Leading a healthy lifestyle can be extra difficult when the one person you’re constantly with doesn’t follow—or care about following—the same habits. This could be your partner, roommate, best friend, child, parent, or whoever else. I’m mostly referring to someone you live with, though, because they can have a big impact on how you act, whether you realize it or not.
I consider myself lucky because although Matt isn’t always super healthy, he 100% supports my goals, is an athletic person already, and makes an effort to be healthy with me. That’s all I could ever ask. I do know, though, that when he doesn’t want to workout, or when he stocks the house with nacho cheese and soft pretzels, it’s hard to not follow suit.
Here lies my inspiration for this blog post. I know so many people who are in this healthy living journey alone yet are surrounded by temptations. While saying “no” can be pretty difficult at times, in the end, we’re the only ones who can create the change we want to see—not our spouse/roommate/friend.
Throughout the past five years I’ve lived with Matt, there are a number of tricks I’ve discovered to help me make sure I eat healthier and get in my workouts. Take a look at the list below for a few ideas that might just give you the boost you need!
1. If they’re going to eat junk food, encourage them to buy items you don’t like.
I do this with Matt a lot. He’ll ask my opinion on which chips to buy, and I often tell him to buy the flavor I don’t like to make it less appealing.
2. Separate their bad food from your good food.
If they keep the house stocked with chips and candy, it might be easier to avoid their delicious junk food if you don’t open the cabinets filled with the temptation.
3. Find an activity they can do with you.
Maybe your spouse doesn’t want to jump on the treadmill or do tedious workouts all the time—totally understandable. Find an activity you both like, such as hiking, playing catch with a football, or maybe just going on a walk at night, so you can be active together. It can be a great motivator if you can turn your partner into a workout buddy every once in awhile!
4. Take control of the meals.
If you eat meals together, offer to cook as much as possible. That way, you’ll be in control of what you’re consuming, and since you already did the work, they’ll probably be happy to have what you’re having.
5. Establish a balance between healthy eating habits and occasional splurges.
When you’re feeling inspired to get healthy, you may want to quit all the bad food cold turkey. However, if your partner keeps their unhealthy habits while you’re making a drastic change, the temptation might cause you to quit before you’re able to establish healthy habits. “Everything in moderation.” Replacing junk food with healthier options—while still leaving room to treat yo’self every once in awhile—tends to make staying on the right path a little more doable.
6. Make extra healthy items for your partner.
Even though it’s more work, I’ve found this to really help inspire Matt to be healthy with me. If I’m making myself a healthy meal, or meal prepping ahead of time, I make two (or more) of each because he’s usually more than happy to eat what I’ve already made. As he eats healthier, I become tempted by unhealthy items less often.
7. Find support elsewhere.
If you’re not getting the support you need from your partner, it might help to join an online community or maybe just a group of friends who have the same goals but also struggle. Having people—any people—to help keep you accountable should make reaching your goals much more possible.
If your spouse isn’t as motivated or interested in being healthy as you are, that’s their prerogative. Although I’m sure we all want to rope our partners into being healthier versions of themselves, the decision is ultimately up to them. I find that when I focus on myself and try to be a role model, it can have a positive effect on others.
Plus, as you start seeing results, you might make them realize that leading a healthy life isn’t so bad after all! 😉
Check back on Monday when I’ll be sharing a little announcement, which will definitely involve me using these tips over the next month.