Fitness & Relationships: How to keep the love alive

As I delve deeper into the world of fitness, I’m becoming more and more aware of relationships ending because of disconnects brought on by a new, or sometime just altered, fitness lifestyle.  Couples whom I thought of as “forever soul mates” slowly went from having like-minded goals to not knowing each other anymore.   Seeing relationships of those close to me (or in my circle) change so drastically made me question: How can things go from “forever” to “no more?”

After talking to several professionals in the fitness industry, I learned that it’s actually quite easy to move apart from your partner when personal interests change and well, temptations are abundant.  Happy hour plans slowly get replaced with workouts and weekends go from vacationing to weekends at fitness shows, competitions, photoshoots, or traveling for nutritional sponsors.  Slowly, new friends are made and new circles are joined, which if you’re not careful can leave your partner to feel left out and find a new passion of his/her own.

As much as the thought of this saddens me, I can see how a new focus or passion can alter a once unbreakable relationship.

Take for example my relationship.  Having met my husband in college (15 years ago) our lives have changed drastically over time.  Studying, partying, and spring break trips turned to home ownership, building a successful business, and plans of building a family.  Our free time spent wakeboarding and drinking with friends changed when I became focused on my fitness goals.  Our weekends turned from parties to workouts, grocery runs, and food prep.  Luckily, my husband saw my passion and supported me, but in order to not “stir the pot” I made sure the process was slow and made it a point to never force my new hobby on him.  Although he may beg to differ from time to time, (listen, he still likes a good hamburger and Stella draft – who doesn’t?) I’ve learned that creating fun activities that incorporate both our interests (me – fitness & food, him – cars & travel) has strengthened our relationship while making us become overall healthier and happier people.

Feeling like you can relate?   Don’t stress.  Here are some obstacles I’ve encountered and how I’ve managed to keep my marriage as solid as that set of 50’s on the dumbbell rack.

 

* Does your partner need some workout motivation?  Chances are, you have enough for both of you, so show a little love and plan some new, fun workouts that incorporate teamwork.  Making an effort to include your partner in your fitness lifestyle will make him/her not feel left out.

Here's me and David right after we finished the Las Vegas Rock & Roll Half Marathon.  Our reward...Tickets to the Beatles Show

Here’s me and David right after we finished the Las Vegas Rock & Roll Half Marathon. Our reward…Tickets to the Beatles Show

 

*Do you find it’s hard to eat clean when you see your partner indulging?  Try planning meals and prepping food for both of you.  My hubby loves waffles, cookies, chips…you name it!  To keep him on track and keep myself focused, I took on the role of cook.  What I cook, he eats and honestly, he loves it!  The new breakfast of champions in my house is Ezekiel toast with sugar-free jam, scrambled egg whites, fruit, and a protein shake.  Yummmm.  Something as small as taking the thought out of eating has left him less frustrated with my dietary restrictions and he’s getting in better shape himself!

Breakfast of Champions...my champion:)

Breakfast of Champions…my champion:)

 

*Love dining out?  WE DO!  Find restaurants where you can choose the healthy options you’re craving to stay on track.  If you tell your partner you don’t have an opinion on where to go (or let him/her choose) you have to be okay with the outcome.  A little reward here and there won’t hurt you.  Let the stress go and enjoy your time together.  After all, time is one thing you can’t get back.

 

This is one of our favorite healthy meals out!

This is one of our favorite healthy meals out!

*Do vacation plans scare you because you think you’ll fall off the fitness wagon?  Don’t stress – you can always plan active rest while on the go.  Say you’re partner wants to have some down time at the spa or just laying around the pool.  Grab a workout and join him/her when you’re done.  When we travel, my hubby generally has to spend a few hours every morning plugging away at work.  I take this opportunity to mix him a shake, order him a healthy breakfast, and go do me.  When we’re both done, the vacation day becomes “us time.”

 

Labor Day In Miami!

Labor Day In Miami!

*Do you worry your significant other is feeling threatened by new fitness friends or colleagues you may have?  Introducing your partner to your new crew can be all he/she needs.  My athlete team is huge, but I make it a point to always introduce my husband to teammates when the opportunity arises.  Conventions and events are so much less stressful and always more fun when he feels like he knows the people I’m around.   To some, this may sound silly, but I know this simple gesture would help me feel better if the tables were turned an my husband was constantly out-of-town working with so many beautiful and fit people.

Celebrating an amazing time at the Arnold Classic with new and old friends.

Celebrating an amazing time at the Arnold Classic with new and old friends.

 

*Don’t focus on your passion alone!  Throw your partner a bone and make plans doing what he/she is passionate about too.   Since my husband loves cars, I make sure we’re involved in fun charity car events or plan long “drives” with friends.  Sometimes the smallest things, like going for a sunset cruise with him that has the greatest impact.

Cruise for Kids Charity Car Event  - so fun!

Cruise for Kids Charity Car Event – so fun!

 

Fox Sport dodgeball team killing it for a good cause.  Go team!

Fox Sport dodgeball team killing it for a good cause. Go team!

 

 

 

1 Comment

  • Awesome blog!! Getting back on the competition wagon I jumped off because I wanted to focus more time on my boyfriend and I. Now that things are smooth and steady sailing he encouraged me to try again but I was concerned how to incorporate him into the lifestyle I’ll be taking on. Great pointers!!

    Reply

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