It's hard to make changes in the first place, and even harder when you have to include the needs and wants of others -- I've just got my husband in my immediate family (and a small cat, but she doesn't do much of the grocery shopping) but even getting him to buy things like ground turkey instead of ground beef is difficult. I can only imagine how difficult it is when there's a whole family involved.
One thing I've been doing, and I don't know if you can do this, is getting a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box delivered to my house every month -- not only does it support local farmers, it also gets me to try new veggies, which is fun and interesting -- my CSA's website even has recipes for the produce that comes in the boxes. However, these aren't available everywhere; you can find out if there's one in your area by going here, if you're interested: http://www.localharvest.org/csa/ or just google csa.
Or if there is a farmer's market in your area, you could get the whole family to go there together on a weekend -- it's really fun, there are samples and beautiful produce and you can ask questions about everything, plus you get a little activity in. Since it's a fun environment, it might get your family more on board with things. Just an idea.
A good thing is to also just make some small changes to recipes you already use: look for recipes that are familiar to you and your family on the Sparkrecipes.com, like, say, chili. Then look at the recipe to make sure it doesn't have any "too unfamiliar" ingredients (i.e. diet this or fat-free that or just stuff you've never heard of) but rather just some healthy substitutions (i.e., ground turkey for ground beef). That way, when it's not you shopping, you'll have a better chance that the person will get what you want. Look for a recipe with a high rating, so your family will really enjoy it, and then you can say "Surprise! It's healthy!" Also on Sparkrecipes.com there are loads of resources for healthy substitutions you can gradually add to your lifestyle -- including one where you can submit a recipe to Chef Meg for a healthy makeover!
And I think it's important to ask your family for support. Sometimes that can be hard, because maybe they've "heard it all before" or because THEY don't want to be "forced to diet" or simply because you don't want to have them go out of your way for you. But if you've joined Spark People, you obviously want to make some changes, and if that's the case, then you deserve help! And I have found that when you go to someone and start off with "I need your help" it works -- people love to be the hero! You could go to them and say that you're trying to improve your lifestyle to be healthier and happier and live longer (all true!) and for that you want their help in making some small changes. (And I try to avoid the word "diet" -- it strikes terror into most mortals' hearts! I substitute "changing to healthier lifestyle" rather than "going on a diet" even in my own mind.) Make it gradual both for them AND for you -- sweeping changes are hard to maintain. There is no deadline, there is no schedule -- just make some simple, easy-to-meet, healthier choices, and stick to them, they'll soon become habit, and then you can add more!
Personally, I am looking to change my lifestyle to a healthier one overall; I'm trying to take a holistic approach: slowly increasing my activity level (I bought a pedometer to track my steps -- fun!) and trying to eat as much "real" "whole" foods as possible, rather than fake "diet" stuff. I'm trying to replace sodas (even diet ones) with more water (challenging myself to get in my 8 glasses a day before I drink anything else) and trying to try a new recipe or two every week. In other words, I'm trying to make small changes, a little at a time so I don't overwhelm myself. I want to make the changes gradual, so they become part of my life.
Wow I do write a lot don't I? :) I guess I'm just finally getting a handle on how I can sustain a truly healthy lifestyle and I'm excited to share!
In any case, check out the SP site thoroughly -- I keep finding more and more resources every day.
Best of luck to you!!!
Moderation in all things...including moderation!
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