4

votes

I want to go paleo, but how I can start without the support of my picky-eater husband?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 27, 2012 at 12:49 PM

I am a 5'4", 200 lb., size 12 female and former collegiate athlete. I've looked at going Paleo for weight loss and other benefits, and would love to start -- except, my husband eats pretty much only grains. He doesn't like beef (that isn't a burger), pork (that isn't a hot dog), or fish. He won't touch a vegetable that isn't raw, and even then it's only bell peppers and cucumbers. (He will eat berries and stone fruit). Potatoes, to him, are the devil's food -- he won't eat anything that looks like a white, sweet, or any other kid of potato. He eats pasta, cereal with milk, and chips and Cheez-its on a daily basis. Dinners for him are typically pizza, pasta, and tacos with no sides. He drinks six to eight cans of Diet Coke a day. He loves to be romantic and surprise me... by bringing home a slice of pie from the bakery near his office. He is probably more in need of a diet change, especially because of his current body (6'7", 375 lbs) but he won't do it. I need to lose weight and have been trying consistently, but my lack of willpower leads me back to the kitchen for indulging in a brownie or three.

I would love to start and convert our kitchen to get rid of all temptation for me (because I will be tempted, no doubt, I love sugar and Diet Coke more than he does), but my husband says this is going to take away everything he eats. (Duh!) What can I do? How can I start? Do I try making Paleo kids' meals in hopes that his pickiness will be turned around? Do I tell him he's an adult and he just needs to suck it up? Do I just have to buck up and deal with the temptation and spend as much time out of the house as possible? Please help, anyone!

886f424edd2b4d823638d0ba631f67f1

on July 28, 2012
at 01:50 AM

@Joni - I have totally forgotten to pick up his box of cereal. He gets quite miffed :)

886f424edd2b4d823638d0ba631f67f1

on July 28, 2012
at 01:48 AM

@Nemesis - thanks! Great ideas.

886f424edd2b4d823638d0ba631f67f1

on July 28, 2012
at 01:47 AM

@CD thanks for your thoughts. I am pretty good about shopping the perimeter of a grocery store and can easily pass things up in the store, but like Joni, if it's in the house, I'm toast. Your last sentence is killer!

886f424edd2b4d823638d0ba631f67f1

on July 28, 2012
at 01:46 AM

@Team Oberg - thanks!

886f424edd2b4d823638d0ba631f67f1

on July 28, 2012
at 01:46 AM

@KarenOH thank you! He really is quite generous so I hope that he won't be offended when I tell him no food gifts. @Nemesis -- I really do wonder if this is part of his thought process regarding this transformation. His body composition hasn't changed since we first met, but mine has for the worse.

886f424edd2b4d823638d0ba631f67f1

on July 28, 2012
at 01:44 AM

Congratulations on your transformation! Thanks so much.

886f424edd2b4d823638d0ba631f67f1

on July 28, 2012
at 01:43 AM

@HaileyGallo -- thanks for your wisdom! @DaveS -- Thanks so much. I am honestly looking forward to getting totally turned off my pastries.

9beda76f4e91faedc8fa70ecdc01251e

(298)

on July 27, 2012
at 09:10 PM

Go Firestorm!!! Thanks for your story.

9beda76f4e91faedc8fa70ecdc01251e

(298)

on July 27, 2012
at 09:09 PM

I get this, but I can't do it. I have to keep my house empty of chips and stuff. I can go by it at the store, no problem, but if it's in the house, I'm bad.

A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on July 27, 2012
at 02:58 PM

Plus a million! You are inspiring:)

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 27, 2012
at 02:54 PM

+1 for "...too many adults still have the emotional maturity of children..."

F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on July 27, 2012
at 02:53 PM

Wow, what a great story! Congratulations on your transformation!

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on July 27, 2012
at 02:27 PM

Spouses and loved ones will often try and sabotage any potential weight loss by guilting them into eating unhealthy food. It's an insecurity/control issue, basically, "You won't love me as much when you start looking hot and I'm still fat, so I'm going to keep you fat so you'll stay with me".

20aee218ca5bce816122348144db9792

(122)

on July 27, 2012
at 01:37 PM

I also am the one who cooks, so it's eat what I make or go hungry ;)

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 27, 2012
at 01:37 PM

Rule of thumb: If you are hungry, you haven't had enough meat. Protein and fat are what stops hunger - focus on that. My house is full of crap since I'm the only paleo person in my family, it's easier if it's not there, but it can be done in the face of it. And you have to face opportunities to eat crap everywhere you go, so it's best to deal with it.

