"How do I get my husband on board to eat healthy and exercise without making him feel bad or blaming him when I don’t eat healthy or exercise?"
Long term lasting change always starts with clarity, motivation and a swift kick, usually. The important thing, however, is where the kick comes from. It has to come from an internal drive, not from an exterior one. If you're TOLD to do something, you may choose to do it out of obligation, duty, a need to please another, out of fear of being punished; to punish yourself, or because you know you will get something back. Yet, If it’s YOUR decision to do something and it comes from your core strength of knowing what’s right; if that part of you stands up tall against any challenging force, then you will achieve change that lasts.
That said, why is it that so many people need to change, but don’t?
Change is a scary thing, for most. Change is new uncharted territory. It’s unfamiliar. The unknown is welcomed with open arms by the adventurers in life, but most of us are not so adventuresome. We find contentment even in what we don’t like, just because it comforts us. Negative comfort can be addictive. It takes you facing and overcoming this addictive behavior, bad habit or ingrained pattern to be free to be more; to have more; to experience more.
As I mentioned in the answer about anxiety (in Part 2), it comes down to your perspective. Making changes can be a chore, a sacrifice, terrifying and painful, OR…change can be a gift, exciting, thrilling and rewarding. Which way do you want to see change?
Change is a process. You must, first, be willing to be honest and embrace your truths as “what was”, and “what is” as this is your story. Then, you will move to see your truths as…“what no longer has to be” if you choose change, creating a new story for yourself. You can learn how to change your story to serve you, once you get honest. This often takes guidance and support at this juncture. Even coaches have coaches! You will dig deep, without getting stuck, to understand what truly drives you. If you do this, you will stop blaming your husband, you will take responsibility for your choices, and you’ll achieve so much more with great momentum.
To gain momentum in changing, we all need to ask ourselves key questions.
To name a few: Where does your passion come from? What do you want more of in your life? What do you want to get rid of, or let go of in your life? What is working and what isn't? What is your part? What can you control? What is your end goal to work for and achieve? What do you want most in your relationships; in your life; in your spiritually; in loving and being loved; in what you wish to create; and in your work?
We’re all so busy-busy, yet so few actually take time out to ask themselves these very important life changing questions. The ironic thing is that each and every person has within them the power to make their life “busy” with all the right things, but most blame anything but themselves for not having or experiencing what they want in life. To acquire success, to experience love, joy and true fulfillment every day, is up to you. It’s a “choice gift” you can give yourself. I know this because you can find examples of this all over the world, in every culture.
Living in happiness and fulfillment is not something that only the few privileged get to possess. In fact, there are many privileged people out there that live tortured lives every day. Success can be measured in many ways.
It’s my belief that those who choose to live in happiness, choose to love others and be loved, choose to be strong in their vulnerability, choose to consistently grow and contribute, are people who succeed in all areas of their life.
If living successfully, fulfilled and happy is a choice, what do you choose?
Back to your question of how do you basically get what you want and need without making your husband feel bad, or blaming him, if you don’t do what you need to do for yourself…
My short answer is: Focus on YOU. This does not mean you need to be self absorbed and selfish. It means make “you” a priority, too.
If you set a good example for your husband by honoring yourself and your health; if you are happier and more active, your husband’s actions may follow.
DO NOT, however, expect him to follow. If you do, you will set yourself up for disappointment. Remember he has to be internally driven to establish lasting change for himself. He may be inspired by your decisions and he may even start new things because of your role modeling but change is about growth. He has to want to grow for his own reasons. Help him find his reasons and he may choose to grow with you.
Without growth we die. I’m sure you can find some part of your life that has died due to lack of attention and growth. The wonderful reality about most areas of your life is that you can revive them as long as you're still breathing.
Another reality is, when you choose to grow and evolve, three things can happen as a result. 1) You’ll inspire yourself, others, your community and connections will thrive. 2) Others will be threatened by your growth and become defensive, pushing you to conform. 3) You’ll outgrow your environment and/or connections so you’ll seek out other opportunities for you to give and receive, while you let go of what no longer serves you.
I've observed this lack of growth so many times. Women, and men, often fail to recognize and communicate their own wants and needs. They keep living the same life but with new people. They look to others to fill a void or to fulfill them. They do not access their own strength to find fulfillment. Is this true for you?
Who are you? What are your strengths? List them. What key decisions have you made that prevent you from getting healthy and living life fully? Why do you need to make yourself feel bad, aside from making your husband feel bad? When you treat yourself badly, or anyone else, it's merely a mismanagement of your emotions. You're not honoring your true nature, or theirs.
Please don't misunderstand me, we all have triggers. It’s okay to NOT like someone’s actions or lack of action, but don't disrespect the person (including yourself) when you find yourself in this situation. People aren't bad; it’s the behaviors that can be bad for you. As you probably know, it’s the bad behaviors that dis-empower you; that keeps you feeling weak. It’s not the actual person. No one can make you feel anything. You choose to feel weak and incapable or you choose to feel strong and powerful.
A big problem for a lot of people is that when you don’t feel strong or feel that you can handle something, you look outside of yourself for strength. This kind of strength is short lived because you’re dependent upon another for strength. You'll get used to relying on others to make a decision, if you don't learn to rely on you.
If so-n-so says or does this, then I will say or do this; if I get their approval, then I know I am able to do this; if I see enough people do this, then I will allow myself to feel as though I am capable of doing this; these are all examples of how we set ourselves up to feel inadequate, controlled and disappointed.
This may be the case for you in making your food or exercise choices. You may base them on the choices your husband makes for himself. I know you have more power in you to make strong healthy decisions. You just have to tap into it.
You’ll get farther faster in your ability to see, set and achieve your goals, if you look outside of yourself for inspiration and guidance while you look inside for strength and empowerment.
I have this mantra that I created to help me when I needed to find more inner strength and I’ll share it with you. It’s simple, yet so powerful for me.
It is: Decide, Act, Believe.
Decide - Make a Decision! Decide to change something. Do not get caught up in the “HOW”, just decide. Decide why you want to change something. Decide what the change will mean to you. Decide what the change means to others. Decide what will happen if you don’t change.
Act - Take action! Your actions don't have to be perfect because they never will be, let being perfect go. You don't have to know all the steps to getting somewhere, it’s okay to live with some uncertainty. Stop getting ready to get ready! All you have to do is take one little action step at a time and then another. There are all kinds of people out there ready and willing to help you figure out what those action steps are, so look for help when you need it. Reaching out for help could be your “ACT” for the moment. My mentor once told me to Never leave the site of a goal without doing something to get you closer to achieving that goal. You can do anything if you just take action. So... Go out and be a do-er, not a try-er. DO LIFE!
Believe - Believing is something that trips people up all the time because it has to do with that five letter word T-R-U-S-T. When you believe in something, you have to put trust into you; into your actions; into your goals; into others; into the process; into your higher being whatever that may be; into the greater good. This is easily the single biggest issue that people deal with today, next to being honest. It's funny how they go hand in hand alongside each other. To believe is to truly let go and letting go can set you free. Free to be more, create more, live more, love more, give more, and receive more.
You needn't adopt my mantra. I only share this with you to show you how you do have the ability within you to create something that will work for you.
To read my answer regarding your question: "I had 3 OREOS last night. How do I not feel guilty or beat myself up the next day or 3 days...?"
Read the Q&A entry titled: "Eat The Cookies!"
BSG Event Answers For Healthy Woman Members
by CJ Harlan
© copyright 2014