3

votes

Wife is unconvinced

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created June 05, 2013 at 3:40 PM

I've been considering going Primal (Paleo has become a bit too buzzword-y), but my wife is still resistant to the idea. She will say things like "Why not just eat like a normal person?"

This causes issues for me because she enjoys doing the cooking for the family. How can I best either:

A.) Persuade her to compromise and cook differently?

Or

B.) Go Primal without her knowing?

76026e8ef496039d5075440ff731aa0d

(5386)

on June 07, 2013
at 01:29 PM

Q - "Why not just eat like a normal person?" A - "Because a normal person eats like an a**hole."...T-shirt meme if I EVER saw one, I"ll take a medium in every colour, Greymouser

2edfcc5c8044bbb4f22ba6ea4289f592

(1398)

on June 07, 2013
at 12:39 PM

Just because it's common, doesn't make it normal. Being obese and dying of heart disease is common.. I wouldn't call them normal.

9da9ea5b1915986bda75ef9bc825c31c

on June 06, 2013
at 07:35 PM

This is an excellent suggestion. Thank you!

9da9ea5b1915986bda75ef9bc825c31c

on June 06, 2013
at 02:41 PM

Update: I introduced my wife to http://www.thefoodee.com/ the other day, and after researching for a little while, she comes to me the other day and said "I thought Primal would be really difficult. These recipes look delicious!" ...Winning.

De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

(777)

on June 06, 2013
at 09:37 AM

Um by definitieon 'normal' would be what we've been doing for the longest time, we've been eating 'paleo' for a loooong time & relatively only been eating grains etc for a few years

197651282ddd8d675b974ee811d2269e

(1836)

on June 06, 2013
at 03:55 AM

The democratic process just takes too darn long sometimes....

89fa2da4805b0b4e54b77a5a20a2e206

(2097)

on June 06, 2013
at 01:25 AM

..i second clubbing yourself a new one :)

89fa2da4805b0b4e54b77a5a20a2e206

(2097)

on June 06, 2013
at 01:08 AM

hail! hail! to the supreme leader..:) but really, way to go! good for you !(and consequently them)

Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

(4400)

on June 06, 2013
at 12:25 AM

Right. You can't make anybody else do anything. They can't make you either. How you eat is how you eat period. You can offer to cook, and when she cooks, you can eat only the stuff that allows you to be compliant (without any complaining or comment at all unless asked, in which case you say "that's not on my diet"). Luckily, since you're now fat-adapted (or will be) skipping a meal is no big deal.

4e6baf393fd5f339ae5a92ffbeadc884

(305)

on June 05, 2013
at 08:43 PM

Hi Gildensteel: Hard to advise someone about stuff like this, but I would tell her what you are unhappy with regarding your current health and strength, then say you want to avoid x y and z to improve those things. I think if she knows it is important enough to you then it will get accommodated to in the end.

3d58b5fb4f9780e2f47d4dcc53338a5a

(2771)

on June 05, 2013
at 08:07 PM

Yes, +1 for leading by example. I realized that I could tell everyone what's the right way to eat and exercise, but I realized I couldn't do it unsolicited. I'd have to show them that it worked first, and then they'd ask me. Not a lot do, but some do, and its more effective when they say "hey, tell me what you're doing again?"

5583b82f29a6b24264ca4b9836abd925

(261)

on June 05, 2013
at 04:36 PM

I agree with Sam, you should learn to cook some of the excellent paleo meals and let her see that it can be amazing and definitely make you feel 120% better! She seems to be one you'll have to show and not just tell, persuade her with an excellent meal. When you start showing signs that your body and mood are changing, she will definitely want to jump on board. :)

9da9ea5b1915986bda75ef9bc825c31c

on June 05, 2013
at 04:33 PM

Brewster - General health, and I lost far too much muscle mass for my liking while vegetarian

9da9ea5b1915986bda75ef9bc825c31c

on June 05, 2013
at 04:31 PM

Excellent points! I would say that we are not far from Primal as it is -- a little meat and a lot of veggies almost every night. I think her mental block involves the whole "cutting something out" rather than the "replce x with y" mentality. Also, she adores bread. It's not that I am unwilling to cook for myself (I actually enjoy it), but rather that she insists on cooking most of the time.

