I think that is a very interesting question, because as fitness professionals we do need to have some awareness about the image we portray to our clients, or at professional events. However personally, I would not be concerned about how people may judge my spouse in relationship to me or my work. Only my spouse and I know the true details of our personal life, and if he were truly out of shape, it would really only be his our “our” concern. I think it would be a waste of energy to worry about what others are thinking and would prefer to put my best professional foot forward at the event and let that tell my story. The first part of you question, I find a bit more interesting in that my husband has a very high stress and time consuming job. Along with a busy family schedule, he has slowly drifted away from the healthy habits we had for so many years before kids and work took over. I find it very hard to influence him directly, but feel genuine concern for his long term health. In order not to put additional stress on him by nagging him or making him feel guilty, I try to do my part by introducing him to potential tennis partners because he love tennis, and cooking healthy meals that he can eat–in addition to the not so healthy choices he makes on the run. I also love and support him and try to be part of the solution. Not to change the nature of your question, because I find it an interesting topic for discussion, but I would also love to hear how other fitness professionals have been successful helping a spouse make healthier lifestyle choices in a compassionate way. Thanks for the great food for thought.
I don’t have a spouse, but hypothetically, I guess if that’s your spouse, you accept them as they are. I understand that we are looked upon to motivate people to gain better health, but sometimes, even the best motivators in the world, can’t get certain people to become “fit”. It’s ultimately up to your spouse to make the decision to change, if that’s what they want to do at all. As far as public perception of you as a fitness professional, that’s just something you are going to have to deal with for the time being. You don’t want to make your significant other feel insignificant by saying something like you are getting them in shape, or, they’ll start working out soon. It’s obviously a slippery slope, but sometimes you have to bite the bullet, and not worry about how it affects your potential clientele, and just love your spouse unconditionally:)
I’m still trying to learn how to deal with this myself. And I have to admit I am not very good at it! I find myself making comments that I shouldn’t and feel horrible after. But the truth is my spouse has asked me for the help, one of the reasons being she feels unfit around me and a lot of my friends who are also in the fitness industry.
So I’ve been doing my best to help her by training with her and guide her nutritionally without being too involved. But I know, as all fitness professionals know, you should probably never train your spouse. Its really like having one of your clients at home and you see everything they eat and when they don’t workout.
And then I either say something which never works or I keep my mouth shut and it eats me up inside! I want to see everyone succeed in being healthy and living a healthy lifestyle. Especially my partner and so it is very difficult situation!
You bring up a good question and I didn’t really even answer your question. ha. I think that yes it is difficult to be in front of a bunch of fit people when your partner is unfit. I know it shouldn’t matter but I’m a health freak so its difficult. 🙂
You make choices, your spouse makes choices. Ultimately the biggest choice is what do you want to do for you. You choose to be fit, and that is wonderful. If he/she decides that becoming fit is an attractive goal, he/she has a great teacher and role model. I would say not to be concerned about what other people think, but I know that’s not what it’s like in real life. Just try to be comfortable in the fact that you have made an incredibly good choice. It’s up to your spouse to decide whether or not to follow.