Making Friends as an Adult

Think about how easy it was to make friends when we were younger. When we were in school, we had friends in our classes or on sports teams. They were readily available to us. For the most part, we were all progressing through similar stages in our lives as we went through school and college and transitioned into our careers. As we got older though, we moved into different stages of life at different times. Some people got married and now have kids. Some stayed single. Some went back to school or changed careers. Unlike when we were young, the older we get, the harder it can be to make friends.

 

By the time we’re in our 30’s and 40’s, we are pretty set in our ways. We spend most of our time at our jobs or with our families or partners. If you’re married and have kids, your partner and your kids have become your priority, which can make it even more difficult to make friends or keep close relationships with the ones you do have. You have less opportunities to make friends and much less time to spend with them.

 

Since we spend most of our day at work, we think this can be an easy place to make friends, but the truth is that can also be complicated. Let’s say you get close with a co-worker and you share too much of your personal life with them. Then you have a falling out and that can create a pretty awkward environment for all parties involved and could potentially have an effect on your work performance. While it’s good to have friends at work, we tend to keep these friendships more surface level to avoid any potential drama.

 

We might have friends from our past, from high school or college, people we met from past jobs or social groups, or friends we made while dating an ex. They are friends, but not people that you interact with every single day. They’re not people you have a deep and meaningful relationship with. So, we count them as friends, but would they be someone you would call if you really needed help? As our lives have changed over time, maybe these relationships have drifted, and these people are no longer considered close friends anymore.

 

Take a moment to think about your close friends. Not the peripheral friends I just mentioned, but your close friends. The ones you have a real connection to. The ones you can call in the middle of the night for help. The ones who support your story and your goals. Do you still have friends like this in your life? If so, where did you meet them? If not, why not?

 

Making friends as an adult doesn’t have to be hard.

 

The first thing you can do is set an intention to make friends. Friends aren’t just going to find you. You need to put the energy out into the universe and make an effort.

 

Pick a hobby or an interest that you wish you had more time for. Fitness is an easy one. Not only are you prioritizing your health by being physically active, but if you join a fitness community, you automatically have a built-in social network as well. The next step is to make sure you’re engaging with people in that community. Talk to people. Introduce yourself.

 

I get it. It can be so scary to put yourself out there. It feels unnatural to approach strangers as an adult looking for new friends. It can almost feel forced or fake or like we’re trying too hard. We also run the risk of being rejected in these interactions. If you don’t take that risk though, you’ll never be able to find and develop those real friendships.

 

Put down your phone and engage with your surroundings. This seems so obvious but think about it. How often do you go to a coffee shop or walk your dog and you’re glued to your phone? You need to engage with people in person! Put your phone away. Make eye contact. Smile at someone. Say hello. Engage with the people around you.

 

Don’t say no to anything social. Get out there! You’re not going to make friends sitting at home watching Netflix on the couch. When someone asks you to do something social, do it, even if it’s not something you would normally say yes to. Be open to new experiences and enjoy being present in the moment. You can also take the initiative to plan something social with people you know. Ask them to bring friends so you can make new connections.

 

It can also be helpful to take an inventory of your friends every now and then. Do your friends have your best interests in mind? Are they supporting you and giving you the space to grow? Are any of your friendships one-sided? Maybe you have a friend who is draining your energy and is always focused on the negative. If they’re not willing and able to change, maybe invest less time and energy in this friendship and invest more time in others.

 

Meaningful friendships where you can truly connect with another person and feel supported are so important to your happiness and success. Take some time to think about your current friendships. If they aren’t meeting your needs, use some of the strategies we talked about today to expand your social network and create better friendships.

 

Set an intention to make friends. Pick a hobby or activity that you’re interested in and engage in that community. Get off your phone and engage in your surroundings. Don’t say no to anything social. Foster positive relationships and invest less time in those friendships that are draining you.

 

Looking for a fitness community to join? Come check us out!

Breaking Bad Habits

Have you ever tried to break a bad habit? If you have, you know exactly how hard it can be. Life would be so much easier if we could just stop our bad habits, but unfortunately just stopping is way easier said than done and it doesn’t lead to a sustainable behavioral change.

 

The science of habit formation and behavioral change has come a long way. We have a much better idea of how our brains work and we can use this information to help us overcome our bad habits.

