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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Dremer03's Avatar
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    Jun 2009

    Inspiring someone to ride and get fit?

    First off I am a big guy, 5' 11" 235 pounds size 38 waist. I have been bigger I have been smaller it has been a struggle but I try. I have been trying to motivate my severally over weight Girlfriend to get up and get moving. I bought her nice Adidas athletic shoes so she can have nice comfy on walks...didn't work, the shoes never move from where I put them. I constantly ask her to go for walks or a bike ride and she would just rather sit and watch a movie and be inactive. She has a decent bike good enough to ride a trail and overkill for the street. It is a little old but it works fine, I even tuned it up. How can I motivate someone who doesn't seem to want to self motivate?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: cdeftekar's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    Unfortunately, I feel she has to want to change her life.

    I used to smoke and I tried many times to quit but never could... until I actually wanted to. Once I was truly determined to quit I did with ease.

    I am not in the greatest shape either. 5'9'' 190.
    I am very conscious of calorie intake and the need to stay active. I still have willpower breakdowns with the tasty things in life, but at least I try to offset it with activity so at least I maintain rather than gain.
    So much of my problem was lack of education. My family ate poorly and the biggest problem was soda. It was always in the house and we drank it for just about every meal and whenever we were thirsty. I had no idea how bad it was for my waist and teeth.

    I finally started to look into what it was that was wrong with my habits and figured out a lot of places to fix myself. I wanted to.

    My sister, on the other hand, is very large (weights a lot more than I and is a few inches shorter). She just does not seem to care. She has a lot of misconceptions about nutrition and exercise. And while she does go to the gym I do not know how often she goes, how long she works out, or at what intensity.

    Basically your girlfriend will need to look into the mirror and want to change. And finding that desire is sometimes the hard part because you immediately think about how hard it is going to be.
    You can always just push push push until she breaks!

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    I agree that she has to want to change in order for it to really work, but a couple of suggestions that come to mind...

    Start small...See if she will take a short walk with you and tell her that its going to be short...say 5 minutes to start with. If she is really out of shape it may be overwhelming to get started. I feel that way sometimes...I love to hike but going to the mountain just seems too much so I stay home. But a walk around the block with a friend...That's different.

    Go fun...Is there someplace fun you could go to walk...The beach, a downtown area, the mall? Depending on what she is into someplace fun may help motivate her to get out and do something.

    Be Social...If you get her to go, spend the time talking about something she likes. Don't go someplace you can't talk or bike someplace that is single file at first pick a place were you can enjoy each others company. I used to walk about 5 miles a night planning a vacation with my sister and because we were talking through the vacation it didn't seem bad at all.

    Reward...It may sound counter intuitive to getting healthier but sometime a reward such as walking to the store to get ice cream can work. Are you going to eliminate all the calories of the ice cream...Probably not (unless the store is a ways away) but as a start to beginning exercising it might make it easier and then you might find that she is willing to go without the reward down the road.

    Just some thoughts that help me. Good luck!!

  4. #4
    mtbr member
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    Jul 2008
    It might help to get a couple of her friends on board. I kind of went through what you're going through with my wife after she had my son. I tried everything to get her to work out with me to help her drop the baby weight but she always made excuses. However, if one of her girlfriends ever suggested that they walk or go to the gym she would break her neck to go. I guess it's a female thing since they can get away and talk about whatever women talk about when there are not guys around. I don't know how much working out they ever actually did but eventually she started getting her figure back.

