When Lifestyles Clash...How do You Handle It?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
So, your lifestyle makeover is coming along nicely. You’ve established a good working relationship with your Inner Cookie Monster, and discovered your Inner Athlete. Your fitness is improving steadily, your weight is going down, and you’re feeling pretty good about the way things are going.

Except for one thing. Your new lifestyle seems to be generating some conflicts with significant others in your life. Maybe someone is feeling neglected because your daily workout is getting in the way of your cuddling on the couch time. Maybe you’ve been hoping that some of your healthy new habits would rub off on your significant other, but that’s just not happening. Or your friends are giving you a bad time (or a cold shoulder) because you’ve stopped playing by the old rules all of a sudden.

Maybe these problems have already gotten more serious. You’re starting to feel like others are actually out to sabotage your efforts, or your significant other is seriously wondering whether all these changes mean you’re not going to be satisfied with him/her anymore, and might start looking for another relationship. Maybe you’re wondering about that yourself.

What do you do when problems like this come up?

Unfortunately, these are all pretty common problems when one person in a relationship starts making healthy changes that others aren’t so eager to make for themselves. In fact, many experts who study the process of making “therapeutic lifestyle changes” believe that finding a personally acceptable way to handle and get beyond these kinds of conflict is crucial to success.

The bad news here is that there really isn’t any simple formula or technique for handling these problems, or a single answer that will work for everyone. You know in theory that you have to “do what’s right for yourself,” but it’s just not always clear what that right thing is when healthy change leads to conflicts in your relationships with other people. Every situation and relationship is unique.

There are a few basic things you can do to minimize problems, like making sure you “check in” frequently with the other people involved, to tell them how you’re feeling and find out what’s going on for them. The worst thing in the world you can do is assume you know what’s going on for the other person, and why they’re acting the way they are–or that they understand what’s going on in your head. Never assume that if someone else doesn’t change their behavior to make things easier for you, it means they don’t care, or that they’re trying to sabotage you. Maybe they don't know how hard it is for you to cope because you haven't told them, or they have their own reasons for not changing their behavior.

Wrong assumptions and misinterpretations flourish in the silence between people, and that can cause all kinds of trouble. The best way to avoid making lifestyle clashes larger and more disruptive than they need to be is to communicate regularly and honestly, so that realistic expectations and understandings can be negotiated.

If you’re not getting the support you need from your current partners and friends, make sure you do get some from others who are working the same things you’re trying to do. That can take a lot of pressure off your other relationships.

There are also some basic things you should probably avoid. Like making it your job to persuade your significant other or your friends that they should change their lifestyle, too, for their own good. That just doesn’t work, and is almost guaranteed to make conflicts worse.

But, beyond these general tips, it doesn’t seem like there are many “one-size-fits-all” approaches to handling lifestyle clashes when they come up. But that doesn't mean you're on your own. Lots of people have been down this road, or are going down it now. Sharing your experiences and questions can be a great source of info and support.

What experiences have you had with this problem? Have you found any good ways to handle it?

