So you've decided to change your diet. You're pumped and ready to finally attain boundless energy, a thin waistline, and a healthy body. There's only one problem...
Your spouse isn't onboard.
It's a common issue. Maybe it's a man who doesn't want to give up "man food" because he's afraid of being forced to eat tree bark and weeds every day. Of course, there are indeed some ladies who are resistant to change as well, and that can also prove to be a monumental challenge.
Either way, being with someone who isn't exactly thrilled about your newfound passion for healthy food can be deflating. Here are 4 tips to inspire the support you need from your significant other.
1. Don't Be Obnoxious
Marriage is a partnership, so trying to force a spouse into change can lead to resentment. The last thing you want to do is yell, "That's bad for you!" every time she puts something in her mouth.
If your husband or wife concludes on their own that change is needed, that revelation is more likely to last. So use an approach that is based on concern and respect. This will foster a spirit of mutual support so you can move forward as a team.
Show your significant other the information that inspired you. If you read an article, print it out and ask him to review it. If you read a book, write out a summary of the compelling parts that influenced you. If doing this doesn't persuade her right away, be patient, respect her opinion, and ask that she be encouraging as you explore this new information for yourself.
2. Make Cooking Your New Hobby
It's harder to make healthy choices when eating out. Too many restaurants serve foods doused with chemicals, cooked in harmful oils, and produced from poorly farmed meats. The first step in healthy eating is to start preparing meals at home.
Make cooking your new hobby. The "nutrition transition" will be much easier for everyone if you become the household chef, so experiment with meals you know your family will love. You'll be adding to your list of things to do, but the change will be easier for them to embrace, and you'll be in control of what's being served.
3. Make It Fun For The Kids
Eating is an emotional event for most people (not a rational one!), which is why it's so difficult to give up the foods that make us feel good. However, good nutrition is something that needs to be instilled in our children as early as possible if we want them to avoid unhealthy relationships with food.
Kids will almost never choose vegetables over pizza, so adults have to lead by example. This requires unrelenting cooperation between parents. Cooking meals together is a great way to make nutrition fun and to teach kids how to make things other than cereal and toast.
Explain to your spouse that part of the reason for altering your food choices is to make sure your kids can live long, healthy lives. We all want our children to avoid disease, and this starts with nutrition.
4. Give Them Time
This revelation didn't happen overnight with you, and it won't with them either. We naturally resist things that are being forced on us, so be patient, continue sharing the information you're learning, and include your spouse in your own growth. Let them learn with you instead of from you.
The people who are most successful with a household nutrition transition do it gradually. Small, almost imperceptible changes work best. Before you know it, your entire lifestyle is transformed.