Posted by Coach Wayne
on Nov 18, 2011 in Motivation
People are inherently resistant to change. With change comes fear of the unknown. This is something we need to remember when going through a transformation of our health and fitness, especially if our spouse / significant other is not doing it with us! It can be a serious cause of conflict and strife. In fact, I write this article because my wife encouraged me to, and we have a rock solid marriage. But the changes in my life over the past year and a half have led to a fair share of challenges in our marriage and it would be wise, looking back, to prepare all of you for those conflicts you will face.
Changing together, as a couple, is obviously the most ideal. If both individuals in a relationship embrace the change, it can be a very rewarding and incredible journey. But if one person is happy with the status quo (like my wife was) and one person wants to change (like I decided to), it will greatly change they dynamics of the relationship. Like my wife says, “When one person in a relationship changes, the relationship changes”. That’s important to remember.
As I decided to end my fat fluffy existence and finally take my health seriously, I didn’t even consider that it might adversely affect my wife. After all, she was always nagging me to eat healthier, to stop drinking pop, to stop eating candy, and to exercise. So what on earth would bother her about me actually doing what she had been asking me to do? Well, I didn’t consider her feelings and the fear of the unknown as I made such a radical shift in my priorities, my time, my schedule, my diet, and my routine. I really did become a different person. Anita will be the first to tell you it was all for the better, and the new me is healthier, loves life more, has more energy for her and the kids, and is passionate to help others … but that’s still a big change that must be handled delicately. I’m not the same husband she had 2 years ago! I would say I’m a better husband, but nonetheless I’m very different. And that doesn’t even take into account the coaching career that has exploded from this opportunity — introducing even more challenges we’ve had to navigate!!
I don’t say these things to discourage anyone who is beginning a lifestyle change or in the middle of a major transformation. By all means keep it up! But don’t assume that your spouse will support you every step of the way. Take their feelings into consideration, and be sure that you understand the emotional stress that they are going through.
My wife sat back and watched me workout during my entire Round 1 transformation. She didn’t start working out until part way through my second round. She was resistant. We had some heated discussions on several occasions about changes that were taking place in our family — from the dinner table choices to eating out, from early morning workout schedules to how involved I was with P90X message boards. From my perspective, I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t thrilled that I was becoming her Superman before her very eyes!! And from her perspective, she didn’t know why I felt a need to completely abandon the man she had loved for years to become someone else.
It got much easier as she embraced the workouts and nutrition during my second round. Instead of a point of conflict, it became a point of mutual encouragement to talk about our workouts, our health, and things we could do to set the right example for our kids. My wife is now almost — almost — as much of a Chalean Extreme junky as I am a P90X junkie! So that makes the exercise and nutrition talks fun now, where I used to dread them because we always fought about it.
However, now our biggest challenge is the coaching. I am passionate about coaching and helping others get results like I did. God has gifted me in this area and blessed me with this platform to do it. And I am so inspired to see others become their best. Anita is too, but she didn’t ask for this. She didn’t ask for her formerly chubby hubby to be the #1 coach in all of Beachbody. She didn’t ask to have her hubby on the P90X infomercial and to be the poster boy for Beachbody. She didn’t ask for a hubby who would be invited on trips around the world with the leadership from Beachbody — granted she’s invited on these amazing trips too, but it’s still a change she didn’t ask for. And as you might imagine, we have some tough discussions about Beachbody coaching and how it affects our family relationships. It’s a huge part of who I am now. I think it’s a GOOD thing, and if asked, Anita would say so too. But that doesn’t mean it all makes things flow smoothly. It doesn’t!
I’m not saying all of this to discourage anyone from making a change. Change (especially when it comes to getting on the right track with our health, fitness, and finances) is a GREAT thing! But I share these insights because those of us initiating the change need to be sensitive to the feelings of the people who are going to be affected by the transformations we go through. Whether it seems rational to us or not ISN’T the point! Helping them feel included, comfortable, and not threatened by our changes is our goal, and it takes a conscious effort.
I don’t have all the answers. But good communication and a commitment to strong relationships with those around you is key.
Keep bringing it gang!