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My wife and I have this problem. She is jealous of the time I spend on Spark and exercising. Although she is a vegetarian, she does not eat healthfully. I don't care what she eats, she's an adult and can make up her own mind so I don't try to get her to stop eating unhealthful foods. I don't care that she wants to stay up until 4 sitting on the couch. I love her and that won't change.
However, the longer I keep up my healthful lifestyle, the more negative she is becoming. I try to talk to her about it, but it only ends in an argument.
I guess she will find a way to deal with it on her own. All I know is that I can't go back to living the way that I was. Report
What is interesting to me is I have lost my weight and had to do it on my own mostly. I just never tried to force my new lifestyle on my wife. The best thing she did to help me was not discourage me and kept "bad" food in the house that I do not like. It worked and I am still willing to help her if she decides to try and lose weight, and love her just as much. Report
My boyfriend opposes the way I am handling my weight loss, because I still eat sweets (in my calorie range) but will not have fries in the restaurant...in short compromise a lot less when it comes to food.
But he was REALLY happy when he joined me on my last weigh in and found out he had lost 4 pounds too!
Just like that, by hanging around with me, sharing dinner and going for a walk or a hike.
Now he is so very happy it even makes me more motivated! He knows I love him chubby and there is no pressure in our relationship he has to join me on my weight loss efforts. I think that is giving him the liberty to experiment with ideas like bulking up and getting more muscles .... Report
So far so good, i haven't really run into any issues, i buy a separate grocery list for me and my boyfriend (white bread for him, whole grain for me, i use real chicken in some of my meals, he will use chicken fingers). It's not to say that he's not trying, if i make fruit salad he will always take a bowl, he lets me plan dinners to fit into my schedule and will add xtra cheese to his meals if they need it. Food is not the big issue with us, truthfully it's the exercise, i prefer to walk/bike everywhere he would rather take the bus (which i admit is better than a car). on days off i go for long bike rides and get out of the house, while he wants to sit at the computer. Sometimes i feel it is frustrating, but i think when he wants a change it will come
thanks for this article :) it's nice to know that we all struggle a little bit and there are things to do to make it easier. Report
Heres the strange thing. When my hubby and I started dating he was the healthy "nut" and I sabotoged his eating and workout habits. He would want to go on a hike and I would say not now. He would suggest we take the skin off the chicken and I would say are you crazy thats the best part. Well several decades later I'm struggling to get healthier and he's resisting. I feel terrible. I indulged his meat and potato diet and added breads and deserts. He now does the same to me. I end up making 2 different meals. I don't want to change all his habits and frankly it would be easier to find another man...LOL He is starting to like some of what I make. He says he's proud of me for exercising and will take extra effort to walk with me. What he does do that I can't get through to him is. He will go and get special ice cream and get mad because I refuse to eat it. He says 1 won't hurt but it does and I can't give in just because I will hurt his feelings if I don't. I also know he can't seem to keep his hands off my waist anymore thats because I actually have one now so I know he is torn with what he wants and whats right. Report
Wow, this article hits home with so many people. How crazy people are not to support a loved one to be healthy and happy, just because of their weaknesses and insecurities.

I have a few problems with my boyfriend as he drinks and smokes every night. I feel I'm not on the same wave length as him and I go to bed at a reasonable time and get 8 hours sleep, he'll stay up til 2 am getting stoned. We have been talking a lot recently and he has agreed to compromise, but I wonder when that time will be. More talking is in order. It makes me feel so much better to know how many other people have similar problems and are dealing with it. Well done everyone XXX Report
My fiance is not being the most supportive person right now. He grumbles about me "driving [him] nuts with all this healthy stuff". I'm not telling him what to pack for lunch or how much to eat in a day. Although I do mention that if he only has time to eat one thing at lunch, it should be the sandwich. But I'm not forcing him to eat whole grains instead of bleached. I'm not forcing him to use castile soaps and natural toothpaste. But the fact that I don't want to leave any lights on when no one's using them and I'm unplugging what can be unplugged is annoying him as well. Unfortunately we haven't really sat down and talked about it yet. We really should make time among all the wedding planning. Report
Oh this is so me...I don't have support from my husband or friends. And yes, I feel like my hubby is sabotaging me. Every time I lose weight and announce I dropped a size...boom, he brings junk food home. I try my best to encourage him to utilize the gym membership but he's probably gone 5x's this year. I show him how to measure servings, read labels, cut back on high fat foods, encourage him to take the dog for walks but theres only so much I could do. I know this is the reason I have a difficult time with my weight yo-yo-ing like it has been. It would be so much easier if my significant other shared this interest with me. Oh...and my friends don't care at all about calories. So I cut back on sharing time with them. Report
Just remember you're worth it! Report
My fiance have some problem with this. He really doesn't need to lose weight (although he does have some bad food habits). Since I do all the cooking, some of his eating habits have improved, but he really loves his chocolate. We made a deal that he could bring chocolate home as long as I can't eat it. He's vegetarian and I'm vegan, so he just buys milk chocolate and it works out. The only problem is when he decides to be thoughtful and get vegan chocolate (yes, it does exist), and then I have to resist it. Other than that, I've been lucky that my man loves me the way I am but is still very supportive if I want to make a positive change in my life. Report
My guy was a bachelor for many years and is a real junkfoodie....donuts and coffee for breakfast....hot dogs for lunch...pizza/hamburgers/fries/ect.
..any and all takeaway foods. Since marrying him three years ago I eagerly got into his foods and the "American way of living." I had tried many diet programs to lose the weight I put on since arriving in the states, a whopping 40lb....it didnt work until.... My doctor did blood work and found both my Cholesterol levels off the chart . This was serious I had to focus now on eating healthy, excercising and losing weight to lower my Cholesterol count. I am now following SparkPeople's Cholesterol Program and finally losing....still my hubby eats his 'normal' fare....but some things are a-changing..........

