Trying to clean up our diets is hard enough without having to live with a partner who's idea of healthy eating is only eating the frosting on the cupcake. But for many of us, this is the reality. If you're reading this article, you've likely already tried to encourage them to join you in your crusade to a healthier diet. And when that failed, you probably pleaded with them to just stay out of the way of yours and, for the love of two-bite brownies, not make your transition to a leaner, cleaner body anymore difficult than it has to be. You've likely already tried asking them to stop bringing home sweets, or ordering late night 'za, or melting a brick of cheese over every single meal they make.
If you're reading this, it's safe to assume that your other half isn't being a big help right now. And that's okay, actually, because you don't need them to help you.
What you need is to help yourself.
We hear this complaint a lot: about a husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend or even kids not being as supportive as they could, and behind all the advice we could give you about talking to them, and explaining how much their support would really mean to you and how maybe it's something you could do together and how it would make both or all of you stronger, happier and healthier—and while all this is perfectly true—the most pressing truth is, you gotta be able to do you, without their support.
We lean on our friends and family for a lot, but no one can be everything to you. That's not fair to them, or to you. What you need to find is more confidence in yourself, and support elsewhere.
Support from Community
Before you download Tinder, understand we're not talking about that sort of support. Rather, get support from people who are on the same path as you. This support is the main reason why our BodyRock Insiders Group on Facebook is so busy. Doling out all the good vibes, our community gathers here to give one another advice, a high-five, a laugh and even a shoulder to cry on. Seriously: join it if you haven't. You'll never find a group of people more dedicated to supporting one another. These are the people you can call on when your boyfriend's just walked through the door with KFC on a Friday night and the finger lickin' good smell is making your tummy rumble and the zucchini pasta you planned is starting to look like too much damn work. Post on our page. You'll get the strength you need to start spiraling the hell out of the zucchini and say to hell with the Colonel.
And if you end up eating the fried chicken? We're there for you then, too. No judgement. Just love and a friendly reminder that success or failure is not the result of a single decision: but a collective of decisions over time.
Support from Pros
Also be sure to get support from professionals. A naturopath or dietician or nutritionist or even just buying a nutrition guide or cookbook created by trusted pros. We have a ton of books in store, and our latest—the Fast & Furiously Fit ebook—is already one of our bestsellers. Replete with 40+ recipes, including meals, snacks and desserts, this book shows you how to make healthier variations on many of your favourite foods—and you can get it now for 30% off when you use promo code FASTED30. So, next time your partner mentions going out for burgers, you'll be able to decline, knowing you can make your own delicious, juicy burger yourself.
Be There for You
And relying on yourself is what you need to learn how to do: take the power out of your partner's hands and put it in your own. Just because the person you live with is eating junk food doesn't mean you're obligated to. Their involvement in your dietary choices only extends as far as you allow it. You can say no thanks to the offer of take out tacos (or you can make your own that will taste much better anyway). But, to be able to say no, you're going to have to gain the confidence to stand on your own two feet; to know who you are and what you are capable of outside of your day-to-day relationship with your partner. Very likely, this realization of who you are, as an independent entity, will only start to materialize in when you are making strides in your new sphere: the Insider’s Group, while reading the ebook, while grocery shopping and filling your cart with fresh, whole, healthy foods.
We're not going to lie: making this transition can be hard because so much of our identity is wrapped up in who we are to others, and when you're not the person who will eat family sized frozen lasagna with your partner, finding out who you are can take awhile. And your partner may not like it. Not at first. But, when people truly love us, they are happy when they see us happy. Who knows? They might join you! If they don’t? That’s okay too—just don’t let them be your excuse for not living the life you want.
Hi Roxanne! I’m Hollay, BodyRock’s Content Manager and the person behind this article. (Also a nutrition specialist and personal trainer.) These are all valid concerns and I feel for you: the struggle is real. I think it all comes down to what was said in the article: feeling strong enough in your own decisions and committed enough to your goals not to give up or give in all the time. (Some of the time happens: we’re not perfect.) I go to innumerable events where people are eating and drinking things I don’t want to eat. So, I ALWAYS eat a healthy meal before I go (even if I decide to indulge, which isn’t often, I indulge less because I’m not starving.) Also, I am that person who brings my own food places. I bring enough for everyone, of course (good manners—thanks, Mom!), but I make sure I have something I love to keep me on track. Maybe what I bring is simply a lesser evil option (Sensible Solutions Cheese Puffs or Beanfield’s chips instead of the usual junk and Zevia soda or a bottle of kombucha instead of sugary drinks), but I give myself that comfort buffer, so I can keep my eyes on the prize. I hope this helps!
This is very real. My spouse and I are on the same page when it comes to food at home (loads of veggies, clean protein, etc); our biggest food challenge, however, is our friends. As a couple, we are definitely the outliers in terms of lifestyle. Our friends eat out for nearly every meal and any meals taken at home are pre-made or something along the lines of breakfast cereal, bagels, and frozen pizza (no, we aren’t in college anymore). Every get together with them must include food and my attempts to accommodate our differing needs blew up in my face. When I suggested potluck instead of take out, they brought junk food, and when I asked for no junk food next time, they said it took too much time pick up anything else. Every time we hangout with the them, I leave feeling physically gross and emotionally crushed because I’m not at the point where I can say no to foods. So I get stuck asking myself these questions over and over: Should I just stop seeing these friends? Is it a reasonable expectation to sit around a table playing board games and NOT dive into the bags of chips surrounding me? Is it my place to tell them they can’t bring that kind of stuff when it’s my turn to host? What other strategies are out there?