 

Take a moment to think about ALL of those little things you do on a daily basis with very little conscious thought or effort. When your alarm goes off in the morning, you roll over and turn it off, check your phone notifications, make your bed, brush your teeth, take a shower, get dressed, cook and eat breakfast, make your lunch, grab your keys, drive to work, and buy a coffee all before 8a. These activities become habits. We do them every day over and over until they become ingrained in our routine and we don’t even need to think about them. If we had to consciously think about every single action, we would be completely exhausted. These daily habits help us conserve our energy for more challenging tasks.

 

Unfortunately, the brain doesn’t differentiate between good and bad habits. All of our habits (both good and bad) are ingrained in our brain, ready to go on cue. When we think about our habits, we can think about them as 3 components: a trigger, a behavior, and a reward. Let’s say we have a habit of checking our phone first thing when we wake up. The trigger is waking up (most often to your alarm). The behavior is checking your phone. The reward is the good feeling we get when your notifications light up. For all of our habits, there will always be a trigger that prompts us to perform the behavior and then some sort of payoff or reward at the end.

 

The more we repeat this process of responding to a trigger, performing a behavior, and receiving a reward, the more we will continue with that habit. When you’re trying to break a bad habit, you have to remember that you’ve spent weeks, months, or years with this behavior that has become embedded in your programming.

 

In order to break a bad habit, we need to disrupt the loop! The first step is to become aware of the behavior and more importantly what is triggering that behavior. When you notice your bad habit, stop and ask yourself what triggered you to do it.

 

The next step is to make a choice to change. You have to take responsibility for your actions. In this step, it can be really helpful to reflect on WHY you want to break this habit. Think about the benefits if you do change your habit and the consequences if you don’t.

 

The next step is to make sure you’re not being exposed to the trigger. If your bad habit is eating cookies while watching TV at night, you can remove the chocolate from your house or you can do another activity at night other than watching TV. You won’t always be able to completely eliminate the trigger, but there are ways that you can reduce your exposure.

 

The next step is to replace the behavior. We are wired to do things that make us feel good. If our bad habit is resulting in a reward that brings good feelings, it can really override our willpower to change when we’re exposed to the trigger. In this case, we can try replacing the behavior with something else that will provide us with a similar reward.

 

You also want to get support. Having a network to support and hold you accountable can definitely help keep you on track. Tell a friend about your habit. Surround yourself with people who participate in the behaviors you want in your life.

 

Make sure to monitor and track your behaviors. Keeping a log of the days you complete your new habit can provide a visual reinforcement that you’re putting in the work. We use a habit tracker in our nutrition challenges. It’s a great daily reminder to stay on track and help you build the healthy habit into your lifestyle.

 

We’ve all heard the saying “old habits die hard.” While it can take time to break old habits, it can also take time to create new ones. Practice your new habit consistently until it becomes part of your everyday life. We’re looking for sustainable changes, behaviors that can free up your energy to feel good and live your life without the consequences of bad habits.

 

If you need help breaking bad habits and building healthy habits into your lifestyle, please reach out! I’d be happy to help work through these steps with you.

 

Stay Healthy!

-Coach Karen

Nutrition Talk: Beginner’s Guide to Meal Prepping

Have you ever finished up a long day at work and the LAST thing you want to do is figure out what to cook for dinner?
Have you ever gotten home to realize that you forgot to defrost the meat you were planning to cook?
If you can relate, this nutrition talk is for you!
Meal prepping for success is a MUST to reach your health and wellness goals, but it can be tough to figure out how to get started.
In this month’s free virtual nutrition talk, Coach Karen will share 5 easy steps to start meal prepping like a pro!

Nutrition Talk: Fueling for Performance

Have you ever started a workout and realized that you didn’t have enough gas in the tank to finish? Or you were in the middle of the workout and felt light-headed? Odds are that your nutrition played a role with that!
In this virtual nutrition talk, Coach Karen shares some simple tips to help you fuel your body for optimal performance, including some strategies for eating around your workouts.
Thank you to Vale Food Co. for sponsoring this talk. Vale is a Florida-based health food restaurant founded to provide convenient, quality, and nutritious food options.

Are you eating enough?

“I’m always hungry, but I’m not losing weight.”

“I eat healthy, I don’t understand why I’m not seeing results.”

“I’m so hungry at the end of the day, I can’t help but reach for those nighttime snacks.”

 

Have you heard the saying “calories in vs. calories out?” When we think of this in terms of weight loss, we think that by eating less than we’re burning, we’ll lose weight. And while this may be true for some, there’s much more that goes into this equation than just that.

