I went paleo a couple of months ago, and my wife did not. This has caused a little bit of friction in that, on the rare occasion that she cooks instead of me, she doesn’t cook anything I can eat. This is not of spite or lack of support for my dietary decisions, but more that she just doesn’t know what is “paleo.” She tried to go paleo with me, but never made it more than a week. She just couldn’t kick sweets, and she never bothered to learn what was paleo or paleo-ish (so if I want there to cook for her, she’d opt for pizza or similar.)
I dropped about 10 lbs in the first 2 months without complying too strictly to the diet (I think a big part of this is water weight from the dramatically reduced salt intake) and I feel so good. I feel like I look like I’ve lost weight, (even if I haven’t actually lost as much as I feel like I have.) My wife has even commented that she thinks I look better, both physically and in spirit. Then she starts complaining about how she feels bad, and she needs to lose weight. This is usually while eating a half-pint of ice cream, or some cup cakes. She seems interested in the health benefits of paleo, and she’s jealous that I lost weight and changed literally nothing except for my diet, she even loves the meals I prepare (all paleo) but yet she still won’t commit.
For 6 months before our wedding, she tried almost every crazy, fad diet in the book… all for 3 or 4 days. She just couldn’t stick to anything. Most of the time I was happy that she stopped trying them. The HCG 500 calorie per day diet was just stupid. So was her decision to eat nothing but fruit, or to subsist on liquid foods like Ensure. Each time the result was the same, and she never lost any weight. These diets were coupled with an attempt to do 3- 6 hours of cardio DAILY at the gym. But with each failure she seemed to take it harder until she finally declared the she just couldn’t lose weight – it was impossible. Now her spirit seems broken with this regard, and she hates her body.
She used to be a very driven, very in shape and active person. And I know that if she were to stick with paleo for even 2 weeks she’d start to see the kind of results she wants, and she’d feel so much better. Have any of you out there managed to help someone overcome themselves and finally “buy in” long enough to see it work? I’m turning to you, PaleoHack. Any suggestions on how to get her to do this with me?
FWIW, I DO feel like a jerk for posting a “how do I get my wife to get skinny again” post :)
I would assume that seeing you lose weight while on paleo would motivate her to try paleo out, if not for health, than for the sheer purpose of dropping a few of pounds.
1) Let her see this: http://infographic.paleolithicdiet.com/ I think it's a very clear description in a few words and lots of pictures on how we got fat and what paleo is all about. YouTube also has some paleo 101 videos that break things down nicely.
2) Send her to http://www.marksdailyapple.com/. Mark's site is a great introduction to going paleo/primal. All her questions on paleo 101, why grain is bad, why meat and fat are good are answered in a very easy to understand kind of way. Marks's wife Carrie also chimes in from time to time to tell us ladies about cellulite, menopause and other woman specific issues. Actually, send her this link: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/cardio-queen-gone-primal/ That girl's transformation made me say "God damn!! Sign me up, playa!"
3) If she's worried about her sweet tooth, tell her that she can still have desserts while on paleo. I've discovered a whole new world in grain-free baking. I mean, who can say no to these (use almond butter instead of PB, of course)? http://balancedbites.com/2010/12/easy-recipe-grain-free-magic-cookie-bars.html Don't go overboard on the paleo baked goods though - excess honey, coconut and nuts do not a skinny girl make. ;)
4) Chronic cardio is the worse thing to do to lose weight! Been there, done that and I've seen the results - no movement on the scale. Tell her work out fast and hard instead. Lifting weights and sprinting should take no longer than 1 hr at the gym. This leaves more time for hugz and cuddlez for the paleo couple.
* cue the baby making music *
Sorry, but about all you can do is just quietly do your own paleo thing. Don't nag or try to explain anything. Also even if asked, give short answers. You can not get someone else to buy into this. Even if she says she wants to do it, she will have to own it. Otherwise, you will have to be the Paleo Police. "Can I eat this?" "Well, what about this?" "Why not? Her eating is not your responsibility no matter how much you want it for her. But, the fact that you are willing to cook and she likes what you fix is a real positive. Maybe after awhile she will follow a few steps at a time.
I would suggest you say something like
"I love you and support you living the way you want, I am not trying to change anything about you, but I do ask that you learn some basics about this so you can be my support system in this as you are in so much else"
Than if she agrees give her some really basic stuff and a link to a happy family centered paleo site.
