What if I were to tell you I had a secret that could dramatically increase the probability of you reaching your fitness and health goals? Would I have your attention? Well, read on. My secret, your significant other! When they are engaged, and committed to your success, you will be too.
I’ve had multiple couple clients over the years that have trained with me, either together or separate, where I’ve observed how the commonality of their fitness program had benefitted not only their results but also their relationship. One of my clients once said, “It’s really one of the best things we’ve ever done together. If I get off track, I’d feel even worse for letting her down.”
Research shows that couples who lose weight together tend to do well because they benefit from the presence of close, constant support. They help each other through the tough times and acknowledge each other’s progress. The result, a more sustainable, healthy environment for weight control and fitness.
Advantages of partnering together
-Intimacy – You ever notice that when people go through a traumatic event together they usually come through it with a closer relationship? Why is this? Well, several things are at play. First, the two individuals usually can relate to each other. I know for me I feel so much closer to someone when they can relate to what I am going through or have recently been through. There is magic to this. When couple’s are attempting to make a major life change, like eating healthier and committing to weight loss, it can often prove extremely difficult as they adjust to these changes. Secondly, in this instance, each person in the relationship clearly recognizes the sacrifices each other has made; and thus a deeper, more meaningful bond can be created. Let’s not kid ourselves, a new meal plan or fitness goal can be quite traumatic at first, it will require sacrifice and commitment. This initial trauma can grow your relationship and help you understand what your significant other is accomplishing. You are on a journey together, in life and in health.
-Accountability, Support: Eat together, work out together, encourage each other when one is feeling defeated or tired. No one has more effect on your success or failure then your significant other. They can supportive and enable progress, or they can be counterproductive to reaching your goals. If you two are working out together, eating together, the results will come. When one person wants that late night ice cream snack, the other can provide that much needed shot of will power we all lack at times. Bottom line, commit to becoming an accountability partner for your significant other. Promise to be the support that that they will inevitably need throughout this process.
-Motivation: Applaud one another when you reach goals and have success. You know your significant other better then anyone else, you understand them and know what makes them tick. So, who better than you know what buttons to push to provide that extra motivation? We all need motivation from time to time. When you are both in this together, trying to improve your health and fitness, the result is a mutually beneficial circumstance. You are not in this alone. Your loved one will not let you fail, it’s not an option.
-Lifestyle Change: You’re not just starting the next diet this time. This is about changing the way you two live your life together. When you go out to dinner, you’re both making decisions together. When you’re on vacation you are still staying active and your health is still a priority. When one partner is engaged and the other is not, all of the difficulty of healthy lifestyle changes are compounded. When you are trying to eat healthy and your husband proceeds to walk in with two large pizzas, we have a potential problem. Try to be sensitive to your significant other’s objectives and goals. Selflessness isn’t too popular now-a-days, but let me tell you, it is the secret to many a healthy relationship. Don’t make it about you, make it about your Partner and their success. Make their success, your success. Try cooking new healthier meals together. How can we make our favorite dishes with less calories? You can be creative and it gives you something you can do together. The key to lifestyle change; education. Never stop learning together.
In a recent poll, conducted by SparkPeople.com; they found from their members that a number of couples are dieting together. In fact, 14% are going through their fitness programs with a spouse. Many couples suggest that they’re finding a kind of accountability and support that they couldn’t get anywhere else. An Indiana University study in which couples going through a fitness program together were five times more likely to stick with it than if they tried it alone. Researchers believed that the results held for unmarried couples as well.
One person in a household on a fitness program often doesn’t last long, but families or couples can go grocery shopping together, enter their food in a nutrition tracker at the same time, or talk about things they’ve learned through the process. Some people would cringe at the idea of starting a fitness program along with a spouse or significant other. A lot of self-esteem and relationship dynamics are in play. So, it might not be for everyone. But achieving health results can be such a positive experience and can really bring people closer together. Make certain to be supportive and not competitive. Nobody else knows your flaws like your spouse, and some partners unfortunately use that knowledge as a weapon. Remember you need to focus on making the other person happy through encouragement and a non-judgmental attitude.
It works best when you both come from a place of caring about each other’s personal growth and happiness. My husband and I have been self-confessing “fitness freaks” for many years now. Throughout the years, we have pushed each other and cheered each other on all the way. Always encouraging when it was a struggle, always offering unwavering support. This process has brought on a special closeness and intimacy. Their is a trust that is fostered that can spill over into so many other avenues of your relationship. I am never in this alone and I cannot tell you how important this has been. We know when we “can’t let each other off the hook,” but we also recognize when someone just needs a mental break and some pizza! So, what is the take away? Don’t underestimate your significant other. They just might surprise you! Your secret weapon in your battle for a healthy, fit life.
Thanks for being a part of my journey, and letting me be a part of yours!