20aee218ca5bce816122348144db9792

(122)

on July 27, 2012
at 01:36 PM

Wow, it's like having a doppelgänger.... I was in your exact situation. When I started Paleo, I demanded that all non Paleo food was removed from the house as I transitioned. I told my husband that he could eat whatever he wanted outside the house, but that I was trying to improve my health and those things wild prevent me from doing so. You just have to be the one who makes dinner, snacks, etc. While a lot of Paleo baking is not recommended, it's a good way to transition you and your family into the lifestyle. If hubby doesn't like the food, fine, go out and buy some fast food after dinner.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 27, 2012
at 01:33 PM

If paleo required willpower, we would all fail eventually. Willpower is a limited commodity. Some is required to get started, but one of the essential ideas is that hunger/appetite become normally regulated on paleo, so you desire good food and are satisfied. Eventually the cravings/temptation disappears. I look at a donut now and think: "Gross!".

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8 Answers

8
Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on July 27, 2012
at 02:04 PM

There are LOTS of foods you can prepare even for a 'picky' eater. I know. My companion is very... particular.

However, when I started, I started because I had to do something for myself or risk no longer being mobile at all. So I started WITHOUT her support. Yes, for 2 years, I prepared two separate meals -- a meal for her and one for me. We let the girls (2 of our 4 children were still living with us at this time) choose from one menu or the other.

Was it sort of a pain? -- Oh yes it was!

Was it really hard and sort of exhausting some days? -- You bet your bottom dollar!

Was it more expensive than buying any-old-thing and just putting it out there? Yup, it was!

"So why do it," you ask?

Well, I was 450 lbs, with multiple sclerosis. Walking more than 6 steps was torture. I couldn't fit into a chair, or buy a pair of jeans. I couldn't go visit my kids in other states because I couldn't fit in an airplane seat and flying was TORTURE... and when I GOT there, all I could DO with them was sit in a doggone CHAIR. To me, that was no kind of life.

What did I get OUT of all that effort? Well, I got down under 300 lbs (it took almost 2 years -- so it wasn't like I rushed out and lost 150 lbs in a couple months or anything). I got my mobility back, can work a full-time job again and still have energy left to write my novels at the end of the day (3rd novel being published this YEAR!!! YAAY). I can garden again. I can WALK again -- even with the complications from the MS!!! I can ride a motorbike. I can hike with my Air Force son through the national parks in Korea. I will be able to see and play with my grand-baby (due in January).

There are a MILLION reasons why, no matter how long it takes, or how hard it is, or how expensive it can be, or how annoying it is to not be able to eat the pizza they bring into the office when everyone else is and your co-worker leaves 3 slices on your desk because you didn't come to the pizza party... it is worth any extra effort you can put in.

My life isn't perfect now, and neither is my health. I still have MS. I still have the same auto-immune disorder that has plagued me since birth. I'm getting older, and slower, and old injuries still give me a bit of a "hrumph" at times -- but I could be SOOOOO much worse than I am. I know that, because I've been there. So whatever the effort, this is a priority for me. I did it with nobody supporting me, and without even being able to TALK to my companion about it, because she was so worried that I was going to "force" her to do it too... but it was too important to give up.

So if your mate or lover doesn't support you -- that's ok. If it's important to you, you'll be able to do it anyway.

If your mate or lover sabotages your efforts... well... maybe it's time to think about whether the relationship is healthy, and figure out how to either heal it or let it go.

Once things start working for you, maybe your significant other will be interested in giving what YOU'RE doing a go -- especially if, despite the struggles, you do it with joy for the potentials in it.

A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on July 27, 2012
at 02:58 PM

Plus a million! You are inspiring:)

9beda76f4e91faedc8fa70ecdc01251e

(298)

on July 27, 2012
at 09:10 PM

Go Firestorm!!! Thanks for your story.

886f424edd2b4d823638d0ba631f67f1

on July 28, 2012
at 01:44 AM

Congratulations on your transformation! Thanks so much.

F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on July 27, 2012
at 02:53 PM

Wow, what a great story! Congratulations on your transformation!

