By Jason Aaron Baca
Photos provided by Jason Aaron Baca or from his website.

You’ve heard the reports and read the data. According to 2008 statistics from the Centers For Disease Control 64% of women and 72% of men in the U.S. are obese. Along with that only 31% of U.S. adults report that they engage in regular leisure-time physical activity. Popular media doesn’t help. Young thin women and hip buff guys on television, the internet, magazines and billboards convince us that only those who are youthful and independent can be fit and enjoy life.

Once commitment in a relationship begins (and especially once you get married) the two of you are destined to become part of the obesity and non-exercise statistics. Remember the romance? Consider the power of love that the two of you share. Pursue the passion that God has created.


Make your faith more than a religious practice or a family heritage. Make your fitness more than an attempt at exercise or some vigorous work. Make your relationship your very own romance novel filled with active physical experiences and ignited by the adventurous spirit of God.





Start by getting your husband off the couch and back on his feet exercising with you - like when you first met him. His response may be, "Sure honey, just let me finish watching the rest of this game and then I'll workout with you". Remind him what lies ahead if he remains on that couch every night he gets home from work. Males use 10 calories less per day after the age of 30. His metabolism slows at a fast pace. Next, show him photos of his earlier days, when he was in better shape.

 


Make your relationship your very own romance novel filled with active physical experiences and ignited by the adventurous spirit of God.



The next step is for you and him to find photos of others that he'd like to look like. This isn’t about forcing him to be someone he isn’t. It isn’t about you having misguided desires. His brain needs a target. It’s not enough for him to say, "Ok, yeah I want to be in shape." His brain needs specifics! Before I became a romance novel cover model I had no idea what type of modeling I wanted to do. I just wanted to look and feel good.


My career was "average" I'd get jobs here and there but nothing to write home about. Then one day I walked into a Barnes & Noble and noticed a book cover of a guy, holding a sword, looking serious. It was a New York Times Best Seller. From that moment my brain had a clear definition of the physical and spiritual fitness goals before me.




Your relationship isn’t about getting lost in a fantasy it is about creating and pursuing a God-given vision together. When I workout, I keep the vision in my head. I push myself that much harder. I’ll do two more reps of some exercise. As a couple he may start lifting heavier weights. You may start walking a bit further. Together you’ll push each other. This next chapter in your life may take a while to write. There may be some pain and some twists and turns. If you both romance your shared fitness time there will most certainly be some intrigue, satisfaction and unexpected outcomes.



Ultimately I advanced to where I scheduled one hour per day devoted solely to exercising my body. From that I got the body I desired. It takes some commitment. During the actual physical workout, both of you should focus on the exercise and muscular development. Use the time before and after the workout to have conversation and pray. Find a gym that you and your husband or boyfriend can both enjoy. While there may be times you exercise independently from each other, make it a habit to also exercise at the same time. You may hit the weights while he does cardio. However it’s important to also help each other out and truly exercise together. By doing so, both of you will stay focused on exercise.

 


Your relationship isn’t about getting lost in a fantasy it is about creating and pursuing a God-given vision together.



There have been many times when I’ve come home and not been in the mood to do much of anything and my wife is full of energy. She helps me get back on my feet and moving. Some days it’s the other way around but most of the time she has to work to get me moving. I can be a real snail at times. This is key to being able to have an exercise program with your husband.




So my advice in the gym or whatever your workout is for the day is to look at the clock and say, " Time starts now”. From the moment you begin to the moment you finish, the mind is on your body. It may sound intense but after a workout with that much focus, both of you should feel good that you did something as a couple for the day.



Depending on the body that each of you want to have, you’ll each need to do more or less weight lifting then cardio. If there is belly fat to burn, then focus on cardio. To gain some muscle, then do 40 minutes of weights followed by 20 minutes of cardio.



If you don't belong to a gym, you both can jog in place at home for 15 minutes and then use the large stretching rubber bands. They are excellent for burning in definition. Follow that up with a 20 minute brisk walk through your neighborhood.


As for diet, I tend to eat clean as they call it. Eat a lot of skinless chicken and egg whites. Both are a good source of protein and Omega-3 which is good for the mind. Pack a lunch the day before and then during your day eat something every couple of hours. I believe in Tony Little's idea of imagining your stomach like a bonfire. What happens if you throw little chips of wood in it? It burns consistently. But what happens if you grab a big giant log and throw it on the fire? It smolders and you eventually lose a flame.

 




Same thing applies to your body. If you keep giving it small amounts of food to work on, you will get the most out of your foods. One day per week I allow myself to give into my cravings and eat a pasta dish or something with some fat in it. This will give me a calorie boost. I avoid alcohol all together since they are empty calories that won't go away.




One more diet tip: Do you or your husband come home from work bushed, just wanting to flop on the couch and relax? Make a little smoothie with lots of fruits such as strawberries, oranges and pineapple. He won’t understand why you made it but when he drinks this, he will feel an energy boost from the sugar in the fruits. This will give him some energy for another hour to keep up with your exercise. It’s a drink that the both of you can enjoy. You don’t need a whole gallon either, just a cup each. The fructose will hit the blood stream in a matter of moments giving you that vital energy to have a sustainable workout.

 


After a workout, both of you should feel good that you did something as a couple for the day.



Together you can create the romance that God intends for your lives. It is in fact that special romance the two of you share, which help you develop and maintain good physical fitness throughout your life. Your love and your health will play an important role in the maturing of your faith. Being together like this may seem novel at first but you’ll write an ongoing story that is all your own.

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