Are you finally ready to make a change, yet your significant other is not quite there? Whether they don’t think they need to make a change (and you want them to), they don’t know why “organic” is worth the money (causing budgetary stress), have all the refined snacks in the house (making it more challenging to stay away from), or simply won’t eat the food you prepare for the two of you (more food prep/time/cost)… We got you. We know it can feel tough.
Where to start?
First off, the best thing you can do is to lead by example by just doing what is working for you. Instead of telling them all of what they should or shouldn’t be doing, let them find their own path in the journey to health. Allow them to ask questions if they get curious. Refer back to, “this works for me because”. Let them learn the tools you’ve learned if they ask. If the spark or change comes from them, they are more likely to be on board and excited. If you want to learn more on our tips of how to convince loved ones to be healthier, listen to this podcast.
Once you can let go of thinking you can change them, you can go about your own healthy journey and know you are only in control of YOU. For example, if you want to leave the party early so you get to bed earlier, plan ahead and let them know what time you plan to leave, allow them to choose if they want to go with you or not – no judgment.
If you want a meal a certain way and it’s for them too, let them know what you’re making ahead of time, then you can either make some additions on the side for them (only if you want), OR, let them add or make something themselves. You are only responsible for what you want to do, you don’t have to cater to them all the time.
Now if it comes to finance talk, and how “healthier foods are more expensive”, then this may require a bit more explanation. Communicating WHY you’re doing what you’re doing helps. “This food helps me feel better”. “This food reduces my pain and risk of getting sick”. And then explaining how it is an investment in your health in the long run, and why it’s important to you. There are ways to still save money while eating healthier – like not eating out as much, not drinking as much, getting frozen foods like veggies and meat that are cheaper, and for some – it’s getting off medication and not being as sick, that usually leads to more energy with all things in the home and with work. You work more efficiently (make more money perhaps), are able to do more things with your partner, and are happier for them too.
If you struggle with snacking or eating too many refined foods, then we recommend keeping those out of your house or out of sight if possible. Yet if the food that they keep in the house is a struggle for you to stay away from, then here are some ideas. You can put all your snack food (or theirs) in a specific spot. Deem those foods as “their foods”, and know those aren’t part of what makes you feel good. For some people, this separation can help a lot, mentally and physically. If you know it’s not an option (or it’s more out of sight), you move on quickly and stop thinking about it. For others, thinking of how that food will make you feel (before reaching for it) can help more too.
Lastly, we know how you spend your time can get tricky if your partner isn’t on the same schedule. Say you want to go workout on a Saturday morning and your S/O wants to cuddle and watch a movie. You want to get to bed and they want to spend more time with you. Or you want to eat at home, and they want to eat out. This may require a little more work on your part.
This may look like you getting up a bit earlier to go workout, or setting time aside in your day to have one-on-one time with them, researching restaurants you’d both be happy with, or you’re the one preparing dinner more often. Now those are all compromises, yet remember, you are in control of you. If you want to eat at home and they don’t, fine – eat ahead of time and tag along, or let them order in, while you prepare your own meal. If they give you flack for going to bed earlier, remember they are likely projecting on you – they have their own demons. And in time, they may come to be more supportive, or even want to make a change themselves.
At the end of the day, it’s always up to you in how you want to approach your relationship. You can compromise, or let them figure it out, or have a mixture of both. You know what is best for you and your relationship. You also know what is best for your health at any given time, and knowing what your priorities are comes in real handy in those tough situations. Many times when you make a change, communicating those priorities early on, and telling them what your plans are, are KEY in maintaining a healthy relationship, and still achieving your goals.
So let’s get communicating more efficiently. And when doing so, make less statements, ask more questions, and stay in our lane of what feels best for us.