When your spouse or significant other isn’t into fitness

Hi friends! How’s your day going so far? The Halloween bug is slowly taking over our house and I’m so excited to get up some holiday decor.

I spent last night drinking a glass of wine and painting pumpkins:

Pumpkins  1 of 1 2

(I have awesome plans for the last pumpkin.. just need to replen my puffy paint supply)

Funny story: Liv and I were walking through Target last week and checked out the dog Halloween costumes. I said, “Look, Livi, Bell could be a hot dog!” Apparently, she got a kick out of it because ever since, she’ll randomly say, “Bell-bell HOT DOG!”

Sorry, Bell. You may have to wear a hot dog costume on Halloween.

Bell 2

I also wanted to tell you guys about the shoes Reebok sent per our partnership: the new CrossFit Nano Speed. They are SUPER light, and feel like they propel you in a forward motion– just wearing them makes me want to run! They’re the first shoe designed for running-based cross training -awesome for my weight and cardio circuits- and I’ve been wearing them to teach bootcamps and Tabata classes. I especially love the bright, funky colors.

Crossfit speed  1 of 1

So, this weekend, I got a question in the comments section that I’ve been thinking about:

Kristina said,

“Just kind of curious…does the Pilot with his busy schedule make gym time? Is he as interested in health and fitness as you?

How do your perspectives affect one another? I’ve been in two previous relationships where the guy just didn’t share these passions and eventually things didnt work out…”

I replied, “He hasn’t until the past couple of weeks and started running again. We actually had to have a long talk about it… not because i wanted him to start teaching classes or anything crazy, but because i want him to live for a while”

and Jessica said, “This would make a great blog topic, my husband and I often struggle with this. He goes in spurts of working out and eating healthy. It can also be I motivating for me when he doesn’t exercise.”

The Pilot and I used to work out together all the time. When we first got married and were living in Fayetteville, he’d join me for a weights session or would be pumping iron while I took a class. This was also during a huge transition time with the squadron -we were all getting ready to move to Georgia and out of Pope- so his schedule was pretty low key. Then we moved to Georgia and that’s when his schedule changed dramatically. He was constantly going through flight upgrades, gearing up to deploy, or deployed. During his deployments, he worked out a lot since the gym was one of the few things to do there, but when he was at home, he was working like crazy without room for much else. He has an incredible ability to pick up where he left off, so he’d occasionally join me for long runs or weights sessions. Even if he hasn’t been running, he can easily do 8+ miles and has always rated “Excellent” on his PT tests.

The pattern has kind of continued from there, and it’s something we’ve talked about. I’ve seen how much of a stress reliever exercise is for him, and told him I wanted to keep him around for a while. He can defy nature in the sense that the man can eat a dozen donuts and get another chisel in his 6-pack abs, but on the inside, I was concerned about his heart health from rarely doing cardio. We’ve been doing family walks together, a fun race with Livi in the jogging stroller

5k  1 of 1 2

and trips to Sabino Canyon, but there’s something to be said about the endorphins and benefits from a consistent routine.

Then, out of the blue, he started training for a marathon with a group of guys from work. He still works long days, but we’ve been able to work it out with our schedules so that he can train while Livi and I hang out. The Pilot and I each ran 10 miles this weekend, and while it was on separate days, it still kind of felt like we were working out together. We could complain about our sore legs to each other 😉 It was kind of nice, too, because Livi and I spent Sunday morning at the market together and then the Pilot met us there for crepes.

I definitely feel like having an interest in fitness can be a great bonding experience for a couple, but I don’t think it’s totally necessary. Fitness is something I do for health, but it’s also one of my hobbies, as I really enjoy it. In the past, I dated guys that were really into fitness (bodybuilder-type dedication), and some who never set foot in a gym. In the end, the fate of my relationships had little to do with our hobbies. 

In your spouse or significant other into fitness? Have you had a relationship where your hobbies were entirely different?

What’s your favorite fitness date?

I think a hike and picnic is the perfect fitness date 🙂

Hope you have a wonderful night <3



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  1. Ashley @ Life and Fitness on October 1, 2013 at 8:47 am

    My boyfriend is the complete opposite of me and thinks working out is no fun. He hates typical workouts at the gym. So we do alot of exercise activities together. We walk our dogs everyday, go kayaking, ride bikes. So we stay active in different ways, but have fun doing things together at the same time.

  2. Katie on October 1, 2013 at 9:05 am

    What a great topic!