 

We have what we call a resting metabolic rate. This is the calories required to keep you alive (your basic body functions) combined with the calories needed to support your daily non-training activities. If we are a bit more active, like we take the stairs at work or we take our dog for a long walk, that number will go up a little. Combine that with your intentional exercise calories and that is considered to be your ‘calories out’ part of the equation. If we’re looking to drop some body fat, we’ll have our ‘calories in’ be slightly lower than this number.

What typically happens though is that we see this equation and we think, ok, well I want to lose weight faster, so I’ll just create an even bigger calorie deficit. You end up eating WAY less and guess what? You don’t see any results.

 

So, what happened? Your body is very smart. It knows when it is not getting enough calories in to support its basic functions, so it slows down your metabolic rate to compensate. So instead of your resting metabolic rate being somewhere around 1200 calories, your body has adjusted its resting metabolic rate to somewhere around 900 calories.

Now you’re burning less calories overall AND to top it off you’re also hungry. You’re dealing with sleep and hormone issues and you’re not seeing results which can lead to some serious frustration.

Your body wants to stay in a safe space to support fat loss, and if it feels out of balance, it will adjust your metabolism to do so. So, while we do want a calorie deficit in order to lose weight, your calorie deficit needs to be appropriate to support metabolism and promote fat burning. We need to eat enough but not too much.

While calories in versus calories out is a basic principle in changing your body composition, it’s not as simple as it appears. The goal is to decrease your calories just ENOUGH to burn fat without causing changes in your metabolism.

 

When I start working with a nutrition client, one of the first things we do is get a baseline for their current nutrition habits. We walk through what a typical day looks like for food: how much they’re eating, what times they’re eating, and what food and liquids they’re consuming. Nine times out of ten, people are just not eating enough. It seems counterintuitive to us to eat MORE food to lose weight, but if you work with your body and fuel it properly, you can start to lose weight without having to be hungry and miserable. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather feel full and satisfied than hungry all the time.

Keep in mind that when you start to add in more food than you were used to eating, your body will need some time to adjust before seeing changes. It can be a few days or weeks to start seeing that fat loss. You’re also going to be eating more food and you’ll probably be feeling full for a while as your body is adjusting. If you’re someone who has been eating a lot of processed foods, which are not really nutrient dense, adjusting to more whole foods, which can be more filling, will definitely take some time.

 

If you’re guilty of eating less to lose weight and you’re tired of being hungry all the time and still not seeing the results you want, please reach out. At B3 Gym, we work with Registered Dietitians through Healthy Steps Nutrition to make sure you’re getting the right amount of food to get your metabolism in a safe space to help you burn fat.

 

Stay healthy,

Coach Karen

Nutrition Talk: Is Your Diet Failing You?

Missed our February Free Virtual Nutrition Talk? Check out the recording!

Are you sticking with the nutrition changes you committed to at the beginning of the year?!
If not, you’re not alone. Every year millions of people start their weight loss journey which inevitably ends with frustration at the lack of progress OR losing weight fast just to gain it right back!
In this free virtual nutrition talk, Coach Karen covers the top 3 reasons your diet failed you and share some tips on how you can take control of your health and see lasting results!

 

Don’t miss our next nutrition talk on March 6th at 11a on Fueling for Performance. Registered attendees will be entered into a drawing for a $20 gift card to Vale Food Co.!

Starting an Exercise Routine

 

Exercise has many benefits including stress relief, decreased fat storage, and improved mood. But let’s face it, if you aren’t already in an exercise routine, it can be really hard to start one. The reality is that a good workout isn’t easy and that can deter you from sticking with it!

The first thing you need to remember is WHY you want to exercise in the first place. We don’t mean the surface level version where you just want to look better. We are talking about that deep down reason you probably don’t want to share with too many people. This WHY is what will help you get on track and stay there.

The next thing you need to decide is what type of exercise you want to do. It should be something you enjoy.

So you know your WHY, you know your WHAT, now let’s talk about the 4 things you NEED to start an exercise routine.

#1 An Awesome Playlist

Believe it or not, music has a ton of benefits when working out. It can keep you motivated, improve your performance, provide a fun distraction and much more. This can be a great way to keep you on track and excited about working out. Take some time to create a playlist of songs that make you want to get up and dance. It really helps.

#2 A Positive Mindset

Ever heard the saying “fake it until you make it?” For some, that may be the approach for #2, and that’s okay! Having a positive mindset, including positive self-talk, is known to increase a person’s willingness to exercise.

Tell yourself things like:

  • “I am going to feel great when I finish this workout”

  • “I know this is hard, but I can do it!”

