As I sit here rolling around ideas and topics to bring to you in this post (’cause there really are so many things to talk about, right? ) my mind is taking a little different bend on an area that might not be discussed often but it’s something that I know some people deal with.
I talk a lot about weight loss, healthy ( sustainable) ideas to achieve it, exercises to support it and keep you fit, but what about the person who is trying to lose weight and get on a healthy lifestyle but has….
A non-supportive partner ?
What does one do when their support system is non existent or sabotages their efforts? I have to admit, this is a complete foreign concept to me as I’ve been blessed with a husband who has always been supportive of my efforts of anything I do, and not just losing weight.
Of course his position has always been… ” I love you no matter what size and shape you are” and good thing ’cause I’ve been many sizes and shapes in our 35 years together haha 😛
Seriously though, I’m glad he’s always felt that way, but never opposed to me improving either.
He’s more likely to chide me now days about not eating enough on my heavier training days than anything or give me a hard time if my day has been busy and I haven’t eaten in awhile.
In our time together I experimented with some different things along the way and he let me do my thing. I got on the current path I’m on ( you know the sane, sensible, non crazy, sustainable lifestyle path) and that has just been a path that totally blends in with my family and has allowed me to stay successful.
I know not all people are as blessed to have such a support system. Cleaning out things in my moms home recently I came across a “Dieting Journal” she had started one January.
**Sigh** isn’t that when everyone thinks they should start? Anyway, I will share more about her insights in a later post but she had written something that I always knew because it frustrated her and always contributed to her not being successful.
Some of her struggles were wishing that my dad would be more supportive and helpful to her on her attempt to lose weight. I think he had a thing for heavier women, but I also wonder if he fell in the camp that if she did lose a lot of weight she’d be more attractive to men. ( this is a common problem at the top of the charts problem for people with non supportive partners)
He had a thing for junk food and he had ways of offering that at a point you’d finally give up and say ok ( like when he would offer me Peanut M&M’s 😛 )
She continued writing that he didn’t help her struggles and almost seemed to double up efforts to offer her foods that didn’t contribute to her being successful and how discouraged she was. At the time, they were on the go a lot and she writes about the fast food on the go and feeling like her day would be “lost” because of the foods they would eat.
So what do you when you have a non supportive partner and are trying to adopt a healthier way of living ?
What do you do when those around you say “you’re fine just the way you are”?
Well, yeah you are fine, but let’s be real. They aren’t the ones dragging your flab around, are they ?
Of course the implication is they love you “however”, but again, refer to my previous thought. They aren’t dealing with your clothes not fitting, or you feeling out of breath with simple tasks, or the fact you can’t bend over and get to your shoe to tie it, or how it all makes you emotionally feel. Nor are they considering your overall health.
I’ll sketch out a few ideas/suggestions that might be helpful.
First, ask why your partner or those around you don’t want you to do it? It’s ok to listen, but don’t let that sway your decision to be about what you want to do.
If it’s your partner there could be a lot of insecurity or worry. Maybe talking and reassuring them could go a long way to gaining their support.
Jealousy could be a bigger issue and one that’s harder to get around. They might simply not want you to get the attention it may bring.
Express your concerns. Tell those you love you want to do it to be healthier for yourself and for them ( it should always be about you first) this can be hard if you’re in an overweight family and everyone sees it as “normal”. It may be harder to convince them that you are doing it to have a healthier life.
You may have to just shoulder it on your own. However, in the process you’ll be gaining will power of yourself, after all, you and you alone controls what goes into your mouth. That is something no one can make you do. It also falls on you to develop an exercise regime. Again, you are responsible for getting your body moving each day, no one else.
On that thought, you may need to stand firm from those in your life who might try and sway you from not doing it. Make a list for yourself of how it makes you feel, and what your future goals are. Arrange things around your exercise time and don’t let other things try to knock it out.
Making healthy lifestyle changes in the mix of non-supporters can be hard but sticking to it will only develop your mental strength as well.
Go into it with a real mentality. People will offer you food you don’t need that won’t support your goals. They won’t be cheering for your exercise efforts. They won’t acknowledge the physical signs when your hard work begins to pay off.
It would be great if we got that encouragement for our efforts but it’s real life and we don’t. You can cheer for yourself as the pounds drop off and you slip on smaller clothes.
Assume that sometimes there could be someone who will attempt to make you feel guilty over the changes you’re making.
Honestly, that’s their issue. You… need to have none of it. Their issue is theirs. You just keep doing what you’re doing.
Learn to be direct. It’s ok to say no thank you to foods or drinks you don’t want. It’s ok to pass if you don’t believe it supports your efforts or if you just flat out don’t want it.
You don’t need to point out “you’re dieting” or “trying to lose weight”. A simple no thank you is enough.
Try to keep this in mind….
many non-supporters have their own health/weight issues. Seeing you out there nailing it and becoming slimmer and more fit might just rub them the wrong way.
Again, it’s their issues, not yours. They may have their own insecurities or body image issues. That is for them to deal with, not you.
Be clear with your partner on what you need and what that support looks like. As in “please don’t leave my favorite cookies laying around” , “understand my workout will be the first thing I do in morning” or whatever it is.
Ask them to get on board with you. Maybe set up a friendly challenge to compete with each other. Maybe he doesn’t need to lose weight, but might need to start moving more. Find something that might get you both going.
Keep your goals in sight, whatever that looks like for you. Motivational quotes, pictures, clothes anything that reminds you of what you’re doing.
Teach your partner about healthier food options, while letting them know they can still have some Oreos along the way too 😉
Finally, as much as you might want support, if you have to accept you won’t get it, remember you are totally worth the efforts and investment into yourself with healthier eating and taking time to exercise. Don’t get discouraged but maintain your focus on your personal goals. Hopefully, with some time and consistency, you will get a support team on your side to celebrate with you.
Have you had struggles with this? Have you lacked support in your quest to get healthier or starting an exercise program? How did you deal with it? Were you able to stay the course or did you quit ?