9da9ea5b1915986bda75ef9bc825c31c

on June 05, 2013
at 04:30 PM

Excellent points! I would say that we are not far from Primal as it is -- a little meat and a lot of veggies almost every night. I think her mental block involves the whole "cutting something out" rather than the "replce x with y" mentality. Also, she adores bread. It's not that I am unqilling to cook for myself (I actually enjoy it), but rather that she insists on cooking most of the time.

956bcad1d462d433a4e1e22f6e3355d5

(1191)

on June 05, 2013
at 04:29 PM

Definitely not B. (Learn to) cook yourself, pursuade her by leading by example and tell her that because something is common does not make it normal. She might get that one day.

956bcad1d462d433a4e1e22f6e3355d5

(1191)

on June 05, 2013
at 04:17 PM

*has not adapted = has now adapted? Anyhow, leading by example +1

4e6baf393fd5f339ae5a92ffbeadc884

(305)

on June 05, 2013
at 03:42 PM

What are your reasons for going Primal?

Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

12 Answers

11
Ff1775f50cdb85db2becc2f246de6465

(110)

on June 05, 2013
at 04:06 PM

I too had this situation. I just told my wife I was going to eat Paleo/Primal. She said she couldn't give up her starches and eat all that fat. I let my results tell the story. I lost 28 pounds in 10 weeks and had not been able to incorporate excercise. Again, I lost 28 pounds ONLY by dropping all the poisons I was eating.

She has now adopted the Paleo/Primal approach. I should also mention that before she said we shouldn't let the kids eat Paleo since they need all the nutrition. That was before she understood what real nutrition was. Now she says "we need to bring them over slowly"

Talk is cheap, results are where it's at.

956bcad1d462d433a4e1e22f6e3355d5

(1191)

on June 05, 2013
at 04:17 PM

*has not adapted = has now adapted? Anyhow, leading by example +1

3d58b5fb4f9780e2f47d4dcc53338a5a

(2771)

on June 05, 2013
at 08:07 PM

Yes, +1 for leading by example. I realized that I could tell everyone what's the right way to eat and exercise, but I realized I couldn't do it unsolicited. I'd have to show them that it worked first, and then they'd ask me. Not a lot do, but some do, and its more effective when they say "hey, tell me what you're doing again?"

6
197651282ddd8d675b974ee811d2269e

on June 05, 2013
at 08:36 PM

Call me a dictator but my husband and kids were very reluctant at the beginning, last year. Since I do all of the shopping and most of the cooking, I simply announced to everyone that we were switching to primal. However, I do make some concessions for my teen son, who is addicted to his corn dogs and hotdogs. I have some in the fridge/freezer for him when he wants them as snacks after school. Otherwise meals are always primal/Paleo.

Anyway, I bookmarked Marks Daily Apple website and left my iPad on the Friday success stories for everyone to read. After about a month and losing 15 lbs, my husband was converted. He lost the weight without exercising. He's since lost about 30 lbs without exercising anymore than just walking a few days per week.

My son, now 13, grew 6" since last summer, is totally ripped (everyone thinks he is in high school). My daughter, now 17, has lost 15 lbs and 3 pant sizes and her friends are considering Paleo.

How's that for a family conversion story?

89fa2da4805b0b4e54b77a5a20a2e206

(2097)

on June 06, 2013
at 01:08 AM

hail! hail! to the supreme leader..:) but really, way to go! good for you !(and consequently them)

197651282ddd8d675b974ee811d2269e

(1836)

on June 06, 2013
at 03:55 AM

The democratic process just takes too darn long sometimes....

6
3d58b5fb4f9780e2f47d4dcc53338a5a

(2771)

on June 05, 2013
at 03:49 PM

By normal, do you mean fat and diabetic, or do you mean eating foods you were meant to eat?

I would say that you should tell her that you want to do an experiment for 1-2 months to see how you fare eating this way. This will get you past the two week icky carb-flu feeling and into the feeling a lot better phase. Hopefully in that time frame, you'll show some kind of progress towards some goals that will convince her to let you keep trying. The fear of a "permanent" lifestyle change is scary to some when its happening to someone you care about (are they going to leave me behind?) but doing it as an "experiment" might ease some fears. You can show progress and keep your experiment going indefinitely. She'll get on board eventually.