He will lean over and 'share' my plate of crudites and I have found he loves celery, spring onions and bell peppers..........if I cut up fruit and put it on a plate while he is at the computer he will eat that. I have stopped putting butter in his smashed potatoes and cook his fish without butter and grill his chicken on a George Foreman's Grill with only Emerils original spices (he loves this on anything). He adores catfish and I have discovered that this has a lot of natural fat and will cook in a nonstick pan in its own juices. He is having oatmeal with me now for breakfast.........and his fibre levels have increased unbeknownst to him via me putting the fibre clear tasteless powder in his tea an oats etc....

So you see he is slowly changing his ways of eating without even knowing it. Report
This article really caught my attention. I am new with Sparkpeople and also new to caring about my health. My boyfriend and I live together and while he has been the most amazing, supportive person for me ever, he does not share the same drive to improve his health as I do. It's hard because we have gotten into those bad habits of "nesting" and hanging out snuggling on the couch as our quality time together. And as you all know hanging out on the couch almost always turns into a food fest too. Now I am doing other things like walking the places I need to go (I live downtown Seattle and everything is a few blocks away) and going to the gym and taking much more time out of my days to do healthy things. Now I've only just begun these new healthy activities, but already I find myself worring about having enough time for him, and it's kept me home from the gym on an occasion or two. I am trying to encourage him to come with me to the gym, even if he just meets me after my workout and sits in the hot ttub with me, but he just can't seem to find the time or the energy . After reading this article, I realized that it is not MY job to make him healthy. All I can do is be just as supportive to him and his decisions as he is to me and mine. And maybe cross my fingers that he'll turn around :) In the meantime I just need to keep taking the time for myself that I need to stay on track and let him come around on his own time if that's what he chooses. Not for nothing, he DID ask me to go on a walk with him the other day, so there is definitely hope! Report
The funny thing about this article for me is that my problem isn't with my boyfriend. My problem is with my friends at work. I am trying to stop going out to eat at lunch everyday for 2 reasons, money and calories. I get a lot of grief from my buddies about dissing them just to sit at my desk and eat. The even funnier thing is that these are guys that are health conscious, but they're guys. They can eat more, and they aren't saving to buy a house. It can get very frustrating. Report
My son tempts me with foods I no longer want to eat. He says, "mommy, you're NOT fat" all the time because I'm not yet morbidly obese. I would be if I hadn't found SparkPeople.

I bought alternative snacks for myself and hopefully he'll begin to understand that this is for real for me this time. (I've done Atkins and lost 40 pounds, but giving up carbs forever just doesn't work for me).

