When Your (Fitness) Lifestyle Is Different From Your Significant Other’s

I often hear questions that revolve around what to do when your significant other (SO) has a different diet/workout mentality than you do. I’m going to talk about my experience with this, and then you guys get to hear Stephen’s perspective! I thought it may be especially helpful to hear from him on this topic because while we both dedicate the same amount of time to the gym, he doesn’t count macros (a lot of questions I get are more so related to a SO not understanding or being supportive of “dieting” or counting macros).

I will start by saying, that just because your partner doesn’t necessarily make working out, or eating healthy and/or counting macros a priority like you do, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be together! Granted, when I started dating Stephen one of the nice things was that we were both very much on the same page about the importance of going to the gym and living a healthy lifestyle (and that did make things easier). However, as long as your SO is supportive of your decision to make your health a priority than I think it’s fine. After all, you guys aren’t going to be on the same page about everything! And maybe working out 6x a week just isn’t one of them 😉 However, depending on how much you value fitness and health, it may be a priority for you to have someone who feels the same way. I don’t want to get into giving a lot of relationship advice per se, but I will say that each person probably has a few “non-negotiables” that they want in their SO. That being said, if prioritizing health and fitness is one of them, then don’t feel bad about that. I’m just saying that if you’re happy in your relationship and your SO is supportive of your healthy lifestyle, then don’t sweat it.

What I do hear a lot though, is that someone’s SO is supportive of the gym and eating healthy, but they can’t understand the counting macros portion…that it’s just “too much.” Or I also hear, that while the SO doesn’t “disapprove” of counting macros or going to the gym, they don’t necessarily go out of their way to be supportive. For example, they know that you are eating lower carbs right now but they suggest going out for pizza or making pasta for dinner. Or, you’re on vacation and want to get in a workout, and they don’t opt to make time for you to do that.

So, what’s my advice when it comes to this. First let’s talk about the basics of a healthy lifestyle, like, working out. If you’re with someone that can’t understand why you value that, and can’t be supportive of it, well, for me, that would be hard. Fitness is such a big part of my life that if someone can’t be supportive of me making that a priority (not even them!), well, I don’t think I could be with them in the long term (and let’s be honest, you either breakup with someone or you marry them, so let’s not waste any time here 😉 ). If this is the case though, and it’s someone you really want to be with long term, I think that warrants a serious conversation about what your goals are. It’s okay to have different goals, but you need to have a SO who is supportive of yours. In regards to counting macros. I get that this is a little more “extreme” than getting in your daily workout. For me, while Stephen doesn’t count macros, he is like-minded when it comes to the gym, and knows that (almost all) fitness professionals count macros because they work. So yes, he does understand the mentality and reasoning behind it, but he is also supportive of me and what I  want (how many times can I say supportive in this blog, btw? LOL). And I honestly think that’s what it comes down to. If I was with someone who felt like counting macros was too extreme, I’d try to explain it in a way they could understand. Like, I know it might seem intense to weigh everything but counting macros is a scientifically proven way to help people reach their fitness goals. These goals are important to me, and I want to give this approach a try. I know in the beginning it will be more time consuming since I’ll be getting accustomed to what my body needs and the portions, but like anything, the more you do it the easier it gets. I would appreciate it if you could be supportive while I’m trying this out!” Okay, your conversation may not go exactly  like that haha, but you get the point! Try to help your SO understand why you’re doing what you’re doing, and hopefully they can be open minded and supportive.

Okay, now here’s Stephen’s perspective 🙂 

Hello all! I’m Stephen, Claire’s husband, and fellow gym enthusiast. I’m a firm believer that people change. The rate of change is different for everyone but we all change. It can be a gradual subtle change or you could wake up one day and the other person is pretty different. Health and fitness are categories that I’ve seen such changes cause that for people. We all know to some degree what we should and shouldn’t do when it comes to working out and eating but we all have our style.  The bigger the change it makes, the more important it seems to be. I guess you could say that for just about anything in life but since we’re stuck with these earthly bodies, we tend to take greater interest in it.

For anyone reading this, it’s no secret Claire is borderline militant with her macros and working out. I love it personally, and don’t mean to sound negative but it’s true. She’s committed and doesn’t make excuses and just gets it done. I support the shit out of her for it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve doubted, complained and criticized her decision for macros. I objectively understand the value of it. I mean, it works. Macros are calculated based off your body composition, activity level and what goal you want to hit whether it be getting buff or slimming down. But like many things, it’s easier said than done which led to my earlier statements about it. With that being said, I tried macros and failed. I even tried a couple months later and tapped out. I couldn’t get over the time it took and felt overwhelmed. Meanwhile, Claire is breezing around the kitchen like a fairy godmother whipping up her food perfectly measured with ease. Macros I’ve learned, are an art. An art I’m not willing to put the time in for.

I have nothing but excuses for why I didn’t stick it out. I still believe in macros and while I don’t do it, I think it’s great Claire does. I trust that she knows what she’s doing and try to help when she needs me. Is it a tad annoying when we’re making dinner and I have to weigh her food out, or that she basically becomes a nutrition guide paralegal when we’re at the store? A little bit. But that’s life. I have no illusions there are things I love she only goes along with because she loves me. It really comes down to how important it is to the other person (as long as it’s not harming them). For my friends that have SO’s that workout regularly and eat healthy while the other doesn’t, survives or fails because of the support. If I am honest with myself it’s because of my failure and lack of discipline with macros that I get annoyed with Claire and doing macros. I suspect when there’s jealousy and resentment toward the other person for eating healthy, working out regularly or counting macros it comes from recognizing our own lack of discipline and willpower. It’s a lot easier to bring people to our level then for us to get on theirs.

My advice for people curious of trying macros? Don’t be a whimp. Life is short and macros work. Be prepared for the learning curve and if it’s important to you, stick it out. People who don’t have the discipline call it obsessive. As to people in situations with SO’s not being understanding or just generally complainers/whiners/bitches/jealous, I would tell you the same thing for any disagreement. TALK IT OUT. Explain this change is something for the better and you want their support. Only a dipshit wouldn’t support a healthier change. Besides, if it’s not macros or fitness, chances are that same person will complain and drag you down for something else down the road. It’s your life and you should take control.

— Stephen


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