60,000-79,999 SparkPoints 61,313

Leading horses

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A post today in the Sparkpeople forums started me down this path of thinking, as so many of my blogs often do.

Most, if not all of us, have loved ones who are not healthy. As we walk our own troubled paths, we crave companionship, especially from those who are closest to us. For those of us who are married, this is often our spouse. Our need for them to be with us is not just about companionship, either; it's also about worry, about wanting them to live forever and be with us forever and be healthy. It's love.

But what do you DO?

I've found in my journey thus far that you can't force them. There's no amount of nagging that will make my husband start being healthier. In fact, most people respond negatively to nagging, and will do the opposite just to spite you!

You can't treat your significant other (or indeed, anyone else in your life who is an adult) like a child, and expect them to thank you for it.

What CAN you do for a loved one you're afraid of losing to bad health?

Be there. Do what you're doing. Set an example. If you're the cook, keep making healthier things that accommodate their tastes, while improving healthy. I've switched our family completely over to 93% lean ground beef, for example. We were at the grocery store the other day, and my husband saw me get it, and he said "Trying something new? I thought that stuff was dry." I smiled and told him we'd been eating it for months.

I've bought low-sodium hams. I keep fresh, raw veggies on hand for snacks for the kids. I talk about the things I'm doing. I mention that I want to start making our plates based on the government food plate. Never do I tell him what he needs to do. I talk about what *I'm* doing.

And it's working. As time progresses, he is starting to be more aware of his choices, and is slowly but surely making more healthy ones. At a buffet, he still goes for nothing but deep fried veggies, fries, and brown things (seriously, the whole plate will be brown) but he's more likely to add veggies when he's cooking, or eat them first, and he's trying to get more exercise.

One change that I have made? I buy him 2% milk. He drinks a lot of milk, and it's healthier for him. He asks me specifically to get him whole milk sometimes, and I do when requested, but absent his request, it's 2%. At a minimum, every other gallon is 2%.

The other day, we were at the store together, and it was time to get milk. The last gallon was 2%. He looked at the whole milk. Then glared at me. And picked up the 2%.

He knows. ;) He's a big boy. But he has to make the choice to be healthy. I can't make it for him. Through my example, I'm helping to slowly change his environment, but in the end... he has to make the move to good health. He knows I'll pay for a gym membership if he wants one. But until he's ready... he won't take it. And I'm okay with that. I can deal with waiting patiently, as long as eventually we're on that road together.

Will we be riding bikes together or lifting weights together? I don't know. I hope so, though it's a slim hope.

But I'll be happy to see him choose some green veggies at the buffet one day. :)
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    This is an intelligent blog. Remember, even water will eventually wear away a hard stone.
    2027 days ago
    This was an excellent blog. You are right. Keep up the good work. Love
    2029 days ago
  • BILL60
    Great blog. I consider myself incredibly lucky. My wife and I both try real hard to stay and eat healthy. While we don't exercise together. She's an avid runner and I am a "sick" cyclist.
    2029 days ago
    Great post! Wish my DH would read it - I am 99% good with my diet and occasionally plan treats - he thinks I have no business going near recreational carbs until I'm at goal (he's always been fit). It only demoralizes me and I eat when he's not there anyway. That's pretty weird, there. I even have to hide the trash. And I could understand his concern IF I WERE NOT LOSING WEIGHT AND WORKING OUT ALL THE TIME and throwing my health away.
    YOU are a wonderful DW!
    2029 days ago
    Keep setting the example! My DH sometimes throws a tantrum about food but I have found if I just gently guide him (without his knowledge of course LOL) he starts making better choices on his own. emoticon
    2029 days ago
    You're on the right path grasshopper. ;-) There will be a day when you only by skim milk. That's all we have used since our kids got to highschool. So keep it up and keep the faith.
    2029 days ago
    So awesome! YAY Hubby!

    2029 days ago
    You're very right - we can only change ourselves, never anyone else. We can attempt to influence and share information, but it is up to others to make the decision. Sounds like your little changes are working though!

    If you want to go a step further without being pushy, ask him what healthier changes he'd be interested in. Sure, he probably has no idea what he could try, but this will allow him to own some of these changes. Say you would like his input so that he can be a part of this change and not feel he's doing anything against his will. Is there a recipe he'd like to try, or a recipe he'd like to adjust to be healthier? What about joining you in a walk, a basketball game, or some other active 'date'?

    You might also explain WHY you're interested in his health. Do you have any concerns? Has his doctor had any concerns? Is there family history of trouble? You are looking forward to a long, healthy life and you want him there with you. I don't mean shoving a hundred bad scenarios at him, just having an honest conversation about how much it means to you to be healthy WITH him.

    As for kids - kids are little sponges who soak up what happens around them. Though parents need to be parents and stock the house with healthy food that their kids need to eat. Sure they will follow their taste buds, but if kids aren't given some limits they grow up to be adults living without limits.
    2030 days ago
    Your husband is an adult, it's up to him. However he can't say he hasn't got the choice - you're making it easy for him to eat healthily.

    Where your children are concerned, you're doing a world of good! They'll thank you for it as adults.

    Keep fighting the good fight!
    2030 days ago
    Too true. I struggle with this issue with my mum. She is morbidly obese. She wants to be skinny, but doesn't want to do the work to get there. Unfortunately you can't have the rewards without the work! No amount of talking to her, or reasoning with her is working. So, I just have to leave it be. I am a good example and role model for her. I work out several times a week with intensity. I eat healthy foods 95% of the time. I cook healthy, veggie-filled dinners. I am open with her about my weight loss. This is all I can do.
    2030 days ago
    You're a rare breed... a person who thinks of others with compassion and believes others' needs are as important as their own. Your DH is one lucky man... hope he realizes what a valuable treausre you are!
    2030 days ago
    You're absolutely right, you can only do so much, and encourage all the way. It horrifies me the amount of people on here, that attempt to eat healthily, but still buy rubbish and feed it to their kids! Then moan how difficult it is not to eat it themselves! It doesn't seem to occur to them, that if it's bad for them, it's doubly bad for their children! Sorry that turned into a rant! Best of luck both on your own journey, and on that of your husbands. emoticon
    2030 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.