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Old 03-14-2005, 10:54 AM   #1
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Convincing someone else to work out

Alright, here's the deal. I work out 4 days/week and have been for about 9 months now after a good 5 or so years off and being fat and lazy. When I was younger I was in the weight room 3 days/week and after that I did Kung Fu 5 days/week 6-8 hrs/day. I'm no longer the picture of fitness I used to be, but I'm getting back there slowly (and strength-wise have overtaken my previous max in almost everything). I'm not one who understands not being willing to exercise or not wanting to. I can't comprehend getting up, looking in the mirror and thinking "well, yeah, I'm not looking so hot anymore and I feel like crap, but that's better than being hot and sweaty for an hour out of my day to do something about it." This makes it hard for me to be more creative than "get up off your lazy *** and come exercise with me."

Now, the person I want to go work out with me is my fiance'. Back when we met she used to exercise some, but not tons. As the years have passed she has stopped exercising, has little drive to do anything (including exercise), and is getting a bit flabby (note to self: make sure she never comes to this message board now). She's not fat, but is a bit flabby. I can deal with it, I don't really care outside of general health concerns, but she clearly is not happy with it and is embarassed by it. I have asked her to come join with me, offered to pay for it myself, etc. but she just doesn't want to do anything but go to work and sit around if she's not at work, no drive at all. Of course, I think the no drive and the getting out of shape and not feeling good about herself go hand in hand and are part of the same problem. I also, of course, firmly believe that if I can get her to start working out, things will get better. As she starts to feel better overall it'll give her more motivation and energy, and she starts to look better, more motivation and less embarassment again, etc.

Obviously, you can't force someone to do anything and if she just won't go, then there's not much I can do about it. Have any of you been in a similar situation, though? How did you convince them to go? If you got someone to go work out who didn't want to, did they stick with it and feel better about themselves or after a couple months did they decide it wasn't worth the effort and quit? If I'm real persistant I can probably get her to agree to go, if for no other reason than to get me to shut up, but I'm not especially thrilled with the idea of paying for a $55/month 1 year contract for someone who may only use 1 or 2 months of it although it's worth the risk to me as her health and happiness is far more important than my money.

 
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Old 03-14-2005, 11:30 AM   #2
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Re: Convincing someone else to work out

That's a really hard one (like wrangling cats, comes to mind). If they are just totally unwilling to go, you might have to accept that they are content to be the way they are, if not happy. The best thing you can do is just ask, every time you go, "You wanna come with me? C'mooooon, it'l be fuuuun..." or to voice health concerns once in a while. Trust me, I completely understand this. My SO had become more than flabby, terribly lazy, generally sickly, and picked up almost every unhealthy habit to boot. In your case, she knows how it feels to be in shape, but probably also knows how much the first week or two utterly sucks and keeps thinking that it's a whole lot easier to do nothing than to even start working out again. That's the excuse I got, anyway.
So we got bikes, and fortunately that was the kickstart to getting back into the gym with me. So maybe take up a sport? Play racquetball? Swimming? Anything to make the initial steps a bit easier and seem less like work. After a few weeks the constant fatigue fades, energy boosts and the endorphins are nice too.
The threat "I'm going to make you eat broccoli when you're on your second heart attack, have had a stroke, and are unable to feed yourself" was one of my favorites too. We'll just have to see how long this lasts. Good luck to you.
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Old 03-14-2005, 12:36 PM   #3
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Re: Convincing someone else to work out

Hm, this might not be so bad then. I've got my cats trained to go to "their room" more or less on command. A sport is a good idea... she's not really a sport person, but I can see what activities the gym has available, something may be not so sport-like and interest her and there is a pool there. There's also our honeymoon if we can ever get the wedding straight... she wants to go somewhere tropical and beach-like, which means swimming suits. I'm sure she'd be more comfortable if she actually felt good in her swimming suit, but that'll take some thinking and careful wording to not come out as "you're fat and need to stay fully clothed".

