I am working toward converting my family's diet over to paleo. My husband's biggest concern is his inability to get much exercise, especially weight bearing exercise. He injured his lower back (L5-S1) which was incorrectly diagnosed as sciatica. By the time he was properly diagnosed with a herniated disc, the herniation had calcified and a (now known) hack doctor removed the calcification, scraping nerves and bone, causing nerve damage.
He has a neuro-stimulator implanted in his back and through acupuncture, he has regained feeling in his lower leg, but deals with constant pain. Once the temperatures warm up, he will be able to exercise in the pool, but the current temps cause his muscles to knot up and cause him even more pain.
I was diagnosed with type II diabetes and am really weak when it comes to will power. If there is bread in the house, I will eat it. If there is sugar and flour in the house, I will make cookies. If there are chips in the house, I will make dip and have a smorgasbord. I need the support of the entire family food-wise to get my glucose levels under control without medication. Can anyone offer talking points for me?
It is better to eat Paleo and not exercise than to not eat Paleo. With regards to the exercise. Walking, if possible, is good. Anything with dumbells is good.
Don't beat yourself up about the will power. you're just doing what you evolved to do, eat high density, caloric foods if you find them! There's a reason that stuff is so tempting and hard to stop eating. The problem is not you, it's that the food is engineered to evoke that response and it's so abundant, we have to impose our own restrictions to make it scarce, the way it would have been pre-agriculture and evil industrialized food complex. Any way, that's a bit off the point I suppose...
As to the talking points...I find action speaks louder than words. Are you the maker of meals in your household? Make a totally paleo meal right down to the dessert (there are some AWESOME resources out there, just google "paleo [enter any food item here]" and you'll find a recipe. Include something with bacon :). Once everyone is busy chewing, that will be your moment to start talking about Paleo!
Not being able (or willing?) to exercise as much as one may like is not an even remotely good reason to not improve the quality of one's diet. IN fact, not exercising means it is even more important to improve one's diet.
You should still do paleo though as much as you can. Maybe seing you succeed and improve will motivate him to do the same.
"They" say it's 80% Diet and 20% exercise that leads to fitness. I'd have to agree with that. Even if your husband doesn't move much at all he should drop pounds (although not build muscle mass) by not eating sugar and processed carbs alone.
Have you considered the Whole30 approach? I finished that not too long ago and now my husband is on board about to finish his first week on the program. It's not easy but I find that I adapt better to this sort of thing by going completely cold turkey. (Mmmm. Turkey)
Sorry to hear about your and your husband's health problems. I am also super weak when it comes to will power. I will eat all the candy and cookies in a 1 mile radius if given the chance. They key is not to give yourself the chance. A lot of people to a little paleo cleansing ritual where they throw away all the sugar, flour, grains, etc. That way you wont have the temptation.
In terms of talking points you should emphasize all the benefits of paleo eating. Your family loves you and will want you around for a while! Paleo will help alleviate some of your health issues. Also, you get to eat all sorts of delicious things you couldn't eat on a conventional low fat diet. Talk about all the bacon, steak, and eggs you get to eat. Make lots of guacamole. Make full fat whipped cream with a little stevia, serve it over berries with dark chocolate shavings, and see if anyone misses candy. They will buy into it because it isn't like dieting, really. You shouldn't think of it as denying them cookies - you're granting them bacon!
My 17-year-old grandson lives with me and eats SAD although he helps himself to a lot of my fruit and meat.
The mental trick I've used to avoid eating any of his neo-treats is to say out loud to him that I won't. Basically, in my mind I'd be stealing if I ate any of his things. So, if I absolutely have to have a treat, I either have to select from the whole foods I have or get in my truck and go buy something bad. On that system, I haven't eaten any neo-treats since a planned splurge at Christmas.
My "bad" treat from the healthier stuff is to put a handful or 2 of frozen berries/fruit in a dish and pour on a little heavy cream. It's very satisfying and doesn't undermine my overall health status.
When I first went Paleo, I was the only one in the household that did it. My wife is an enthusiastic bread, pasta, and processed food consumer (and she is thin and healthy!). We have kids and kid's food is generally the same.
When we make dinner, it is usually a protein (meat or seafood), starch, and vegetable. To accommodate all of us (I do most of the cooking), I started to make the vegetable dish large (i.e. an entire bunch of asparagus or broccolini, two trays of crispy roasted kale, large salad, etc), and I would eat the protein and veggies and skip the starch, and everyone else would eat all three.
I also never buy any processed or grain based food. My wife might or she might get take out from somewhere, but I never buy it.
Over time I started to introduce more paleo friendly starches such as roasted sweet potatoes. My family grew to like them. They also started to eat more vegetables and salad, since that is what was available.
Over time, this gradually changed the family diet. We now have pasta once every week or two instead of 3-4 times per week. Nobody seems to miss it. When we used to order pizza, we now order kebabs. Honestly nobody seems to mind or care, and where about 25% of the food in the house was paleo, now it is more like 75%. There is a lot of delicious food available in the paleo diet incuding steak, roasts, lamb, seafood, shell fish, and all sorts of vegetables (which are fun to cook and delicious if you learn how to do it), so for us it really hasn't been a problem. This has allowed me to keep to my diet while also keeping everyone else healthy on a different diet, though our diets continue to converge.
I would read this blog from Robb Wolf first: http://robbwolf.com/2012/04/04/paleo-diet-convince-it/. This may give you a little insight.