I know who you are! You’re the person who is super motivated to change the way you feel, eat, and move! You are going to get stronger, change your mindset and your lifestyle, and you’ve got all the tools to do it too. You reserved group classes, signed up with a trainer, and logged your meals on an app. You’re ready for success!
Except that your significant other is totally going to sabotage you.
You accidentally married a man who thinks cookies are a food group. You’re dating a woman who has the metabolism of a 13 year old boy. You fell in love with a distance runner whose meal times look more like a vacuum cleaning up a kitchen table. You start to pine for the glory days when you were single and could eat and workout whenever you wanted. There IS a solution for you.
Break up with them.
No, just kidding! I had you for a moment though, didn’t I? Just because your significant other doesn’t seem to match up with your new health and fitness goals, it doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed. I really DO have solutions for you though. I’ve got 5 tips for you to hit your goals while still being in a relationship.
#1 Kiss the Cook
It sucks, but if you want someone to eat better in your household, you might have to set the standard. Many of my clients have found that being in charge of the food on the shared table makes a huge difference. I have clients who ordered meal services for their family so that everyone was fed but they didn’t have to cook different things. I have clients who have bought outdoor grills so their husbands would stop frying food. Some of my clients have taken cooking classes with their partners or share the weekly shopping. The more control you have in the kitchen, the more control you have over what goes into your body.
#2 Hell’s Kitchen
I once had a client who was working her way towards a six pack with a chef for a husband. Every morning she would head into the kitchen to eat her egg whites, to find leftover cheesecakes, cookies, and fancy tarts in the fridge. After repeated attempts to ask her husband not to bring them into the house, she finally started dumping them in the trash and pouring dish soap on them. Dang. She was awesome.
You don’t have to get to that point, but you can still draw the kitchen territory lines.
Tell your partner how hard it is for you to eat healthy when they bring junk food and sweets into the house and leave it lying around. If they won’t desist, at least agree that they keep it hidden out of sight.
You can also bring up the option of agreeing on food you can both enjoy and eat, or maybe just limiting the most tempting of the food from the fridge and pantry.
If all else fails, pile up the junk food in your backyard, pour liquor over it, and have yourself a bonfire.
Again, just kidding!
#3 Get Physical
Health isn’t just about food, it’s about movement too! So get moving with your partner! Oftentimes on my clients’ monthly calendars, they will find “Activity with Spouse” as one of their weekly homework assignments. Hiking, running, and stretching are things almost anyone can do with their partner. My boyfriend and I attend bootcamp classes together and do separate workouts at the gym on weekend mornings. Find an activity that you both enjoy, or keep trying new things until you do, and think outside the box! Rock climbing, salsa classes, acroyoga, crossfit, and local run clubs are all things that you can try together.
When your partner starts to realize how good it feels to move AND eat well, they will be even more on board with your lifestyle.
#4 Date Night
You might have an easy time during the week when you’re working early or late hours, but what happens when you have a date night and they want to eat something different? Suddenly you’re being encouraged to indulge, eat foods that aren't usually on your plate, and before you know it, you’ve forgotten your plan to stay healthy.
Here’s what you do.
Agree on a couple of local restaurants or types of food. Hop online. Peruse the menus to see which location will be the best choice, before you sit down to order and you’re starving and you make a bunch of poor choices. Find a place that has items on the menu that you either feel comfortable eating or having the wait staff modify. Bam!
#5 Talk about it
Communication. Gross. Yes, it’s time you actually told your partner what you want, what you’re going through, and what you need from them. Beginning to lead a healthy lifestyle can be very challenging, and you’re going to need all the support you can get. Maybe your partner didn’t realize how important this was to you. Maybe they’re not used to seeing you this dedicated. Maybe they are just super aloof and not paying attention to the fact that their food keeps getting lit on fire. Whatever the reason, TELL them how you feel and come up with a plan of how you can both be supportive of one another to reach this goal.
Make sure your partner knows what your goals, how exactly they can help you reach them, and why this is going to make your relationship better and stronger.