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By Courtenay R. Hall

Have your spouse's support and eat it, too.

As someone who has a close relationship with her spouse, it is hard to imagine not having his support while trying to embark on a healthier eating lifestyle. I am also someone who has struggled with my weight most of my life.

I know how hard it can be to try and start a healthier lifestyle. I know the ups, the downs and the frustrations that come along with trying to change years of bad habits. I also know what it is like to have the support of a spouse because mine has been with me through them all.

I do not think having support from the sidelines is enough for those ups and downs. I have been far more successful in my latest attempt to have a healthier lifestyle because my spouse has actually joined in with me this time. He is going through it, too, not supporting me from the sidelines.

I turned 30 last year and decided I wanted to live forever…ha ha. I knew that wasn't going to happen with the eating habits and not getting enough exercise I have carved out for myself. We have two young children and knew that we wanted to be here for them as long as we possibly could. It was time for us to change.

I won't say this made the change easier. It did make it last longer, and made it easier to pick myself up after I fell off the wagon for a few days. It's hard to try and eat healthier while your spouse is downing all those foods that you love and are used to eating. It kind of puts a divide between you both, your cooking dinner for yourself and they are eating what they want separately. Separate is not where you want to be when you are making hard decisions and trying to stick with them.

It is also great to be able to talk about your frustrations with someone who understands what you are feeling. The irritation that comes from wanting something and knowing it is not the best choice. The feeling of disappointment when stepping on that scale one week and seeing you haven't lost a pound. Him hugging me, telling me there is always next week, is a huge help to keep moving forward.

The constant support helps you stick with the hard choices longer. Through the ups and downs, having your spouse's support keeps you moving forward. When you don't think you can turn away from that cupcake at the birthday party, they are there to turn away with you.

I also find it easier to try new recipes when he wants to try them, too. Except with my husband it can be difficult. He does not like change, especially when it comes to his food. But knowing he is willing to try something different for me makes cooking those healthier recipes so much more fun and satisfying. His support through these lifestyle changes helps me realize that it is not going to happen overnight. It's going to take time to get into a new habit without falling constantly. And when we finally get to where we want to be, the end will be that much better because we made it together.

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