Thanks for this article. Report
Well, this has been an issue with me and my significant other. I think I've been the one to complain about less time together due to extra workouts he puts in. I like to eat out and he was trying to be good. I felt guilty but didn't feel like cooking either. So what's helped us, is being open with one another. He'd tell me his goals and I'd do my best to be supportive of them. I'd share my goals and he'd let me know if my choices were going to hinder my goals. The biggest eye opener for me was when he started his webpage on another site and sent me a link to his blog page. Seeing his goals and his thoughts there truly helped me realize how hard this was for him and how badly he wanted to change. Reading his thoughts was like reading comments from another person. He was so authentic. A few months later, I came across sparkpeople.com. I've started a page and this has become something else we can talk about and share about. Open communication is key, whether it's verbal or in written form. We are also going to start reading each other's food and work out journals. Report
No question that many of us have family and friends who are not totally supportive. However, we must meet them halfway by not obsessing about our lifestyle and talking about nothing else. I think that is a legitimate concern. Everyone needs interests that go beyond diet and weight loss. Again, I know that this is an issue (my own family sabotages my efforts at times), but it is something to think about. Report
This has happened to me! My housemate and I share the electricity bills, the mortgage, the heating bills....and a lot of meals. I've known her for a long time, and I've known that she doesn't like salads--or most vegetables for that matter, but it came to a 'gentle head' recently when we were meal-planning and I said on the phone, "My kids and I have to have salad once in a while."

She's as thin as a rail, doesn't exercise, has desserts in the house all the time as comfort food 'gifts' to me.....[sigh]

....So I'm learning to just do what I have to do. We compromised that other night in that she 'needs' 'stuff' on her salads (boiled eggs) in order to eat it. I'm great with that. We had a good meal. Report
In the beginning I thought a gym membership would give my husband something to have in common. But it didn't so then we starting having squabbles about time together and common interest. Due to finanacial issues we had to give up the gym membership. My husband and I learned that if we walk together, I get exercise and we take the time to truly talk to each other. It has helped our physical health, our personal mental health and our marriage so very much.

But in the beginning there were issues. It just takes learning to listen and speak with out hurting someone..... which is a learned skill
My biggest clash with the boyfriend and kids is the family dinner. It is hard to satisfy them even with unhealthy food and I just can't figure out ways to make people happy. My boyfriend is a really excellent cook and a big part of my weight loss success was my inability to cook anything right and acceptance of stuffing down healthy foods I crammed together and feeding my daughter something she liked. It's really hard for me not to pig out on what my boyfriend eats. When I lived alone I could even feed my daughter something and work out while she ate and skip night time eating altogether. The thing I miss about being single is having control over dinner and no complaining about my cooking (or lack thereof). Report
I guess I must be really lucky. My husband is very supportive of all of the lifestyle changes that I've been making. He even eats ground turkey and chicken (which he said he didn't like a while back) in the dishes I prepare. I was really surprised that he said he likes some of the meatless meals that I've tried out! We schedule our time during the week around my exercise and if he thinks I look too tired to cook, he'll eat a sandwich and I'll have egg whites with salsa and a salad. He complements me when my clothes are too big and laughs with me when I model the clothes that hang off me! We decided together, 2 years ago, not to have junk food in the house so we cleaned out our pantry. If we want a treat, we go out and buy a single serving of it. I've tried to get him to work out with me but he hates the kind of exercise that you do at a gym. He's rather play basketball, racquet ball or tennis but has difficulty finding someone to play with (I think he forgets that we're in our mid 50's!). He does go on short walks with me though. Report
My family supports me in my lifestyle. I do have some guilt over the time that I spend exercising. My husband is disabled. There are some things that he can do in terms of activity/exercise. On most days, he is in too much pain or too medicated to want to do these things. I have tried gentle encouragement, tough loving & nagging, none of which interests him. In the end, I recognize that he has so little control over his life, this is an area that he actually gets to be in charge of. I can do everything possible to make opportunities available for him, but the rest is up to him. Report
I'm really fortunate. My husband is (and has been from the beginning of my healthy lifestyle challenge) so very supportive. He many times fixes supper for us since he's retired. He checks with me about what Is "ok" for me to eat. He even bought me a special light so I could walk at night and he just recently bought a DVR so I could record exercise programs. I'm lucky and I know it. Report
I can so relate to this. As I have said in other blogs the hubby is very negative and unsupportive. I am eating better but he thinks that is because of cholesterol and heart issues my mom has. He is eating better, he just doesn't know it. I hide the exercise from him, doing it after he goes to bed at night. It stinks to have to be sneaky but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. I don't like it that I am hiding this from him but I can't do it any other way. I know I can't hide it forever but my hope is that he will see the difference and will get on board. Report
My hubby is a lot more supportive of our healthy lifestyle than he was when I first decided that I wasn't eating all that healthy (and neither was he!) and wasn't doing much in the way of exercise. I didn't preach or nag at him about what he should or shouldn't eat or getting in exercise on a regular basis.