    My boyfriend of 5 years is not into fitness like I am. He wants to see immediate results, which ends up failing his attempts after the first time. I am currently going through yoga teacher training and he knows he is going to be my practice student over the next 9 months. I hope at the end of these 9 months he sees results in his strength and flexibility that will want him to do other forms of fitness. However, if he doesn’t want to, that’s OK with me. We both eat very healthfully, and he walks a lot at work, so I know he’s not sitting all day (which helps me feel better about his health). Would I love it if he went to a yoga class with me? Absolutely. But the fact that he doesn’t want to, doesn’t make me love him less. As long as he supports and encourages me in my hobbies (and he does), and I support and encourage him in his (and I do), that’s really all that matters in my book. 🙂

  3. Kristen on October 1, 2013 at 9:12 am

    I’m so glad this topic was finally brought up! My boyfriend of 2 years & I struggle with this quite often. I love health & fitness – Lifting over my lunch breaks, creating new healthy recipes – these are the things that I love & excite me! Of course, along with the “fun” aspect of it, I do focus on my health as well – which affects my eating habits. I focus on getting lean proteins, veggies, & complex carbs, & healthy fats throughout my meals – my boyfriend, however, could care less about anything health & fitness related. He eats whatever is most convienient for him & never has a second thought!
    I have tried politely to bring up the topic with him – not for physical reasons (because he is still rail thin) – but because I want him to be around for a long time (like you said with Pilot!). Still, he makes jokes that he’s an “old diesel engine” & “he’ll be fine”. It breaks my heart to see & hear this! I’m not asking that he LOVE health & fitness as a hobby, but I wish he would start taking it more seriously – It really is a matter of life & death in the long run.
    I once read a quote that said, “those who dont take the time to take care of themselves now, will be the ones who will have to make time to be sick later”. – I know this is a generalization & not true in all instances, but it really stuck with me! & how true it is!
    I know I can’t push him, but it breaks my heart that he doesn’t even TRY.
    Perhaps its a lack of understanding – Neither of our families are super health conscious, so when we visit, I usually make a point to bring a healthier dish. However, since his family lives in town, we tend to see them much more often… Most times they will just order pizza, or grab take out – in which case there are no semi-healthy or healthier options available. I don’t mind treating myself once in awhile, but I don’t think I should be forced to eat something 2-3 times a week that I’m not comfortable with. My boyfriend, on the other hand, feels like its rude & disrespectful. I still eat with the family, but bring my own items & put them on my plate – never complaining or commenting. To me, a holiday or sit down dinner would be different – but a casual come & go gathering where people are munching the whole time – shouldnt be a big deal & to him, it is. It’s caused alot of tension with our relationship as of late.

    I just hope that somehow through my example, he will make small changes over time.

  4. Alex @ Kenzie Life on October 1, 2013 at 9:12 am

    This was a really interesting post! I think sometimes being really passionate about hobbies can bring two people closer, but it can also be frustrating. I dated a guy from Boston for a few years and I completely dreaded baseball season because it meant that every day I was hearing about the Red Sox and listening to statistics that I didn’t understand. However, it ultimately turned out to be a good thing because now I’ve got a general knowledge of sports and a deep-rooted love for the Celtics, which has led to meeting a lot of other cool people!

  5. Ani on October 1, 2013 at 9:53 am

    I love this post!! Have just started blogging myself and was thinking about doing a post about working out with your other half. But to be honest I don’t think I could say it any better than you.

    My boyfriend and I have recently started working out together and I love it. I really keeps me motivated and love having him around. Like you, it also feels me with a sense of relief that he is keeping fit and it is most definitely a stress-buster for him – it has improved our relationship immensely. I do however get slightly annoyed sometimes at his ability to run just as far and fast as me when I have been training for the past year or so and he has only just started running – how is that fair?!

    Your blog is great and I really love reading it. If you would like to take a look at mine I would really appreciate some feedback (please bare in mind that it is new!!!)

  6. Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries on October 1, 2013 at 10:16 am

    This is a great post topic! I actually wrote about the same thing a few months ago. My husband and the Pilot sound too similar with their exercise habits. 🙂

  7. Kristy @ Kristy's Health Revolution on October 1, 2013 at 10:18 am

    My husband (we just got married Saturday, so I still smile really big and squeal with excitement when I say that) isn’t into fitness — at ALL. Overall, he’s in excellent health. He’s not overweight, he gets glowing reviews from his physician, but I still worry! Because fitness is such a large part of my life, I know the effects of not exercising, so I definitely worry. But, I know that nobody is going to do something that they are forced to do. So when he does express interest in working out (this happens once in a while), I encourage it and offer to do it with him. But he never really sticks with a regular exercise plan, so I just ask him to go for walks with me once in a while. He never says no to a walk with me and our dog, so at least he’s doing something.

