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When I was a kid, it seemed as if my dad was always on a diet. He wasn’t particularly big, but I guess he had trouble controlling his blood pressure. (This was back in the days before doctors just threw a handful of pills at everyone who walked through their door.)

I can remember sitting down to burgers and mashed potatoes, while Dad would have a little piece of fish and a tomato. Eventually, Dad ate his suppers in the living room. I’m sure it was easier than watching four hungry kids wolf down piles of food.

It isn’t easy taking up a challenge alone. Even if your friends and family are supportive, you still feel isolated. And that makes it harder to keep moving forward.

That’s one of the big advantages HB and I have. We’ve taken on the challenge of building our health together.

Some days, one of us won’t feel like rolling out of bed at 5:30 or 6:00 AM. But if the other one hops out of bed, it’s easier to talk yourself out from under the covers. You don’t want to let your training partner down.

Sometimes, we both miss a morning workout. When that happens, one of us is usually motivated to head out in the evening. And the other one will go along. Even if one of us starts a workout out of guilt or obligation, we always wind up glad we did it.

This works well with eating, too.

One or the other of us is almost always motivated to make something healthy. The other one – who may be thinking more in terms of junk – will almost always give in to the motivated partner.

We make deals, too. “If you’ll walk downtown with me tonight, I’ll get you a small ice cream.” Our deals usually involve a small trade-off… but almost always wind up getting us to both be a little more active.

Plus, it’s a lot more fun to share little triumphs. Like when HB can get back into an old pair of jeans. Or I break another time barrier on a three-mile run.

This is the first time I’ve taken on a health challenge that I’m not going it alone. And I have to admit, it’s a lot better with a partner.

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