My husband officiating a wedding for friends in May 2015.
(Note: Before I start this, I have to say that I love my husband no matter what. He’s funny, makes me smile, is super supportive and loving, caring, and an amazing cook. I loved him when I met him almost a decade ago and I still love him to his day. I am insanely proud of how far he has come. Mike is my universe and I don’t know what I would do without him. Make sure to read till the end so you can see his change!)
My husband, the anti-healthy, loves beer. He loves everything fried. He eats until he’s doubled over in being full. He refuses to do any physical activity. He doesn’t care if he dies early as long as he had a good life before then. My husband, the anti-healthy, hates vegetables. He makes jokes about being a fat dude that are sometimes painful to hear. He loves putting salt on everything. He hangs out with people who push him to be unhealthy. We drink beer every evening. We don’t count calories. We eat out almost every night.
My husband, the anti-healthy, will die at 35.
One of the challenges of having a significant other not interested in your healthy lifestyle is that it becomes challenging for you to keep at it. I became lax on the idea that I could be healthy with him and that we would feel awesome about ourselves. I knew that over the years, we both put on a lot of weight but every time I tried to be healthy, he would order a pizza or take me to a brewery and I would cave instantly.
One thing I will give him props on is that he did quit smoking in his early 20’s. This made his health slightly better but he was not doing well otherwise.
He’s a preschool teacher and when he gets a new job, he has to go to the doctor for a physical. The last one (April of last year), his doctor gave him grim news that if he kept eating unhealthy and if he didn’t workout, he wouldn’t make it to see age 35.
This terrified me. I cried a lot at night, thinking that every moment I had with him was going to be the last one. I asked if we could start eating healthier and if we could workout. He scrunched his face and shook his head. We started eating healthier for dinner but lunches were still terrible and he still pounded energy drinks every morning. I tried offering to make lunches but he would get in a fit of anger about eating my healthier meals. There was no exercise he liked or enjoyed and he didn’t want to give up his fried foods and dark beers.
We tried running. That failed.
We tried yoga. That didn’t stick.
We tried floor work. Nope.
I called him when I got out of FitCon at CTOWN. I told him how happy I was and how healthy I felt. How strong my body was. How Coach Carl terrified me but intrigued me at the same time. How Laura and Justin were with me the entire time. I gushed for what seemed like half an hour and didn’t realize I wasn’t talking about anything else. Mike was a bit skeptical and told him we would talk more when I got home.
When I came back from Cleveland after doing FitCon, I begged him.
“Please try one week of Crossfit with me. If you don’t like, I will never ask you again. I promise.”
He saw how happy I was from coming home from CTOWN that he said he would give it a try. After contacting Coach Chris, we went to three different sessions together. We struggled, we sweat, we almost dropped into tears. It wasn’t easy and I don’t think either of us were prepared.
I texted Laura every single session, telling her how nervous I was about Mike not liking the whole process. How I would lose him at 35. Laura kept being supportive and told me to stick with it. She was my rock through our first week and I am forever in her debt.
Each day, I asked him.
“So? What do you think?”
- Day One: [loud moaning and screaming]
- Day Two: “We’ll see.”
- Day Three: Before I could ask him, Coach Chris asked him. Mike smiled and said, “Yeah. I am in.”
This was the first step, though. I didn’t know if he would stick with it. I didn’t know if he would keep going, 3-4 times a week, and still love it. All that mattered to me was extending his life and making sure he was going to be around to enjoy it.
Mike stuck with it. In fact, he loved it. He was more excited than I was some days.
“Can we please go workout today?” He would ask me. Especially if his preschoolers were being insane.
We did Paleo together in November of 2016. Even though he hated it, he stuck with it. He was supportive of our challenge and made some really amazing food. Paleo taught us that we loved veggies and that we wanted more of them. We finished the 2 month challenge and we vowed to never do Paleo again.
But, what good came from it – more salads, more lean meat, more vegetables, more water, more good stuff for the body. He has been completely supportive of eating healthy and actually loves making new recipes. We have ditched most red meat, we don’t drink soda, we drink coffee instead of energy drinks, and we enjoy spending time together at the gym.
This past Saturday (a year after that first photo was taken and 9 months after we started Crossfit) was our gym’s in-house competition. I didn’t compete (though I regret it when I saw everyone having fun!) because I was photographing the event. But, Mike competed with Coach Steve and I can tell you, he’s an entirely different person from last year. He’s happier, less stressed, and more importantly, he’s healthy.
I got a little misty watching him. Seeing how hard he has pushed. He struggled a little bit on his lifting but so were a lot of people. What was the most amazing part was that he was struggling with weight that some of the top athletes struggled with. That he wouldn’t have been able to even lift half of the stuff he did nine months ago. How he used to run 50 meters and be out of breath and now he was running hard. How doing a burpee had to be done on a box for modification but now, he’s doing it with full extension.
Mike at the In House Crossfit Competition – May 2016
My husband, the anti-healthy, now drinks a ton of water. He has lost 40 lbs and has gained a ton of muscle. He loves salads and grilled chicken. We drink tea every evening together. Crossfit is one of his favorite hobbies and he lifts more than he ever could. He loves deadlifts. He loves partying still and enjoys the company of others. My husband, the anti-healthy, is a hero to me. He loves brussel sprouts. He still drinks beer and still loves his mozzarella sticks but he doesn’t do it multiple times a week anymore. My husband, the anti-healthy, laughs and smiles when he notices his stomach going down or his legs getting muscular. He has friends who support his lifestyle and has made new friends through it. He fits into his really old shirts. He wants to continue doing Crossfit and eating right so we live good lives.
My husband, the anti-healthy, lessened his chances of dying at 35 by a large margin.