7
3ab5e1b9eba22a071f653330b7fc9579

on July 27, 2012
at 01:37 PM

I dont know, I was with someone that wouldnt eat anything but junk. If it wasnt meat and bread he wouldnt eat it, and we are not talking about the good grassfed steak here, were talking subway. Unfortunately this can cause a bigger rift between two people that most people realize. It is JUST food, but when you are trying to do something for yourself and you feel sabatoged at every turn, resenment will inevitably grow. Why not ask him to try it just for 30 days, and if he doesnt like it he can go back? Or ask him to bring the cheese-its to work because it is hindering your progress.

Also, yes as adults we need to just suck it up and do stuff we dont like to, my husband hates kale but he still eats it because it is good for him. I think too many adults still have the emotional maturity of children now and that is a big problem, they want what feels good to them right now and dont care about the consequences, like a 4 year old. Time to put on his big boy pants and do something he doesnt want to do. I work with people that are the same way, and there are days where I just want to shake them and tell them to get over themselves and grow the fuck up. Life isnt always fun, but when you feel great, and feel good about yourself it is significantly better.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 27, 2012
at 02:54 PM

+1 for "...too many adults still have the emotional maturity of children..."

886f424edd2b4d823638d0ba631f67f1

on July 28, 2012
at 01:46 AM

@Team Oberg - thanks!

6
45e51fee7d295e523ff4134f76c3ba05

(923)

on July 27, 2012
at 01:09 PM

I have two very picky eaters in the house (husband & 17 year old daughter). I usually make a basic meat dish and then add different sides (paleo for me, regular for them). If they want to try my food, more power to them, but they are old enough to choose for themselves. I figure it's up to me to avoid temptation in the house as I'm also old enough to choose the food I want to place in my body.

I would suggest you sit down with your husband and ask him not to bring you any food surprises but to feel free to substitute flowers, a magazine, or something else if he wants to be romantic. A lot of people use food as a way to show love and comfort and it's a hard habit to break (believe me I know!).

Another suggestion is to ask your husband if he would keep the sweets out of the house for 30 days. Tell him you don't mind if he has them away from the house, but for the first month you'd appreciate it if they weren't in the house so you aren't tempted. Chances are, after a month, it will be a habit to not have sweets in the house and that will be a positive change for both of you.

Hopefully, your healthy habits will begin to rub off on him as time goes on.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on July 27, 2012
at 02:27 PM

Spouses and loved ones will often try and sabotage any potential weight loss by guilting them into eating unhealthy food. It's an insecurity/control issue, basically, "You won't love me as much when you start looking hot and I'm still fat, so I'm going to keep you fat so you'll stay with me".

886f424edd2b4d823638d0ba631f67f1

on July 28, 2012
at 01:46 AM

@KarenOH thank you! He really is quite generous so I hope that he won't be offended when I tell him no food gifts. @Nemesis -- I really do wonder if this is part of his thought process regarding this transformation. His body composition hasn't changed since we first met, but mine has for the worse.

4
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 27, 2012
at 01:29 PM

My wife is a pretty picky eater, plus she's in great shape, so it's hard to convince her that this "diet" is about more than weight loss....

He's a big boy, he can eat what he wants. If he doesn't like what's being prepared, he can make his own.

You need to buck up. You need to suck it up. You need to deal with the temptations.

Just ridding your kitchen doesn't rid the grocery store check out isle, or the cake that's left over from a department party, or those brownies at a cookout.

Deal with the temptations, ask yourself, "This is why I was fat, do I want to continue to be fat?"

Don't say, "I'm going to have one brownie because I'm tempted". Instead say, "I'm going to have one brownie because my health is not important to me". Literally say that, over and over, then see if really want that brownie or that can of diet coke.

9beda76f4e91faedc8fa70ecdc01251e

(298)

on July 27, 2012
at 09:09 PM

I get this, but I can't do it. I have to keep my house empty of chips and stuff. I can go by it at the store, no problem, but if it's in the house, I'm bad.

886f424edd2b4d823638d0ba631f67f1

on July 28, 2012
at 01:47 AM

@CD thanks for your thoughts. I am pretty good about shopping the perimeter of a grocery store and can easily pass things up in the store, but like Joni, if it's in the house, I'm toast. Your last sentence is killer!

3
1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on July 27, 2012
at 02:31 PM

I've been doing this for years now. During the week my boyfriend and I make our own separate meals, and on the weekends I'll often grill up some meat and veggies. We'll both eat the meat, and if wants a different side dish than what I prepare, he makes it on his own.

