2

votes

how important is connection and acceptance, to your eating habits?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created May 25, 2012 at 10:33 PM

Here's a little bit of background, with regards to what made me ask this: I was thinking about how it would be easier for me to keep to my eating habits if my boyfriend would agree to try and eat in a similar manner, but I don't want to push him, and ultimately, it is up to me, and no one else, to chose what to put into my body, for my health and well-being.
I was thinking I might be able to connect to him, better, if he had the same attitude towards food, as I do... but I didn't fall in love with him, because he eats certain foods and not others.
I'd been struggling with this for a few months, wondering 'if he cares about me, why can't he just TRY this', but again, I am not with him to control him, or to make him adopt my choices, but to accept his, and have him accept mine. I've realized we can support each other, even if we do not agree with each others choices all the way.

So, that's what I'm going to share here, my own realizations about trying to get someone do something for me, when they don't want to, and I wanted to ask: Does having someone you care about adopt your eating habits (or fail to adopt them) influence your own acceptance of yourself, for practicing eating the way you do?
Would it be easier for you to stick to your eating habits, if the person you live with, or, if you live alone, the person you spend the most time around, chose to embrace a similar style of eating?
Do you feel as though your connection to your friends, or significant other, is diminished by differences of opinion/practice, in regard to diet, or do others' differences inspire you to implement, or keep change in your own life?
Do you feel as though you can support someone fully, if their choices for their diet are at odds with yours?

Apologies if this is not an appropriate question, because there are no 'definitive' answers, only the discussing of experiences, and what it has taught you about yourself and others. I believe we can all learn from inspecting the reasons why we do things, and how others influence our actions, or lack thereof.

Edit; I am 100% okay with us having different food choices, I love that he won't change his eating habits, just because I did, it means he is his own person, who I adore and value. I just wanted to share that it was something I had to learn, not something that came immediately. We're both a bit insecure, and so we tried to influence each other a little, at first.
I was just curious about others' experiences, if they had to learn this, too, or if it was something they already knew, and how support from someone played into their choices. We support each other, though we have different opinions. To me, that is what makes our relationship worthwhile, the differences. I opened with the thing about our relationship, to try and say that at first, I was uncertain about my own choices, and wanted more support, but that I found out that I had to look to myself for it, that it was up to me to do this. I apologize, if it sounded like I thought I was being wronged, on the contrary, I realize it was wrong of me to expect my boyfriend to do something he may not want to. I got very excited about changing my diet, making this change triggered a manic response in me (I'm bi-polar), because it has been so wonderful to me, so I began to think he should change, too, and then when I calmed down and thought about it, I realized I was being unreasonable and pushy.

Thank you, everyone, for your answers, and for being nice with your advice.

2e1e0c0865edb9cfb9f8391f2877a965

(60)

on May 27, 2012
at 06:25 AM

You're welcome. Thank you for posing the questions.

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on May 26, 2012
at 11:02 PM

Cool :) I like that you both have fun making each other food, and that you're not dogmatic. Avocado, tomato and egg are wonderful together. And yay, for not being dogmatic.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 26, 2012
at 02:58 PM

To add to the merriment, my son is a picky, and not very adventurous, eater and my daughter was ordering Oysters Rockefeller by name in restaurants by the time she was four. They are not very far apart in age and were exposed to food in the same way by me. Adventurousness (or lack) about food seems to be an innate trait.

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on May 26, 2012
at 06:16 AM

Thank you, I enjoyed reading that. I talked a lot about my new understanding of food, at first, too, which I think some people saw as an attempt to convert them, but that is a communication issue, like you mentioned. I agree with not helping people, unless they ask, too.

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on May 26, 2012
at 04:02 AM

Thanks for sharing. I'm sorry about your SO having problems, but not being ready to try to change. Hopefully by sticking to it, yourself, he'll see, and appreciate the positive aspects of your lifestyle, and perhaps he'll adopt some of them for himself. Good luck :)

Medium avatar

(195)

on May 26, 2012
at 03:45 AM

yes pleassse!!!

