Are you someone who has made a New Year's Resolution that involves weight-loss, exercise, health, or fitness goals? Are you also someone's other half? Whether you are dating, engaged living together or married, your partner can be your best (or possibly worst) asset. If you want some help staying on track with your New Year's Resolutions, read on. You really do have the power to make 2012 your greatest year ever.
When I met my now fiancé in law school, I had no idea that our match made in heaven would be made even sweeter with our shared passion for health and fitness. Each of us brought unique elements to our couple-hood: I was a personal trainer and competitor; He was an internal medicine doctor and ex-hockey player. Yup, I guess you could say we go together like peas and carrots... but even we know it can be harder than you think to avoid "love chub."
My soon to be hubby and I went through our phase of wining and dining each other, while also finding little time (that we were willing to spend apart from each other) in order to hit the gym. Maybe all relationships need this phase, as I truly believe it offers the grand opportunity for intimacy and total acceptance -- especially with our own bodies. (Remember ladies, your man probably thinks more favorably about your body than you do -- take the hint). Even amongst its perks, this phase will inevitably run out, and either one or both of you will remember that you need to be healthy individuals in order to be a truly healthy couple. In our case, we began to focus on the health of my solo kidney (since it was just over a year post-donation) and started working out together. If you are like many of us who resolve to live healthier lives in 2012, here are my top tips for sticking to your resolution.
Make a Plan Together
So you have made a health or fitness related resolution this year... but have you actually taken the time to plan out your actions? It is much easier to stick to a plan than an oftentimes lofty goal. Sit down with your partner and outline the ways in which you will accomplish your resolutions together. Remember that when you have an accountability partner, you are more likely to succeed.
Focus on Enhancing, Not "Correcting"
While you certainly want to make some changes to your eating and fitness habits, remember that your relationship will be enhanced by these new changes. This is a chance for you and your partner to add fresh new ventures to your life -- not to make quick fixes. I strongly recommend that you throw positive thinking into the mix. Compliment each other on your successes daily, and remember to be supportive instead of critical. Trust me on this one -- you will find much more couple-hood bliss if you don't constantly nag on each other to uphold your individual resolutions.
A study from Indiana University found that married couples who worked out together exercised more often -- and were less likely to fall off the fitness wagon -- than married people who exercised alone. Busy schedules can make it hard to find the time to actually exercise with your partner, but you can still incorporate fitness dates into your lives even if you can't make it to the gym together. Take a dance class to burn the calories, or buy an annual park pass to get in touch with Mother Nature. Remember, there are plenty of ways that you and your partner can burn calories together at home -- sex is an amazing way to stay connected and to work up a sweat. Rather exercise together at home than join a gym? Invest in an at home fitness program that you can do together.
Man up Meal Time
There is something about meat, men, and grills that mix oh-so-yummy together. It's in their genes so let your man be the king of the grill. Getting guys to play grill master will get their attention when it comes to healthy meal planning. Plus, there is less work for you. Grilling is a great way to prepare meat since a lot of the fat just drips away. Add seasonal veggies packed in aluminum foil and splashed with lemon juice for a really succulent and healthy meal that men just LOVE helping with! You can also try having your man make chili with lean ground beef or turkey instead of full-fat ground round. Your guy won't have any trouble keeping his diet clean if he is involved in the process.
Remember to Grow -- Together
Sticking to a plan will not only help you both enhance your lives by becoming healthier individuals, but it will promote one of the most important aspects of a healthy relationship: growth. Couples can either grow together, or grow apart -- the choice is up to you. Allow your New Year's Resolutions to become a vehicle for the growth of your partnership; you may not always stick to everything you set out to do, but if are patient with yourself and your partner, you can surely stick out your health and fitness goals of 2012 -- together.