I love getting emails from readers! They always ask such thought-provoking questions. I recently got an email from a reader asking this:
“Thank you so much for your blog. You are inspiration. I have been trying to lose weight for many years but my problem is getting hubby to accept my new healthy lifestyle. Do you have a post about your husband’s take on the healthy lifestyle? Thanks, Amy”
That is such a good question. First, Michael and I aren’t married so I want to clear that up. Second, losing weight is such a personal experience–it’s different for everyone–but despite being a personal experience it effects everyone around you.
Losing weight is a life changing experience–especially if you have a significant amount to lose. Recently I wrote a post (Actually It Will Change Your Life) about how my life changed when I lost 100 pounds. I got a lot of really interesting responses to the topic. Some people disagreed with my comment that losing weight CAN make you happier. Different opinions are fine with me. I just comment on how I feel. I probably should have been more specific in saying it this way:
I’m not happy because I’m now SKINNY.
I’m happy because I’m now HEALTHY.
Big difference in my eyes. This topic leads me to the idea of SUPPORT. Losing weight is a battle; it helps to have a strong support system around you. Family, friends, coworkers…wherever the support comes from it helps. I don’t know if I would have kept trying to lose weight if I hadn’t had such a great support system and positive reinforcements.
What happens if your partner doesn’t support your weight loss attempts? Maybe they won’t participate in your fitness program and try to discourage you from workout out. Maybe they eat a big burger and fries while you’re eating a plain piece of chicken and a salad. Or maybe they are downright rude to you and act like your lifestyle changes are a pain in the butt for them. Maybe they refuse to watch the kids while you workout at the gym.
There could be a number of ways they show their lack of support and it can be hurtful and frustrating. Let’s take a look at why they don’t support you.
- Are they not ready to change their lifestyle?
- Are they jealous of your weight loss success?
- Are they at a different fitness level?
- Do they have a negative attitude that isn’t helping you succeed?
- Are they comfortable with the role of the smaller person in the relationship and don’t want to see you lose weight?
The first thing to do is to figure out the “why.” Knowing where your partner is coming from can give you some insight. When you talk to them about it you’ll be less angry and coming from a place of understanding instead. If they feel left out try being inclusive. Do things together that are active but FUN.
Reassure them that you aren’t going to leave them if you lose 75 pounds. That is a very valid and very real fear of partners. Tell them you love them and you love yourself and losing weight is taking care of yourself.
My Story of Sabotage
Long before I met Michael I was dating a guy who turned out to be a total jerk. I’ll call him Bob. I met Bob after losing about 65 pounds. His words said he was supportive of my continued weight loss but his actions were the complete opposite. There were red flags everywhere about this guy (I ignored them in the beginning). For example: he loved to take me to places like Claim Jumper for dinner. Time and time again I said I didn’t want to eat there because there was NOTHING I could order on the menu. He was also a control freak (red flag) and would do it anyway.
Bob also tried to sabotage my exercise time. He’d try to convince me not to workout but do something with him instead. One time we were coming home from a day at the beach and I said I wanted to be back in Portland by a certain time so I could go swimming. He decided he had to stop 20 miles from Portland to get the oil changed in his car. Why? Because he was a sabotaging jerk. Because of that I didn’t get back to town in time to make it to the pool. I was fuming. That was the last straw.
The result? I dumped his sabotaging ass. The red flags, the control issues, the sabotaging, it all rubbed me the wrong way and I finally woke up! We only dated about 3 months but that was 3 months too long in my opinion.
I’ve had similar experiences with other guys who weren’t jerks, just selfish. Michael is the complete opposite of anyone I’ve ever met or dated and he supports me no matter what. Sure we have our issues. For example he could eat pizza every day. Pizza is a trigger food for me so I have to limit it. Our compromise? We order the Papa Murphy’s deLite (low calorie) pizza so we’re both happy. Then we’ll get the “real pizza” once in awhile as a treat.
There’s no right answer for the dilemma regarding nonsupporting partners and I think it’s a harder decision when it’s a spouse as opposed to just someone you’re dating. My hope is that a heart-to-heart conversation with your loved one will help the situation.
Each situation is different. Only you can decide what is best for both your relationship and your weight loss journey. Remember this: no one can make you eat something you don’t want to eat and no one can keep you from doing something you put your mind to!
QUESTION: How would you deal with a sabotaging partner?