    Absent of that, I'd say bribe her.
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  5. #5
    turtles make me hot
    Reputation: NYrr496's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    My wife won't exercise either. The real stupid part is that she buys every piece of exercise crap in the world and never uses it. She has a really nice Cannondale that never gets used. Crazy part is, she's not overweight. Sure, she could tone up a little , but what concerns me is she's 45 and can't climb a flight of stairs without getting winded.
    She doesn't like to get sweaty.... Yeah. Last time I checked, ya gotta sweat a little to shape up.
    I like turtles

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Nubster's Avatar
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    May 2009
    Well, I would like to offer advice to help you be able to motivate her to join you in activities and in the process start a healthier lifestyle but it may be that is it just time to start thinking that it is time to move on. I don't know how long you two have been together, if kids are involved, how you truly feel about her, but I do know from experience that her couch potato ways and lack of motivation to do anything except sit on her butt in front of the TV can easily drag you down with her. I have been there and I am still suffering the effects at 300 pounds. I am slowly getting my motivation back and I am hoping in the following months to shed some serious weight. Just from riding the past couple months my fitness level has gotten better but the weight is just being a little stubborn. Anyways, I am not saying to give up yet but perhaps it is time to start looking at the relationship. And it is a last ditch effort but you might have to bring that up to her if all else fails, that if she does not start to move and get out and exercise you are thinking of leaving.

  7. #7
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    Reputation: Swthrtsuzy's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    I think I can offer a bit of insight to the other side of this equation. I'm female and a....clydette? lol. Not too sure if there's an official term for those of us with girlie bits and a good deal of extra weight, but whatever.

    I'm sure she does want to change. She's either not ready to, can't accept that she needs to, or just really doesn't know how to.

    Your first step as someone who wants to motivate her is to stop with the "we need to be active to get into shape." Trust me, this has the opposite effect of what you want, as I'm sure you've noticed. Stop making it about working out, and make it about having fun. This might take some time, but you really need to find an activity she likes doing for fun. If it's riding - great! If it's beach prepared to have a lot of sand in some very interesting places. Doesn't matter what activity it is, it's just about fun and being together.

    Another part of it is confidence. She probably feels like she can't do anything physical anyway, so why embarrass herself trying? This is a huge one to overcome and it'll affect everything from what she chooses to wear for said activity to how much she pushes herself to who she'll do it with. But, once she starts getting into it and gains some passion...she'll start getting stronger, and possibly losing some weight...she'll start jonesing for some other activities to do...and it just snowballs.

    Mostly, you need to be supportive and realize that our minds don't work the way y'alls do. She'll get there, it just might take her a bit longer to come to some conclusions than you'd maybe like.

    I've lost 30 lbs since I started mountain biking about a year ago. It's been a hellacious battle, but the two constants was my love for riding the bike and the unwaivering support of my boyfriend. This is going to be hard, but if you find something that you both love to do together, it'll work out.

    The best of luck to both of you. I hope your girlfriend finds the passion inside of herself to be healthy and have fun.
    2008 Specialized Safire Comp

  8. #8
    I'll take you there.
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    I read somewhere that sex burns obscene amounts of calories. Have fun, try new things. Are there better things to do after a solid ride together when you're already warmed up, sweaty, excited and flexible? .. feel free to toss this into the reward system mentioned above and *show* her just how much you love & appreciate that she's doing this..

    Other than that, it feels like it could be in her mind. If it gets bad enough, bring up getting help, a therapist, and offer to go with her. See if she feels depressed or emotional before, during, or after exercise.. and inquire a bit further than "are you alright?".
    Be excellent to each other.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
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    Apr 2009
    Try planning a trip that will involve activity? My gf and I did a cruse in Alaska and our day trips included kayaking, mtn biking, hiking, and rafting. It was a great motivator.

  10. #10
    Reputation: super_fly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    As another poster suggested make it about having fun.

    Not sure where you live but try finding a nice park with an easy, paved/hardpack path and go for an excursion. Pack a picnic and hang out in a nice place. Ride some more and go out for dinner or something afterwards. Don't take her on the trails and make cycling part of the day not the whole reason for the day.

    Also, noticed the bike you linked - is it stock? If so swap out that saddle. My wife has a beautiful, old school stumpjumper that was never ridden because the racing seat was horribly uncomfortable for her. Finally got around to buying a nice seat for her. Even if it's one of the cushy, cruiser saddles who cares? As long as she's comfortable you'll have a better chance of getting her to share your activity.

    Just some thoughts.

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