When I first met him, he cooked me dinner. Granted, it was a frozen dinner–in a bag–that he dumped into a skillet–but it was dinner, cooked by him, nonetheless.
Nowadays, his cooking game has improved greatly: French Toast, Tacos, and even steak dinners are some of my favorites.
Regardless of his wonderful cooking skills, he just doesn’t care about his health the way I do. The aches, the pains, the digestion…it doesn’t bother him.
He still wants the deodorant with aluminum in it. He still eats a ton of candy everyday. He would probably be okay eating microwave food for the rest of his life. He is his own person. And this is my husband. The man I love.
When I recently returned from vacation, my kitchen was filled with Hot-Pockets, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cup-O-Noodles, and Doritos.
Those homemade frozen waffles in the freezer?
That delicious Greek Yogurt?
Those pieces of fruit in the bowl?
Never touched ’em.
And there on the counter sits the rotting fruit.
At this point, I have learned to laugh at our differences. Though I had some realizations and epiphanies along the way.
Men Don’t Seem To Care About Nutrition As Much As Women
In our society there is way too much pressure on women to be thin and attractive. It’s expected. The same unrealistic standards and expectations are NOT placed upon men in this culture.
We tend to think that “thin” means healthy. NOT true.
Thinness is only an indicator of one thing: You’re Not Overweight.
Besides that, it doesn’t indicate anything about digestion, blood sugar regulation, fatty acid balance, hormones, hydration, etc.
So on our “hunt” for thinness, many of us women stumble upon an interest in health and nutrition. As we age and transform, our interests may only deepen whereas some men won’t be as motivated until something goes wrong. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” or “What I don’t know won’t hurt me.”
This is a Common Reality Amongst Couples
What I learned in speaking out about this is that MANY others have the same dynamic.
One woman shared with me that her husband found out he had celiac disease and still insisted on drinking beer daily for the next ten years. And she owned a health food store.
I have another friend desperately trying to lose weight and her spouse doesn’t provide much support but provides endless temptations.
In another home, a woman dies as her family begs her to go to the doctor.
It’s a real issue. So don’t feel alone.
What Are Your Intentions?
How many times have we heard the cliche story of the man who makes the mistake of buying the wife exercise equipment or cooking gadgets for Christmas? It happens all of the time. We mean well, but it comes off like a sting.
If there is a possibility that you’ve lost that loving feeling because of your spouse’s appearance–then focus on building your bond.
Invite him or her on dates where you can get active and sweaty or make him or her a delicious, healthy meal that says, “I really love you. I love us. I wanna live a long life with you.”
Be an example.
If you expect your partner to be healthy, I sure hope you’re walking the talk yourself.
Instead of lecturing your partner, be a shining example.
Naturally, you will look better, feel better and have more energy. Seeing you happy, energetic and wanting to be active is sure to stir up some feelings in your loved ones.
Good energy begets good energy.
Communicate From a Place of Love
If you are genuinely concerned for your partner or loved one, then have an honest conversation about whatever it is that is concerning you. Talk about the real heart of the matter, face-to-face. Bring up your fears and your hopes. Just be heard and get it out.
If your partner respects your opinion, he or she will listen to your concerns. If not, then maybe the “health” isn’t really the matter you need to be discussing. Deeper issues can disguise themselves behind issues like this.
Are You Using Your Spouse As An Excuse To Stay Unhealthy, Yourself?
Anytime I commit to making positive changes in my life, I get really excited. My head starts buzzing, my feet feel lighter and I’m carried away into the possibilities.
However, this super awesome feeling can be lost in a matter of moments if your partner is not quite as excited, motivated, or interested as you.
If you have a feeling that your partner won’t share in your enthusiasm, be prepared for that. Don’t expect something different from him or her now that you’re ready to change.
As I mentioned above, the man I married still loves Hot Pockets despite everything I’ve shared with him. I can’t expect him to change and grow in all of the same ways as I do just because we are together.
Instead, I’m prepared with will power and commitment. Since I’m doing the cooking for the family, I do have some control in that regard. 😉
Believe me, it’s not easy at first, but before you know it you can be sitting right alongside ’em as they eat directly from a tub of ice cream…and not even bat an eye. I know from experience.
We All Have Different Thresholds and Priorities
Warning: Some foods and substances cause pleasure.
And that continued pleasure is greater to some than the desire to live a longer, stronger, healthier life.
It is greater than the desire to feel better, to heal, to stop complaining about their health and do something about it.
That momentary satisfaction is what some people live for and they’re okay dying for it too.
Until an individual’s motivation is intrinsic, no matter how bad we want something for someone–we honestly have no control.
Find a Happy Medium With Your Kids, If You Have Them
I think it can be challenging to find a happy medium if one parent is more concerned about health than the other, but with enough respect and tact you can come together and find a happy medium that will work for you and your family.
I’m of the belief that we don’t need to be overly critical in front of children as they may mirror these tendencies at school. They will never live in a glass bubble outside of our care. Once again, just show your kids by being a good example.
Let It Go
Okay, so this has been my hardest lesson in regards to nutrition and those I love.
Just like in the infamous “Frozen” song…LET IT GO! Yes, it’s tough to watch those we love make what we believe to be bad choices. But it is his or her choice to make.
The bottom line is, the only thing we have control of in this world is ourselves. We are each given a brain, body, heart and soul…and it’s up to us, individually, to decide how we spend those things.
My husband has come to love me for the health nut I am and I joke with him about the junk-food junkie he is. That’s the man I married.
Focus On You, Baby!
Once you let go of all of the fretting you have been doing about your partner, you can take all of that newfound energy and put it into yourself. I know because I’ve been able to do it! Stop trying to get them to hop on the healthy train with you and just enjoy the ride!
If you’re a mom, stop worrying about everyone else first. Fill your cup up first, Mama, and then, you will have enough for everyone! Enough time, enough energy, enough smiles. Chances are, there are plenty of other people out there you can nerd out about health and nutrition with….FIND YOUR TRIBE! 😉
We can’t spend our time holding onto what others should be doing or else we lose ourselves. The moment I stopped waiting around on my husband to join me was the moment I felt better. I gave myself permission to do all of the things I wanted in regards to my health.
And believe it or not, for one of the first times, he has recruited my help on a health matter.
So, shine your light and do your thing!💃🏼🌞
“Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you; but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.” – Henry David Thoreau