Your Health After Divorce

It’s a startling fact that approximately 50% of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. That number has been on the rise for years and in all likelihood, will continue to grow.

Being unhappy in your relationship can have numerous detrimental health effects and speaking from personal experience, I can tell you first hand that being unhappily married can drain your passion, energy, confidence, and interest in just about everything.

Living in a miserable relationship can look like any number of things. For some men, it’s an excuse to go out with your buddies at every opportunity. For others, it’s hiding away in the basement watching television or playing video games as a way to avoid the reality of the relationship.

And for others it comes in the form of silent suffering and a complete withdrawal from life. Given that there were roughly 875,000 divorces in the U.S. last year, it’s probably safe to assume that there are millions of terribly unhappy men right now.

The Desire To Stay Fit
One of the biggest issues I faced, and have seen in many men over the 17 years I’ve spent as a fitness coach, is the lack of motivation to exercise and stay healthy and fit.

When a divorce happens, we are given a new life; a completely fresh start. This is scary for many, but also offers an incredible opportunity to live the life we truly want and deserve.

I’m a big believer in the importance of quality of life. All the money in the world doesn’t mean a thing if we are too sick to enjoy it. And in my opinion, getting (and staying) fit is the catalyst to living the highest quality of life we possibly can.

But coming out of an unhealthy marriage (and possible a bitter divorce), leaves many men an emotional and physical mess. I spent more than 6 months feeling sorry for myself, self-medicating with junk food and beer, and basically just letting myself go. I just didn’t care.

And while this may be a “normal” grieving process, it’s far from healthy (for you or your kids). But I came away with a new outlook on life and have learned much from my experiences.

I believe it’s critical that we, as divorced men, make our health and wellness a top priority. Of course, our children always come first but our health needs to be right up there too.

I know the struggles you are facing as a divorced man and as a fitness coach and someone who has gone though it as well, here are a few things that I believe will help you immeasurably:

  • Move every day. Move as in do some form of physical activity every day. Sure it’s easier to sit on the couch when you get home after a long day at the office, but it won’t help you one bit. It doesn’t really matter what you do, just do Take a hike, get on your bike, join a gym, walk through your neighborhood, play tag with your kids. Anything to get you moving.
  • Eat well. There is no need to do the Paleo Diet, Intermittent Fasting, or any other diet. All you need to do right now is choose your foods wisely. Eating Big Mac’s every day is the best way to add 20 pounds of fat around your mid-section and clog your arteries, not to mention fast food will suck your energy right from you. Focus on lean meats, vegetables, fruits, oils, and grains.
  • Cover the basics of your health from a fitness standpoint.
    • Drink 64 to 128 ounces of water every day
    • Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night,
    • Take a daily multi-vitamin
    • Set fitness goals for yourself regardless of how small
  • Surround yourself with the right people. Your friends may mean well, but even your closest ones can be a negative influence. Being around positive, like-minded people is critical for your mindset and how quickly you can get your life back on track. Sitting at home alone watching Game of Thrones is not going to help you grow as a person.
  • Go outside. A little sunshine does the body (and mind good). Go for a walk in the woods and get some fresh air in your lungs. It’s amazing how great you can feel after something as simple as that. And feeling amazing is something you need right now.
  • Heal the right way. Getting wasted with your college buddies is not the answer to your problems, nor will it help you. After divorce, you need time to heal and that’s normal. Let yourself be sad or cry. It’s unhealthy not to let these things happen naturally. Forget your ego and realize that it’s OK to be emotional.
  • Talk to your kids about it. Make sure they understand that you love them in spite of the fact that you and their mother have split. When my ex-wife and I split, I told them that they were going to get to live in two houses now instead of one. I made it seem like a positive instead of a negative.

I realize all of these are not “fitness” tips, but believe me, they all lead to a much healthier (and happier) you.

If you have children, then you owe it to them to be as happy as possible. I was miserable at home for years and it took its toll on my daughters. Now that I am divorced, I feel better than I have in a decade and they can see that.

And you owe it to yourself to be healthy and happy. Life is so short. Don’t waste another day.

Steve Roy

View posts by Steve Roy
Steve has been a fitness coach and business owner for 17 years and runs, which is a site dedicated to helping dad’s get and stay fit. You can download his free book, The Fat Dad Solution, and start getting into the best shape of your life beginning today
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