Marriage Survival During the Hustle and Bustle


Communication breakdown!  I can become very agitated when my plans don’t go smoothly because of a communication breakdown in my marriage. No matter how crazy things are in my life I can still keep it together if I feel my husband and are on the same page.  However, I can get real stressed if we are not jiving and working together.

 If you have been married long enough, you know having “personal” alone time, as a couple, can be a challenge with the hustle and bustle of life’s responsibilities. Good communication between a couple does, indeed, involve listening and expressing feelings to each other.   However, believe it or not, my husband and I have learned to incorporate simple communication skills that we use in business each day to eliminate stress and ensures that we are spending quality time together. This may not sound romantic or exciting, but making good use of technology, has strengthen our relationship.   

 For your marriage relationship to stay connected,  try practicing the following three tips:

  1. Send appointments

Have you had a miscommunication in your marriage when one of you forgot the other was working late; forgot about a dinner out with friends; or forgot about a soccer game for one of the kids? In today’s age, most of us are using our phones or computers as our calendar.  When one of us schedules an event that may affect the other, we simple send the other an appointment notice so that it automatically goes to the other’s calendar.  It is AMAZING how this simple step has saved us so many arguments and misunderstandings.  

  1. Schedule dates on calendar or in Smart Phones.

We have set out at the beginning of many weeks with good intentions to have lunch together. Then by Friday, we suddenly realize that so many things came up or it was simply forgotten, and we missed our lunch time together.   I have been guilty of putting “us” on the back burner when something else comes up that I think is more important. We now schedule are lunch dates just as an appointment.  There is something about having it in writing that makes us accountable to stick with it. 

  1. Turn it off

Technology is good at times, but it can be detrimental at other times.  There is no way we could have quality conversation and time with our spouse with the TV blaring in the back or trying to multi tasks on the computer or phone.  Use technology to schedule those times, but remember to have true communication and enhance your marriage, TURN IT ALL OFF. 

 So as you are sitting down looking at your fall calendar with schedules and activities, don’t forget to actually SCHEDULE and plan with your husband.  Don’t hink it will just happen. 

Proverbs 21:5 in The Message says:

“Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind.” 

 Don’t let the hurry and scurry of life get you behind on your relationship with your spouse.  Sit down together and figure what is the best way for you as a couple to keep it fresh with minimal stress.

 One of my favorite Bible verses is 1 Peter 5: 8.  Quoting from The Message Bible:“Keep a cool head.  Stay alert.  The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping.” 

  NAPPING!  That is very convicting. When we are napping from our marriage and not giving it the attention that it needs, the enemy sees an open door to come right in.

Avoide the Holiday Weight Gain (You Really Can) Part II

 We are now halfway through our party season.  So far, I have had three unexpected parties. YIKES! The first two scenarios discussed in Part I that can lead to holiday weight gain are the day to day hustle and bustle of shopping and the numerous dinner parties. The third scenario that can get us in trouble is the famous buffet. It can plague us with so many choices, it is overwhelming.  My two favorite strategies to avoid overindulging are:

  1. Scan the buffet before filling my plate

Have you ever filled your plate only to realize your favorite  desert is at the end of the table? We then eat our way to that desert. If you see a favorite treat at the end of the table, skip certain items to save calories until the end. Put your calories where they count to you.

  1. Choose foods that are special to this time of the year

Chips and dips are available anytime; decide to put your calories toward those holiday treats. If you see that every choice is something you can only get on special occasions, try the one-tablespoon rule.  Take a tablespoon of the dishes that look the most interesting, then go back and have more of the BEST one.

And lastly, the fourth scenario that can get us in trouble is NO EXERCISE! Avoiding any type of exercise program during the holiday season does not give us an opportunity to burn off those additional calories. Don’t quit your workout, redesign them.  Look at changing your exercise goals instead of dropping your exercise completely for the season. Can you change your workout times to be more accommodating to your family, shopping needs or social events?  Maybe you only have 20-30 minutes a day instead of the one hour you usually spend or you may only have 3 days instead of 5?  Do what you can do.  Do not adopt the philosophy “if I can’t do what I always do, I won’t do anything at all.”  Doing something is better than doing nothing. 

Of course, the holidays are meant to be enjoyed with a little indulgence.  Pick the one party that you will allow yourself to indulge.  Giving yourself the freedom for that one party, will help you stay focused on your other events by putting into place healthy behaviors.  Think through it and you can avoid the Holiday Weight Gain.  You Really Can!

If you are ready to make lifestyle changes in 2011 and get results in your fitness, weight and/or stress, contact me to learn more about Personal Wellness Coaching with me and a free consultation at 409-550-7606 or

Avoid the Holiday Weight Gain (You Really Can)

I love the holidays, but let’s face it; it can be stressful in many ways.  We are so busy with all of the parties and other activities, how can we avoid the extra pounds that statistically happen during the holidays? 

A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that most Americans gain about one pound during the holiday season.  That may not sound like a lot of weight, but every year this one pound accumulates.

When I think of all the events during the season, four scenarios can usually get us in trouble. To avoid the holiday weight gain, we must have a plan.  Try to put a few new practices into place.

1. The day-to-day hustle and bustle of baking, shopping and organizing our holiday events can add up to additional stress which leads can lead to emotional eating and little time to prepare our own food which can lead to mindless eating. What can you do to avoid it?

  •  Keep a food journal

       We forgot about the little handful of snacks we grab just to taste or how many added calories are in fast food. Keep a record to stay on track.

  • Do not starve yourself or shop on a hungry stomach. You may think that you are cutting back, but once hunger and exhaustion kick in, whatever is available is the first thing eaten, even the cinnamon  roll at  650 calories. 
  •  Don’t bake alone! I don’t know about you, but I definitely eat more cookie dough if I am baking alone.  Make a party out of baking.  You will eat less if someone is watching you.

2. The numerous dinner parties can be exhausting and overwhelming if you are trying to manage your weight. We have to develop a plan so they we are in control of our food and not our food in control.

  • Bring Something. Make sure there is something available that you can eat that includes healthier choices such as fruits and vegetables and fill up first on those items. 
  • Pick the smaller plate. If our plate is bigger, we will probable eat it all. Sticking with a smaller plate makes you feel you are not depriving yourself while eating less.
  • Wait at least 10 minutes. Before you decide you want seconds after eating on a small plate give yourself a break. Many things can happen in 10 minutes including the realization that a second helping is not important to you.
  • Get rid of the food. If the party is at your house, have throw-away containers so that your guests can easily pack a to-go box.

Check out my next blog to see how to manage the next two holiday scenarios that can get us in trouble. You can begin putting together your holiday weight management plan right now.

If you are ready to make lifestyle changes in 2011 and get results in your fitness, weight and/or stress, contact me to learn more about Personal Wellness Coaching with me and a free consultation at 409-550-7606 or