I have worked with a LOT of women who have very unsupportive spouses when it comes to their health and fitness journey. A LOT. And while it can be infuriating, there are also some things I’ve realized since coaching these women. If a woman is sincerely determined to see success on her journey, she will find a way to make it happen regardless of whether her husband’s on board or not. You can’t change the people around you, but you can change how you cope with them.
It’s such a delicate subject, our husbands love us unconditionally yet they sometimes enable our unhealthy behavior and push back when we say we want to make changes. But there are ways to get through it.
So how do they get through it?
Over the years of coaching women in these situations, here are my best tips for dealing with an unsupportive spouse when it comes to your health and fitness journey.
Talk to them. Easy peasy right?! You should be able to talk to your partner about what your goals are. Explain why this change is important to you. For example, you want to be healthier, have more energy, fit in your clothes again, etc. Going into detail about your exercise & nutrition plan can also help take the unknown out of the equation. He’ll see that you’re committed because you have a plan in place to make it happen. Invite him to join you on a few workouts or help with meal ideas so that he feels included in your journey. If he’s not up for any of it, make it clear that it’s ok. And that he understands that you don’t expect him to change just because you want to.
Be Clear on What Support You Need. It can be difficult for your husband to support you if he doesn’t understand what support you’re looking for. Men & women communicate very differently. Jason and I get our wires crossed frequently because of this exact issue. If I’m vague or don’t ask for specific things I need, I’ll never get the help or support I want from him. Don’t just ask your partner for help. Tell him exactly what you need and why you need it. Here are some examples: Get specific on times/days you’ll need help with the kids, asking him to pick up the grocery order for you, or helping you with meal prep by putting some extra chicken & steaks on grill for you this weekend (BTW what is it about men & grilling? If Jason has the pit going, practically everything in our fridge will get put on the grill haha!).
Find a Consistent Time for Your Workout. There are only so many hours in a day, and you should spend at least eight of those hours asleep. Once you factor in traffic, work, kid’s activities, and errands, trying to find time to exercise and spend quality time with your S.O. can seem like a hopeless task.
If you’re an early bird, then morning workouts are a great way to get your sweat on while your sweetie is still dozing away. If you don’t have time for a run or dread leaving the house for a trip to the gym, home workouts are a win-win for everyone: Roll out of bed, turn on the tube, and start crushing calories and building muscles, right in your living room.
If you’re a night owl, try a post-work/pre-dinner workout or get to it after dinner. Finding a consistent time to work out will not only help you stay on track, it sets the expectation for your partner that this is your time, and no one else’s.
Get a Training Partner If your S.O. isn’t onboard, find someone who is: Find a friend, co-worker, fitness challenge, or online fitness group that can help push you forward. Training partners can motivate you, encourage you when you’re flagging, and celebrate you when you’re crushing it — all which will help you stick with your program. In addition to pushing one another to work out and eat healthy, a training partner can help you work out solutions to your frustrations and struggles because they know exactly what you’re going through. On this note, I will just throw in a shameless plug for hiring a coach--coaches also have a way of encouraging you to stay on track and ensure you achieve success on your plan!
Here’s the bottom line: You have goals, and you can’t let anyone, no matter how close you are to them, stop you. You are bettering yourself, improving your health, your life, your mind and your body by embarking on this journey. Don’t let unsupportive or negative people keep you from that.
At the end of the day you’re the only one who can accomplish your goals.
Talk to you soon,