On the importance of shared interests

As I sit here thinking over the fact that tomorrow is my 6-year wedding anniversary, I started to mull over what exactly makes Scott and I work so well. Aside from simply being so much fun to be around, a total goofball and such an upbeat and super-cute guy, Scott and I have a lot of shared interests which I think is very important. BUT – we also have our own interests and maintain a sense of independence and individuality, too. In other words, we haven’t just melded into one being over the years, either.

Among our shared interests is a commitment to staying fit and healthy — something I don’t think either of us even realized was so important to us until well after we were married, actually. I mean, we were both pretty fit when we got married but it wasn’t until about six months or so in, after the “honeymoon” phase had started to fade a little bit that we both realized we never wanted to become “that” couple that let themselves go, getting too comfortable in their relationship. And I don’t want you to get the wrong idea – we aren’t vain people, we’re just realistic, at least I think we are. We’ve seen plenty of relationships fizzle or get stale because, while the love might’ve still been there, the commitment to keeping that passion and fire alive was amiss. And oftentimes that was due to the comfort-factor, the letting-yourself-go factor. I remember so distinctly saying to Scott one day when we were living in our first townhouse that I never, ever, wanted to look back at our first few years together and say “wow, I wish I still fit into those jeans…”

I firmly believe that PART of the reason we work so well is that one of our shared interests (aside from wine, entertaining family and friends, lounging by the lake, making PIZZA, and lots of other things) keeps us active, energized, healthy and happy – with eachother and with ourselves. It has served us well over the years so far, and as the saying goes – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. πŸ˜‰

Speaking of shared interests, I totally believe the same holds true for friendships – and that friendships evolve over the years for many reasons but one of them tends to be the shared interest factor. I’ve found, especially recently, that some of my more recent friendships have blossomed around the same shared fitness passion which has been super fun – and I’m not just talking about my IRL friends but my blog friends too (you certainly know who you are!) – and I just love that. That’s not to say that some of my closest friends have to have the EXACT same passions as mine, (because that would just get boring after awhile huh?), some of my closest friends are in the same life stage as me which has brought us closer while others are close because of a shared history (um, hello elementary school, high school, college!). I guess this is a long way of saying that shared interests are important to relationships, but it’s obviously not the only thing that makes us each tick.

So – what do you think? Do you think shared interests in relationships (romantic or otherwise) are important?

And, on that note, I’m off to tackle this day – lots to do at work, lots to do at home in advance of the big anniversary tomorrow. Top of that list? Figuring out where to go for dinner tomorrow night. Hmm. πŸ˜‰

Diet vs. Exercise: The Smackdown

Hey, ya’ll! Sorry for being a little lax in my blogging the last couple days but I was busy stay-cationing with Scott this weekend, so hopefully you don’t mind. πŸ˜‰ There were frozen cocktails on the deck (thanks Heather for the low-cal version of theΒ  straweberry/pineapple daiquiri’s I thoroughly enjoyed this weekend!), awesome steel-drum and carribbean-inspired tunes on our iTunes playlist, lots of yummy treats, and best of all – lots of time with the hubs, which I’m thoroughly enjoying while he’s gainfully unemployed. πŸ˜‰

That’s my weekend in a nutshell – and now that I’m sunned-out from some awesome sunshine blazing down on our deck the last two days, I’m sitting on the couch with the Red Sox playing in the background and was inspired to blog based on an article I just read in Woman’s Health. The article was about diet vs. exercise. Basically, the premise behind the story was that yes, a healthy diet AND exercise is the ideal scenario, but not everyone can do both depending on the goals they’re trying to achieve. And, while I applaud the writers at Woman’s Health for acknowledging that sometimes its hard to strike a balance and achieve both, I didn’t necessarily agree with the article in its entirety.

Here’s the thing. I am ALL for balance – um hello, I just spent the weekend eating and drinking things i normally don’t eat/drink all that often – and enjoyed every bit of it. But, I’m also not for taking the “easy way out” in life (I managed to also run a 4 miler, a 7 milers and another 4-miler this weekend too, thankyouverymuch) and that’s sort of the vibe I got from the article. The story was set up to identify a series of goals and then offered a recommendation for the better option for reaching those goals – diet or exercise. For instance, their view is that if you’re trying to lose weight – choose a lower-cal diet because “it’s easier to cut 500 calories from your diet than it is to burn 500 calories at the gym.” While that may be true, c’mon – don’t take the easy way out! How about a compromise? Burn 250 calories at the gym AND cut 250 calories from your diet. Doesn’t that sound even more “doable” than one vs. the other? And I can almost guarantee that once you get started with a more balanced diet and a bit of an exercise routine (notice I said “a bit of an exercise routine” and not a “hardcore” exercise or diet routine?), you’re more apt to stick with it. Seriously, once a habit is in place, it’s MUCH harder to quit that habit (coffee drinkers, nail-biters, hair twirlers, etc. – you know exactly what I mean by habit).

While some of their points were good (i,e. if you’re trying to prevent cancer – diet and exercise is important), I sort of got the feeling that they were more apt to recommend a calorie-cut vs. suggesting exercise as the best bet. And, while there is clearly a case for cutting calories in certain cases, I can’t say that you can really make broad brush-stroke recommendations in this day and age. And maybe I’m just overly critical of the story because it felt generic (and honestly, they do have to write for a FAIRLY generic audience of readers), it just struck me as not really jiving with the balance mantra I try to live by.

Anyway, I’d love your thoughts on this concept in general. Are you more apt to focus on slashing calories vs. adding an extra workout to your schedule during the week? Do you think one is more beneficial than the other? Or is a mix of both the best bet? You know where I stand on the debate, I’d love to know where you stand. πŸ™‚