A promise of everlasting love, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health; it is that "in health" part that can be a little tricky. Research shows both men and women tend to gain weight after marriage. “Thank goodness right now my metabolism is still pretty well, but I guess I don't want to keep chancing it,” said bride to be Megan Tootoo. Megan and Brett Blizzard are getting married this month. He is an athlete, a former UNCW basketball star, who now plays professional ball in Italy; a country with food that will tempt any palate - with consequences. “She was eating whatever I was eating. She was enjoying it but didn't like the way she was gaining weight,” said Blizzard. “I think it is tough if I'm eating stuff that's really good, but I'm working out and have the opportunity to work the food off and she's not.” After the wedding, once they return to Italy, they hope to avoid being part of the statistic that says 60 percent of married couples gain weight. “We've learned to cheat the system over there and make healthy meals. I'll definitely use that next year to help us both stay trim,” said Tootoo. Blizzard added, “I think by me keeping myself in shape that would want to make her want to keep her body in shape.” Nutritionist Heidi Kaufman agrees staying healthy is a team effort. “One of the things couples need to do is actually have a plan for how they're going to eat well and exercise throughout their life. They need to start out while they're young rather than gain weight then try to lose it, which is much more difficult.” And if, just if, one day the scale tips a little more to one side? “Of course I'm not going to stop loving him or anything like that,” said Tootoo. “I just want her to be healthy, if she's overweight that's fine, I'm going to love her the same,” added Blizzard. Kaufman said eating out every night, or snacking in front of the TV, are ways most couples gain weight. Couples should make a plan when it comes to healthy eating and staying active, and stick to it. Also, health problems associated with weight gain can take a toll on the family and marriage.
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