Partner Communication for Healthy Lifestyle Transformation

holding-hands Tips for Talking To Your Spouse Good Men Project

Photo credit: Flickr/RyanMcGinnis

Talking to our partners/spouses/family and friends about wanting to create a healthy lifestyle transformation can be difficult if we don’t have the right communication tools.

In my 20 years of consulting clients, communication about the desire to change is one of the top concerns for people, which is why I felt it was so important to address it as a topic for TheGoodMenProject.com, where I share both the top concerns I hear, and my solutions for how to make the conversation easier.

Here is a sample of the article:

“#1. My spouse wants me to lose weight, but complains about (and is frequently frustrated with) how irritable I am when I try to change my eating habits. 

Changing the body at the cellular level takes enormous amounts of energy and can cause a chemical rebalancing of hormones for both men and women. Withdrawal symptoms of irritability and crankiness are prone to happen as the body shifts its comfortable metabolism to a new healthy state. Sugary carb cravings, practicing self-discipline and changing perspectives on nutrition, impacts both the mind and body, and can definitely cause signs of emotional duress and frustration similar to detoxifying from a drug. When we are changing our body, and our daily lifestyle habits, we our changing our thought process at the same time & doing both simultaneously can be challenging. Spouses need to be understanding of the reality of “losing weight” for their partners, so they can manage the side effects and expectations of the process together as a team. Even if your spouse isn’t losing weight with you, talking about the process and potential “transformation effects” with a nutritionist before the plan begins as a couple, can really help with stress management for both you and your spouse, help navigate emotional breakdowns and prevent lots of potentially tearful arguments along the way.

What You Can Do Together:

Make an appointment with your nutritionist or lifestyle coach 3 weeks before you begin your plan, so that both of you have time to discuss the physical and emotional impact weight loss can have on a daily basis and create a reaction plan – things that you can do together to calm intense situations as they arise, such as; write down some supportive words and phrases you and your spouse can use to relay understanding in an escalating situation, a defined breathing routine that enables you both to calm down when you hit a breakdown, and/or personally being aware of your own behavior and calmly acknowledging it to your spouse, are all practical and positive preventative measures, that will put you both on the same page in reminding each other that you are a team!”

For more helpful hints on realistic conversation tips, just click 4 Tips to Get Your Partner on Board for a Healthy Lifestyle Change and start talking effectively for better understanding!

-Angela

 

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Angela Martindale