When you’re a lifestyle coach for 6 years, you learn quickly that not only are you coaching clients about making healthy choices, you are also coaching them on how to deal with their partner’s reaction to the new and improved ‘you’. This can be very hard on a partner because they may not want you to change and they are comfortable with the way you are. Your partner may feel threatened temporarily or even be reminded by you that they need to live a healthier lifestyle as well. The point is, change can be difficult but it is the only way we grow.
Unless your partner is on board with you and your healthy lifestyle goals, chances are you may have some friction. I have been in this situation a few times myself so I'd like to share some ideas that may help get you through so you can have a closer relationship with your lover and yourself.
You have reasons for wanting to make a change, so make sure you’re not keeping those reasons to yourself. You must communicate with your partner about what it is that you want for yourself and why it is important to you. If you say “I want to make these changes for myself (lose weight, workout, etc.) because it will give me more self-confidence or better health”, then you have done your part and expressed what you want for yourself. Then it’s time for your partner to respond. Listen closely when they respond because they may agree or disagree with how you feel – and that is ok. Don’t forget, they have a right to their own opinion.
It all comes down to asking yourself whether you are happy with yourself and whether you want to make changes to better yourself. If you do, express what you want to your partner in a respectful manner, be strong, and get your point across. If you have to, agree to disagree, but don’t give up on your goals. They are your goals, it’s your body and health and you are the only person who can make the best choices for yourself.
2. This is about you, not them
Just because you’re ready to make changes in your lifestyle, does not give you the right to force your partner to do the same. Your partner must respect your decisions but doesn’t have to do it with you. You have a right to make a change just as they have a right to choose how they want to live their lifestyle. 3. Make a scheduled indulgence
If your partner loves eating with you but tends to eat unhealthy foods, make a plan so that you can succeed with your healthy goals and also spend some time together having a cheat meal or two. Maybe Sunday you and your partner can have popcorn and a movie. Maybe Friday night you can go to your favorite restaurant and then Sunday you can do your healthy meal prep for your work week ahead and plan a solid 5 days of healthy eating and exercise. Make a plan and make a routine because studies prove that without a plan, you’re more likely to fail.
4. Meal Prep
Make time to meal prep healthy food for yourself for the week. You must meal prep at least five meals for yourself on one of your days off. This is setting you up for success, and with preparation, especially if you have a busy schedule, you will never end up starving and grabbing a sandwich, a muffin or other fast foods. If your partner wants to make spaghetti for his or her meals, and you’re preparing vegetables, lean meats, and sweet potato, don’t get upset, let your partner do their own meal prep and you stay on track with yours. Just because you have a life together, doesn’t mean you have to live the same life.
5. Set an example
This is where you need to be extra strong. If your partner comes home on a Thursday night with a pizza, and you already explained that you want to make healthy changes throughout the week and you’re saving your pizza day for Saturday, stick to your plan and set a good example. If you give in and eat the pizza, it is not your partner's fault. It is your fault. The temptation is everywhere and if you want to get ahead, you need to be strong. So you make a salad, kiss your partner and sit beside her or him and enjoy your time together instead of getting upset, critical or jealous...over a pizza. You’re both in control of your own bodies and health. If you stay on track, afterward you will feel even more empowered and you’re setting an amazing example for your partner. You will feel great, you will be full of energy, you will feel sexier and your partner will be lying on the couch like a chunk of cheese. No excuses.
6. You first
I covered this in my article “love yourself and get results” because I truly believe that if you don’t look after yourself, you cannot help others to learn how to look after themselves with your full potential. You must put your health first and make it a top priority. You know deep down what’s best for you and what the right thing to do is regardless of the noise and influences around you. So ask yourself “what do I feel is best for me?” and wait for the answer as if you were your own wise advisor.
If your partner is trying to convince you otherwise regarding your healthy lifestyle goals, when you know that it is best for you to make a healthy change, perhaps you might consider getting some professional help or take a long, hard look at the relationship itself.
Have fun "Living a Healthy Lifestyle"!
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.