3

votes

Dealing with a not-very-supportive spouse?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created August 28, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Time for the truth: I've gained 25-30 pounds in the past 9 months. Lost my job in September 2011 and launched a baking business in January 2012 [yes I plan to incorporate more gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, and Paleo options into my sales now!]

I'd been keeping up with the gym regularly for the first 6. And then not so much. I'd been eating mostly healthy for the first 7, but I kept eating my own stuff/sampling bits from new recipes, etc. And then became apathetic about healthy eating.

For the past month I've been reading about all different sorts of changes I could make to my food sources.

Made a decision that best for me would be to highly restrict or eliminate sugar and at least experiment with eliminating gluten. I also badly need to increase my protein intake and have more veggies.

Guess what this looks like? The NOT-Cult version of Paleo, for the most part.

So I'll try it out for at least a few months to see how it changes me [I'm also going to get back to interval swim workouts and starting Bar Method classes in a couple of weeks].

Today is DAY 1.

My husband is 100% on board but also being obnoxious already. He's VERY critical about food, eating habits, picky eating, being healthy, not being fat, etc. And so he's thrilled I want to make changes, and thinks Paleo is a great choice for me. However he's VERY much of the 80% IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH variety. Sure doing something is better than doing nothing, but WHY AREN'T YOU DOING EVERYTHING YOU POSSIBLY CAN? He's much more 'good is the enemy of great' and I'm more 'perfect is the enemy of good'. Or rather that on a spectrum between good and the closest to perfection that's actually attainable, great falls VERYclose to perfection, rather than somewhere in the middle.

Any suggestions for how to handle an...over-zealous spouse? Or someone whose version of 'getting healthy' doesn't include anything other than full-stop whole-nine-yards methods? Or a spouse who admonished your past eating and is preemptively judging your plan for going Paleo?

Cebbca9a78d5612bf3468b273c2010d5

(452)

on August 28, 2012
at 05:58 PM

Sarcasm fonts would be lovely.

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on August 28, 2012
at 04:18 PM

I trained as a baker, so I know way too much about baking ingredients. I don't bake now, and I'm paleo so I don't even eat baked goods, but when I did, boy did I annoy the counter staff at bakeries. "What type of roll-in do you use?" It's a valid question!

81d5dcf5f86a8bd104a5955ac29fe832

(95)

on August 28, 2012
at 03:52 PM

@mathgirl72 - I guess that does make sense. I'd never thought of the fact that even if they ARE Paleo, snacking is not really helpful. Thanks.

Cd77fd01d8be999aa91b8678e262f419

(825)

on August 28, 2012
at 03:48 PM

This. I also don't know if you have any history of jumping in and failing due to overstretching yourself, but there are plenty of studies and data around this. A small step at a time is by far the most sustainable, and picking something you will follow without thinking or regret is a thousand times better than a plan that you will resent, feel restricted on, and quickly burn out. Perhaps get him to help out with recipes, workouts together, fun active excursions (rock climbing, kayaking, hiking...) and focus his energies on one specific part, rather than your whole approach to life.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on August 28, 2012
at 03:48 PM

Don't eat "cookies" or "bread" and call them Paleo. If you have a sweet tooth, consuming those will continue the cycle. P.S. You are asking for advice on a public forum, giving only half of the information, then getting testy when someone misinterprets your meaning. His method may be in a bullying fashion, but his ideas are not completely off base. Yes, kale chips are an excellent snack. But, if you are a snacker out of stress, boredom, insert emotion here, then yes, you are tricking yourself.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 28, 2012
at 03:31 PM

Yeah for real- tell him to mind his own beeswax. If you weren't already married, I'd say dump his ass. Since you're already married, um, odds are it won't last anyways, so maybe here's your early reason.

81d5dcf5f86a8bd104a5955ac29fe832

(95)

on August 28, 2012
at 03:29 PM

I am very upfront about ingredients in my baking - I'd prefer not be sued by someone with allergies and also I think making informed choices is very important!

