So as you may know, I serial dieted for many years and struggled with fad diets for much of my life. I met my husband during one of the points where I had lost a lot of weight on Weight Watchers and was sporting a much slimmer physique. I think we fell in love on our first date – it was pretty romantic – and we have been pretty much inseparable since then.
Now my husband is a pretty trim guy so he never really had to watch what he ate or work out consistently. As I was the one who did the majority of the cooking, he pretty much followed whatever plan I happened to be on. So for him, the scales would go up and down depending on the way I cooked and whether or not I was working out.
When I made the decision to start eating clean and working out, my husband was actually relieved. He was tired of the ups and downs and he felt better when we ate cleaner, so he was relieved when we made the shift to a more balanced and nutritious diet. He wasn’t looking to lose a lot of weight – not like I was – but he WAS invested in building more lean muscle and this is something that he works on consistently. This was his goal – not mine – and I was happy that he had his own goals outside of what I wanted to achieve.
As much as you can try to inspire your spouse or partner to eat better or workout, they have to decide for themselves what is important and have their own motivation.
Now, that being said, there are some things that I do recommend to help get your spouse or family members on board with your new lifestyle and they include:
- Inspiring through ACTIONS not so much words. People can feel ‘harassed’ when all you do is talk at them about eating better, getting more active … blah blah blah. But by SEEING you make healthier choices, working out and putting your health first the people around you are going to naturally start to make better choices for themselves.
- Showing them that healthy doesn’t have to suck by having FUN with your meals & trying new things. Diets are typically categorized as boring because it’s all about deprivation and starvation. A healthy lifestyle is different – it’s meant to be something you can live long term and which can flex and adapt to the different situations in your life. It can also challenge you to try new things, new foods & new activities so in the end you REDEFINE your life and live it on YOUR terms. Not only is that way more appealing than a blah diet but modeling that kind of lifestyle will show everyone around you that they can do the same thing!
And it’s not just my husband that I am inspiring and helping. Its my sons too! Teaching them to how to eat healthy and being able to share workouts and activities with them is awesome. I grew up watching my mother go on one diet after another and at the age of 12 I was drafted into diet mania as well. We would deprive ourselves and I would dream longingly of the food we used to eat until the day that my mom got frustrated with the diet and we started eating ‘normally’ again. It gave me a very warped sense of nutrition and food which is what I didn’t want for my kids. I love that the lifestyle we live now empowers them to make good food choices and also gives them a positive body image. Check out our meal planning & prep sessions that I have blogged about – we have a lot of fun together!
Beyond inspiring your family to eat better, find activities that you can enjoy together either as a couple or as a family. It doesn’t have to be all about the gym – it can be fun stuff too. Like bike riding or horse back riding (our favourite) or going hiking along some pretty trails. The goal here is to find activities that get everyone up, active and having fun together. If you aren’t having fun then it’s time to look outside your box and try something new!
Watching someone completely change and redefine their life is pretty darn inspiring. My husband tells me all the time how much he LOVES our life and how we live it. He loves that I had the courage to make those changes and it inspired him to do the same. Is it perfect? Of course not – nothing is. But it’s pretty darn awesome – let me tell you!
And finally, it’s never a bad thing to share your ‘why’ with your spouse and your family. Your reason(s) for getting healthy are powerful and they will help make the people who are important in your life, understand & respect why you are following this clean living path. It will also motivate them to think of their own reasons for joining you on the journey so that while you may inspire them to get started, it will be their own motivation which keeps them going!
I hope this helps you! Feel free to add your words of advice in the comments below.