Your spouse's role in your journey as a Fit Dad

One of the the hardest obstacles many men have to overcome when they commit to getting fit and healthy is when family members or close friends aren't supportive of the decisions and changes they are making.

It is especially painful when its your spouse.

I have seen it far too often. Be it jealousy, be it guilt over their own choices, be it ignorance, or whatever you want to call it, I have seen family members ridicule, poke fun at, mock, or flat-out get angry at another family member that made the decision to eat healthier, to workout and exercise, to get involved in activities that meant being active rather than sitting in front of a TV for hours.

Even when they know its being done to better themselves and their future.

I won't go into the deeper issues that may be at hand in a marriage when this behavior comes from a spouse; however, when a husband makes a decision to change his lifestyle and his wife is unsupportive — or vice-versa — it can essentially halt a fitness journey before it even begins and be devastating for the relationship.

Most of the time, it takes the form of passive-aggressive behavior, which in some circumstances can hurt worse than an outright confrontation because of the mean-spirited and devious nature of the attack from someone you care about.

It's inviting you to a family dinner and only serving fried and processed foods when they know you're sticking to meals made from fresh meat and vegetables. It's a Facebook post about “hating body shaming” a day after you posted a progress picture.

Being willing to set boundaries in your relationships is so important when those relationships become detrimental to you achieving your goals, even if it means a close friend or family member is the one getting the wall built in between you and them, if only for a short time while you focus on your progress.

When its your spouse, the stakes are far higher.

Having the support of your spouse in parenting and in fitness can be the most motivating, empowering, and energizing things. And its even better when you and your spouse can live out a fitness journey together.

I've gotta tell you, I have it so good, guys. My wife is not only unbelievably supportive of my fitness passion and career, but she's an active participant in it. We're both certified personal trainers, we love to work out together when we can, we both care about the food we put in our bodies, and we both want to help others accomplish their own fitness goals. (Check out her whole health-focused fitness site).

Here are some ways an aspiring Fit Dad — or any guy, for that matter — can get their partner or spouse to join them on their fitness journey, so that you can both reap the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle.

  1. Invite her to workout with you as something you can do together as a couple. Take turns coming up with that day's workout.
  2. Ask her to help you set goals and make a plan together
  3. Make it fun and discuss new workouts/exercises/foods you can both try together
  4. If you both are the competitive type, make a bet with each other centered on completing a task or reaching a goal. Make the prize one you both can enjoy
  5. Make a list together of the ways your lives and marriage would improve if you both were healthier
  6. Plan a trip or vacation for just the two of you
  7. Try a class or take a course together. Heck, look into getting some type of certification together like my wife and I did with our CPT course
  8. Celebrate each others' accomplishments with date nights and treat meals
  9. Plan a photoshoot together and work to look your very best for that day
  10. Learn together. Read the latest health and nutrition research and talk about it ... preferably with the TV off and the kids in bed
Michael AshfordComment