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on May 26, 2012
at 12:13 AM

You were spot on, with me being very alone. I had a lot of problems stemming from bi-polar, social anxiety, self-injury. I've gotten rid of my self-destructive behavior, but I am still pretty insecure. Thank you, so much, for being kind and not insulting me, and thank you for your concern. Actually, I kind of do what you suggested, with food, and while he doesn't like added fats, but he has been asking for more meat, and veggies, which makes me happy.

76026e8ef496039d5075440ff731aa0d

(5386)

on May 25, 2012
at 11:57 PM

@itcutsbothways - I'm so glad you feel the way you do now, because those words sounded like someone who felt VERY alone with no one to talk to and might be on the verge of making a hasty decision…It makes me so happy that that is Not the case…also, as far as letting him decide when or if he’s ready to try Paleo, I think once you start wrapping your meats in other meats and drowning it in butter…it might perk his curiosity…I myself won’t eat any other meat unless it’s wrapped in bacon…I’m a snob that way :-p all the best to you! Truth.

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on May 25, 2012
at 11:41 PM

I'm glad that there's so much diversity in your family, and that you all try different things. It sounds like fun, and like you get to hear a lot of different opinions and reasoning. And I'm glad you survived it :)

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on May 25, 2012
at 11:32 PM

I think it's very fortunate, that people are different. The give-and-take is what I like about relationships, because it makes learning from each other possible, or at least that's how it works for me.

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on May 25, 2012
at 11:25 PM

and not force their choices upon each other. We didn't fight about food, but we did have to learn to accept that we had different eating habits, and to respect that. I had to learn that I couldn't change his, even though I thought it would be better for him, that's something he has to figure out, on his own, and I have no right to tell him how to eat. I completely agree, that one should pick their battles and fighting about this would have been ridiculous. Thank you for your answer :)

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on May 25, 2012
at 11:22 PM

I recognize, now that it was dangerous of me, to think that way. I was not trying to say that it was okay, but that it was a result of my insecurity, that I had to overcome, to be able to accept both of our choices. I apologize if it sounded like I was saying it was appropriate of me, to assume my BF didn't love me, for wanting to keep his own diet. I don't think that, but it was something I did consider and had to deal with. I also decided to eat Paleo for the same reasons you have stated. I feel like people need others' support, but that they should also be okay with their choices...

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8 Answers

4
9747ae0ff20a8f4a4a2857c66820b125

(439)

on May 26, 2012
at 03:06 AM

I admire everyone's openness and acceptance on this thread. I feel very similar to the original poster--with a twist:

My SO is about 20-30 lbs overweight and complains on an almost daily basis of various issues--headache, stomach problems, joint pain, tiredness, etc. This is on top of debilitating back pain he has had for nearly a year now, which he is getting surgery for in June. All of these other issues existed before the herniated disks, though. Fortunately he doesn't have other more serious issues like cholesterol or cardiac problems...yet. His diet largely consists of take-out. He won't eat my cooking--he went to Culinary School and is pretty choosy about his food--but he also doesn't like to cook much. So I cook for myself, and he just eats whatever he orders, or junk food from the deli.

He fully supports my diet choice, but it is a constant struggle for me to watch him hurt, listen to him complain about how much he hurts on a daily basis, to have his choices affect what he is physically capable of doing (and not doing) both in general and with me (not even counting the lack of mobility caused by the back issues), and to just keep my mouth shut about his diet.

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on May 26, 2012
at 04:02 AM

Thanks for sharing. I'm sorry about your SO having problems, but not being ready to try to change. Hopefully by sticking to it, yourself, he'll see, and appreciate the positive aspects of your lifestyle, and perhaps he'll adopt some of them for himself. Good luck :)

4
76026e8ef496039d5075440ff731aa0d

on May 25, 2012
at 11:14 PM

'if he cares about me, why can't he just TRY this'

That's a dangerous game that I would never play...how is it that people of opposing religions, political views or ideas of right or wrong, how to raise children etc., can still be happy/ married even??? without trying to change one another?

