Accountability Part 2—the role your immediate family plays


As we stated before, you are the main person responsible for your accountability and the individual who, in the end, determines if you are successful or not. That said, the people in your life can play a role in your success. Ideally, the person closest to you should play a vital role in helping you reach your goals.

For this writing, we want to consider immediate family as person with which you have regular contact and with whom you discuss goals, obstacles, etc. Obviously, this could be your significant other, kids, and other persons who live in the same house with you, but this also includes other people who don’t live in your home, but who you have frequent interactions with.

Family members as an obstacle

Before we get into the positive role immediate family can play, we want to touch on the negative role these people can play. It is not uncommon for someone in the same household as a trainee to not be on the same page regarding health and fitness. This can occur for many reasons, some of which we will list.

  • Other members of the household are not overweight or unfit and therefore do not see a need to focus on it

  • Other members of the household are overweight or unfit, but do not want to focus on health and fitness improvements

  • Other members of the household do not understand why the trainee wants to improve health and fitness

  • Other members of the household are intimidated by the trainee improving his or herself and consciously or unconsciously holds the other person back

At least some points may seem odd to you, and that is understandable. However, in our time working with others, these are some key issues that arise with clients and their family members.

Removing obstacles

The bulleted issues are obstacles but all can be addressed. Doing so may not be easy but is a necessary part of the process. While a trainee can be their own motivator and work toward his or her health and fitness goals without help of the immediate family, doing so can place a strain on relationships.

Other members of the household are not overweight or unfit and therefore do not see a need to focus on it

This is a relatively straight forward point to address, but one that can still be difficult to handle. When another member of the household does not see the point or understand the reason behind the trainees focus on health and fitness, communication is key. You need to talk with that person and help them understand why the focus is important to you.

How you do this depends on your goals. For example, if you have health issues you need to correct, you must explain to the other person(s) how focusing on health and fitness will help you become a healthier happier version of yourself. On the other hand, if your goal is more personal, such as a desire to look better or be fitter, you need to explain to the other individual(s) what these goals mean to you on a personal level. Again, the approach is based on you and your goals, but these are ideas.

Even with the explanation and discussion, other members of the household may struggle with the process. They may understand why you want to focus on your goals, but still have trouble helping you implement them. For example, you may want to eliminate or replace certain foods in the home, but these persons have a hard time with it. Again, communication is key and compromise will play a role.

Other members of the household are overweight or unfit, but do not want to focus on health and fitness improvements

This is like the last one, and the general approach is the same. However, it may be harder due to the other person wanting to eat and live as they always have. These persons may be very stuck in their ways and not want to change.

For example, we know an overweight out of shape couple in which one partner has diabetes. However, the other person refuses to accommodate certain nutritional changes, since they do not have diabetes (even though the changes would help that person with weight and health). When it comes to the issue of diabetes, this couple is at an impasse. This is a serious issue, as due to diabetes and other health concerns, one partner’s wellbeing, and potentially life in the not so distance future, is on the line.

This couple needs to have a serious talk and find a way to compromise. If you find yourself in a similar situation, you need to do the same with your family members.

Other members of the household do not understand why the trainee wants to improve health and fitness

This one is like the first one, and the general approach is the same. However, in this instance, the other party may not see the issue with the trainees health and fitness. They may think the person is “fine as they are,” which is great, but at the same time needs to be addressed. While the other party may love you exactly as you are, if you need/want to make a change, you must help them understand why and they have to be open to the idea.

Other members of the household are intimidated by the trainee improving his or herself and consciously or unconsciously hold the other person back

This point may seem odd, but it does happen. Sometimes people fear change or are jealous of a person’s motivation to change. These people have some level of insecurity and/or competitiveness and do not want to see someone “do better” than them.

For example, we know of a couple in which one partner told the other “I don’t want you to lose weight because I’m afraid you’ll leave me.” It sounds crazy, but it happens and speaks to the insecurity of the person who made the statement.

At the same time, we know a couple that used to run together. However, one partner is competitive and made the workouts competitive. While a little friendly competition can be beneficial and drive motivation, the competitiveness became too much, and the other partner refused to workout with the competitive partner, as the level of competitiveness made the workouts a negative experience.

These are serious issues that need to be addressed. While communication is key, as it was with the points above, the big issue here lies within the other individual. You can explain your reasoning and what the process means to you, but nothing will change until the other person addresses his or her insecurities/competitiveness.

Encouragement and love

The people close to you should exhibit love and encouragement to help you reach your goals. It will be unfair to expect them to be as focused on your goals as you, since they have their own things to think about, but they should support your efforts.

Talk with your partner, kids, or other family members to help them understand how they can help you be successful. The exact help they provide varies on your goals, but through conversation and compromise, the group of you can find ways to be successful together.

The support of immediate family members can make or break the success of the trainee. In a supportive group, the family members encourage the trainee, try to understand the reason behind the trainees desire for change, and do what they can to support the trainee. This support provides the positive reinforcement a trainee needs to be successful and ultimately leads to that success.

If you want to learn more about our services, visit the homepage for our site here: https://www.demetzonlinepersonaltraining.com/. We offer a variety of services for training and nutrition. Just visit the page, read the write-up, and visit the links to the service pages to learn more and sign-up.

Nathan DeMetz holds degrees in Exercise Science, Business Administration, and Information Technology as well as certifications in strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, and other areas. His credentials come from organizations such as Indiana Wesleyan University, Ivy Tech College, and the International Sports Sciences Association. Nathan has 17 years of personal and professional experience in the health and fitness world. He works with people from across the globe, including locations such as Kuwait, Australia, and the USA.

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