By Christine H.
It’s hard to stick to health resolutions. It can be especially difficult to resist a soft, warm cookie if your spouse just baked them up and is eating one right in front of you.
Moments like these are why many of us choose to get healthy with the social support of a significant other. The gentle peer pressure encourages us to stay on track, and even better, you and your partner are working towards something together, which unites you with a common experience and can be a powerful bonding opportunity.
On the other hand, the potentially stressful process could also cause some friction between the two of you, especially if one is less committed to the pursuit than the other. Here are some tips to help you both be successful in your health goals!
Know that It Can Go Differently for You
It’s a very common phenomenon: you’re both eating the same meals, you’re both doing the same workouts. And yet, somehow, he drops 2 pounds every week, and you’re not seeing any progress whatsoever on the scale. It can be incredibly frustrating, dieting with someone of the opposite sex. That’s because men’s and women’s bodies hold weight differently. Fat has different functions, and muscle mass comes into play too. This article gives a useful rundown on how men and women store fat differently.
Understanding it and expecting it is one thing. But how do you deal with the frustration? Remember not to take it out on the other person. The fact that they’re doing better doesn’t minimize your personal victory. Keep your eye on your own fitness goals. Try to rejoice in their victories too.
Make Lunches Together Ahead of Time
Most of us are in different places from our partner during the day. It’s a key time when it’s easy to let resolutions slip. After all, there’s that slice of cake right there at the checkout stand, and your husband will never know…
No. These moments can be avoided if you make lunch together ahead of time. It’s easy to lose your resolve when you’re in a rush and you feel unorganized. But if you’ve put together a plan ahead of time, that’s half of the temptation quotient defeated.
Do Things You Both Love
Maybe you’re more into yoga, maybe he’s more into crossfit. Take turns choosing your exercise activity. Try something new together. Remember, you don’t have to be good at it to have fun.
The same goes for food. Sure, stick to a healthy diet, but make sure that it includes things that you both like and look forward to. Consider taking turns planning and preparing the meals so that one person isn’t feeling overburdened and the other person isn’t feeling too constricted in diet. Every relationship requires a healthy dose of compromise and this is the perfect opportunity for you to practice it.
However, if you’re having a hard time agreeing on what to do together, then don’t put too much pressure on it. You can still be getting fit together, even if when you go to the gym, he heads over to the weight machines and you run on the treadmill. It’s still something that you’re doing together.
Share Your Victories
Some of the most enjoyable bonding from the experience comes when you’re really sharing in each other’s victories and celebrating together. What are the benchmarks that you’ve set for yourself? Enjoy the small moments, like fitting back into an old pair of jeans. But remember to watch for the more important things. For example: today I felt my energy levels stay up the whole day. Last night I had an easier time going to sleep. Today I kept up with the kids when we were playing outside.
Keep each other updated on your progress, and remember to enthusiastically celebrate together. You might even want to have something physical where you can track progress: a chart that you put on the bathroom wall, or a bingo board with the little victories that you’re working towards. When you hit a landmark, find ways to celebrate together (without blowing your diet!) You might have a special date night for the two of you, trying out something adventurous together. Or maybe you want to just treat yourselves to a movie night or a luxurious bubble bath. There are plenty of ways to celebrate while still staying healthy.
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