Thursday, June 21, 2012

When Support is Mixed

by Kris Pitcher

It's not uncommon for our loved ones to have mixed feelings about our success. As we change it's normal for the people around us to wonder how they fit into that change...or if they fit into it.

I seriously had to laugh though when my husband said he was going to miss hem...backside. I am fortunate that he loves my physique whether I am in my fully curvy off season body, or my lean and muscular contest body.

A few days after he confided in me, he said he was fine with it. I told him that was a good thing because I certainly couldn't take my big fatty butt up on stage. We laughed. But change is difficult.

I've known lots of women who have made lifestyle changes to incorporate exercise into their lives and their spouses or partners simply could not accept their success. Feelings of loss of control over a person leave those spouses wondering if their newly shaped wife will find someone else.

It's an unfortunate insecurity. It's a situation where the focus is misguided. The spouse/partner may feel left behind in the process. They may be wondering how they fit in to the new lifestyle. And they may not want to adopt the new eating and exercise lifestyle for themselves. So, where does that leave them?

Rather than supporting that person in their efforts the person who feels left behind becomes self-focused and sabotages. It's often a crucial turning point for people.

For us, it just means my butt will get smaller and my husband will have less of me to love and hug for a while. He's fine with that. It's kind of a requirement if I'm going to be a competitor. And it's OK to have mixed emotions about that. It's great to have someone who loves me in all my states of being. I consider myself very lucky.

Realizing the people around you might have those kinds of mixed emotions, or wonder how they fit in, or not really know how to support you is important for you. It's important for you to be aware and to be considerate of that. You can help them support you by comforting them. Let them know you are not changing, your body is changing.

Let them know you are not excluding them from your new activities, you are simply making your health a priority. Being able to do that is important to you and you hope they'll support you. Let them know that you don't expect them to eat chicken 5 times a day and join the gym with you, but that their health is also important and you hope it's important to them as well.

Communication is key for working through mixed emotions about support. It's key for creating the much needed support system we all need to be successful. And it's crucial for a successful partnership, marriage and happy family. Have a conversation if things have felt tense. Share what's important to you and laugh together!

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