  • “I am so thankful my body is able and I am going to take advantage of that!”

#3 An Accountability Buddy

This is a biggie! There will be times that your WHY, the music, and your mindset just aren’t enough to make you get up and go exercise. We all experience that from time to time, but when starting an exercise routine it can occur a bit more often because it hasn’t become a habit yet.

So find that person that knows your WHY and is willing to put some pressure on you when you just don’t want to do it. Remember, you have to be willing to do the same for them!

#4 A Set Schedule

If you don’t make the time to exercise, then it most likely won’t happen. Sit down and take a good look at your schedule, then decide the optimal time to get in a good sweat.

For some, the optimal time is waking up a bit earlier to get it out of the way BEFORE life interrupts your plan. For others, maybe it looks like hitting up a gym on your way home so you don’t get sidetracked or discouraged from heading back out.

If you need help beginning an exercise routine, I can help! All you have to do is book a free intro to get started.

-Coach Karen

Do you have a support system?

At the beginning of the year, we have all of this renewed motivation and excitement about starting a new fitness program and dialing in our nutrition. We stay committed for a few weeks, we start seeing some progress, but then we hit a plateau, and the weight loss slows down or even stops.

Then what happens? We lose that initial motivation, and with no one holding us accountable, we start making excuses and the next thing we know, we’re back to a sedentary lifestyle.

We need a healthy lifestyle with sustainable habits and a support system around us that will help keep us on track.

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Thinking about those closest to you, are those five people having a positive or negative impact on your health and wellness goals?

One thing that I love about CrossFit and more specifically about B3 Gym is the community we’ve built. You’re instantly surrounded by people who accept you for who you are and are there to support you. If you’ve never been in a CrossFit class before, the last one to finish a workout always gets the loudest cheers. We make a point with our community to wait to start putting away our equipment until the last person finishes. We celebrate with each other when we finish a tough workout.

Inside the gym, we have an instant support system. Our coaches and other members provide a ton of support for one another, but thinking outside of the gym, how are your friends and family members impacting your health and fitness goals? When I start working with a new client on their nutrition, one of my first questions is about their support system at home. If you’ve living with someone, and especially if you are sharing the grocery shopping and cooking responsibilities, your partner or family member has to be on board if you want to achieve the results you’re looking for.

I started working with a nutrition client a few months ago and we had this exact conversation. They had mentioned that their partner was totally on board. After our initial consultation, my client shared their goals, all of the resources we went over and most importantly, their WHY with their partner. They worked together to come up with a grocery list, picked out some recipes and committed to cooking meals at home. Not only has my client lost weight, body fat, and inches, but their partner has also seen some incredible results!

If you don’t have the support at home, it IS possible to achieve your goals, but think about this scenario: you planned out your meals for the week, did some meal prep over the weekend and you have everything ready to for when you get home after a long day. You get home and your roommate or partner has ordered pizza and is having a beer and they ask you to join. What do you do? I think most of us would join in! But let’s say this scenario presents itself every single night. Maybe it’s not pizza, but they’re ordering out ALL of the time. It’s so hard to stay committed to a healthy diet when temptations are all around you.

It’s the same with your exercise program. You have a goal of getting to the gym 5 days a week. Your roommate or partner isn’t that into fitness. During the time you’ve blocked off on your calendar for your workout, your friend asks you to do something else instead. You miss your workout and think you’ll just make sure to get to it tomorrow. But then the same thing happens the next day and the next thing you know, you’re out of your routine and you haven’t been to the gym consistently in weeks.

If you have friends, family members, or a partner who is on board with your health and fitness goals, you get a built-in support system and accountability buddy, and that positive influence can go a long way to help you reach your goals.

Take some time to identify the five people that are the closest to you. Who do you spend the most time with? Do these people have a positive mindset, or do they tend to be more negative? Do they hold similar values as you? Will they support you and your goals? You are the average of those five people and if they are not a positive influence on you, they are preventing you from seeing the progress and results you want.

If you want to focus on your health, nutrition, and fitness goals this year, consider finding a gym community for support. Every gym is a little different, but each one has its own community and I encourage you, if you’re not already part of a fitness community, to go out and find one!

Connect with people, build relationships and reach your goals.

Navigating a Healthy Holiday

Holiday season is here and there’s no doubt that this time of year is the HARDEST time to make smart food choices. Temptations are everywhere. Office parties, family get-togethers, and seasonal events fill our schedules. The problem is that all of these gatherings involve food and our favorite holiday foods are just so good (and usually not the most nutritious).

