of the day and they fell into bad habits of eating fast food and not exercising and generally not taking care of themselves. You know what happens if you live like that? You get too sick to take care of the people that you love!!! If you want to *be there* for your family then you really need to think about what that means and that means BEING THE BEST YOU THAT YOU CAN BE. Sure it takes extra time on my Sunday afternoons to meal plan and grocery shop, but I cook healthy meals and that are good for our cholesterol, our triglycerides and not to mention our waistlines. And sure it’s hard to find an hour to put down all my other obligations and work out, but in doing that I am buying myself a higher quantity AND quality of hours of my life going forward. When my boy starts running around and playing sports I want to play too! If God willing I ever have any grandchildren – I want to be able to roll around on the floor with them and play! So although it’s hard to make time, and sometimes I feel selfish taking time to myself like that, I have to remember that these actions now are buying me a healthier, happier, and hopefully longer life with my family, being there for everything and really BEING THERE as the best Kate that I can be.

    And I could go on – mostly I talked about the long term benefits of exercise, but there are short term benefits too such as the all important STRESS RELIEF. I’m sure all the other working parents out there hear me on that one.

    1. I love it when I hit a subject that gets you fired up, Kate! I don’t have anything to add to your awesome rundown of why we need to be fit to be the best spouse and parent we can be. I love hearing how hard you work at it, and I am always proud when I see Micah in his slimmed-down state.

  7. Good for you! I too find my spouse to be good motivation for taking care of my body. I also simply love the feeling of being fit and healthy! After struggling with significant pain for a few years I am even more appreciative of the opportunities that I do have to choose whether I will feel healthy or sick.

    1. Wow Rae, your last sentence really resonated with me. I know several people with chronic pain, and I know how crappy I feel when I let myself slip into a pudgy state. The fact that I have a *choice* to feel good simply by applying myself really is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Thanks!

  8. @ Kate – “Oprah Friggin Winfrey” That made my whole day! ROTFLMBO! 🙂 WTG on getting a healthier you.

    1. I loved that, too. You should meet Kate and her husband (and baby) in real life…you’ll be laughing a lot because they are so much fun!

  9. It’s so easy to become overwhelmed with all of life’s other demands and let our physical health slide to the back burner. I’m thrilled to see this post, because I’ve fallen into the trap of dropping my exercise routine instead of other (less important) activities. It’s a great reminder that I need to get my butt in gear (and I’ve been dying to try P90X too, so I might as well do it).
    .-= Eppie @ Better Parenting´s last blog ..25 Inspirational Parenting Quotes =-.

    1. Eppie, I know you are a pretty intense fellow (like myself) and I think you’ll love P90X. When you get started, let me know what you think of the program! 🙂

  10. Excellent post, Dustin!

    I became a fitness nut about 5 years ago. As husbands and dads, we need to do everything possible to make sure that we’ll be around as long as possible to be with those whom we love. They depend on us for so much more than just a paycheck.

    I lost my dad when I was 29, and that wasn’t nearly long enough for me. There was so much that I didn’t have time to learn from him.

    Great article, and great blog!

    .-= David Jones´s last blog ..How To Meet Your Wife’s Needs And Save Your Marriage =-.

    1. I totally agree, David! Thanks so much for leaving such an insightful comment.

      I checked out Control Yourself, and I love what you are doing there (and I love your tagline). 😉

  11. This is great stuff Dustin! It’s funny that you wrote this the day after I saw an infomercial for the 60-day INSANITY program. I have to admit I feel pretty inspired to check it out. It’s so insane it really is scary but I know I could do it. I can’t believe you did 100 miles on a bike dude!! That is freaking AWESOME!!
    .-= Brad Chaffee´s last blog ..Extreme Circumstances Call For Extreme Measures =-.

    1. Thanks, Brad! Yeah, I’ve heard Insanity is even more intense than P90X. If you try it out, and don’t die in the process, you’ll have to let me know what you think of it. 🙂

  12. Dustin,

    Sometimes, I hate myself for “kicking my own ass.” I wake up at 6:15am (use to do it at 6:00am and am getting back to that) and get prepared to head out of the door for a 6:30am run. Some mornings I absolutely love it and others; I just want to climb back into the bed. The peace, the quiet time w/God, and the joy of life are a few reasons why I do it. Some of the reasons you listed are also good reasons for me too. Cancer runs in my family and has been beaten, I think, a lot due to the health of my family members. I want to be here healthy for my family and need the energy to care for my young children and also my husband – can’t forget about him!