Instead, I chose to lead by example. I let him continue to try to ply me with food or give me reasons to skip my exercise, but in the end it was my decision to do what is right for me that determined the choices I make. If he offers me a bite of what he's snacking on, and I don't want to eat it, I simply say, "No, thanks, honey." Or if he wants me to skip my exercise for some reason that's important to him, I look for a middle ground that's acceptable to both of us--like maybe a shorter session with additional exercise time on the weekend. He has come to see the benefits of eating healthier and regular exercise because we don't have all the health problems that his siblings and their spouses have. And having seen the devastating effects of osteoporosis in my mom and in one of his clients, he now congratulates me on my completing an exercise session. He wants me to be able to do a lot of fishing with him and other adventurous things for a long time, and he knows that unless we keep working on staying healthy, it ain't gonna happen.

As for others around me, I don't let them dictate what's best for me. I do the same thing with them as I do with my hubby--lead by example, not by words. If they want to eat sweets and moan about their weight, I let them. But I don't let them "make choices" for me...after all, if I were driving my car, would I let someone else take the wheel while I was still in the driver's seat? I don't think so! So why should I let someone else "drive" my life? Report
Oh wow! This is SO a theme in my life right now - thank you for this article! It helps that these dilemmas are acknowledged. Report
I have this issue with my fiancé. I have been running for years on and off but just got into racing and am planning on running my 1st marathon in April. Before I would skip workouts if something came up. Now I make sure I work them in. I know he feels that I spend too much time working out and we have fought because of it. There was a time I was working out 2X a day 5 days a week but now I only work out 2X a day 2 days a week but run 6 days a week. I have tried to get him involved by asking if he wants to enter a few short races but he is NOT a runner. When I decided to sign up for my marathon I talked with him about it and explained the commitment level it would entail. He assured me he was ok with that. My hope is one day he will join in but I will settle with him being happy for me and supporting me. (Well some what, he still doesn’t go to my races but has stopped nagging me about my training) Report
At first, my hubby didn't seem to happy with the idea of me wanting to lose weight. I gained well over 40 pounds since we first started dating almost 3 years ago. When we met I was small and petite and loved to glide across the dance floor, now I feel like a rolly polly scooting if that across the dance floor. As I started trying to workout, my hubby would sit on the couch and laugh at me. He would tell me that I am beautiful no matter how much I weighed. But I listen to him talk about how his ex gained so much weight and I worry that he talks about me to his friends.

When we sit down for dinner, after I eat my first plate he is always trying to get me to eat more. He makes me feel guilty for not eating more. Then he will make fudge brownies with fudge icing, cookies, and so much other fattening foods. I think I made him upset last week when he made brownies and instead of eating them, I ate a hard boiled egg or the carrots for a snack.

I have finally told him that I am making this change for myself and not for him. I don't want to be fat. I want to be able to walk into my closet and pull out whatever I want and not worry about how it will look with the extra pudge.

