I struggled with my self-image for a long time. In high school, I was bigger than the other girls and I felt like I shouldn’t be.

While I was at a healthy (and beautiful) weight, I wanted to be smaller.

Fast forward ten years and I was still uncomfortable with my body.

After having four kids, I was overweight and sedentary. Well, as sedentary as you can be when you have so many little ones. But I was always wishing that I could feel better about myself.

My lack of self-confidence spilled over into many other aspects of my life. I was lonely because I didn’t have many friends but I didn’t like to meet new people – I didn’t like being asked if I was pregnant (when I wasn’t).

I didn’t feel sexy at all, even though my husband said that I was. I felt like a slob next to his toned, athletic physique. And I had no motivation to do anything about it.

It was a miserable cycle.

I finally got fed up with feeling that way and decided that I either had to stop complaining or do something about it.

So I started doing something!

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. We were both looking forward to being active together.

The workouts were fun and we enjoyed them. The extra time together was great and we loved having a common goal.

But with the increase in activity came the realization that I needed to do something about what I was eating as well. Yes I was feeling stronger than ever, but the weight wasn’t coming off as I wanted it to.

That’s when I stopped eating such large portions at every meal (portion control had always been a problem) and began to tweak my intake. I paid attention to what I was putting into my body, eating more whole foods, and I was determined to eat nourishing food that made me feel good.

The combination of activity and nutrition were just what I needed to start shedding pounds consistently. I loved it.

But that wasn’t the only benefit.

As I said before, my husband and I were enjoying the workouts together. We’d tried exercising together before, but it wasn’t exactly enjoyable. But this was fun and had so many benefits. It really made an impact on so many areas of intimacy.

We never realized before how important physical intimacy was. Sure, we knew about sexual intimacy. After all, we had four kids in five years and were very familiar with how it happened.

And we were getting better at recreational intimacy. After listening to the ONE Extraordinary Marriage podcast, we began intentionally planning dates that were fun and brought us closer together.

But physical intimacy? It was a new concept that really improved our marriage.

I’m so grateful that it did. I love having yet another way to connect with my husband. And we both really love the confidence and improved health that I’ve experienced as a result of making my health a top priority.

If I can do it, anyone can. It just takes the decision to do it and, most importantly, action to make it happen.

Care to join me?

Win a copy of Simple Natural Health

Nina recently released her new e-book Simple Natural Health to help moms and dads feel great. We think this book is fantastic! And we’re excited because Nina has agreed to giveaway a copy to one ONE Extraordinary Marriage listener/reader.

To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is check out the e-book, then come back here to leave a comment on how Simple Natural Health will benefit you and your marriage.

We will select one commenter at random to win the book at 6 PM EST on Monday, February 20th.  Good luck!

Note: Those of you who want to pick up Simple Natural Health right now can for 15% OFF. Nina set up a special offer for the ONE community. This is good for the PDF version only, and you can get your discount by entering ONE15 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. She just released her new book, Simple Natural Health, a resource that makes natural health simple and sustainable.

Please note: We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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  1. Thanks for sharing this…seems like she has done all the work and has put it all in once place to make it really simple and doable and this would be a huge benefit to us as we work on improving our health and our marriage!

  2. I want to be healthier for my overall well being, my marriage & my children & grandchildren. This e-book touches on every aspect of life. I would read it & share it with my hubby who also needs healthy, helpful changes.

  3. The Mrs and I were just talking about how we need to do a “couple’s makeover”…this e-book might be the stimulus to turn that discussion into action!

  4. My husband and I are both overweight and I know we both need to lose weight. Ultimately though, I really want us to be healthy. I want our boys (6 & 11) to grow up healthy and using more natural things will be a big part of that. It would be a resource that would help in many areas of our lives!

  5. We are newly married and looking for resources to help us begin our lifelong relationship right. We are both very busy, and it is tough to find time to work out and cook together. I have been wanting to get into meal planning, but I am not sure where to start. I think this book would be a great resource for simple tips for us to be healthy together!

  6. This book sounds like what I need right now! I had Gastric bypass surgery 3 months ago and I want to eat and feed my family better. Also my 13 year old was just diagnosed with several food allergies, so getting back to the basics are where we want/ need to go. Thanks for putting this out there!

  7. I would love to receive this book! It would encourage me to become healthier and it would give me tips on how to include my hubby in the process. We could really better our marriage by doing more together.

  8. Anything that helps me drop some pounds and make myself more physically attractive to my wife is a wonderful thing. I know she says that she loves me “just the way I am” but she deserves better, as do I.

  9. I am interested in this book. I have a child with multiple allergies and this might be a great resource to help heal his skin and digestive problems. And to help my whole family get healthier.