If you are in a situation where you are trying to get your spouse to join you in a healthier lifestyle, you may feel as if you’re banging your head against the wall. Try these tips instead!
One thing I have learned from my clients during my years of training, is that spousal support is almost a foreign language in many relationships. I have had so many clients who have failed in their fitness and nutrition journeys because of the lack of support they received from their husband or wife. Now, I will admit, I am not the most sympathetic to those who struggle with this issue. However, I am undoubtedly empathetic to this struggle.
I have a completely different desire on how I want to live life. My ideal way of living would be for my family (preferably the whole world, but I’ll start with my own family) to be Vegan, nature friendly, animal friendly and using only natural resources. My husband on the other hand – he couldn’t be more opposite! He would want our family to eat only the foods he killed and brought us. He loves heavy, processed foods and doesn’t crave physical activity. THAT part, I understand. He is like many other husbands of the world, a labor worker. He works in the sun all day and is always pushing his body to the limits. So the last thing he wants to do after a long day’s work is to is to go workout in the gym with me. I take that back. The ACTUAL last thing he wants to do, is come home and eat a vegan and gluten free dinner!
As you see, I can empathize pretty well with those who struggle getting their spouse to hop on board with their new and improved lifestyle. The reason I say I don’t sympathize is because I don’t believe in quitting and boxing up your beliefs, dreams and goals, because your spouse doesn’t support them. That is another article topic, for another profession. None the less, I want to share with you a few tricks of the trade that can help get you and your spouse living a healthier and happier life together! Take a look…
1. Make it a competition
If you and your spouse are anything like my husband and myself, then you love a little healthy competition every now and then! Set the wagers to benefit the two of you, depending on who winner is. For example, I had one client do a Fit Bit challenge each week with her husband. The competition was the first person to get to 100 thousand steps in a month. If she won, he had to cook dinner for the family each Wednesday night for a month and if he won, she had to cut the grass every week for a month.
2. Set a goal that benefits you both
Setting a goal that will benefit both you and your spouse is a fantastic motivator to get you both to work hard. I had a client once tell me it was her and her husband’s dream to take a European cruise for a month. So, instead of continuing to just talk about how fun that would be- as if it were too far out of reach—they decided that if she lost 50 pounds in a year and he lost 80 pounds in that same time frame, they would set sail! Not only were they going to be healthier physically but they would get to celebrate their new found health with travel! Isn’t that a great idea?
3. Hit them with some “tuff love”
Dinner plans seem to always be the biggest struggle for my clients. I have heard people say that their spouse whines if they cook healthy, their spouse eats a meal before they get home and won’t eat dinner with them or (this one is my favorite) – their spouse tells them that they aren’t going to eat their dinner, if the spouse that is cooking healthy, doesn’t eat bad food with them. HOW SELFISH CAN SOMEONE BE? People never stop amazing me, but there is very few things that make me upset the way lack of spousal support does. Especially when it’s handled in such a childish way. For my clients that have told me that, I respond to them with, “Good! I hope they don’t eat. I hope they sit across the table and they watch you eat. I want them to see you bettering yourself and not choosing to shrink back into your old habits. If your spouse wants to eat bad enough, so that they don’t go to bed hungry, they know where the plates and forks are in your house. When they finally get hit with the reality that you aren’t going to sink down to their level and you are now taking your life seriously; your spouse is going to be more likely to follow your lead. If that doesn’t work, I would love absolutely NOTHING more, than to sit and talk with you both.” I know you love your wife/ husband, but you need to love yourself first. Show them you want to be around for them by doing all the right things for yourself that you can.
I bet I hit home with a few readers, didn’t I? Well, I can believe it. Like I said, a lack of spousal support leads a lot of people spiraling back into their old ways, even after they spent so much time and effort getting to a good place. STAY IN THAT GOOD PLACE! Work with your spouse to become a team. There is zero reason for you not to stand up for yourself and live the life you have always wanted. Get your spouse on board with exercise and proper nutrition and I promise that your health and fitness journey will lead you down a path in your marriage that you will wish you had taken years ago.