  8. April on October 1, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Great post Gina! Ugh, my hubby and i struggle with this ALL the time:( The problem is, he thinks i am not supportive – but it is hard because i am kinda the ‘tough love’ person in that i believe if you really want to do something, you just do it. I am not one for excuses, and he is full of them, ha ha!

    It really is a struggle because he needs to lose weight – plus, like you said, more than losing weight, i want him to be HEALTHY and live a long life for me and our son. And i know he feels so much better when eating healthy and exercising, sigh.

    Any advice on a different approach i could take with him? It saddens me he doesn’t think i am supportive, but on the other hand i feel like i have done all i can, so it is ultimately up to the individual to make a change? You can lead a horse to water….

    Thanks sweetie!

    • Fitnessista on October 1, 2013 at 10:33 am

      hey april!
      it’s hard to see people you love who don’t take care of themselves. the thing is, they won’t make a change until they make the choice, no matter what you say. the best thing to do is lead by example (no preaching), and support them if and when they make the choice to be healthier.

      • Jenni on October 1, 2013 at 11:41 am

        I completely agree. My husband and I went through this recently. He never worked out, ate the exact opposite of healthy and loved to drink beer. And he HATED to work out.

        After about a year of marriage, he’s recently started to eat healthier and work out with me. I think education is a big player in this too. Once he realized what extra weight can do to his health and how being fit made him better at the activities he loves, it wasn’t as hard for him to limit beer to special occasions and say no to cookies.

        I’m sorry, I know this sucks! But just keep loving him as he is and encouraging him when he makes healthy choices!

        • April on October 1, 2013 at 2:02 pm

          Thank you so much Gina and Jenni, you both are encouraging, i appreciate it:) Note to self, no preaching, great advice!!!!!

  9. Lindsey on October 1, 2013 at 10:48 am

    My husband and I have been battling with this lately. I do Crossfit and run but he doesn’t really work out. We’ve started doing short runs together and I’m trying to convince him to sign up for a 5k. He complains about gaining weight and not being in shape and how his self confidence is low because of it but it’s really hard to get him to do anything about it! I don’t care if he’s gained weight, but I’d like to have him around for awhile!

  10. Julie on October 1, 2013 at 10:52 am

    I don’t often work out with friends on a normal basis. It’s a personal stress reliever. I do like to hike with friends though.

    • Kelly on October 10, 2013 at 3:05 pm

      I agree! While I would love for my boyfriend to be more active, I kind of like that it’s my “alone time” where I can decompress from my work day and relieve stress. I kind of like it that way!

  11. lululiveshealthy on October 1, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Love this post! I can definitely relate. I am way more into fitness than my boyfriend. He cant understand why I want to workout and eat clean. He works out during the week, but as soon as the weekends come he stops! And he eats junk food! It is pulling me down!
    I love to workout on the weekends and try to keep my meals clean. I especially love long runs on the weekend. He cant understand why I dont want to take a break and chill out. He doesnt understand that working out is my “break” and I would be miserable without it! Even on weekends!
    He also is in the military so part of his job is being fit (PT tests!). So taking a break on the weekends is like ‘not working’ for him. Also, I love to get up early on the weekends… and it is his chance to sleep in!

    How can I get him to respect my workouts and goals on the weekend? Ugh.

  12. Liz on October 1, 2013 at 11:22 am

    My DH is the athlete in our house. He has done tons of triathlons (including IronMan) and runs like the wind. He is very consistent and dedicated and works hard to fit in his training while also balancing a career and being an awesome dad. He motivates me 🙂 I have gone through times were I was less consistent with working out but we have now found a groove where we can each get time in to work out. We also both ran 10 miles this w/e on different days. Works out well as we each get alone time with our girls as well as alone time running and lots of family time the rest of the w/e. I do think it important to understand/respect each others hobbies if possible. It means a lot to my DH that I stay fit and can appreciate his accomplishments and vice versa.

  13. Sarah on October 1, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Fitness and exercise can be such a touchy subject with SOs. When I first started dating my boyfriend, he was super fit and athletic. Four years and two back surgeries later, we’ve completely switched places. I think he has a hard time being supportive of my time at the gym and other activities because until recently, he couldn’t do much. I can tell he wants to get back into it, but physical limitations are really messing with that. Now that he’s able to do more, he’s becoming more supportive again. I want him to be more active too – I’m glad we’re getting to a place where we can do things together again!

  14. Tracy on October 1, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    My husband is into fitness, although not as much as me….he does it more for health and because he should, not because he necessarily wants to. I recently talked him into trying a yoga class with me and he really liked it. Now he regularly goes with me once a week as he’s seen the benefits of practicing. Win!