 
Old 03-14-2005, 12:50 PM   #4
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Re: Convincing someone else to work out

Well you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink it. Until she becomes bothered or disgusted about how SHE thinks she looks, there's not much you can do. I know when my husband and I started getting back in shape, there were many days he went to the gym without me. I was just too lazy. I finally got sick of my clothes not fitting and made a vow not to buy bigger ones. We are also going to Jamaica and I don't want to have to wear a tent dress the whole time I am there!
My husband has never said anything to me about my weight - Ever. I have never been huge or grossly overweight, but I gross myself out when I think I am too big. I am 5'5 and currently weigh 140 - I used to weigh 150.
I guess it's a personal decision and until she decides it's time, you are kinda stuck. You can encourage her to do sporty activities with you, but if she's not in the same "head space" as you are, you may not get her to do it.

 
Old 03-14-2005, 01:56 PM   #5
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Re: Convincing someone else to work out

Like susie said, not much you can do directly.
However, if you LEAD by EXAMPLE and whip yourself into shape in the next year or two she may get tired of people telling the two of you how good YOU look, while politely not mentioning your fiance! And her eyes will tell her that good results are possible and NICE!
If I were you I would never even bring up the subject again other than to say, "Honey, I'm going to the gym!"

Maybe the wedding dress from Lane Bryant will put the fear of God in her...and you?

Last edited by Lenin; 03-14-2005 at 01:59 PM.

 
Old 03-15-2005, 03:22 AM   #6
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Re: Convincing someone else to work out

Yes! I have have been there - actually going through it right now. And I am very happy and excited to say that my husband has worked out 2x in a week now. It has been a very long, dissapointing road, but I feel like I am finally getting some effort out of him. My biggest concern, obviously, is his health. He is about 50lbs overweight and the most frightening part for me is that his father died from cardiovascular disease in his mid-30s. My husband is 31.

I firmly believe what others have said - you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. My husband had to really want to do this. And I pray he sticks with it. I am doing everything I can think to keep him motivated. We are working out together, which makes it lots of fun.

Last edited by AmandaH; 03-15-2005 at 04:33 AM.

 
Old 03-15-2005, 06:36 AM   #7
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Re: Convincing someone else to work out

Or on the other hand, you can not try to convince her at all. That's what worked for me, believe it or not. Just start spending more time doing healthy activities alone (like going to the gym or going for a run) instead of doing unhealthy activities with her (like watching TV or dishing gossip over a bowl of chips). You'll start looking better and feeling more energy. She'll notice.

But it's not just the "looking better" part she'll notice. It's also the "time apart" part. That's time she used to spend with you. And she'll probably want to get that time back. Plus, if she's like my wife, she'll start to worry that if you get all "hot and sexy" (as she puts it) she'll have "competition."

THAT'S when you figure out a way to get her to come over to the gym "just once"... tell her you want to show her what you've been spending so much time doing. She'll see first hand how hard you are working... but she'll also see that there ARE attractive, healthy, "hot and sexy" women at the gym... and that time you used to share sitting on the couch with HER, you are now sharing on an ab bench with THEM.

Sure enough, she'll come around. And once she shows even a little bit of interest, that's when you have to "spring into action." Pick up some fitness magazines for her (Women's Health or Shape are good... stay away from anything where the women have more muscles than YOU do). Buy her some workout clothes (a "track suit" and a set of workout shorts/sports bra and some good sneakers). Talk to her about nutrition and go through your cabinets together, throwing away things you can AGREE you really don't need to have in the house. And then take her back to the gym, this time focusing on HER, showing her how to use the machines and giving her a lot of compliments on what she CAN do, even if it's only five minutes on a stationary bike or lifting five pounds of weights.

Oh yeah... after that first workout, go home and head straight to the bedroom. Or take a shower together. Tell her how great it made you feel to have her there at the gym with you, and how great it's going to be when you are both in better health and have "hot and sexy" bodies. She'll get the message. And I'll bet the next time you ask her to go to the gym, she'll be right there with you.
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Old 03-15-2005, 06:45 AM   #8
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Re: Convincing someone else to work out

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenin
Like susie said, not much you can do directly.
However, if you LEAD by EXAMPLE and whip yourself into shape in the next year or two she may get tired of people telling the two of you how good YOU look, while politely not mentioning your fiance! And her eyes will tell her that good results are possible and NICE!
If I were you I would never even bring up the subject again other than to say, "Honey, I'm going to the gym!"

Maybe the wedding dress from Lane Bryant will put the fear of God in her...and you?