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on August 28, 2012
at 03:22 PM

Never threaten your spouse with divorce, joking or not. It creates a hostile environment and eventually leads to just that.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on August 28, 2012
at 03:21 PM

Never threaten your spouse with divorce or even joke about it.

81d5dcf5f86a8bd104a5955ac29fe832

(95)

on August 28, 2012
at 03:09 PM

Who said anything about Paleo cheats? If it's made with only things that are OK for Paleo, how is it cheating? For example - plaintain or carrot 'fries', kale 'chips', coconut lemon 'cookies', paleo pumpkin bread, etc. He says all of these things are cop-outs, and tricking myself.

4929a87e3f7438f18a0afbdde291ed5e

(752)

on August 28, 2012
at 03:04 PM

I agree - Paleo "cheats" are Faileo and will only set you up for cravings later. It's easiest just to go cold turkey and leave out the Faileo cheats altogether.

81d5dcf5f86a8bd104a5955ac29fe832

(95)

on August 28, 2012
at 02:41 PM

I AM jumping in with both feet. I think it's that he wants me to ALSO calorie-count, go to the gym constantly, never have anything remotely 'bad' [so cutting sugar and carbs = good, but he doesn't buy into the adding fat part], constantly eating THE 'best' possible meal for that time, thinks Paleo sweets and snacks are 'cop-outs' or 'tricking yourself', etc.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on August 28, 2012
at 02:34 PM

I'm with your husband on this one. Jump in with both feet and get rid of your addictions. It'll be far easier and you'll be more successful.

  • 81d5dcf5f86a8bd104a5955ac29fe832

    asked by

    (95)
  • Views
    1.7K
  • Last Activity
    1409D AGO
Frontpage book

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

8 Answers

best answer

6
A1a0baccef58499acf9ceb3c874997f2

on August 28, 2012
at 02:51 PM

It sounds like your husband is so focused on your process that he has forgotten to focus on himself. If he spent half that energy he is using to bully you on himself, he might be the healthiest human on the planet.

Everybody approaches their health differently. Your approach is, I believe, very sensible. Perfection IS the enemy of good. Maybe ask him why he is so spending so much time on you and your diet/exercise. You are an adult. You make decisions regarding YOUR body. He does not have any right to tell you how to eat or move.

If it continues, perhaps approach this with a couples counselor, because this could potentially cause further issues.

Good luck to you.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 28, 2012
at 03:31 PM

Yeah for real- tell him to mind his own beeswax. If you weren't already married, I'd say dump his ass. Since you're already married, um, odds are it won't last anyways, so maybe here's your early reason.

Cd77fd01d8be999aa91b8678e262f419

(825)

on August 28, 2012
at 03:48 PM

This. I also don't know if you have any history of jumping in and failing due to overstretching yourself, but there are plenty of studies and data around this. A small step at a time is by far the most sustainable, and picking something you will follow without thinking or regret is a thousand times better than a plan that you will resent, feel restricted on, and quickly burn out. Perhaps get him to help out with recipes, workouts together, fun active excursions (rock climbing, kayaking, hiking...) and focus his energies on one specific part, rather than your whole approach to life.

6
65333605eb0e62ccdb9ffaac00727bc6

(150)

on August 28, 2012
at 03:02 PM

It sounds to me like although he claims to be "on board", he's not being supportive of you...Some people can make a life change like this overnight, others need to transition...You need to make this process work for you, and if transitioning gradually is what you need to do to succeed, he needs to support you in that...

@ Greymouser...Excellent answer :-)

6
Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on August 28, 2012
at 02:35 PM

WHY AREN'T YOU DOING EVERYTHING YOU POSSIBLY CAN?

Tell him: It's because, deep down, I'd feel bad for you if we were divorced.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on August 28, 2012
at 03:22 PM

Never threaten your spouse with divorce, joking or not. It creates a hostile environment and eventually leads to just that.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on August 28, 2012
at 03:21 PM

Never threaten your spouse with divorce or even joke about it.

