Note from Dustin: I’m a BIG fan of living intentionally, and I’ve learned a lot about it from Nina Nelson – aka “Shalom Mama.” I invited Nina to share her thoughts about how to get started toward better health – and a better marriage – in a simple way. I think you’ll love this post, and don’t miss the great giveaway at the end!
For years I was unhappy with my health.
I was overweight and felt uncomfortable with my body, wishing that I could feel better about myself. My activity level consisted of short walks and lifting my kids. And my diet was anything but healthy.
I was fed up with feeling that way.
In August 2010, my husband, Ian, and I were invited to be part of a test group for a new fitness program. I was excited to get in shape and feel better about my body.
While the workouts were fun and I was feeling stronger, I noticed that I wasn’t losing weight. That’s when I took a hard look at the food I was eating and realized something had to change. I took control of my portion sizes, stopped eating grains and sugar (for weight loss and food allergy purposes) and started eating a lot more veggies.
I realized that I couldn’t approach my health from only one angle. I had to be intentional about every aspect if I wanted to feel good all the time. Taking care of other needs like rest, relationships and spirituality also moved to a higher priority as I realized that holistic wellness involved more than just my body.
Through these changes, my body became healthier and I feel better now than I ever have. But something else was affected by being more intentional about my health.
As Ian and I started working out together, we began to have a lot more fun. Instead of doing jumping jacks in one place, he would chase me around the room, looking silly as could be. Jumping jacks are more challenging when you’re giggling…
Our dates also became more intentional. Instead of the typical dinner and a movie, we sought more adventurous things to do. Ian had always been in pretty great shape, but I was not. I was usually reluctant to do anything physical before for fear that he would get frustrated with me. I didn’t want to be embarrassed.
But with my new strength and endurance, I was ready to go on hikes and do other fun things outside. I quickly found that outdoor dates really made Ian come alive. And my willingness to “play” outside with him really made him feel loved. Our intimacy grew in areas that it never really had before.
It just took one simple change. One decision to become more intentional about health. A decision that quickly spilled over into other areas of our lives. Our finances. Our parenting. Our relationships with other people. And our relationship with each other.
Health can be simple. Marriage doesn’t have to be complicated. It just takes one decision and the intentional action to make it happen.
Are you ready?
Nina just released her new e-book Simple Natural Health, and I have to say that it is fantastic! And I’m excited because she has generously agreed to give away a copy to one lucky Engaged Marriage reader.
To enter this giveaway, all you have to do is go check out the book, then come back here and a leave a comment describing why you think Simple Natural Health would help you and your marriage.
I will select one commenter at random to win the book at Noon CST on Friday, February 3rd. Good luck!
NOTE: If you’d like to pick up a copy, Nina has also set up a special 10% off discount that expires at Noon on February 2nd. This is good for the PDF version only, and you can get your discount by entering SIMPLE10 at checkout. Enjoy!
Nina Nelson is a wellness advocate, mama to four and wife to one. She writes regularly at Shalom Mama, inspiring others to live intentionally. She loves reading, snuggling and giggling at miniature horses.
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.