I would never try to set expectations for someone whom I???m pretty sure doesn???t want to eat the way I do because it would be easier for me? I know I didn???t change to Paleo because I thought it would be easy, I changed to Paleo because I needed to take back control of my life, not subtly or otherwise try to manipulate someone else???s???

I can pick my food???I CAN???T pick whom I choose to fall in love with...and since there is no guarantee or entitlement to love, finding someone who supports me and stands with me seems like a much better deal than worrying over a perceived ???wrong doing??? by the partner I love??? ???Do you feel as though you can support someone fully, if their choices for their diet are at odds with yours?

This is such small potatoes in the intricacies of a relationship ???I???ll pick my battles and this would never be one.

Truth.

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on May 25, 2012
at 11:22 PM

I recognize, now that it was dangerous of me, to think that way. I was not trying to say that it was okay, but that it was a result of my insecurity, that I had to overcome, to be able to accept both of our choices. I apologize if it sounded like I was saying it was appropriate of me, to assume my BF didn't love me, for wanting to keep his own diet. I don't think that, but it was something I did consider and had to deal with. I also decided to eat Paleo for the same reasons you have stated. I feel like people need others' support, but that they should also be okay with their choices...

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on May 25, 2012
at 11:25 PM

and not force their choices upon each other. We didn't fight about food, but we did have to learn to accept that we had different eating habits, and to respect that. I had to learn that I couldn't change his, even though I thought it would be better for him, that's something he has to figure out, on his own, and I have no right to tell him how to eat. I completely agree, that one should pick their battles and fighting about this would have been ridiculous. Thank you for your answer :)

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on May 26, 2012
at 12:13 AM

You were spot on, with me being very alone. I had a lot of problems stemming from bi-polar, social anxiety, self-injury. I've gotten rid of my self-destructive behavior, but I am still pretty insecure. Thank you, so much, for being kind and not insulting me, and thank you for your concern. Actually, I kind of do what you suggested, with food, and while he doesn't like added fats, but he has been asking for more meat, and veggies, which makes me happy.

76026e8ef496039d5075440ff731aa0d

(5386)

on May 25, 2012
at 11:57 PM

@itcutsbothways - I'm so glad you feel the way you do now, because those words sounded like someone who felt VERY alone with no one to talk to and might be on the verge of making a hasty decision…It makes me so happy that that is Not the case…also, as far as letting him decide when or if he’s ready to try Paleo, I think once you start wrapping your meats in other meats and drowning it in butter…it might perk his curiosity…I myself won’t eat any other meat unless it’s wrapped in bacon…I’m a snob that way :-p all the best to you! Truth.

3
870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 25, 2012
at 11:14 PM

"Does having someone you care about adopt your eating habits (or fail to adopt them) influence your own acceptance of yourself, for practicing eating the way you do?"

Not at all. My family has four members and we all have very different tastes. For a while I was a Dean-Ornish-low-fat vegetarian married to an Atkins-plus-beer fellow. We survived that just fine.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 26, 2012
at 02:58 PM

To add to the merriment, my son is a picky, and not very adventurous, eater and my daughter was ordering Oysters Rockefeller by name in restaurants by the time she was four. They are not very far apart in age and were exposed to food in the same way by me. Adventurousness (or lack) about food seems to be an innate trait.

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on May 25, 2012
at 11:41 PM

I'm glad that there's so much diversity in your family, and that you all try different things. It sounds like fun, and like you get to hear a lot of different opinions and reasoning. And I'm glad you survived it :)

3
Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on May 25, 2012
at 11:09 PM

Yes, it would be easier if partner was on board, but so would a lot of other things. Food is no exception to the give and take of being in a relationship. If you get married and have kids, things may get even more difficult. That's life, unfortunately. Or, fortunately, maybe.

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on May 25, 2012
at 11:32 PM

I think it's very fortunate, that people are different. The give-and-take is what I like about relationships, because it makes learning from each other possible, or at least that's how it works for me.

2
B9a579a02921868db5098bfa99f8221c

on May 26, 2012
at 10:07 AM

i like to subtly sabotage my girlfriends attempts to eat sad as often as possible. Whatever i cook, she adds in a bowl of pasta. i got her to add butter to her pasta, now she is obsessed with cultured butter. Haha. i win.