Who cares what anybody else thinks, this is for me. Report
This hits very close to home for me. My SO was diagnosed with type II diabetes a few years ago and is on medication, but has not seen much reason to change his couch potato lifestyle. In the past year I have adopted a healthy lifestyle and he has benefited in some ways since I do all of the shopping and cooking. But not enough for him to lose weight or impact his health really. It has caused some friction between us when he wants to drive over to Dairy Queen for Blizzards or order pizza for dinner and I say no. I can't control what he does of course but he is not interested in ordering a pizza just for himself! I don't think it's intentional sabotage, he just wants to keep on mindlessly eating whatever and not caring about his health.

However, recently he has had to add a new medication and I think that has scared him into taking it seriously. I hope so, anyway. Report
Boy, does this one hit home. My dh often brings home goodies that will sabotage my good intentions--like the day he brought home 4 boxes of Krispy Kreme Donuts. Now I am worried about his health and try to get him active but he just can't keep up with me anymore. His knees are killing him and his weight does not help his situation. But I no longer will just stay home and veg---I get up and get moving---I want to enjoy my healthier lifestyle and feel like he is holding me back---so I go out with gfs to shop, etc. I am hoping he will get it soon--if not, he won't be around as his weight is seriously affecting his health. But like me, he has to realize that himself and decide for himself to get healthier. Report
When they complain about the time I spend on SparkPeople, I just laugh and say "Well, I could be sitting up at the neighborhood bar." (I often comment to them about all the cars that are at the BAR in the evening, and also at the BINGO Hall.) Report
I've been pretty fortunate with most people around me especially family who knew that it was important to improve my health. Friends, however, have been less helpful but after a time when I ignored negative comments no more was said. I never talk about diets to anyone unless someone asks and then I explain that it is a lifestyle, it takes time and it involves more than a diet, then I give them Spark People's web site. Report
I think I can put a little of all the comments into my comment. My husband is just winding down on harvest as we farm. The true test is yet to come. But....one thing is if the remote sits next to him he's very happy. Report
My guy is now talking marriage. He might be feeling a little insecure with my success, he witnessed a guy tryinig to pick me up at a Halloween party last week. I wasn't interested, but boy did it feel good. Report
My parents make fun of my everyday training. My friends are constantly on a diet and envy me because I still eat desserts and look better then they are. Sometimes I argue with my husband because my training schadule interferes with our plans. So what?! Life is not easy in general. And people around me are not suppose to like the things I like or to support me only because we are related.
Actually, the most true supporter in my life was my dog, not people. Report
It isn't really causing conflict, but I do notice myself getting a bit irritated when dh repeatedly tells me he really has to "do something" and proceeds to continue doing exactly what got him into this mess in the first place. He drinks a lot of beer, eats junk food nearly every day and does no exercise at all. The funny thing is that I spent years complaining about my own weight and vowing to "do something", so I should understand why he keeps talking but never does anything about it.

I won't go out on walks with him, though, because he is much taller than me and has really long legs and walks way faster than I can. I am either always straining to keep up, or more likely, I fall behind and he just charges along, so that I feel like I am out by myself anyway. Once in a while, he comes to the pool with me and splashes around while I work out. Report
My wife is not particularily supportive. Part of it is ideological. I see a low-fat vegan diet as the ideal while she thinks more along the lines of South Beach. We have read each other's books but we are both convinced that our "side" is the right one.

I feel like I have a pretty good balance. When I eat healthy I am pretty satesfied after meals without going over my calories. There are some foods that I avoid because they have so many calories but I still enjoy my meals. My wife often asks what if I get hit by a bus tomorow and I did all of this sacrifice for nothing. What she doesn't get is that I'm eating healthy so I can enjoy life more. Yes there is some fleeting pleasure from eating chocolate cheesecake but the pleasure from being healthier benefits you all the time.

Then there is the gym thing. My wife signed us up at the Y two years ago. A few months in I was the only one going. The beginning of this year I really did get too busy to go to the Y any more (selling and buying a house). Now she is pleading with me not to join the Y again. Since I go before work she worries that I don't get enough sleep. Going to the Y was originally her idea but now she is against it. Report
I can SO relate to the battle of iceburg vs romaine lettuce! We might be married to the same man! We are 33 yrs into our agreement to disagree now & then. The blessing of it all is that we have learned to see eye to eye on so much too. Now we try to challenge each other.

