I don’t go into specifics much on this blog but I’ve eluded, in the past, about the fact that I’m somewhat of a lone gunman when it comes to fitness. My parents aren’t really interested, my brother and his wife are supportive, encouraging but busy running their own household to really want to do anything with me, let alone come out and support me.
Then there’s my poor hubby. He was on board at the beginning and still dabbles in running a bit but he’s a bit less than thrilled at the desires and ambitions I have for myself on this crazy fitness journey that I’m on. So much so that I have contemplated dialing it down or turning it off all together in order to make him happy.
This may sound a bit crazy but believe me when I say it’s not at all uncommon for people to give up their fitness ambitions due to lack of support or in order to please a significant other.
It should not have to be this way.
I’ve thought long and hard many a time about how to approach this very touchy subject and ultimately, I’ve decided that in this one area of my life, I have to put myself first. It’s not always easy and I know it can be very frustrating (not to mention time consuming and expensive) for my hubby to sit by and listen to me go on about health and fitness (I can’t help it…I’m passionate about it!) but it benefits my life in so many ways, for me to give it up would be detrimental to both my physical and mental health and I can’t compromise that. Instead here are some things I’ve done to help him understand my motivation and passion:
1. Give advance warning: Because I treat my workout plan as an appointment (meaning I schedule it into my day the way I would a doctor or dentist appointment to ensure that, that time is set aside to sweat), I can give advanced notice on it. I have my current running schedule/training plan out on the counter at all times so he knows when and how long I will be running that particular day. This ensure’s he’s not caught off guard and has even resulted in him asking “when are you going for your run today?”
2. Be flexible: Don’t let your routine trump all others. If you expect respect, you also have to give it. Be willing to switch up and accommodate others. Hubby is far less likely to be irritated or resentful of my fitness if I open the door for him to go for his runs, play golf with friends or enjoy some alone time without our kids driving him bonkers. It’s not always easy but it makes a world of difference.
3. Be vocal about how important fitness is to you: For many of us, fitness is our only way to de-stress, recharge and engage in non-destructive behaviours to deal with the every day situations that can wear us down. I know I am much better able to deal with temper tantrums, lack of sleep, being pulled in a million different directions at once when I’ve been able to workout. I am sure to let my hubby know this so that he can better understand why I do what I do, why it’s important to me and how it can benefit him as well. Lately, he’s remarked that I’m easy to be around when I’ve had some time to sweat the day away. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I still have a long ways to go to get him fully on board (currently we’re battling over my intense desire to get a gym membership and various races I want to run and that I reaaaaaaaaaaally want to train for a triathlon), but there has definitely been progress.
Your Turn: How do you handle any lack of support when it comes to meeting your fitness goals?