Whenever she stays over i make her so many poached eggs, and heaps of avocado and tomato salsa that she cant eat again till dinner. Haha. I win.

She knows what im doing, and thinks its cute. she gets me back by making delicious deserts that i cant refuse end up eating a shitload of.

All in all im not fussed. it helps that im not particularly dogmatic about my own eating.

but i guess i would feel different if she had problems or issues that i know could be helped by cutting out grains and seed oil.

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on May 26, 2012
at 11:02 PM

Cool :) I like that you both have fun making each other food, and that you're not dogmatic. Avocado, tomato and egg are wonderful together. And yay, for not being dogmatic.

2
2e1e0c0865edb9cfb9f8391f2877a965

on May 26, 2012
at 03:40 AM

In the beginning it was definitely easier if the people around me ate the way I did. Yeah, I was kind of annoying. My boyfriend, was willing to help me by not keeping my "high risk" foods in the house, and as time went on and I got more practice, the high risk foods list has shrunk. I don't recall trying to get him to change his eating but I sure did talk about it a lot, and I tried to get friends that wanted to shrink dress sizes on board. I never saw what he ate as a reflection of caring about me, but I did see him trying to help me do what I was trying to do for myself as a reflection of caring about me (if he hadn't tried, it would have been neutral, but if he tried to get in the way using mockery or derisive comments, we'd have broken up, as at that point its a communication issue, not a food issue.) My boyfriend also happens to tolerate SAD food much better than I do (for now), so individual tolerance is an issue too.

"Does having someone you care about adopt your eating habits (or fail to adopt them) influence your own acceptance of yourself, for practicing eating the way you do?"

re eating habits & general acceptance of self no, if they adopt then I get to use social pressure to help me. It sometimes makes it harder in a momentary lapse to stick to what my big picture want for myself is. If they don't, no biggie. I'm trying to think when I was younger did it matter . . . sort of, not in my acceptance of self, but in my acceptance of them. Around other things I did have some difficulty with acceptance of self, I know they were there, can't remember off the top of my head tho.

"Do you feel as though your connection to your friends, or significant other, is diminished by differences of opinion/practice, in regard to diet, or do others' differences inspire you to implement, or keep change in your own life?"

I don't necessarily feel a connection is diminished by the differences themselves. How the differences are handled can sometimes improve connection, or decrease it. I'll feel closer to someone with differences if we both make an attempt to understand where & why the other person has their perspective. If I don't care about the degrees of closeness, differences can inspire me-- especially if I think what the other person is doing is obviously not working(or not in alignment with goals).

"Do you feel as though you can support someone fully, if their choices for their diet are at odds with yours?"

It depends. What do you mean by support?

If their choices are congruent with their goals it typically doesn't bother me. If they can be accountable about what they are doing, doesn't bother me. If they say "I'm eating heart healthy whole grains" they may as well have said "I'm smoking for my health!" But this is less a diet issue for me, and more of a congruency issue.

In terms of social issues, the hardest thing was being a dinner guest in a private home where I don't have a lot of food options. If I didn't have the type of relationship with the host where I could ask them to accommodate me, I'd eat before.

What has made things a lot easier-- that bread no longer registers as a food item, even when I'm hungry. Increasing my ability to not try to help someone unless they've explicitly asked, or unless my help is in an expected context.

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on May 26, 2012
at 06:16 AM

Thank you, I enjoyed reading that. I talked a lot about my new understanding of food, at first, too, which I think some people saw as an attempt to convert them, but that is a communication issue, like you mentioned. I agree with not helping people, unless they ask, too.

2e1e0c0865edb9cfb9f8391f2877a965

(60)

on May 27, 2012
at 06:25 AM

You're welcome. Thank you for posing the questions.

2
Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on May 25, 2012
at 11:53 PM

Paleo speed dating...

Medium avatar

(195)

on May 26, 2012
at 03:45 AM

yes pleassse!!!

1
E3d94ade13110237db50b944f89e98bd

(245)

on May 26, 2012
at 12:03 AM

Haha Rob I would totally dig that!

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