So, I am planning on starting a paleo lifestyle, I brought up the idea with my wife and she scoffed at the idea. She is never one who likes change and she has seen her father and uncle bounce from low carb diet to low carb diet all without success. I understand paleo is different and would like to prove it to her with results. So basically what I want to know, does anyone have tricks or suggestions for starting paleo without having the support of your family?
In my experience it will take a while before your spouse begins to bend. Its a tough thing. Because she doesn't buy in, there will be temptations all around. You need to give in because she is your spouse. But you need to carve out some space for yourself too. You'll need to craft an effective compromise.
I took an inventory of all the bad stuff we had in our pantry and fridge. What bad stuff can I avoid on my own - I don't like to use the word willpower - and what do I need to banish from house?
Boxes of pasta? No problem for me. To binge on that I actually have to retrieve the box, open the box, boil water, deposit pasta, etc. Too many steps.
Ice cream? Tough. Its way too easy to just open the fridge spoon in hand and start digging. So at first I demanded that she buy flavors I don't like. I might be the only human on planet Earth who doesn't like chocolate ice cream. Easy compromise there - she gets more to herself and I'm happy.
Other stuff I declared verboten. Snack foods, like potato chips, were banned. This wasn't too hard, since I was the main consumer and my wife wouldn't argue that we should have them. Did have a problem the last couple of weeks though. We had to play host to a 13-year old nephew for 11 days. His eating habits are atrocious, and my wife found it easier to cater to them rather than feed him nutritious grub. I threw some stuff out that I thought crossed the line.
Did you know that the Cinnabon folks have a breakfast cereal? Amazing.
Pizza was tougher. My solution? When pizza was brought into the house I did partake. Sort of. What I did was to wait until the pie cooled down a bit, then isolate a slice and peel the cheese off in one piece. That would bring up the pepperoni too, and a bit of sauce. Great way to indulge my jones and avoid the grains. Perfect paleo? Of course not. But a workable strategy. And over time pizza started appearing less and less.
As the process developed my wife got used to bending, and so I slowly pushed the boundaries further. And that is perhaps the biggest key of all, even more than the proof of your own fitness.
Unless........ do you have a child?
Cook Paleo meals when you can. Leave neolithic foods off your plate when you don't. You might not always have good choices on your dinner plate. Most people ease into the diet over time anyway, so don't sweat it.
Be supportive of your wife's choice not to participate. Respect her and she should respect your personal choices too.
If that fails, read Good Calories, Bad Calories to your wife aloud.
I do most if not all the cooking and grocery shopping. The more I ate and cooked paleo, the more my family did. My husband now is a firm believer and pretty much tells everyone he knows and "cheats" less than I do. It took a good 6 months or so.
Everybody has had great suggestions. This whole transition is honestly very intimidating!! It makes sense and it registers in my brain that it is a much heatlhier way of life...but soooooo intimidating.
Anyway, I think I am going to sort of ease into this, similar to what imanominvore said. I will try to avoid non-paleo fare when possible, and cook paleo when I can. I've already been doing this to a point, now I will just take it one step further.
Thanks again everyone. I will let you know how it is going!!
I don't want to start a whole different thread about it, but I read these answers and just know that NONE of it could ever work at my house. I not only started Paleo WITHOUT the support of my spouse, but almost a disdain for it.
I have been working on weight loss for over 6 years now. I have lost over 100lbs and gone from obese to a healthy weight. I've done this all DESPITE no support at home. My motivation was to be healthy for my daughter. After a year where both of my parents were in intensive care (at 52 and 54 years old) I had a wake up call and changed my life.
I know it had to be hard for my husband to deal with all of the changes in me. I am not the person he married. My interests have changed, my cooking has changed, my LIFE has changed.
I think it was easier for him when I was obese and stayed home all the time.
this link to marks daily apple's results page has some really good pictures about half way down and then more towards the bottom: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-book/success-stories-10/
I am struggling with a similar issue, though, and not having much success. Best of luck.
Since its a spouse youre talking about though, how about when she sees your success? I mean, be really strict with yourself - meat and veg only - and youll drop weight, feel better, etc. When she sees that improvement will she not kind of at least come around a little?
In my case im dealing with my mother who lives a state away and its as direct a communication.
My experience was a little like yours: my spouse was hesitant to believe that the Paleo Diet would work -- much like I didn't believe that all these other diets flying around would work.
Almost six months later, I am a little over 50 pounds lighter, lean, and muscular from also exercising. The proof is in the Paleo pudding.
Negotiate an agreement - that she will NOT disparage what you cook or eat, and that you won't preach to her about what she cooks or eats. As to the daughter, suggest 90 days of "your way" and just note what happens. Also agree that a missed meal or two is NOT detrimental to your daughter's development. Just say that you are really interested in her health for her whole life, and that good choices now = great health later.
she may still resist saying that she doesn't want her daughter to miss out on birthday cakes, ice cream parties, etc. Agree that you wont' stop the kid from eating those things, but that you'd like to limit the quantity and the occasions that she eats them.
As for you and your wife, you'll have to agree on your food budget and who cooks, and who eats what. May I also suggest reading this book: http://www.amazon.com/Die-Fat-Get-Tough-Differences/dp/0975500333/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1278273121&sr=8-2, and using it as a discussion with your wife. You may not agree with every statement in the book, that is not the reason for my recommendation. It will help you see where the gaps are in your attitudes and perceptions and help you both negotiate to have a peaceful home while you engage in your journey, hopefully conflict free.
Just jump in and your wife will see the changes in you both physically and mentally and will start to pick it up. This is what happened with my girlfriend. Some people are a S (myers-Briggs) and they need to see something work firsthand before they try it (they don't buy into theories).
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