  15. Ashley on October 1, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Someone I recently broke up with was not into fitness at all and it was sort of annoying to me because when he wanted to hang out but I wanted to go to the gym it felt like I had to choose between them. It stinks because there are so many ways to do workout dates like rock climbing, hiking (especially since I live in southern california), etc.

    • Kristina on October 1, 2013 at 2:23 pm

      I experienced this same thing with my ex. I hated having to skip workouts, pick and choose, and ruin my fitness schedule for the week. I teach spin classes and over three years i never could even get my ex to take a class!

      i also live in southern california…we need to find us some fit men!

  16. J on October 1, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    My now-ex was suuuuuuuuuuuuuper lazy when he wasn’t at work. His mindset was: flying the jet is exercise, I don’t want to do anything when I get home. Sometimes it was nice, like on days when it was cold and gross out and we could spend all day watching movies and snuggling, but mostly it was frustrating when he never wanted to do ANYTHING. Once I got him to go for a hike (read: easy walk) and he complained the whole way and then decided he wouldn’t do that again. There were a lot of things I loved about him, and this wasn’t what broke us up, but it was definitely hard in that I like being active, and he would absolutely NOT agree to participate in anything.

  17. Kristen on October 1, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    This post really hit home for me! My husband and I have been married for almost 11 years (!!) and when we first got together, he was in amazing shape because of the Marine Corps. He loved the structure of the workouts with his buddies and he would be the one to motivate me to workout. The problem was that he never really got the nutrition part of the equation–he’d run a 5 or 10K at a 6 minute mile pace, then come home and have beer and ramen noodles. Now that he’s out of the USMC and older, he’s less interested in exercise, still has the same attitude toward food, and is even MORE resistant to starting again because he’s so far away from where he started–probably 30 pounds overweight. Our schedules are more or less opposite each other, so there are only a few days a week when we could work out together, and he is just NOT interested. He sits on the couch for hours upon end. If I cook even slightly healthier meals, he stops for fast food on the way home. I’ve tried so many different things–begging, nagging, leaving him alone, focusing more on loving him where he’s at, giving him info on his health, etc., and absolutely nothing changes for more than a week or so. I know that people have to want to change themselves, but if anyone has suggestions, advice, or ideas, I’d LOVE to hear them.

  18. Carly @ Cooking With Carly on October 1, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    I’ve always been very grateful that my husband has the same passion for fitness and working out as I do. I can definitely see how it would be a potential problem for us if one day he just stopped working out. We motivate each other- if one of us is feeling lazy and the other really wants to hit the gym, we just say, “Suck it up! We’re going!” and by the time we’re done, the lazy one is always glad they did it.

    My favorite fitness date is taking a yoga class together 🙂

  19. Kelly on October 10, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    My boyfriend also works out in spurts. He will be very dedicated for a little while then he’ll just stop going all together. He tries to eat healthily most of the time, especially since I try to keep it healthy and we eat the same meals, well dinners anyway.

    I do find that when he is in workout mode, it motivates me a little more. I do love fitness though and definitely consider it one of my hobbies. We can both tell a difference if I take a night off from the gym on one of my usual gym days, I’m antsy and more irritable. He’s pretty laid back though so while I feel like I really benefit from consistent exercise and the endorphins, he’s can go without.

    Lately he has been in workout mode again because he’s getting ready for his next PRT and wants to get another excellent. I think he’s headed in the right direction and maybe it will stick a little longer this time 😉

  20. Megan on October 10, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    My boyfriend always talks about how much he used to go to the gym and has talked about “getting back to it” since we started dating and it’s extremely frustrating to hear him talk about it and about the weight he’s gained and his clothes that don’t fit, but do nothing. I’ve also tried a few tactics to address his laziness and the relationship weight he’s put on, but it’s a delicate topic.

    We’ve been dating for seven months and it took all of about two for me to get annoyed with myself for falling into relationship bliss and making unhealthy decisions – not making workouts as big a priority as I did when I was single, eating too much take out, staying up too late drinking. I realized it was my choice and not his, so I let him know I was going to be taking time to run and do yoga again along with cooking more and compromising on bedtime, and he for the most part understood but didn’t join me or use the same time to do his own workout.

    We did recently start playing tennis together and I dragged him to a Roadrunner Adventure run last week and he has said he’ll do both again, so it’s a start. I think it’s about finding activities he does enjoy rather than pressing him to do the activities I enjoy – although I really would like for him to try a 5K and a yoga class, just once! And likewise, I will try things he enjoys. Experiencing new things is part of what’s great about being in a relationship!

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