My dearest reader! I hope your weekend was legit magic and this week is finding you well.
Today’s missive covers one of the most common questions in my survey of potential topics:
“How do I handle a partner, spouse, or significant other that hates fitness and/or doesn’t support my fitness goals?”
Before we dig in, can I share something with you?
We recently did a survey of active MFF members to get more data on how we’re impacting their fitnessing. For instance, we learned that 94% of respondents (360/384) agreed with the statement “I have been more motivated to work out since joining MFF.”
And we love hearing this!
But as we all know, numbers only tell part of a story. So I thought it could be fun to share a small sampling of the subjective feedback.
Below is a sampling of real live humans who’ve joined MFF.
(And if you just want to get to today’s topic? You’re welcome to scroll on down. No hard feelings! :-))
If you’ve been even remotely considering trying out MFF, please give these a read. And then, if you’re ready to snag a taste of MFF…
Real Life Ninja Words!
“I’ve always had trouble waking up early as an adult, and now I have NO problem getting up for 7am class with MFF, because I look forward to it every morning. Now that is nothing short of a miracle.”
“My life is vastly and massively different and improved because of MFF. I can’t imagine where I’d be without it, but I don’t want to know!”
“You guys are pure magic and I’m eternally grateful for MFF for all the positive changes in my life regarding fitness and self image. Thank you!!!!!!”
“I lost 12 pounds or so and kept them off, and I have gotten noticeably stronger.”
“I have lost 16lbs and inches from my hips and waist since starting Homebody in October! I have only taken 2 weeks off from the program total and noticed in those weeks huge differences in my mood (aka I got really depressed those weeks) so Homebody has become so necessary for me during this time. I also have abs for the first time in my life! I love the accountability of the live classes and having actual people to interact with once a day. I love the trainers and the genuine, non-toxic vibes of the entire community.”
“Just that this place is magic. Body positivity, expertise, community, genuine care and affection, community, humor, accountability. That is some sweet secret sauce you guys have created.”
“As an adult I have always worked out consistently but the pandemic really stopped me in my tracks. I have noticed SO MANY AWESOME changes in my body since starting here, changes that I never really had with just jogging. This feels like a perfect solution for me – I can have a little bit of community, lots of encouragement and direction so I don’t have to figure shit out for myself and only push myself, and I don’t even need to leave my home! Lol.”
“I didn’t have any specific goals, per se, but from starting in Dec of 2019, to the Jan/Feb 2020 Snatched cycle, to HomeBody, I’m down like 25-30 pounds. I hit that weight in mid-2020 and have been maintaining ever since, which feels great. I know that I’ll likely have more muscle building goals when we are out of this Covid nonsense, but that’s definitely significant progress!”
“Since I started at MFF about 4 years ago, I have been consistently working out every week. That’s pretty much a miracle considering how inconsistent I had been about exercise prior to joining MFF. Also, I now work out because I love my body not because I don’t like the way it looks. That shift in thinking has been priceless – thank you!”
“I had slightly elevated cholesterol and blood pressure before I joined the clubhouse and HB. During my annual visit to my primary a few months ago, my doc was ecstatic and asked me what I was doing differently as my lab work showed notable reductions in BP and cholesterol. I told her I was now working out 5 days a week, every week without fail. Her response, “keep it up and we may be able to take you off or lower your medications for these conditions”. Now that’s great results and progress in my book!”
“I just love that I am part of a community and I am cared for and valued. I haven’t stuck with a workout program for this long ever. Thank you for being here!”
“The mantra “run your own race” is a real gift, especially because — as it is used at MFF — it used as a firm reminder to push yourself as hard as you can (in this moment, at your fitness level, etc)… I’ve been doing pretty intense strength training for 5+ years (powerlifting) and, though I’m not measuring and not sure how it happened, my arms have gotten bigger. So whatever you’re having us do is working…”
“This is the only gym ever where I’ve felt I belonged. It’s a remarkable feeling, and I’m very grateful.”
“I love the support and community I feel from everyone at MFF. The trainers are all fantastic. Great as coaches and motivators.”
“I LOVE MFF and all of the amazing coaches and folks behind the scenes who make this community so fabulous. Honestly, having this community has been one of the highlights of 2020. I honestly don’t know how the coaches manage to exude such positive and forceful energy without any feedback aside from the visual images of us in the square. I’m in awe of each of you. Thank-you!”
