Having a Partner on Your Fitness Journey

fitnesspartner I’ve been reflecting lately on my fitness journey, and how different it would be without my husband’s constant support and participation. When you grow (or shrink!!) as a person, it’s much more fun to grow right along with someone else, and that’s what we’ve done.

If you look back about 5 years, our health was not good. I mean, really not good. We ate prepackaged EVERYTHING, fast food all the time, had to buy a case of pop every time we went to the store, and thought fat free was the way to go when changing our diet. Chris even ate a bowl of ice cream every night in bed!! And I enjoyed Taco Bell and McDonalds way more than I care to admit. It worked for us and we were young, so our bodies handled that kind of abuse much better than they do now. But two years ago, I saw an announcement for an “accountability group” on FB. This intrigued me, especially after having 3 children in 3.5 years and being ready to reclaim my body. I invited my husband to try the group with me, and he declined, but he DID say that he would try drinking Shakeology every day (I was totally shocked, by the way!). Having his support is the reason I decided to try Shakeology more than once. The first time, I HATED it and had to choke it down. I saw that he wasn’t having the same experience, and he showed me what he was doing differently. Together, we learned how to make shakes that weren’t too thick and were actually delicious. We dialogued about how much more energy we had and how we noticed our cravings disappearing. And we encouraged each other to give up pop and cut way back on eating out, especially fast food.

The last two years have continued to be a fitness journey for us both, and I have loved how close it has brought us. Making positive changes together FEELS good. And we speak the same language. When I say, “Do you want a shake?” or “No bun on the burger, please” or “Let’s get a 5 today” he knows what I’m talking about. We can share frustrations and accomplishments and really understand those things because we’re in this TOGETHER.

I know that not everyone has support from their spouse when it comes to their fitness journey. That is a challenge for sure. But it doesn’t mean you can’t make changes!! I have a little advice:

1. If your partner is NOT on board, try finding a friend, relative, co-worker, etc. who WILL be your partner. Someone who wants to make healthy changes with you and will support you. Partnerships don’t have to just be at home with your spouse. 2. Share some of the benefits you’re feeling with your partner, but don’t push your new lifestyle on them. Talking about it casually will let them know how you’re doing without forcing changes on them. No one likes to be told what to do ☺ 3. Show your partner how to make small changes. Remember how it was hard for you to cut pop out of your diet cold turkey? Well, don’t expect your partner to be able to do that! Change to whole wheat bread and then start subbing in ground turkey for ground beef. Make a bigger shake than normal and send some off with your spouse when they are leaving for work. Little changes add up to big results! 4. Remember that this is your journey, not theirs. They are on their own journey. So if your partner hasn’t decided to do this with you, it doesn’t mean that they never will; the timing just isn’t right for them. Continue to be a good example of health and fitness and they will join you when they’re ready. 5. Join an accountability group, for goodness sake!! These are magical groups where amazing changes take place because you’re SURROUNDED by other people who are in the same boat as you. I see it every month: people making huge strides in their health and fitness because someone is cheering them on! The next group starts September 8th, right after Labor Day!