To have and to hold from this day forward,
for better, for worse
for richer, for poorer
in weight loss and muscle building,
’till death do us part.
OK, so these probably weren’t your actual wedding vows, but one of the most difficult struggles a couple can face is when one person wants a change, while the other prefers the status quo. That can include whether to have kids/not have kids, changing careers or homes, and, yes, losing weight and getting fit.
Maybe your significant other is already fit and healthy. Maybe they’re happy with the way things are. Or maybe they just aren’t interested in making any big lifestyle changes.
There are all kinds of reasons why people want to make a change in their lives, and there are just as many reasons why people don’t.
But once you’ve made the decision that’s right for you, how do you work toward that goal if your significant other isn’t on the same path? Try these six simple tips for getting healthy in mind, body, and relationship.
Talk About Your Goals
In the same way you should talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise program, you should talk to your partner about what your goals are.
Explain that this change is important to you because you want to be healthier and feel better about yourself. Going into detail about your exercise plan and nutritional goals can take the unknown out of the equation — and possibly inspire your partner!
If not, make it clear that you don’t expect them to change just because you want to.
Ask for Support
The road to fitness can be a tough battle, and you can use all of the support you can get. So even if they’re not joining you on your journey, you can still ask your partner to support you — it can make a huge difference for both of you.
Ask your mate for encouragement and to help keep you honest if you slip up. This way, they can feel like they’re part of the process and helping you accomplish something that’s important to you.
Get a Training Partner
If your S.O. isn’t on board, find someone who is: Find a friend, coworker, fitness challenge, or support group that can help push you forward.
Training partners can motivate you, encourage you when you’re flagging, and celebrate you when you’re crushing it — all which will help you stick with your program.
In addition to pushing one another to work out and eat healthy, a training partner can help you work out solutions to your frustrations and struggles because they know exactly what you’re going through.
Don’t Fall Into Eating Pitfalls
Grocery shopping, meal preparation, and even snacking can be a challenge when there’s two (or more) of you in the house. But when you’re trying to figure out how to eat clean, and your mate and/or kids want to order pizza with a side of cheesy fries, the challenge can turn into World War III.
If you’re the primary shopper and food-prep chef, you have a lot of power over what your family eats. Healthy food can taste great, so it’s entirely possible that you can make the switch to healthier cooking without anyone noticing.
That said, if others in your home have a picky palate, you might need to split up cooking duties or come up with a meal plan that has something for everyone. And you never know — once you start eating balanced meals in healthy portions, you might just win a convert or two.
On a practical note, you can set everyone up for success by organizing your kitchen for healthy eating — try chucking the chips and cupcakes in the cabinets, putting fruit out on the counter, and using smaller plates.
Find a Consistent Time for Your Workout
There are only so many hours in a day, and you should spend at least 8 of those hours asleep. Once you factor in traffic, work, more traffic, and errands, trying to find time to exercise and spend quality time with your S.O. can seem like a hopeless task.
If you’re an early bird, then morning workouts are a great way to get your sweat on while your sweetie is still dozing away.
If you don’t have time for a run or dread leaving the house for a trip to the gym, home workouts are a win-win for everyone: Roll out of bed, turn on the tube, and start crushing calories and building muscles, right in your living room.
If you’re a night owl, try a post-work/pre-dinner workout or get to it after dinner. Finding a consistent time to work out will not only help you stay on track, it sets the expectation for your partner that this is your time, and no one else’s.
Keep the Peace, but Honor Thyself
Your relationship with your significant other is an important one, but no relationship is more important than the one you have with yourself. No one wins when you walk away from your goals — no matter what they are — to please someone else.
There’s plenty of proof that working together with your partner toward a common goal can bring you closer together, but what feels right for you may not be what’s right for someone else.
Relationships can be a great source of emotional support, happiness, and security, but like all things, you have to put in the work. With communication, patience, and compassion, you can find a way to honor your goals and your relationship in a healthy way.