Yesterday I posed a 4:30am challenge to get to the gym before anyone else! It opened at 5am. He was really only walking in his sleep to the bathroom when I rolled over & posed the surprise challenge! We were not the first ones there (2 others beat us) but we stayed for a funtastic 90 minute boot camp of our own.

Last wk he caught me off guard one night. I wanted to walk after work & he wanted sit & veg in front of the TV. He finally asked "where are we going to walk to"? I assumed he knew our regular routine aroud the neighborhood for 1-2 miles, but said "wherever you wish". Little did I know we would be walking into town for our dinner & back!

He reminded me of something I said years ago: "Where you lead, I will follow & if you ever leave me, I am coming too"!

Thru thick & thin, we can only win by pushing each other out the door - morning and night!

For me the journey towards being healthier had to start from within; I had to build a better relationship with myself and then with food in general before I could do anything else. I had to lay the groundwork. It took a few years of self-introspection and learning self love from others far wiser than me. In June I took a big step and hired a personal trainer. She has been amazing and she's taught me a lot! Through all of this, I've had my wonderful bf. He's been very supportive for the most part. He has even been paying for half of my personal training sessions! Sometimes I get frustrated because he won't get off the couch and do stuff with me or he'll try to dish out larger serving sizes than I need, but then I remember that it's only because he has some portion distortion issues and motivation issues (like he only needs to lose *maybe* twenty pounds). We're getting a Wii for Christmas (it's already hiding in his closet!) and I'm hoping that motivates him to get off the couch. I lost my beloved soulmate to cancer when he was 49...my bf just turned 49 and I don't want to lose him and I'll do whatever I can to encourage him to be more active. Report
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOH yeah! Been there, done that!
My husband was 'sitting on the sidelines' watching me. I was eating healthier and walking every night. He tried walking with me but he complained that I was 'too fast'.
He really got upset one night about not having iceberg lettuce, that he didn't like the taste of the romaine to the point it was a screaming match and I ended up going to walmart and bought him iceberg lettuce, doritoes and many other unhealthy choices!
That was the night that I really lost it - I told him that FINE, I'd just go back to OLD habits and regain the 50 pounds that I'd lost and be lazy! He said, "No, you don't have to do that! This is the happiest I've ever seen you!" I replied, "If this is the happiest that you've seen me, then this is indeed sad." We'd been married for 24 years at that time.
The next day he came up behind me as I was making my coffee and put his arms around me and, for the first time in 24 years, apologized (!!!!) It was then that I suggested that we start going to the gym together and use the side-by-side treadmills, that way he could go at his pace and me at mine, and still be together.

No, it was NOT easy - Yes, you'll come up against these types of 'clashes'. The trick is to find what will WORK for your situation.
I know my significant other loves me -- he worries that I'm not "eating enough" so he buys foods that I am trying to avoid which he know I can't resist. Thanks for the article. Very appropriate. Report
I actually know this one really well. As supportive as my husband says he is at the same time he will whine because I get up early to exercise and that disrupts his sleep and makes me tired earlier so he can't watch tv with me all night. Also he is a junk food addict and complains because I ask him to keep his cookies/cake/crackers/candy/etc. at work instead of at home which I don't think is unreasonable! He wants to be supportive, but he sure acts a whole lot more comfortable and relaxed when I am slipping and not following all my healthy habits than when I am. And no, I don't try and change his ways, I made a feeble attempt at that a couple years ago and it went over like a lead balloon so I gave up. He just doesn't understand why I would want to sacrifice my tv and computer game time for exercising, cooking healthier (which takes longer) and sleeping earlier. Report
Oh the beer! My DH and I go out a lot. Monday night football is a big one and if I order water I get a ration of poo from everyone. I actually order a light beer and a water now just so they leave me alone. I thought peer pressure was a teenage thing! Report
Thanks for the article.
As time has gone on there has been increasing stress between myself and D-H. We do next to nothing together now. He has become a couch potatoe. This has left me feeling low. He says he wants to do more and yet does less. My feeling of loss grows. He supports my healthier lifestyle yet brings home stuff that I don't buy for myself to eat. Yes I have a never ending sweet tooth,exspeically chocolate.
Here recently I wonder if we as a couple will be able to go on as I will not stop choosing to more healthy. So I'm just very frustrated right now.
As far as talking we do less and less. This too has left us in a going nowhere state. It seems as though he is holding back so I end up dropping the converstaion. I guess you can call this a rant. Report
A year ago, I'd be complaining about my friends thinking I was nuts and trying to get me to splurge "just this once" every weekend. Now, they're all a little healthier. I've got my fiance and some of my good friends working out, and while no one's really eating "healthy", at least I find diet soda at pretty much everyone's house to mix my drink with.

