|Posted on April 10, 2019 at 11:00 AM|
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash
Opposites attract, that’s for sure. Two totally different people with a handful of common interests walk down the aisle to say, “I do!” From that day forward they are now one. Or at least, as far as God is concerned. Later down the road, when your scale whines, “Lose weight!” you find out just how different the two of you really are. So you embark on health improvement and weight loss hoping he will be just as exuberant about it as you. After all, that gut on him needs to go. So you serve up a delicious low-calorie quinoa bowl with plenty of veggies, black beans, avocado, and edamame. While you slide the bowl in front of him, a tear wells up in his eye as he sweats bullets trying to think of how in the world to get out of his predicament. After all, he is a meat and potatoes kind of guy. There is no meat in this “whatever” thing you called dinner, he thinks. Out of exasperation, he gets up from the table, “I ain’t eatin’ that. Where’s the bacon?” he bellows as he heads for the fridge. You slaved over this recipe hoping he would be on board with you, but he obviously isn’t. What now?
It is a common problem for one to be willing to change one’s health with the other one oblivious to his or her own need for health improvement. It would be blissful if both people in the couple were, but that is the rarity. The reason why has to do with personality traits. Even though you are now one, you did not lose your distinct personality. You also did not forget your distinct past nor your own health inclinations. The individual convicted of the need for change will need a heaping dose of longsuffering when it comes to seeing the change happen in the other half of the couple. With that in mind, focus on improving your own health while helping your spouse understand your motivation and what you are doing is not just for you, but also for other people and God’s work.
Here are a few ways to deal with those in your home who are resistant to cooperating with your endeavor for health improvement and weight loss:
1. If they won’t eat what you eat, then ask them to store their food up high or down low, whichever is harder for you to reach. Let them know you need it out of your view and out of reach. If they feel less judgment for their food choices, they may be more willing to cooperate with your food choices for you.
2. Find healthy recipes that are full of flavor to cook. Keep in mind that men need more protein than women. They will rarely buy into a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. Lean meats, good bone broth, and the right seasonings can transform a bland meal. I won my hubby over by making salads with meat, low-fat cheeses, and turkey bacon sprinkled on it. I used low-fat (not no-fat dressings). He was hooked on salad!
3. If they were used to lots of sauces and salt, then reduce the sodium and find lower calorie healthy, flavorful versions to keep on hand. If their mouths begin to water over what you eat, they may be willing to try what you have on your plate.
4. Keep pre-cut veggies and fruit your family likes at the front of your refrigerator. Make fresh fruit pops and place them in the freezer toward the front. Any healthy snack foods, keep them in full view of the pantry. Most people will eat what is in front of them.
5. He may not exercise with you, but you might be able to get him to go on walks with you when it is nice outside. As long as he doesn’t think you are sneaking in exercise without his consent, he will trust you more. He may also be willing to do physical labor instead of workout at the gym. Whatever you do,avoid nagging and keep it pleasant within his realm of reasonability.
6. Get his buy-in with less screen time: t.v. computer, phone, etc. There must be a pleasant substitute for these. Your kids may be tougher unless you have an alternative that is fun for them.
7. Let your family know you want to be around for them for a long time. Express your concerns about your family’s health in the context of love by telling them you want each one to live a long enjoyable life for as long as possible.
Always remind them that personal stewardship is an essential principle in God’s kingdom, for you and for them (Ephesians 2:10). Care of your body is just as crucial as tithing, giving to missions, sharing what you have with others, and more. We can do so much more for God’s kingdom and other people when we are healthy and fit.
May God bless you!