5
Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on June 05, 2013
at 04:01 PM

She will say things like "Why not just eat like a normal person?"

Answer: "Because a normal person eats like an a**hole."

You say that she enjoys doing the cooking for the family. Cooking your own meals, as opposed to eating out all the time, is a good start. Is her cooking "from scratch" more or less, or "just add water / from the box" style of cooking? If it's the former, how far from Primal / Paleo are you? Does she make bread at home? Is every night pasta-night?

Also, take this as an exercise to learn to cook more for yourself and for your family. If you champion primal or paleo eating with them, they may follow; if you instruct your wife that she must cook differently for you, well ... that's pretty jerky - and she's not likely to acquiesce. ;-)

76026e8ef496039d5075440ff731aa0d

(5386)

on June 07, 2013
at 01:29 PM

Q - "Why not just eat like a normal person?" A - "Because a normal person eats like an a**hole."...T-shirt meme if I EVER saw one, I"ll take a medium in every colour, Greymouser

9da9ea5b1915986bda75ef9bc825c31c

on June 05, 2013
at 04:31 PM

Excellent points! I would say that we are not far from Primal as it is -- a little meat and a lot of veggies almost every night. I think her mental block involves the whole "cutting something out" rather than the "replce x with y" mentality. Also, she adores bread. It's not that I am unwilling to cook for myself (I actually enjoy it), but rather that she insists on cooking most of the time.

9da9ea5b1915986bda75ef9bc825c31c

on June 05, 2013
at 04:30 PM

Excellent points! I would say that we are not far from Primal as it is -- a little meat and a lot of veggies almost every night. I think her mental block involves the whole "cutting something out" rather than the "replce x with y" mentality. Also, she adores bread. It's not that I am unqilling to cook for myself (I actually enjoy it), but rather that she insists on cooking most of the time.

2
197651282ddd8d675b974ee811d2269e

on June 06, 2013
at 05:57 PM

OK, so I just realized that I never answered your question as to what YOU should do, given that your wife is the primary cook and enjoys it. I think you should cook your meat portions once or twice a week and refrigerate or freeze it to eat throughout the week. You can eat some of her veggies and Paleo complaint dishes. That way she doesn't feel as though you're totally rejecting her.

For example, my husband really likes eating brisket for lunch so he cooks a 6-8 lb brisket in the crock pot every Sunday and takes lunch portions to work every day during the week. Maybe you can make a big batch of brisket, lamb roast, or tons of beef patties once per week?

9da9ea5b1915986bda75ef9bc825c31c

on June 06, 2013
at 07:35 PM

This is an excellent suggestion. Thank you!

2
Medium avatar

on June 05, 2013
at 08:33 PM

My gf was a hard egg to crack, too. 1. She's bipolar, this makes sudden, seeming extreme changes difficult for her to accept. 2. She hates the texture, smell, and look of meat. She erred on vegetarian for a long time.

Guess what I had to do? Learn to cook. It. sucked. I burned a lot of food and ate it anyway. But I was 100+ lbs over weight, so I knew I had to change how I ate, and she knew I had to change my diet, too. Conveniently, high-calorie foods are often full of wheat and legumes. Also, I did it slowly- I would taste a part of her bean burrito because she wanted to share and you know what? When I did allow that taste, she felt like I wasn't making any crazy swing. And I didn't die from it, though it wasn't ideal. (Though it did usually cause some intestinal distress).

I only ever mentioned evidence against grains/legumes when there was no food around, to not associate 'time to eat' and 'oh G-d, here she goes again...'. She got angry a few times anyway-usually in time with her mood swings- and I dropped it. And apologized for pressing it, usually. And I picked a different topic every time I mentioned it so I wasn't overusing the same facts.

I shed weight. I stopped going to the bathroom every hour and staying in there for twenty minutes. I stopped passing out from sheer exhaustion at bed time, which gave us more time together, which she always wants. I stopped being hyperactive. I could handle her mood swings better without getting stressed out, which helped her climb out of them with a bit more ease.