1
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 28, 2012
at 06:59 PM

Perfection is not attainable. Tell him that you love him very much, but he makes you feel bad. Ask him for his support - tell him that you just need to take it easy right now, you are trying to start over. Just use a lot of positive comments, yet express your feelings so he knows it bothers you. Good luck! I know you will do well!

1
1ea8d17bad42dc54fb7a8a178e3db309

on August 28, 2012
at 05:18 PM

All marriages are different and only you know what'll work with your hubby. When my husband talks to me in a way that I cannot deal with I tell him that "he has to stop communicating in that way because I feel _____ when he talks to me this way." We've been married a long time and he now gets that he has to listen to this. It took some good counseling before we both learned how to talk so the other would listen, however.

Prochaska wrote about different stages that people go through in health behavior change (http://www.amazon.com/Changing-Good-Revolutionary-Overcoming-Positively/dp/038072572X) and we all deal with changing our health behaviors (any behavior, really) differently. So no one can tell YOU the best way to change YOUR behavior. That's for you to discern based on what works for YOU. But their are some general things that often work. Here are some I personally think work well (YMMV):

http://tinyhabits.com/ http://www.behaviormodel.org/

Try to remember that people are generally doing as well as they can.

0
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on August 28, 2012
at 04:30 PM

You might pick one food such as vanilla ice cream and go 100% paleo with vanilla ice cream...

Cebbca9a78d5612bf3468b273c2010d5

(452)

on August 28, 2012
at 05:58 PM

Sarcasm fonts would be lovely.

0
11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on August 28, 2012
at 03:28 PM

Paleo and SAD (calorie restricted) diets are based on two completely different theories of what mechanisms cause you to lose weight--and the theories are incompatible with each other.

The theory underlying paleo weight loss is that your body has a mechanism for maintaining a specific body-weight/body-fat level; that things like calorie-restriction, high-carb intake, restrictions on fat intake, and (yes even) over exercise "break" this mechanism; that the reason people are overweight is because this mechanism is broken; and that your first goal should be repairing this mechanism so it works properly.

SAD diets are built around the idea that your body is always trying to store more fat. So, you have to "fight" your body by restricting calories and burning off excess calories with exercise. It's a constant struggle between your mental desire to maintain a certain weight, and your body's desire to become obese.

Paleo views excess body fat as a symptom of your physical body abnormally functioning.

SAD views excess body fat as your physical body functioning normally; it is simply a result of gluttony and lack of discipline--a mental problem.

Your husband doesn't understand that paleo is a system with it's own set of rules, and that it only works if you stick to the rules for that system. You husband is trying to mix the rules of two different systems (which never works).

You need a common framework for discussion. Get Taubes' "Why We Get Fat" and read it out loud topgether or watch "Fat Head" together (or do both). While not strictly paleo, they do a good job of explaining the differences between the SAD diet mindset and the low-carb mindset.

0
Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on August 28, 2012
at 03:23 PM

So about that baking business you didn't ask about...

At the last two small scale bakers I encountered and asked about the ingredients the first looked at me like I'd asked for a kidney and said she didn't recall the exact ingredients and the other told me it was a proprietary secret.

I doubt I'm the only one out there who doesn't buy things without looking at the ingredients first.

81d5dcf5f86a8bd104a5955ac29fe832

(95)

on August 28, 2012
at 03:29 PM

I am very upfront about ingredients in my baking - I'd prefer not be sued by someone with allergies and also I think making informed choices is very important!

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on August 28, 2012
at 04:18 PM

I trained as a baker, so I know way too much about baking ingredients. I don't bake now, and I'm paleo so I don't even eat baked goods, but when I did, boy did I annoy the counter staff at bakeries. "What type of roll-in do you use?" It's a valid question!

Answer Question


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