We already have the normal holiday stresses of finances, family time, and lack of time and daylight. This year, we can add the continuing worry of a pandemic as the icing on the 2020 cake. I think we can all agree that we just can’t add anything else to our plates. This is a really common response when people talk about their health and wellness goals this time of year and this is also the reason that so many goals are put off until after the New Year.

So, let’s talk about how to take one thing OFF of your plate this season and help you reach your health goals. Let’s get rid of the stress around your food choices. Food should never be something that causes stress or anxiety. Simply put, it’s merely a lump of calories on a plate, some of it more nutritious than others. There is a way you can still enjoy all of your favorite seasonal treats and still work toward your goals (and no, this isn’t some gimmick or FAD diet).

You can accomplish this through a habit-based approach to your nutrition. When you focus on your habits surrounding food, rather than only the foods you’re eating (or not eating), you’re able to apply these habits to any situation you’re in.

To make sure you’re able to enjoy your holidays without stressing about your food choices, you need to start with a plan!

 

Tip #1: Eat close to your usual times to help stay on schedule. 

Try to stick with your regular schedule as much as possible. This is especially important for your eating schedule, but also for other routines such as sleep and physical activity. With a number of holiday gatherings coming up, it’s important to think about your goals. A few ideas include setting a goal for a specific number of times to exercise this month and setting a goal to drink water instead of alcohol. These two things can really help you manage the added stress of holiday gatherings.

You need to plan for some consistency during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. I often find that when my nutrition clients throw their entire routine out the window during the holidays, they tend to backtrack on their progress.

You can stick to your normal eating schedule by creating a plan for your day. If your holiday meal is served later than normal, eat a small snack at your usual mealtime and eat a little less when dinner is served.

 

Tip #2 If you’re invited to a party, offer to bring a healthy dish. 

One great option is a raw veggie platter paired with hummus or Greek yogurt dip. Veggie platters are an easy and obvious option, but there are also TONS of healthy holiday side dish options that are sure to be a hit. Plan ahead by practicing a few healthier alternatives to the classic holiday dishes we all love.

 

Tip #3 Don’t skip meals to save up for a feast. 

When we skip meals and snacks, we can become overly hungry, and way more likely to overeat. When we don’t pay attention to our hunger cues, we are more likely to ignore our fullness cues too. Do you skip breakfast to “save room” for your big meal later in the day? I have absolutely been guilty of this. When we finally make it to our meal, we’re starving, and we end up having multiple plates of food. Take a moment to think about how you feel after overeating. Do you feel good and satisfied? Or do you feel uncomfortable, groggy, tired, bloated?

The best strategy going to a holiday feast is to make a plan for consistency with your eating routine. Don’t arrive at holiday gatherings hungry. Start your day with a healthy, balanced breakfast, and drink water prior to your big holiday lunch or dinner. This may decrease the temptation to overindulge. Be mindful while you are eating. Enjoy each bite. Take time to digest your food before you decide if you’ll go back for seconds. Remember that it takes about 15 minutes for your brain to catch up to your stomach.

You also want to make sure that you’re keeping your holiday plate balanced. We’ve talked about the Plate method before. You want to make sure you are choosing healthy sources of protein, carbs, and fats. Aim to keep things colorful with a lot of different vegetables. Shoot to have half of your plate filled with vegetables, quarter of your plate your lean protein and the last quarter of your plate your starchy carbohydrate. Fill up on your veggies first!

 

Tip #4 If you have a holiday treat, enjoy it and move on.

Who doesn’t love a treat? I know I do, and the holidays come with SO many delicious sweet treats: pies, cookies, candies and cakes. The key here is not to overdo it. Decide which sweet treat you will enjoy, have it and then move on. It’s all in moderation y’all!

 

Lastly, let’s talk about alcohol consumption. Alcohol CAN be part of a healthy lifestyle if you enjoy drinking. Drinking often goes hand in hand with celebrations and holidays, and it pairs well with food.