    My six year old daughter runs w/me some mornings and talks all the way. I have no idea where she gets the energy.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Jennifer! I think it’s just awesome that your six year old daughter likes to run with you…and I am with you on being amazed at their energy!

  13. Hi Dustin, I have always been a big fan of exercise and fitness as a key aspect to my mental health, happiness and wellness. My husband and sons have always understood that when “Mom exercises and is happy, the entire family is happy!”. Every couple of years I try something new and get obsessed with it: running, weight training, cycling, bar method, yoga to name a few. Just this week I decided to take on a super hard fitness program challenge: CrossFit Boot Camp. Oh my, am I sore!

    My motivations are: My happiness, stress management, 11 and 12 1/2 year old sons and hubby are proud of me, and…I recently wrote a chapter for a book coming out in September (just 4 months away!): Your Best Body Now: Look and Feel Fabulous at Any Age by Tosca Reno. So now I have public motivation too! Keep up the good workouts. I love reading your tweets about it!
    .-= Michelle Gannon´s last blog ..Time for Mom Online Conference =-.

    1. Thanks so much, Michelle! I have to say that watching your tweets over the past few weeks and your enthusiasm for fitness was another great motivator. The motivating factors you mentioned are all very powerful, and I’m really excited that you will have a chapter in a fitness book!

  14. My first child just turned 1 month and during my pregnancy I gained about 50 lbs. 25 of those disappeared with her birth and the other 25 are still lingering. Other than desperately wanting to lose that baby weight my main motivation is her, my husband and like you, not wanting to be physically jacked up by the time I hit my parents age. Thank you for another inspiring post and congrats on being a daddy for the 3rd time!

    1. Thanks so much, Karla. It sounds like you are doing great. Congrats to you and your husband on the new baby! 🙂

  15. I’m motivated by all of the above. lol Plus the fact I have to wear a bridesmaid dress in October.. eeek. Since I’ve already established bridey-pants aren’t an option or even in existence, I’m forced to resign myself to the uncomfy thought of wind blowing against my bum as I walk down the aisle behind my gf.

    But vanity aside, I need to apply the same motivation and dedication I apply to one thing in my life, to all important areas… they all need equal lovin’! 🙂 Thanks for the motivating and entertaining read!

    aka k0zm0zs0ul 😉

  16. I usually work out for an hour 6 days a week. It’s not really profound, but what motivates me to do this is to not want to be out of shape! Just wanting to keep my level of health does the trick for me. It helps me avoid some of the common illnesses too. And I found that after awhile, it just becomes a habit that you incorporate into your life as part of your schedule.

    On a side note, I haven’t tried the whole P90 program, but I did follow the ab workout from clips on youtube. It’s no joke! Good luck with it!
    .-= Darren´s last blog ..Working Overtime – A Blessing Or A Curse? =-.

    1. That’s awesome, Darren. The role of fitness in your life is exactly where I want to be long-term where it is simply part of your day. I feel like I need the jump start and structure that P90X provides to get me some faster initial results, but I really like your attitude and hope to adapt it for the long-term.

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  18. Well, neither my husband or I have tried the P90X program – sounds absolutely grueling. 🙂 We have, however, been on the road to getting healthier and fit. We have joined a 90-day nutritional transformation challenge. We have seen great results so far. Both of us are losing weight, and feel better. My husband has had terrible pain in his shoulder for a very long time, and realized just in the last few days that it is completely gone. Former Mr. America, the ENTIRE Alaska Wild Arena Football team, 2x Miss Fitness Olympia, Former NFL Players, Doctors, Chiropractors, Professional Models, Strength and Conditioning Coaches, Personal Trainers and alot of other regular people like me and my husband have joined this and it’s growing – and easy! 🙂 If you’d like to check the challenge we’re on, go to

    My motivation? . . . My family has a history of being overweight, heart issues, cancer, and diabetes. Most of all, its my 14 year old son and 9 month old daughter, as well as a very loving husband of 15-1/2 years, with whom I want to spend many many more HEALTHY years.

    1. Excellent, Heather! It sounds like you guys are doing awesome, and your motivation is spot on in my book. 🙂

  19. Hi Dustin, I just read through all of your comments again. You are providing a much needed resource of support. I also love reading everyone’s tweets about taking care of ourselves, embracing emotional & physical wellness and fitness. Keep up the great posts!

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