That way we can both enjoy bunless burgers or bratwurst, and I'll have my skewered veggies and fresh corn on the cob without having to be worried whether or not he likes it.

886f424edd2b4d823638d0ba631f67f1

on July 28, 2012
at 01:48 AM

@Nemesis - thanks! Great ideas.

1
2c1c183776cf013fe09976fbfc5eaa3d

on July 28, 2012
at 05:08 AM

I started 30 day diet (from the website) almost two weeks ago. Before starting, I have been reading up a lot about Paleo and I am not a soda, coffee or alcohol drinker. I don't eat much junk food nor smoke. I usually have raisin bran or Wheaties with 2% milk for breakfast and a tuna or deli chicken sandwich with cheese on sourdough or wheat bread along with a fruit for lunch. For dinner with my family, it can be chicken, seafood, or meat but often paired with pasta of any type, bread (with real butter), potatoes or veggies and a salad to go with. I avoided totally with bacon and other food high in fat, thinking it was bad for me. I am only at least 15 pds overweight and I felt healthy as can be. However, I did have a big problem with anything sweet and it was hard for me to quit sweet since I always think about it and finding time to go get them often (frozen yogurt shop, bakery, drug store for candies,etc).

Finally, the very day I started Paleo, I had eggs cooked in butter and bacon for breakfast. I was totally fine and not hungry till past lunch when I had some chicken and veggie salad and some berries. It wasn't until I got home and realized that I haven't crave nor thought about sweet. And I also realized that I have to think of what's to cook for dinner for my family. I was surprised that I wasn't hungry. I made normal meat dinner for family and I ate what they had except for anything carb (no pasta, no bread, no whatever). I was just full on little bit of dinner. Went to bed, not missing sweet.

This has been going on nearly two weeks now despite sweet and carb my family ate in front of me that I cooked for them and I can handle looking at these food and not feel craving. at. all. I have energy, no brain fog, no hunger between meals, slept fine, AND...my pants are slipping off! I actually went down nearly two sizes! My hubby is noticing this and making good comments.I am excited about that and just today, I wandered into Rocky Mountain Chocolate shop and breathed in a heavenly whiff of candy, looked around for awhile and I walked out feeling great. I did not buy fudge or caramel, my all-time favorites!!!! I am looking forward to the end of 30 days to see how I feel and how my body looks.

I have started exercising the first of this year and changed my diet a bit but I only lost ten pounds in 7 months and still the same size before I found out about Paleo. I think I will definitely try to get my family to eat this soon. My hubby is actually thinking of doing this. Good Luck!

1
9beda76f4e91faedc8fa70ecdc01251e

(298)

on July 27, 2012
at 09:14 PM

My husband is not terribly supportive---he gets that I feel better, but he certainly doesn't want to do it. I usually cook though, so meat and veg and that's it....!! Then he will go make toast to go with dinner. Also, I tend to "forget" to buy bread and cereal for everyone, ha ha. The kids know I don't eat certain things, and I figure I am cutting back on how much they eat. But my husband? I don't know. I don't know why he won't just try it. He has trouble with congestion and asthma, but won't connect it to food! Grrr.

886f424edd2b4d823638d0ba631f67f1

on July 28, 2012
at 01:50 AM

@Joni - I have totally forgotten to pick up his box of cereal. He gets quite miffed :)

0
C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

on July 27, 2012
at 09:51 PM

I'm about to start Paleo tomorrow- I'm doing an exploratory phase of 30 days to see how my body reacts and if I notice any improvement. On top of that, I'll be surrounded by a bunch of people from carb vacuum cleaners to vegeterians to people who will think Im a nutcase.

Can I tell you something? If you go in with that mindset (my husband is a picky eater) you are already setting yourself up to fail.

For years I used to blame X and Y... and the lesson I learned is that there will ALWAYS be a reason- it's an easy way out. The only person you can blame is yourself, and if you fall, it's not the end of the world, get up again. And if Paleo is not for you, then its also not the end of the world, try something else.

Set your mind to a crystal clear goal. The mind is a powerful tool and will help you reach your objective.

But you have no one else to blame but yourself. I hope I didnt come off as harsh, but I speak from experience and sometimes paid the price the hard way because I would subconsciously trick my mind by finding ways to blame others.

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