If alcohol is consumed, it should be in moderation, up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men, and of course, only by adults of legal drinking age. If you choose to occasionally drink alcoholic beverages during the holiday season, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Choose alcoholic beverages with little added sugar. To avoid excess calories from alcoholic beverages, choose drinks with minimal added sugar. Wine, champagne, light beer, or spiked seltzer are great options for a lower sugar alcoholic beverage.
  2. Maintain boundaries for yourself with drinking. Think about setting up boundaries for yourself when it comes to drinking. You want to keep your relationship with alcohol healthy and manageable. Set a limit for 1-2 alcoholic beverages per drinking occasion.
  3. Drink water when you drink alcohol. A good rule of thumb is to drink one glass of water or seltzer water before each alcoholic beverage. Drinking alcohol can cause dehydration so we want to be sure to rehydrate. Drinking water in between alcoholic beverages can also help slow down the rate of consumption.
  4. Don’t drink alcohol on an empty stomach. Without any food in your stomach, alcohol is quickly absorbed into your bloodstream. This is because the food in your digestive tract helps to slow down the alcohol absorption rate. When you drink on an empty stomach alcohol’s effects are intensified. To avoid this, eat a balanced meal before or while enjoying your drink.

 

Diets are the WORST. They are easy to start and really difficult to maintain, especially during the holidays. Many of today’s diets, in addition to being very restrictive and unsustainable, don’t create lifelong habits. You don’t need a diet. You need a new way of thinking about nutrition and food. Don’t wait until after the holidays to start focusing on your fitness and nutrition goals. Learn how to navigate the holidays, while enjoying yourself AND staying on track with your health.

 

Enjoy your holidays, stay safe, and stay healthy!

Getting your partner on board!

You want to eat healthier and improve your fitness, but your partner doesn’t. How the heck do you navigate that without putting too much strain on your relationship?

Does this scenario sound familiar? You finish up your workout for the day, you’re at home chopping up some veggies and prepping to cook a healthy dinner, and you’re feeling super pumped about the awesome changes you’re making to your lifestyle. Then, your partner walks in and tells you they want pizza for dinner.

It can get tricky when you’re trying to get healthy, but your partner isn’t on the same page, especially if you live together. We spend so much time with our partners, and their diet and exercise habits can have a big effect on ours. When our partners are indulging in pizza and cakes and cookies, it can be really challenging to choose more nutrient-dense foods.

So, how can you stay on track with your nutrition and fitness goals and navigate a healthy relationship? It starts with communication, boundaries, and compromise.

Obviously getting your partner on board with your healthy habits will have huge advantages, the biggest one being that you automatically have an accountability buddy at home. But your partner doesn’t necessarily have to join you in order for you to be successful.

The first thing you can do is have an honest conversation about your health and fitness goals. It’s important to share why those goals are so important to you. Let them know what your plan is and talk about where they fit in your journey. Invite your partner to join you, but don’t expect them to do so. Even if you think they would benefit from joining you, your partner may not be ready to change their habits. Pushing them into something they really don’t want to do can create tension in your relationship. Acknowledge that this is their choice and accept that this is ok. Just because they’re not joining you doesn’t mean they can’t still be supportive.

Now that you’ve expressed your goals with your partner, you’ve opened up communication lines and you can start to work together when creating your grocery lists. What are foods they want? What are foods you want? Try to find a few healthy foods on your meal plan that you both want. Stay focused on developing your healthy habits, and you never know. Your new habits might start to rub off on your partner, especially as you start to see some awesome progress. And on that note, share your wins with your partner. Be sure to highlight how their support is helping you see progress towards your goals.

Establishing healthy boundaries can also help you stick to your plan. Designate a certain area of the house, maybe a certain drawer or area of the pantry, where your partner can stash things that you’re trying to avoid. If cookies and chips are out of sight and hard to reach, you’ll be less tempted to eat them. Remember that YOU are in control of your behaviors. You cannot always control your surroundings. If you decide to indulge in your partner’s food, you cannot blame them! You must own your own behaviors.

It can also be helpful to discuss expectations around grocery shopping and cooking. Will you each be cooking your own meals? Will your partner have the same meal as you when you’re eating together? Challenge your partner to work with you to find a healthy recipe that they might feel excited about. Continue to try new recipes and you might find that your partner actually enjoys some of these healthier meals with you.

Find new ways to enjoy your time together. A lot of couples spend time going out to dinner, ordering food in together, or watching TV with snacks. Try finding some other activities you can do together that doesn’t involve food, like going for a bike ride, working on a puzzle, or doing some home improvement projects.

Stay consistent with your plan. Remember that you and your partner both have an effect on each other. Just like you can be affected by their unhealthy habits, it can also go the other way and you can have a positive impact on them.

Changing your nutrition and fitness habits can be challenging enough on your own and trying to navigate all of these changes with a partner to consider can add an extra level. Make sure you’re communicating clearly, setting healthy boundaries, and working together.

Good luck to those of you out there making some positive changes and if you need help, please reach out!

-Coach Karen