Hi, everyone! I’m Paige, from the blog Running Around Normal. There I write about health and fitness with a mix of fun, and a peek into my life.
Aside from writing about health and fitness on my blog, I also live it every day – not only through my own experiences, but as a certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist.
Today, however, I’m going to share my experiences and advice of being a personal trainer and fitness fanatic who’s married to someone who’s not so naturally health conscious.
When Ashley asked me to write a guest post while she and her (now) hubby are honeymooning it up, I giggled as I thought of ways to tie in being a personal trainer and being in a relationship.
You guys have seen that couple. The one who jogs together, goes to the gym together – has nearly matching workout clothes. Their energy seems to be the exact same when it comes to physical activity and health.
OK. Now picture the opposite. I’m not here to talk to you about that couple ;)
You see, laughter was my reaction to the topic, because my husband and I are quite…opposite. At least when it comes to health and fitness.
He works out sporadically, and only because he feels like he has to, and only for vanity reasons. I workout daily because, well, anymore it’s just part of who I am! (along with all those good-for-you reasons too ;))
If he were single, his meals would consist of 3/4 a pizza that he’d eat at 7:00 pm, only when he realizes that he hasn’t eaten anything all day.
But he’s not single. He’s married to a personal trainer and nutritionist. And while I would never ever consider my husband a client, I’ve got my work cut out for me ;)
So, the million dollar question becomes…
How does a relationship work where one person is focused on health and fitness, and the other is not?
Well I don’t claim to be a relationship expert, but I’ve been with the guy for nearly 10 years (married for four) and we make it work. Since I want that 4 to turn into a 64, I’ve got some advice.
1. Lead by example, not by words.
I learned a LONG time ago that nagging will do no good. Chances are, if you beg someone to do something they don’t want to do (i.e. workout) they’re not going to do it. After a while, I gave up asking him, and just went about my merry little way, showing (naturally) how happy and healthy exercise and eating right was for me. This helps MUCH for than asking, nagging, and harping on someone does.
2. Make it easy.
Almost every day (if I have time) I’ll throw together a PBJ on whole wheat for the husband’s lunch. Throw in an organic string cheese and a piece of fruit, and bam, he’s eating a healthy lunch.
I’ve also created workout plans for him and have sent him links to health and fitness articles he might find useful. Not pushy. Just helpful. I understand not every girlfriend or wife has the time or feels like she should do this, but since I don’t mind – and do have an extra 5 minutes to spare in the mornings – I’ll help him out in this way.
3. Be brutally, but politely, honest.
Sure I can go about my healthy lifestyle ways, and make him PBJ’s, but every now and then I’ll let him know why it’s important to me that he stays healthy. As nicely as I can, I’ll let him know I kinda like him and want him around for the majority of my life ;)
4. Find alternative suggestions.
My husband hates running, but he does like hiking and disc golfing. These two activities are fun for him (and me!) and provide a bit of cardiovascular work in the process. We also like to bike ride into town to grab lunch. I’m not harping on him to jump on the treadmill, but instead going to those fun, healthy activities.
Along the same lines, my husband isn’t a fan of raw or roasted veggies, so if I’m making a meal for both of us, I’ll go ahead and steam the veggies, a cooking method which we both enjoy.
5. Lastly, don’t stress about it. It’s not just the couple who jogs together that stays together. In fact, the one time Shane and I did try out a running schedule together, I believe we fought more than we had before ;)
What about you guys?
For those in relationships, are both you and your significant other equally focused on health and fitness?
Do you feel it’s important in relationships for each person to place equal importance on health and fitness?