Get Your Partner on Board with a Healthy Lifestyle Change

Tokyo: We’ve all seen those happy, fit couples: they chop salad ingredients together, post complicated yoga partner poses on Instagram, and are constantly comparing their daily step counts. My husband and I aren’t that extremes when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, but in many ways, we are positively influenced by each other.

If I see him heading to the gym it makes me a lot less likely to skip a workout. And if I opt for one less piece of dark chocolate for dessert, he will usually do the same. But what happens when one half of a couple embarks on a life-changing fitness journey and the other member’s butt stays firmly glued to the couch?
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According to Eliza Kingsford, licensed psychotherapist, and CEO of Empowered Wellness, if not approached carefully with open lines of communication a big change like this can cause a major disconnect for a pair.

“Our relationship with food and our bodies is so intertwined with the other areas of our lives, it’s nearly impossible to make big shifts in our nutrition, fitness, and body image routine without it impacting nearly every part of our lives,” says Kingsford.

It’s not uncommon for the partner who’s not getting on the green smoothie train to begin questioning the relationship and mourning life as he or she knew it.

“For example, a husband would almost certainly say that he wants his wife to feel healthy, happy, and more confident,” says Kingsford. “However, when shifts occur in her life in order to accomplish that, it can make him feel uncomfortable and he can begin to behave in ways he doesn’t really intend to in order to maintain the homeostasis in his life. Even if the homeostasis made his wife feel unhealthy, sad, and uncomfortable, this was still the known, the norm, so it felt safe