So what do you do when you’re in a relationship and only one of you is making the effort to get healthy?
This can be a tricky topic, I think we are constantly growing and changing, same thing happens to relationships, the ones that grow together tend to be better and happier in the long run.
So what do you do when one person in the relationship is struggling to live a healthier lifestyle, while their significant other is not interested or motivated to make those changes with them?
So let’s break this down, you are with somebody who you love unconditionally, yet they seem to be enablers of your unhealthy lifestyle and push back when you say you want to make some positive changes. In fact, when you tell your loved one that you want to lose weight or start eating better, they say something like “but I like you just the way you are.” (that’s a load of cat doo doo)
And then there are the more difficult cases, situations where you have loved ones who have let themselves go physically and are pretty unhealthy. Be honest, there is NO good way to tell your loved one things like “You need to lose weight” or “You should really start exercising” (I can feel the drama already with that one) If you are truly worried about your loved one, I can imagine that they already feel pretty self-conscious and will instantly get defensive if you open up a discussion with them about their health or appearance.
So if you’re in this situation and have a loved one who is out of shape and sadly not interested in getting healthy and you are truly worried about them…You obviously can’t use force to get them to exercise or to make healthier food choices.
And nagging them to exercise is only getting you rebuke and hostility. Look, if it’s not their choice to start exercising then they will most likely reject it or quickly give up at the first sign of resistance.
So what the heck can you do? I would say the best approach is to plant the seed deep in their subconscious that life will be better if they start taking care of themselves. This isn’t about manipulation, it’s just merely suggesting that you try to line up the pieces in the right places so that when your loved one is ready to make changes they will be on the right path to success.
This isn’t a quick fix approach, remember it may have taken you years and years before you made the choice to pursue a healthy lifestyle, so patience will be required.
Perhaps some of these tips can help you along in this process…
You can use this article as the “Bad Guy” …Tell them you read this idea about lifestyle change at An American In Montana (Sorry, self-promotion is important) and it seems like it’s a little ridiculous, but what do you think?
Try something new together… (Fill in the blank) seems like a cool thing to do, but I’m worried that I can’t follow through with it by myself. Can we try this 30 day challenge together? I know you can help me stay on track.
You should constantly ask for their advice and support on being healthier. The goal is to get them talking about making healthier choices and make it more and more of a comfortable topic of discussion. When you find interesting articles about healthy living, share them and ask their opinion.
So get conversations started, here are some good examples “Hey, I have been trying to lose some weight lately. What do you think about the Paleo diet?” or “I’ve been reading this awesome blog site lately called An American In Montana (Sorry, I can’t help myself) and it has me thinking about how I want to make better choices, are there any bad habits of mine you would like me to change?” Yes, your throwing yourself under the bus, but at least it gets the conversation started.
And then there are the always beneficial positive comments, use them …a lot!
Like these old standbys…“Did you lose weight?” “You look great whatever you’re doing keep it up!” Be your loved one’s biggest cheerleader and supporter (Something you should be anyways)
So the whole idea is to get to the point of having open discussions about health and fitness, sharing tips, asking for opinions and advice…Hopefully you will get to this point.
Okay, So you’re at the point where you have explained to your loved one that you are sticking with this and are going to work on improving YOUR life, you still might face some push back. Getting your loved one on your team is essential, If you are constantly trying to eat new types of food, to cook instead of getting fast food or doing more active things and spending less time with your loved one, it can lead to hurt feelings and bad blood …we don’t want that.
So to avoid this you need to get your loved one on your team, here are a few ideas that might…
Find ways to be active together. Explain that you really need help staying on track so you would like to exercise together.
Find activities that you can both can do together, but don’t limit it to working out. Try going on hikes (here in Montana if you can’t find a place to hike…Well…you’re not even trying) or perhaps try taking dance lessons together, or some type of self-defense classes and so on.
Set up a reward program, explain that you’re in a weight loss competition at work and the winner gets $500 (by the way it might be a good idea to start a competition at work) and if you win, you will be spending that money on a romantic getaway for the two of you. Suddenly, they’re working with you to win that getaway rather than sabotaging you with hurt feelings.
Or how about an Intimate reward system, every time either of you loses a few pounds, you get a 30 minute massage or a foot rub.
When you collectively lose a certain amount of weight, you get a special date night at your favorite restaurant (just be sure there are healthy meal choices on the menu)
Alright…skip forward a bit. You’re trying to get healthier and your loved one still hasn’t fully jumped on board with the idea yet, You may face a few well-intentioned but highly destructive comments like…
“Why don’t you skip your run this morning and sleep in with me.”
“Want to sit on the couch and watch TV with me tonight?”
“Why are you trying to change? I like you just the way you are!”
Your response needs to be something along these lines…
“Honey/Pumpkin/Muffin/Moonpie I’m not doing this for you, I need to do this for me and I really need your support.”
You need to be the Inspirational and Motivational person that will inspire them to want to change.
Here’s how you can get started:
Be the Awesome example and always pick healthy options over unhealthy ones and do it with a loving smile.
Offer to do the shopping and cooking if it’s not something you normally do, prepare healthy meals as often as possible.
Politely decline invitations for sweets, desserts and the other unhealthy snacks. But don’t judge your loved one if they choose to do so.
Always keep in mind you’re not doing this for them, you’re doing this for YOU!!