I think a big thing is you have to learn how to incorporate your lifestyle with...well, normal life. Learning how to incorporate a night out with the girls or dinner out or attending a dinner party with your healthy lifestyle is KEY. I would not have stuck with this if I didn't do that.

My fiance was a little... curious as to why I wanted to keep going after I lost some of the weight - I just had to sit down and talk to him a couple times, telling him I wasn't doing it so I could get hot and leave him for some buff guy, I was doing it because I wanted to look good and feel good for me. Now he's learned to take his friends telling him how hot I am in a good way - as a compliment. Report
I've definitely had some adjustments to make in our family since losing my weight and then learning to maintain it. I've found that the change in my energy level and other people's comments about me are the most persuasive voices to my family about lifestyle changes. They do still have a hard time with some of the food I serve (healthy) but I have to admit that they have come around a lot and I also have backed off about being so militant about it. ;) You really have to learn how to give and take, and then expect it to take awhile. Not everyone is going to wholeheartedly embrace the lifestyle you've chosen! (but it does rub off a bit! ;) Report
I am so glad I came across this blog. When I began the journey to lose weight, my hubby had the attitude of 'yeah right...we'll see'. I wish i could say that i stood firm and true to healthy eating and did not give in to the temptation he would bring home...I didn't. He would see me eat one and tease me. But, he also saw me not give up even afterward and continue on. I would get better at making healthier food choices and more consistent about exercising (Thanks to SP & friends with the same goals as me).

He doesn't tease me anymore and even tells people how dedicated I am about losing weight. I think he saw my determination to change despite the 'falls' and it caused him to look at his own health. Though he still eats the same heavy foods, he has cut down on the portions and is now asking that we stock fruit at home instead of sweets. One night, he ate a large salad with grilled chicken (for a guy who's favorite vegetables are ketchup & fries and pickles on his Wendy's triple...this was an event).

Though I may not have been perfect...I am glad I did not give up.

I so needed this article!!! Report
sometimes i feel bad that i'm in better shape than my significant other. he used to be the more fit one, but now he can't keep up.

it's also frustrating when friends can't understand why you don't want to eat out / go drinking all the time. "just this once" is what caused me to be 20 pounds overweight. Report
After I decided to make the change in my life my boyfriend likes to torture me with his food. LOL He holds chocolate and pizza in my face, tells me how good it is but the thing is, it doesnt bother me. When I met him he was a size 34 now he is a size 40. When I got pregnant he did too lol and I think hes insecure which I can understand because its the same way I was feeling. I think if he wants to make the change himself he will if not I will love him no matter what. I am doing this change for me and I dont need anyone except for SP to help me along the way! Report
This is a great blog. I have challenges that are similar to a few others here.
My wife has no interest in exercise and does nothing to support my efforts. I can exercise as long as it takes no time from the family. With an exceptionally busy life and a long-hour job, this really limits my ability to run, ride bike, aerobics, weight train, etc.
I do the cooking and a healthy menu has been well received. I need to practice portion control and get away from the sweets. Report
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