Last year when I started this little fitness adventure, my wife was right there with me. We both planned to share this experience and progress together. But things change and for the first time when she had pressing family issues and quit the workouts, I continued. I want both of us to be healthy, but I have learned along the way that nothing I do or say will get her to start a fitness program and diet program unless she wants it and is ready for it. In my opinion this is the true secret to this whole fitness thing, desire and willingness to change.
After I finished my first season, a few days ago my wife decided she was tired of her current health and fitness challenges and she needed a change in lifestyle, she realized she needed something drastic. Usually my role in these decisions results in me trying to put together a meal plan and fitness plan. This time though I let her get energized about it by doing the research needed to make those decisions. This have proven to be the hardest part of her new fitness desire, my role is nothing more than support.
Maybe this is where I have gone wrong with her desire to change in the past. I would be the coach, the hard ass, the enforcer. I usually take responsibility for the training and the diet, I usually have the ownership. This time she is in the drivers seat, she has ownership. This plan is her plan, devised off of lessons I have taught her in my training. Maybe this ownership will provide the spark to make these changes permanent in a positive direction.
My role in this process is support, a very hard role for me as I am used to be the one that drives the fitness direction. Also, over the past year I have gotten a bit selfish about all things health and fitness in our relationship. I have to work to let that go when I am at home and work to support her decisions and help her when she has questions or needs a shoulder to lean on. Recently as we have discussed this, I often find myself reflecting on my own training and catch myself starting to push. I have to be more passive this time and less focused on my achievements and more on hers. That is the best I can do to help succeed, stand back and be there when she needs help, but only when asked.
I am hoping the changes she wants to make this time will stick as there is a bit of a disconnect in our lifestyles right now. I never expect her to desire to run a 5k or do a triathlon, I will take healthy and happy. This time I have to remove myself and remind myself I have success where previously there was failure and now the focus is on giving her the keys and letting her drive, removing the ‘I’ from our conversations, focus needs to be on her. This is going to be hard as I am selfish of the accomplishments frontier in this relationship, but I know I am needed for support and advice when asked and needed. This will be hard and challenging. Til next time.
Your turn, advice or story of similar situation regarding a love one. Share in comments.