-By Paige Johnson
Helping your significant other find ways to be healthy is not always easy. In fact, if you have reached a point where you’re worried about his or her well-being, it’s possible that he or she is already self-conscious about the choices made, and having a significant other bring it up will only lead to defensiveness or a confrontation.
Luckily, there are several ways you can help your loved one make better choices for his or her mind and body without being aggressive about it. It’s important to show your partner that you support and want him or her to be happy; this can go a long way in helping a loved one make the right move. Here are some of the best ways to get a significant person in your life on the right track.
Keep it simple
Instead of coming right out and saying you think your loved one needs to lose weight or quit smoking, start the conversation lightly. Tell him or her you’re thinking about making a lifestyle change of your own--such as taking on a new, healthy meal plan--and ask what he or she thinks about trying some new things. If you haven’t already, make your home a smoke-free zone, which will force your loved one to re-evaluate his or her habit. If he or she is on board with quitting, help along the way by providing sugar-free candy and fresh veggies to use in place of cigarettes, and do a thorough cleaning of the house to de-smoke everything.
Teamwork is key
Particularly where losing weight is concerned, teamwork is key. Help your partner see how much better he or she could feel by changing diet and exercise habits by doing it yourself, and encourage them along the way. Offer to go for a nightly run together or get a membership at the Y or a local gym with an indoor pool so that you can both swim year round. Or you might also create a date night that incorporates some activity.
If you feel like you aren’t making much headway when it comes to convincing your partner to make big changes, you can always get backup from a family doctor or dentist. For instance, hearing that being overweight can cause diabetes, which in turn can cause problems with the gums and teeth, might not have the same effect coming from you as it would coming from a medical professional.
Keep realistic expectations
Trying to force someone to do things your way almost never works, and often it only causes conflict. It’s important to keep realistic expectations and be patient with your loved one. You know this person better than almost anyone else, so consider finding ways for him or her to make changes on their own terms. For instance, instead of trying to convince a loved one to go to the gym with you, incorporate something they’ve always loved or always wanted to do, such as play baseball or learn to box. Help your significant person find classes or groups to join. We all have much more success when we’re doing something we love.
Paige Johnson enjoys writing about health and fitness for LearnFit.org.