I will start this post by saying I love my boyfriend more than life itself.
Ok, now…how to stay healthy in a relationship without murdering your partner.
Maybe you know how this goes…I want to lead a healthy lifestyle, workout, eat healthy 80% of the time, prevent temptation, work toward a bikini bod..(goals, let’s be real), but my amazing boyfriend is not the healthiest person in the world. Brian doesn’t drink as much water as I would like, he definitely tempts me on occasion (“Hey babe, Taco Bell?”), and he doesn’t work out consistently. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not shitting on Brian. He can be whoever he wants to be. This is about making our two alternative lifestyles meet and be merry without murder (as mentioned).
So here are some tips that have benefitted me and I think they may benefit you too…
Number One: Share your goals and be clear.
I mean duh, right? But I can’t tell you how often I realize that I’m not clear with Brian and I don’t really communicate. I can’t expect him to be a mind reader. So I’ll say something like, “I want to workout at minimum five days a week, and I need to eat healthy 80% of the time. I’m trying to lose 15 lbs. It would really mean the world to me if you support me in this.”
Simple! But you will absolutely run into issues. They will still bring home Girl Scout cookies, offer you Taco Bell, try to snuggle you in bed so you don’t have time to workout…Again, don’t be silent and don’t allow conflict to brew. I’ll say, “Babe, you know I have a tendency to binge eat and I honestly find things like Girl Scout cookies to be a trigger. Would it be ok if we didn’t keep things like that in the house?” Don’t attack them, accuse them, it’s not worth it. They most likely don’t realize they have done anything wrong. Just politely clarify what the issue is and again, be honest and lay it out there.
Number Two: Take The Bull By The Horns and Plan Healthy Dates.
I’m not saying you have to train for a 5K together (I mean let’s be real, I don’t run). But how about even something like laser tag (I’m an overgrown child so maybe this is just me)? Walking the dogs on a hiking trail? Riding Bikes? Skiing or Snowboarding? Etc. You can also ask to have a date night in and cook a healthy meal together! You’re in a relationship, so you know, Netflix and chill where you actually watch Netflix and actually just chill while your dog passes out between you completely screwing up any chance of actual intimacy.
Number Three: Reward Good Behavior.
I don’t mean to sound like you are training a pet…but…we are all creatures of habit and what is rewarded is continued. I’ll say, “Brian, I really loved you working out with me today! Thanks for supporting me!” Or I’ll write him a cute little note, pack him lunch for work..just something to show him that what he did meant something to me. And then he’ll keep doing it! Just as we establish what we DON’T want, we also have to establish what we DO.
Number Four: Use Your Partner for Accountability!
Ok, now that they know your goals and your plan (ex: workout five days a week), ask them to check in with you to help hold you accountable. If you tell them you want to workout five days a week and yet you only worked out once, you should tell them that it’s ok to (again, politely) remind you of your goals. I don’t see anything wrong with “Hey babe, how many times were you able to workout this week? I know your goal was five.” This might seem like nails on a chalkboard, but I’m telling you the accountability HELPS.
Number Five: Stay Strong and Shine So Brightly They Can’t Help But Notice.
There will be times when your partner eats shit, doesn’t workout, and tries to be a bad influence. If they are eating Taco Bell in front of you for example and you are a rock star and stick to your plan (you go!!), again don’t attack them (see a theme here?), but stick with it. If they continue to eat crap, not workout, and as a result feel like crap (let’s be real)…while you are dropping pounds, working out, have more energy, and feel sexy as f**k, they might be converted to the dark side. Lead by example. They might not come around right away, but I promise you, they ALWAYS come around.