I love my husband. We have been married for over 8 years and together for 16 years. I was very overweight for most of that time. I think he takes almost as much joy in my newfound health as I do. But that doesn’t mean he wants to eat like me. My husband is a skinny fat man. That means that he is naturally lean, but not particularly muscular. His blood lipids and blood pressure are good. He doesn’t exercise, but he’s in good enough shape to enjoy a hike with the girls where they ride on our shoulders most of the way. So there is no real incentive for him to change anything. And he loves grains.
I can tell that my husband is intrigued by how well I’m sleeping, how energetic I am all day, how much more balanced my moods are, and how health issues like IBS, GERD and migraines have disappeared. But every time I get encouraged by his interest and start to steer him toward a commitment to paleolithic nutrition, he ruffles his feathers and gets this indignant teenager attitude. He’ll say things like “I agreed to cut back on my grains but not cut them out!”. He’s stubborn and, while he has a great work ethic at his job, he’s lazy when it comes to making himself breakfast and packing his lunch.
Sure, I could wipe out the pantry of all the bad neolithic foods; but frankly, I just can’t afford to throw food out. Nor do I particularly want to test the strength of our marriage by creating a food ultimatum (we are both very stubborn so this could get bad quickly). So here is my strategy: I am going to have to work hard to find paleolithic foods that meet his taste, comfort food and convenience requirements. This will be a little difficult given that my husband dislikes a lot of my daytime staples, like nuts, coconut and canned fish. But once we have a good repertoire of healthy choices that he likes, we can phase out the bad stuff. At least he is enjoying the paleo suppers that I am making and many of the paleo treats I’ve experimented with.
My goal with my husband is to not only transition him to a 100% paleolithic diet, but to get him to really buy in. I hope that he will also see big improvements to his health, in particular to his sleep quality, fatigue during the day, stress and anxiety (not to mention reducing his risk for cancer and heart disease for which there is a strong family history). I am also encouraging him to find an active hobby (like join a soccer team) and trying to get the whole family outside for active play, whether it’s a walk to the playground, a weekend hike, or just a romp in the backyard. So, wish me luck!