When you’re trying to lose weight, having a strong support system can often mean the difference between success and failure. There will be times during your weight loss journey when temptations come on strong or your motivation begins to wane. Having a partner who will hold you accountable, keep you motivated, or kick your butt back to the gym, can be the difference between reaching the goals you’ve set for yourself and falling back into old habits.
But, change isn’t easy for anyone, and your partner may need a little persuading to get on board and stop leaving those boxes of Girl Scout cookies lying around where you will find them. Need help in the persuasion department? No problem.We’ve got 5 ways to get your partner to be supportive of your weight loss goals.
Be Clear on What Support You Need. It can be difficult for your partner to support you if he/she doesn’t understand what support you’re looking for. Don’t just ask your partner for help. Tell him/her exactly what you need and why you need it. For example, you might say, “Losing weight is important to me because I want to be healthier and happier in my skin. To reach my goals, I will need to avoid snacking on unhealthy foods. Will you support me by not leaving the Girl Scout cookies out on the kitchen counter?” When you make your requests clear, your partner will be much more likely to adhere to them.
Encourage Your Partner to Join You. If your partner isn’t supportive of your goals at first, it may be because he/she does not share your passion. If your partner can’t understand what you are going through, he/she might not understand what you need to accomplish your goals. Invite your partner to work out with you (after all, the couple who works out together reaps the rewards together!), or lovingly nudge your partner towards setting a few small goals for his/her own personal health. For example, suggest cutting out soda for a day. This can help him/her to understand the challenges that you will face on your journey.
Check out this great Workout for Two.
Keep Your Goals in Sight. Place motivational quotes on your refrigerator, mirror and in other highly visible places. Keep a weight loss journal, which documents all of the calories you consume in a day, along with your exercises completed so you can keep track of your progress. This will help your partner to see how important your goals are to you and will serve as visual reminders to him/her to stay supportive. Also, by keeping your eyes fixed on the prize, you reduce the chances of giving up on them due to a lack of encouragement.
Teach Your Partner About Healthy Food Options. Like we mentioned, change isn’t easy for anyone. It’s possible that your partner may see you eating healthier foods and resent you for making changes around the house. There are times when a partner will attempt to sabotage their loved one in order to keep things the same in their own lives. By explaining the reasons why you replaced whole fat milk with low-fat milk, you can make a big difference in how your partner interprets these changes, and you may even motivate your partner to make a few changes themselves.
Have a Heart-to-Heart. If you’ve used the above tips, and your partner still isn’t supportive, don’t give up just yet. The reason the person you’re with is your partner is because you care for them, and they care for you. Never assume that you fully understand the reasons for their lack of support. It could be because they want to lose weight also, and simply fear their own failure. Or, they might be afraid of losing you once your goals have been achieved. It could also be that they just don’t understand how important their support is to you, or how critical it is to your success. Talk about it, lay your feelings out on the table, and see what happens. Remind your partner of all the benefits of a healthy weight. After all, a healthier you can only benefit your relationship.
*Not all of us can turn to a partner for support. If you need support, but can’t find it, there are resources available for you. Turn to the internet for weight loss forums and support groups. Have you tried our Skinny Ms. Accountability Forum? You might also want to look to trainers or fitness experts for guidance. Since these individuals have proven themselves successful at achieving their own goals, and are trained to support others weight loss goals, they are a great addition to your support system. Check out Skinny Ms. Fitness on Facebook nonstop for support and encouragement.