HA! HA!
Yeah - The wedding dress from Lane Bryant would definately motivate me!

 
Old 03-15-2005, 02:28 PM   #9
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Re: Convincing someone else to work out

Quote:
Originally Posted by phillydude
Oh yeah... after that first workout, go home and head straight to the bedroom. Or take a shower together. Tell her how great it made you feel to have her there at the gym with you, and how great it's going to be when you are both in better health and have "hot and sexy" bodies. She'll get the message. And I'll bet the next time you ask her to go to the gym, she'll be right there with you.

Works for my husband...I think knowing what his reward would be is what got him back for the second workout!

 
Old 03-15-2005, 04:18 PM   #10
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Re: Convincing someone else to work out

Quote:
Originally Posted by phillydude
Oh yeah... after that first workout, go home and head straight to the bedroom. Or take a shower together. Tell her how great it made you feel to have her there at the gym with you, and how great it's going to be when you are both in better health and have "hot and sexy" bodies. She'll get the message. And I'll bet the next time you ask her to go to the gym, she'll be right there with you.
Ok........That's it!

Cindy........
Hey Cindy..................Read this!
Ok........ok.........ok?

Let's get to the gym!

--
John

 
Old 03-16-2005, 07:26 AM   #11
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Jimmy King HB User
Re: Convincing someone else to work out

Quote:
Originally Posted by phillydude
Or on the other hand, you can not try to convince her at all. That's what worked for me, believe it or not. Just start spending more time doing healthy activities alone (like going to the gym or going for a run) instead of doing unhealthy activities with her (like watching TV or dishing gossip over a bowl of chips). You'll start looking better and feeling more energy. She'll notice.

But it's not just the "looking better" part she'll notice. It's also the "time apart" part. That's time she used to spend with you. And she'll probably want to get that time back. Plus, if she's like my wife, she'll start to worry that if you get all "hot and sexy" (as she puts it) she'll have "competition."

THAT'S when you figure out a way to get her to come over to the gym "just once"... tell her you want to show her what you've been spending so much time doing. She'll see first hand how hard you are working... but she'll also see that there ARE attractive, healthy, "hot and sexy" women at the gym... and that time you used to share sitting on the couch with HER, you are now sharing on an ab bench with THEM.

Sure enough, she'll come around. And once she shows even a little bit of interest, that's when you have to "spring into action." Pick up some fitness magazines for her (Women's Health or Shape are good... stay away from anything where the women have more muscles than YOU do). Buy her some workout clothes (a "track suit" and a set of workout shorts/sports bra and some good sneakers). Talk to her about nutrition and go through your cabinets together, throwing away things you can AGREE you really don't need to have in the house. And then take her back to the gym, this time focusing on HER, showing her how to use the machines and giving her a lot of compliments on what she CAN do, even if it's only five minutes on a stationary bike or lifting five pounds of weights.

Oh yeah... after that first workout, go home and head straight to the bedroom. Or take a shower together. Tell her how great it made you feel to have her there at the gym with you, and how great it's going to be when you are both in better health and have "hot and sexy" bodies. She'll get the message. And I'll bet the next time you ask her to go to the gym, she'll be right there with you.
Yeah, I've been going 4 days/week for about 9 months now and I'm pretty sure she notices that and the results of it. Finding other healthy activities would definitely be nice, it's just tough. I'm an entry to mid-level IT contractor, which means I work for 3 months, then I'm unemployed for 2, then work for 9 then another month of unemployment. What that means is we live in a tiny ghetto apartment, no room for bikes and such and I'm definitely not leaving bikes outside in this neighborhood. There could be other sports, but I think biking is what would attract her the most. No competition, no learning curve, etc. Hopefully a house is in the works in the next year or so, though, bikes are possible then.

I talked to her about it some the other night. It seems she partially didn't want to go because she thought I just wanted any partner to workout with andnot really her specifically. I think I got that idea out of her head which seemed to make her more inclined to go, woohoo! I've also been trying to hint at other benefits, including more energy, looking better, increased sex drive (I'm a 25 year old male, I'm in my prime baby, keep up if you can and take any help you can get to do so). All benefits she technically knows, but I think reminding and bringing them to mind helps and seems to be slowly working.

 
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