Health & Fitness

Relationships & Your Fitness Journey: Who’s on your side?

Whatever the goal(s) of your fitness journey, the adventure is mental and emotional. To succeed, certain behaviors, priorities, and choices do change. These new habits also affect our spouse, partner, best friend, siblings, parents, and so on. Our attempt to change means what was done in the past will not continue. With this change in ourselves, we find change in the dynamics of our relationships. We want people on our “good side” as we fight this fight. As we assert ourselves about what we eat, how we spend our time, and with the incorporation of exercise, not everyone is as supportive or understanding as we wish they would be. I’m sure you can relate to one or more the following scenarios.

We want the people in our lives to be cheerleaders, not coaches. If we wanted a trainer or coach, we would hire one. Picking apart what we are doing wrong is not the feedback we want to hear.

We want our network to participate. If we are dining out, let’s go somewhere friendly to healthy eating. Eat a clean dinner with me, don’t make we cook separate every time. It wouldn’t hurt you to hit the gym with me.

We want the person to listen, not judge. This is an emotional challenge to us, so sometimes we need to just hash out a bad decision. We don’t need criticism, advice, or empathy, just acknowledgment that they are aware we are trying and mama said there would be days like this.

We want to do non-food friendly hang outs. We don’t have to meet for lunch or a drink every time we see each other.

We don’t want to be tempted. Please don’t offer bites or nibbles. Please don’t try to convince me it’s okay this one time.

When you see me exercise at home or the gym, I don’t need your input. I don’t need you to laugh or question me.

We do not want them to be the food police. Support is great but this isn’t your role. I will let you know if I need law enforcement to catch me.

Communication is the key. We can’t expect our relationships to know how we are feeling each moment. It’s like when someone asks you if you are okay, you say you are fine, and then you explode at them. We can’t expect more, less, or really anything from someone close to us unless we openly and honestly express the message. This is not to say it will be understood, but when you assert your goals to others, you are also boosting your confidence that this journey is happening and you are doing it. As part of your journey, change the way you communicate to others as well. You will benefit physically and mentally from this.

Megan Johnson McCullough is a NASM Master Trainer & Instructor, AFAA Group Exercise Instructor, candidate for her Doctorate in Health & Human Performance, professional natural bodybuilder, she’s a Women’s Health Magazine Action Hero, and she owns a fitness studio in Oceanside, CA, called Every BODY’s Fit. Her mission is to help every BODY become the best version of themselves. Her pug, Steve Nash, is the mascot and her assistant at the studio. She is happily married and loves spreading her passion for health, fitness, and wellness through training and writing.

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