Eventually, she decided to stop eating wheat. And then beans. Her condition isn't gone, but she is much more stable. We're tweaking our diets every day, but the entire process described above took the better part of the year. So, I say, start by making your own meals. And if she seems interested, let her keep her macro ratio at first- something I haven't done is suggest my gf eat more fat and less carbs, because she's a lady and I do believe many women need a higher carb count. Plus, what woman says no to fruit? Anyway, take it slow, and don't feel defeated if you end up eating some non-paleo foods for a while. This is a process, and heck- hopefully you'll be able to bring her with you.

Good luck!

2
531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

on June 05, 2013
at 07:49 PM

Get a new wife.

Just kidding. That's option B.

Option A is to cook for yourself and don't talk about it. After going from morbidly obese to kind-of-hard-bodied, you'd think people would want to know what I did. Not the case. Handful of exceptions.

Not to be cynical, but you're on your own. Influence through your actions. It's all you can do.

89fa2da4805b0b4e54b77a5a20a2e206

(2097)

on June 06, 2013
at 01:25 AM

..i second clubbing yourself a new one :)

Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

(4400)

on June 06, 2013
at 12:25 AM

Right. You can't make anybody else do anything. They can't make you either. How you eat is how you eat period. You can offer to cook, and when she cooks, you can eat only the stuff that allows you to be compliant (without any complaining or comment at all unless asked, in which case you say "that's not on my diet"). Luckily, since you're now fat-adapted (or will be) skipping a meal is no big deal.

2
3e213af46c3c91e2c28d8489e4e3fec3

on June 05, 2013
at 04:07 PM

I've been in the same boat for a while. I began the paleo journey last July, with great results. My wife has done it a little bit, here and there, but nothing serious. She didn't see the fast results I got, so she sort of soured on the whole idea. I haven't done any research on the matter, but it seems to me that men tend to get results faster than women with the paleo lifestyle. I just try to continue what I'm doing, and since I'm the primary cook of the household, I try to prepare paleo centered meals for the entire family. She usually likes it, but doesn't do it on her own unless I initiate it. I suggest you keep doing what you're doing. Lead by example.

1
089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on June 05, 2013
at 08:08 PM

I've noticed this with my parents. my mom has been trying to eat more paleo but my stepdad is very resistant to it. he won't compromise by making meals without grains, soy, and dairy and when my mom gets home from work, she will eat what he makes because she doesn't feel like cooking.

her breakfast and lunch is about 80% paleo because she packs it herself to take to work, but at home, it's like a free for all EVEN though she tells all her friends/family that she is following the diet. I think she uses my stepdad as an excuse to cheat.

but I think you should definitely tell your wife your plan and if she doesn't like it, then just do what you want. it's not like she owns you.

1
4f12a06aee26f64e432762495302ec9d

(292)

on June 05, 2013
at 03:47 PM

Hi...

I'm in a fairly similar situation..I am the only person in my house who eats primal, the other 3 eat "normal"...

I deal with it by just fending for myself..I buy my own food and cook for myself and generally please myself. People stopped judging me after a month or so when they realised i was serious and am not going to give in.

I wouldn't hide it though as it is a big part of your life that takes commitment so it may be hard to hide. Especially when the wife notices you've been stashing her "normal" food in your socks at the dinner table lol!!

Ryan

0
6a614d7a3a8a99e5d53ea8176d8fbb28

on June 07, 2013
at 12:01 PM

My suggestion would be to try to get her in on a Whole30 or something. Just bet that she can't make it, to get her annoyed and fired up, and the run with it. I'm doubting that she'll go back to eating junk after that - if she does - well, you tried.

0
Baa413654789b57f3579474ca7fa43d7

(2349)

on June 06, 2013
at 01:43 PM

Check out this article from Robb Wolf, he addresses this very question:

http://robbwolf.com/2012/04/04/paleo-diet-convince-it/


I received a twitter message last week that went something like this:

“Robb, how do I convince my spouse to eat paleo? She has numerous diseases, is always miserable, but is resistant to change. Help”

My response:

"Divorce?"


Basically, the best you can do is provide people information, opportunity and inspiration. They have to want to make a change themselves.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!