Raise your hand if you have fitness + health goals that are different than your partners.
Guess what? A. That’s normal and B. It’s 100% possible to work towards your goals even if your partner doesn’t share the same mindset. Let me tell ya how.
I get questions from my clients (and my followers) all of the time about how they’re supposed to stick to their health/fitness goals when their boyfriend/fiancé/husband/roommate/kids/etc. don’t share the same goals. Maybe your boo is trying to gain weight/build muscle. Maybe he/she’s already in a good mindset health-wise and doesn’t need as much structure. Maybe your roomie just isn’t focused on a specific fitness goal right now. Maybe the kids want cookies and fruit snacks. The list goes on. At the end of the day, I know it’s hard to work towards your own goals when the person or people you spend the majority of your time with don’t understand, can’t relate or just aren’t really on the same page. They aren’t “bad” people and ya can’t get mad at ’em for not being totally in line with your goals. BUT, you do have control over your actions – so my first piece of advice is simple.
Tip No. 1: Stop blaming them for your lack of focus or discipline.
Let me tell ya something. If your partner doesn’t have the same goals, that should in NO way impact your goals. If you let their lack of “interest” derail your own progress, the issue isn’t them – it’s you. And I mean that with as much love as possible. Tough love.
Here’s the thing. I’m a firm believer that before you start any sort of health journey, you need to figure out your WHY. And your why shouldn’t be based solely on “aesthetics”. There is nothing wrong with wanting to work on your physical fitness but if your only goal is to “be skinny” or “get a six pack”, chances are you’re not going to make sustainable progress anyways. Your WHY is the thing that grounds you. It should be the one thing that drives your focus and your energy.
When your husband orders a pizza or your kids ask for fruit snacks or your roommate busts out the pint of ice cream – your WHY is the thing that brings you back to your goals. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t eat the pizza or the fruit snacks or the ice cream. Sustainable progress is all about balance – so eat the treats. But you also need the other side of that balance equation – making decisions that fuel and support a healthy body.
Stop letting the people around you dictate your journey. If it’s that easy for someone to sway you from your plan, you might want to reconsider why you’re doing this in the first place.
Tip No. 2: Find your own unique balance equation
Speaking of balance – what that looks like is different for everyone. For some, having serious structure, in the beginning, is the best way to set themselves up for success. For others, too much structure can be detrimental to their progress. Regardless of your goals (to lose weight, to gain muscle, to heal your gut, to support a medical diagnosis, etc.), take a step back and write out a plan. What types of things should you be doing to put yourself one step closer to your goals? Focus on this list of things you CAN do rather than making a list of things you won’t do/things you won’t eat.
Lauren’s Balance Equation: go for a 20-minute walk 5 days/week, workout 5 days/week, eat clean for 80% of meals, drink 1/2 gallon of water daily, get at least 8 hours of sleep, incorporate supplements into my nutrition to balance vitamins I’m not getting through food. Enjoy a snack or a treat when I want one. Don’t feel guilty for indulging. Don’t feel embarrassed to eat my healthy, prepped meals. Don’t let others pressure me or shame me when I want to avoid an extra sweet or margartia.
Once you have this sense of balance, it’s that much easier to make choices and stick to whatever your “plan” is. You can also use this guide to navigate the tricky situations with your partner. If they aren’t able to or aren’t interested in being active, that’s OKAY. Discuss your plan with your partner and explain WHY you’re doing this in the first place. Let them know how they can support you and help you stick to this plan. Having the support of your partner can make such a HUGE difference, even if they don’t share the same goals.
Tip No. 3: Include them…when you can
For me, the thing that has helped me the most when Brandon isn’t on the “same page” is simply including him in my plan without him even realizing it.
I’m the only one in the house that cooks (sorry babe), so nutrition is usually the easiest thing for me to control at home. Because of my Hashimoto’s diagnosis, I’m currently not eating gluten or dairy. Brandon can still eat those things but because he’s supportive of my health and my goals, he’s on board with trying new recipes and alternatives. Although I’m a creature of habit and a super picky eater, I could literally eat the same basic meals every week – Brandon is the opposite. He loves change and super flavorful food (like most people ha), so I’ve made it a little bit of a challenge for myself to get more creative with the food I make for both of us. I use my nutrition guidelines (nutrient-dense, “healthy”, gluten and dairy-free) to plan the basics for our meals and then use his preferences (must taste good!) to make them ideal for both of us.
If your partner isn’t currently active or following a workout regimen, don’t force them to participate in yours. However, there are some fun ways to get them involved without making it feel like “work”. I love going on walks with Brandon – it’s something we can do together to unwind after a long day. I get to cross off my daily steps goal and, bonus, it gets him moving, too! There are also a ton of fun partner style workouts and activities out there! Your partner doesn’t have to stick to the same schedule as you but every now and then it could be fun to bring your boo to an outdoor group fitness class or ride bikes together. Get creative!