How my husband inspires me to stay fit and focused

Health and fitness professionals are now more focused on helping others find their happiness. With the new year, let us not only dwell on the material things we can give and receive, but also count our blessings and learn to appreciate the most important people in our lives, so we can realise true happiness and be more inspired to improve ourselves. And in that way, also give more.

To lose weight, to eat healthy and to exercise more, you need the correct dose of motivation and resources, such as appropriate knowledge and skills, professional guidance, supportive exercise buddies and access to exercise.

However, maintaining a healthy and fit lifestyle for the long term would also depend on your relationships with the most important people who affect your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellness.

Every aspect of wellness affects the other. But you cannot balance everything on your own; you need others to inspire you to carry on. The following are realizations that I would like to share on how an important person like my husband has affected my well-being.

We can reflect on how we can be instruments in inspiring our loved ones to stay fit and healthy, and to improve ourselves while achieving happiness and a sense of completeness. These are wellness gifts that money cannot buy.

Knowing the right words to say to show respect and concern. My husband will not nag me to work out or eat healthy because he trusts that I always take care of myself. He respects my decision to skip some workout sessions whenever I feel tired. And If I work out too long, he would not stop me, but gently remind me of the consequences of overexercising, so I slow down without feeling manipulated.

He will not stop me from eating my craving foods, like whenever I have my PMS (but he will still politely remind me about eating in moderation), so I do not feel deprived, and therefore there is no overeating.

To support and inspire

Physical and emotional presence to show understanding of wellness needs. A very strong willpower is not an assurance that we can complete our planned exercise routine for the week. Aside from our discipline, level of motivation and available resources, we need others to support and inspire us so we can effectively face the lifestyle challenges we encounter.

There are times when we feel more encouraged to work out with someone rather than working out alone. Whenever I request my husband to run with me, he always understands how his presence affects my motivation, especially when I am stressed. This type of support and understanding makes me feel physically and emotionally fulfilled.

Making an effort to listen and understand to help change negative thoughts into good feelings. Negative thoughts, such as feeling bad or fat and bloated, are very common with women. Usually, we just need someone to whom we can voice out our concerns, or get assurance that everything is okay.

My husband always makes some effort to understand women's issues by educating himself and talking to different people. His willingness to listen to me and give helpful advice can already make me feel good about myself; that gives me assurance that there's really nothing big to worry about. He makes me feel important, so I can easily turn negative thoughts and feelings into positive ones. He helps me keep a positive body image.

Focusing on the quality of life, and not only on the physical aspect, to promote overall personal growth. My husband is also a health professional, but is never obsessed with a perfect body; his focus is on the overall quality of life. He does not give too much praise when it comes to physical improvements like body composition, or how much I improved my runs. Instead, he always recognises my ability to balance my life-staying healthy by resting well, and eating and exercising in moderation so I can effectively focus on other areas of life like work, family, spirituality and personal space.

His focus on life balance has influenced me in sustaining a balanced lifestyle, while continuously striving to grow.

Valuing teamwork can strengthen the relationship and one's commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a challenge, and having someone to support us in our day-to-day battles will make a big difference. My husband values teamwork, and he knows and acts on his roles, like making sure we have enough stocks of vegetables, fruits, lean meat, seafoods, grains and healthy snacks at home. We take turns in preparing our healthy meals for the week.

To balance our life, he makes plans on how we can relax on weekends by treating ourselves to a massage, eating at favourite and new restaurants, and shopping for ourselves, while I make sure we commit to improving our spiritual growth together.

This type of teamwork and togetherness can satisfy our healthy lifestyle needs, lessen stress and give us true happiness. That's more than enough reason to stay healthy and fit every day and every year.