When my husband and I were first dating we would go out to eat almost every night after work. We would have an amazing meal, talk about life and play Uno at the table. I guess it was pretty early on in our relationship that he learned two things about me. One, I love to eat. Two, I love to play games. We were probably a year into this routine before I realized that my scale kept creeping up. I had already lost a lot of weight and did not want to go back to where I was before. I knew it was time to get back on track.
I had signed up for Weight Watchers, we started making meals at home instead of going out, and we took up walking. I have never been a fan of exercising but I knew I could at least walk. My husband loved to workout. Lifting weights was something he did every day. There was a little gym in the apartment that I lived in so I asked my husband if he could show me how to incorporate lifting weights into my routine. I enjoyed our new lifestyle, but honestly, I was just so in love with this man that anything we did together was fun for me.
Eventually, I remembered how much I hated exercising. My husband thought it was a great time for us to bond and I looked at it as torture. We had to come to a place where he understood that I did not get the same feelings from going to the gym as he did. He would use his gym time as a time to decompress from his day and I would stay home. It worked out perfectly as far as I was concerned.
Over the years I have gone up and down in my weight. I would reach a point of discouragement and know I needed to add exercise back into my life. We have purchased treadmills, exercise bikes, yoga equipment, dumbbells, beach cruisers, and even roller skates. I would try whatever new things I thought might be fun. Every single time my husband would support me.
It has been so important to me have to such an encouraging and supportive husband. He has never once made me feel bad about my weight. He makes me feel beautiful no matter what size I am. And he supports and encourages me when I decide it’s time to try a new diet or workout. I’m not sure how I would have reached my current goals without him by my side.
If you have a partner that is looking to live a healthier lifestyle, here are some ways you too can be an encouragement to them.
- Be positive! This might be the tenth time they are trying to become healthier. Continue to cheer them on no matter how many times they start over.
- Find activities to do together that are fun. Ride bikes at the beach in the summer or go ice skating in the winter.
- Don’t push your diet or workout routine on them. It is important that they find something that works for them.
- Do not sabotage their efforts. If they are trying to eat better, don’t bring home pizza or their favorite ice cream if you know they won’t be able to resist it.
- Be an active participant in their healthy endeavors. Be open to trying new recipes or joining them at a fitness class.
- Be understanding if your partner would rather stay home and eat instead of going out. They might not feel comfortable making healthy choices when at a restaurant.
- Be prepared for emotional highs and lows. Make sure your partner feels valued no matter where they are at in their journey.
- Help create healthy incentives. Come up with rewards that are not food related and celebrate all of their victories and achievements.
- Do not judge them if they have a setback. Continue to support and encourage them when they move forward. Remind them of how far they have come. Let them know you are there and willing to help in any way.
- Believe in your partner. Knowing someone believes you can accomplish your goals is so motivating. Listen, support, validate, and build up your partner so they too can believe achieving their goal is possible.
Having a great support system is a key element in achieving our goals. What could be better than having the person that loves and cares for you the most be the one that motivates, and encourages you? Letting your partner know that you support them, see their effort, and are there to celebrate their victories with them, can give them the push they need to keep going.