When my husband and I met over 10 years ago we were on par with our ideas on lifestyle and habits. At the time we both enjoyed a drink or few and were certainly not mindful of what we were putting into our mouths. We were quite happy to indulge and fill our tummies with any junk food we could get our hands on. An ideal date night was sitting out on the veranda chatting till the early hours of the morning overdosing on caffeine, chocolate and flavoured chips.
I was 10kgs heavier when we met. I thought I was health conscious but if I’m honest I was a little naive back then and didn’t really understand what being healthy entailed.
When we married I took on the wife role with zest and set out to impress the new man in my life with meals and dinners I thought were top class only to be confronted with frowns or looks of disappointment because I’d served him plain veggies on the side instead of greasy fries. Needless to say the first few years were challenging as meal after meal was rejected or reluctantly eaten.
As the years passed and more so after the birth of our daughter, I began a natural transition to a healthier lifestyle and wanting to improve my health and the health of our family. I started to research all aspects of healthy living and as the research progressed, I became more and more enthusiastic. With the enthusiasm came often drastic changes in our home but as you can imagine the transitions didn’t go down too well at first.
I remember the first transition was getting rid of white bread altogether and replacing it with a healthier multi-grain bread….he was not impressed! Then came the ‘nagging’ to get him to stop putting so much salt, sugar and margarine on things. Again, not impressed!! In fact, the more I nagged and pushed him, the less he listened and the tenser the atmosphere in our home became.
Thankfully that was a long time again and with simple consistent steps I have won over my man to a new lifestyle. He not only feels better (and thanks me for it) but has lost a whopping 16kgs. Along the way I’ve learnt these vital steps to winning over my man:
- Don’t limit his options
No one likes to be told what to do, right? The more you try to control your man, the more he’ll resist. So don’t limit his options. Maybe he’ll eat your yummy salad or maybe he’ll screw up his nose and order a takeaway pizza; either way, saying “you’re only eating this” will only make him more determined to go against you and order that takeaway. Once he sees the rewards in your life, they will speak louder than your nagging. The same goes for food shopping; if you want multi-grain bread and he wants white bread, get both. It’s not worth arguing over which one is healthier just to save a few dollars, trust me! In time, the changes will speak louder than words.
- Learn to be flexible
Don’t be so set on only eating ‘health’ foods 24/7 and only going to certain restaurants because of them. Every now and then indulging isn’t going to hurt and you’ll find him more willing to try it your way if you relax once in a while and go out and enjoy each other’s company over a restaurant meal.
- Not Too Much At Once
Even though consistency is the key, don’t overload him with too many changes at once and too much information at once. In one day alone I told him I’d changed about five major food items in our house as well as about three major toiletry products in our house, the poor guy looked stunned and didn’t respond enthusiastically!! Little by little will work better and not overwhelm your man.
- Mix In His Favourites
My man loves my roasted white potatoes but I really don’t like white potatoes and instead go for sweet potatoes. Instead of forcing him to eat it the way you like it, give him his favorites as well.
- Practice What You Preach Consistently
Take consistent action to implement healthy changes and let him know how much you believe in your healthier lifestyle by practicing what you preach. There will be times when you feel like giving up or that it’s too hard, that’s ok, we’re all human but the key is to get back up and try again. When he sees how seriously you’re taking your journey and the rewards that are coming from it, I know he’ll jump on-board.
- Share Your Journey and Discoveries
My man didn’t like the amount of money I first used up testing and trailing healthier options but he did love my new passion and positivity for life! It’s amazing how positivity can rub off on your man and will cause him to make better choices too (without the nagging!!).