Overcoming a Fitness Or Nutrition Imbalance In Your Relationship
DO YOU HAVE A FITNESS OR NUTRITION IMBALANCE IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP? Is one partner more fit, active, or nutritious? After years of working in the fitness industry, our number one question from couples remains, “How can I get my partner to live a healthy lifestyle with me?” A fitness or nutrition imbalance adds stress to a relationship. Too often, making one person feel self-conscious, unappreciated, or jealous. Overcoming your fitness and nutrition imbalances will make both of you healthier and happier in the long term.
do you have a fitness or nutrition imbalance?
Our Imbalance With Fitness
Our relationship imbalance with fitness as a couple has been, fortunately, simple to overcome. While we have different interests and different goals, early in our relationship we figured out how to workout as a couple and meet our combined preferences. When fitness as a couple improved our health and relationship, we made it a non-negotiable to work out or be active together, every day. Although we’re not always physically together, we always check in and discuss our workout to stay accountable. Regarding workouts, we take turns picking which program we do, but we always talk about our fitness goals beforehand to find a plan that fits best.
Sometimes one of us needs to make a compromise to overcome a fitness imbalance in our relationship. A great benefit from this is that we make each other do workouts we wouldn’t have normally done. It’s what introduced Alex to her newest favorite, weightlifting, which was key for her pre-wedding transformation. We still have struggles during the workouts (usually from unsolicited advice on proper form) but overall, working out together has brought us closer. We have fun during the 30 minutes of exercise and it makes us ready to show up for life. Fitness together lets us know how hard we can each push each other during our active hobbies like skiing and backpacking.
Our Imbalance With Nutrition
The nutrition imbalances in our relationship have been harder to overcome and ever-changing. Alex, the vegetarian, brings a lot more vegetables into my day and we don’t often cook meat at home. This was a big transition for me but I’m extremely grateful for it. Lately, our biggest challenge is the fact that I need to eat twice as much as her (yes, literally twice, see our posts on what we eat here and here.)
Ever since we left our corporate jobs and are now together 100% of the time, it is too easy for Alex to snack whenever I snack. On top of all this, I feel guilty when I plate up dinner and dish myself twice as much as her portion. This was never a problem in Texas where we were apart. Now, it’s and imbalance in our relationship that we are working to overcome. But, recognizing it was a big step forward.
Read more: How to Manage Diets as a Couple
Now, Let’s Talk About You
This is our fitness and nutrition imbalance we’ve experienced in our relationship. However, a lot of couples we work with have a larger gap between their levels of fitness and nutrition. Many couples in The Duo Life Community have experienced the stress and friction that an imbalance can cause. We interviewed couples that have closed the gap, asking them what they’ve learned and what advice they would have for other couples with an imbalance.
steps to overcome an imbalance
It’s critical to have a two-sided conversation about the health goals for the family. The key is not to point fingers but to make the goals for the family as a whole. That way, everyone has to take responsibility. To overcome the imbalance in your relationship be specific, talk about intrinsic motivations, your why to live a healthy life together, and set goals together. Also, have these conversations often but always keep them positive.
To get started, try phrases like, “I have a lot of fun working out with you,” or, “I haven’t seen you all day, let’s cook something new and healthy together for dinner.” Just remember, actions speak louder than words so take a leadership role to show your better half that it’s important to you. Speaking of…
To overcome your fitness and nutrition imbalances, someone needs to step up and take the leadership role. Typically, I am the leader when it comes to fitness, even to the extent of kicking Alex out of bed to work out on time. Alex, on the other hand, tracks our nutrition. Play to each other’s strengths but know you can’t be strong all the time. Take turns when you need a break, but make sure there is always a leader. Delegate who will take on the role and give authority to do research and make necessary purchases.
If you’re the leader and you need some fitness advice to overcome your relationship imbalance, sign up for our free Couple’s Fitness Analysis.
We hear too often, “I’m fine. I go to the gym four days a week and invite my wife but she doesn’t join me.” Or, we hear, “My husband needs the help. I’m all good, I don’t eat junk food.” Well guess what, you don’t get to wipe your hands and walk away scot-free. Part of being a leader is compromise. You may be on Chapter 20 of your health journey but your spouse is only on Chapter 2. That can be both intimidating and overwhelming, especially if you make it look easy. It’s critical not to point fingers when addressing a fitness or nutrition imbalance in the relationship.
For the good of the whole family, dial it back, perhaps back to Chapter 5, and begin there, together. Yes, you may have to start an easier fitness routine. But, if it helps your spouse work out while still keeping your health goals in check, that’s a win. It’s your responsibility to ensure the whole family is progressing and, with time, everyone will get caught up.
This idea of ours, along with some examples from our community, was published in an article on Elephant Journal.
4. Duo It Together!
How could we not emphasize this one? The best way to overcome a fitness or nutrition imbalance in your relationship by working to better yourselves, together. There are huge benefits to working out as a couple. A longterm study in the UK showed that people working out together were twice as likely to experience weight loss. Also, when checked on two years later, 70% of those participants continued to be working out weekly. Their solo counterparts were only 25% as likely. Bottom line: whether for fitness or nutrition, doing it together improves your chance of success while creating more accountability, improving respect, building a bond, and increasing attraction.
Pro Tip: When you’re not physically together, you can follow the same workout routine/nutrition plan to feel connected. If one of you misses a few workouts while on a business trip or vacation, don’t make them catch up. Whoever is up front, just continue on with their calendar.
5. Take Action
If you are interested in tackling your relationship imbalance or improve your health as a couple, we are here to help right now. Here is our flagship program.
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- "Daily Duoables" to keep progress simple and easy
- Access to our exclusive Duo Life Community app to stay accountable for your fitness and nutrition
- Monthly guides to put it all together
We're willing to commit a year on you, are you ready to commit a year on you? Made for couples by couples.
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- Your Top Nutrition Questions, Answered
- Sign up for our free Couple’s Yoga Challenge
- Our Experiment: What’s The Best Cardio Workout?
- Marriage Advice For Newlyweds
- The Duo Life Secret To Lifelong Fitness
- Couples Who Work Together to Get Healthy Have More Success – Live Science – “Another way to be supportive is by suggesting a reward for meeting a goal. For example, a couple might agree that if they stick to a healthy diet for a whole week, they will treat themselves by going to a movie over the weekend, Wardle said.”
- 10 Habits of People in the Happiest Relationships – Huffington Post – “But when these couples are met with perpetual problems, even then they find the humor in their differences and work to find temporary compromises that enable them to continue appreciating their partner for who they are.”