In six months if she isn't interested on her own (yea six months, really) you can suggest you each take on a month long challenge, you can challenge her to be Paleo for January and she can challenge you to make a change she really wants.
Be polite, and lead by example. SHe doesn't want to be persuaded to "go Paleo" but I'm sure if you get to realize it's her Idea, then she'll jump on wholeheartedly.
After you lose a large measure of weight, feel better, and have leagues of energy everyday, she will follow your example. Don't push it on her forcefully. No one likes being told they are wrong - especially if they are.
I was "your wife" not too long ago. Haha What I mean to say is that my husband was the one doing paleo on and off several times. I would jealously watch him drop weight, feel incredible and all of the great things that go along with the paleo stye. I have never been the "try all the diets person" but did find great success with weight watchers. So while the DH was eating paleo I was trying my weight watcher style. Meanwhile dinnertime was a disaster for us both b/c he was wanting one thing and I was wanting the other. We are both Crossfitters and so, of course, I hear about paleo nearly daily. For me, my husband was NEVER pushy or anything and I think that was the biggest. I saw his success and the success of others I know who have done paleo. I'm the type that if my DH had been pushy or anything even remotely close it would have made me even more anti-paleo. Having said all of that, I'm going into my 3rd week of paleo and had gotten up to 10.4 pounds lost (then had a birthday cheat meal which was a mess). So I'm now at 8.8 pounds lost. So my advice, just keep hanging in there and being a positive, patient role model. My last suggestion (which is NOT a good one, I know, so don't judge me! haha) is cook dinner more. If she likes your paleo cooking then do more of it and she's then eating paleo more and not even necessarily knowing it. :) Good luck!
I'd recommend that you start out with high carb for a while with plenty of tubers and rice, and focus on eliminating one thing at a time, like first sweetened things, then wheat etc.
If she wants to lose fat, get her to start lifting weights and walking a lot. Design a program where she does 1 set to failure of everything 2x a week. It actually works and it's minimally tedious.
Have you considered getting her to do Atkins at least? Ive found that to be the transition point for my husband. He's totally skeptical about wheat/dairy intolerance but he's totally accepting of bacon and eggs for breakfast every morning and the fact that going carbless is a good weight loss plan. YES he still drinks diet coke, No, he wouldn't touch a head of Kale or Broccoli Rabe with a ten foot pole but at least we have a lot of common ground now. I may eat coconut products and fish during the day but we can both agree on some sauteed spinach and grassfed steak for dinner. He still eats some gross stuff and doesn't seem concerned about PUFA's and doesn't scour the ingredients when he goes to restaurants like I do but he's fine with turning his sandwiches from the italian deli in to salads and ordering bunless burgers from McDonalds.
I doubt I'll ever get him to go 90-100% paleo but ate least with him doing Atkins we can agree on things and he can get his sugar free jello (yes I know it's gross) and not whine about me controlling him. He's losing weight too. I'd love to see him eat clean but just cutting the bread and sugar has been such a big change for him that I'm not pushing it.
I just give him fish pills, Vitamin D supplements, and Magnesium to make up where he's probably missing out and call it a friggin day.
Put the business card of a divorce lawyer on the fridge.
Does she read? I was totally won over by Robb Wolf's Paleo Solution. My husband isn't a reader and I am trying to get him to go Paleo with me and the kids (he is Paleo at home but I am sure he isn't when he eats out for lunch, etc.) so I signed into his Facebook acct. and "liked" a whole bunch of different Paleo FB sites so they would appear in his feed and he would get the jist that way (heehee). Do you spend a lot of time in the car together? I always read to my husband on long trips and that is a good way too - captive audience and all. ;~) If she would read Paleo Solution, Primal Blueprint, one of those, I think she would be a believer... Good luck!
well if it was me and wanting to convert my hubby...
grill him a grokified rib eye with a bangin ass salad
leave the dirty dishes and have a grokified hot monkey sex session
if this does not convert her... then leave her the h3ll alone. IMO, your job as a husband is to love your wife unconditionally and not diet her or even mention her body/weight/past diets
HELP! What is This?!? 2 Answers
Thyroid OCD and Paleo 4 Answers
Cravings, how do you deal with them? 1 Answer