“I really hate fitness and find it hard to be motivated. Being an MFF member is the closest I have ever been to a consistent routine and “enjoying” workouts.”
“I have seen a difference in how my body looks. I have arm, back, shoulder and leg muscle definition that I never had before. I have not measured myself, but I can see a difference. I’ve also lost 6 pounds, putting me into the normal weight category. I have been trying to get there and maintain for a long time.”
“Y’all, I loved the Bowery clubhouse but I think Homebody is the best fitness thing in my life and one of the best things to come out of this pandemic for me. I think at this point I would continue to choose Homebody even if I could go back to a “real” gym tomorrow — I feel like this is the best of all worlds, at least for me specifically. Everyone around me does a variety of at-home workout stuff, but none of it sounds anywhere near as fun and I don’t look forward to any of it nearly as much. Y’all have done an amazing job making the pivot and leaning on your strengths to make the people and community here feel like the closest thing I have to a social life. Thank you.”
“Coming back to MFF through Homebody might have been the best thing I did during the entire pandemic. The classes are nearly the same as being in class and it’s so good to see the trainers and my fellow ninjas.”
Again, if you fancy a taste:
What To Do When Your Partner Isn’t Into Fitness
I want to start by saying there’s no rabbit to pull out of a magic hat here. This is a challenging issue, because we’re no longer dealing with your own behaviors. We’re also discussing another person.
This issue doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all solution, because all relationships are unique. All partnerships are made up of two individuals with their own values and goals.
However, there are definitely some frameworks that can help you navigate this terrain. Here are some strategies to use when your fitness goals seem to be in conflict with your relationship.
1. Have a direct conversation about why this matters to you.
Begin with mutual purpose. You both want a successful and supportive relationship. You both want to be the very best version of yourselves for the world, for your community, and for each other.
And even if your partner is not into fitness behaviors, I bet you’ll both agree that fitness outcomes would benefit the relationship. After all, fitness can contribute to higher levels of energy, increased emotional resilience, improved confidence, better long term health, slower aging, etc. etc.
Additionally, consider sharing the personal values that matter to you and that fuel your commitment to fitness.
While you may not get your partner to change their behaviors, by being clear on why this is so important to you, you’ll get more buy-in when you ask for support. Because they want the best for you and they’ll know exactly why this matters. When you share your heart, they’ll know this isn’t about you being overly picky about where you order takeout: it’s a reflection of your deepest values and personal commitments.
2. Be specific about the support you need.
Once you’ve clarified exactly why your fitness is so important to you, be clear on your asks. Specifically, identify:
- Where you can compromise
- What’s non-negotiable
For instance, maybe you’re willing to prepare different meals some (or most) of the time when at home. And maybe you decide that your partner’s love of a Saturday night dinner out is important enough to justify the splurge.
On the other hand, maybe there are certain snack items you can’t have in your home. Or perhaps your bedtime is a hard boundary for your well-being.
Ultimately, all relationships require some give and take. I’m certainly not suggesting you come with a bunch of ultimatums. But the clearer you are on exactly what you need, the easier it is to ask for it. And of course, it’s ok if this requires some trial and error. You may not know until you try stuff out and see how it feels. But the clearer you can identify the support you need, the more you’re setting up your relationship for success.
3) Invite your significant other to join in your fitnessing.
While your preferred forms of exercise may differ, the more you can include your S.O. in your fitness pursuits, the better.
After all, social support of fitness behaviors is one of the key foundations of succeeding with a vibrant, healthy lifestyle. Over the years, we’ve had many Ninjas sloooowly — sometimes over literally years — enroll their partner in drinking the unicorn fitness Kool-Aid.
The key thing here is respecting their autonomy. Your preferred fitness pursuits may not be to their taste, and that’s totally ok. In fact, they may just not be into fitness. Like… at ALL. If that’s not a dealbreaker for you and they’re willing to support your endeavors, that could be totally ok.
But if your partner is open to at least trying out whatever kind of fitness you love, you may both be surprised how well it works. And then you’ll have a fun new activity to do together!
If you’re reading this far into this love letter, I suspect your fitness is important to you. I bet you also care about your partner’s well-being and want them to live a long and healthy life. And I think that’s awesome.
My hope is you can try some of the tips above and get more buy-in for your fitness pursuits AND a more nourishing relationship!
P.S. Do you want more MFF in your life?
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