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Looking to Belong

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  • Looking to Belong

    I've been doing the low-carb thing for a while now, and have been successful in losing weight. I was about 240 (6' 4"), and now (in 3 months) I've just passed the 200 mark on the way to 190/180. It's been a relatively easy process, and I have yet to incorporate exercise into the mix (something I intend to do now that I have a body I feel okay with enough to bring to the swimming pool!). To be honest, I've never been into exercise, so this will be more of a challenge, I think, than going low carb/paleo.

    The biggest challenge in this journey, however, is that I have felt a bit alone. I am married, but I kind of started this exploration on my own, and have not had the support of my wife. Even though the results are plain to see, she doesn't agree with the eat-fat-to-lose-fat paradigm. She's into Everything In Moderation, which, in theory, is all well and good, but allowing the "bad" foods into my life has only ended in disaster. I have had the unwavering willpower to go low carb (I mean, I have been good), but I do not seem to have the same willpower if allowed to eat "just a small piece" of whatever carb-filled temptation is on offer. My wife is waiting for me to return from the low-carb wilderness, but I'm not sure I want to, armed as I am with a new worldview regarding the true causes of obesity.

    I've started this journal to a) put virtual pen to paper committing myself to exercise and b) to chronicle my battle (for it does feel like a battle, alas) with my spouse and her resistance to this being something I want to do for more than just the short term. I'm not sure if anyone will find this "journal", but if you do, I would love input. I'd love to share thoughts with those kick-starting their bodies into exercise AND those who have had issues with their spouses about this lifestyle.

  • #2
    I'm a *little* angry no one has responded to this. Where's the supportive community!

    Let me ask you a couple questions: how in shape is your wife? More in shape than you? Is she satisfied with her health and fitness? There could be some superiority complex, some denial, a sprinkle of ignorance, all these things. If anything, imagine it like this: she probably views you have the mentality of a trendy fruitarian and she the knowledge and authority of orthodox paleo you might see roaming this forum. Get it? To her, she's the sensible one and we're the wacky ones, SO wacky it's probably unsustainable in her eyes.

    Eventually this will go away.

    Most people won't buy into a diet unless they see someone maintaining the lifestyle and particularly thriving on it. I'm sure you've thought about it pretty long though, so don't let me lecture you about it! Just know that I believe your wife WILL come around to accepting your lifestyle. As she keeps seeing you leaner and fitter and healthier and happier, she'll totally buy in. Like my aunt in Oregon: she's on this whole juicing kick and now my mom has bought a juicer and is joining her. I'm not a huge fan of juicing but, my mom saw my aunt consistently stick to juicing for the past year or so, hear the results (she apparently feels better blah blah blah), and it's pretty much convinced her and my OTHER aunt. Results speak.

    Many health gurus, raw foodist and carnivore alike, who would consider the "everything in moderation" people as, well, lazy and moronic...simply by virtue of placing this well-intentioned philsophy as a comforting blanket over their food choices as opposed to actually reading and eating smart. I wouldn't consider your wife lazy or stupid. Hell, even most people here believe in 80/20! How's THAT for moderation! It's probably the relative moderation though that's getting her. Having a beer once a week and 1 square of dark chocolate a night is moderation for most here. I would guess to her that would be "insane" and "obsessive." However, that's just me putting words in her mouth. I don't know the whole situation, but that's how others react when I tell them!

    My best advice, if you'd like to hear it, is to really let it lie. Don't bring it up. I've gotten a couple people I really care about to try this diet. And our conversation went like this: "I've been trying this interesting diet for a while now and I really like it. Would you like to try it with me?"

    Simple as that. No prefacing lectures, just asking them to join me. That's had the highest success rate of buy-ins. For some reason no one wants a lecture on diet, for reasons unknown; but, people DO like trying new "fads" and bonding with their friends/family in the process. Many people consider it fun. And then I hear comments like "Wow, I haven't been having to go to the gym as much to stay in shape and I never feel bloated," and "Wow honey! I'm now a size 6! I'm gonna look so hot at the Christmas Party! Can I borrow your new dress?"

    The last one was my mom and she looked pretty good in MY dress. Bah!!

    Lastly, the best way I have dealt with the paleo/primal thing is sincerely never talking about it. And with my family I'll cook hash browns and bacon for breakfast, chicken in a curry sauce for dinner...just good food my family doesn't even realize is pretty primal. It's funny how moms freak out when they want to start feeding their kids primal. I bet 80% of the diet is primal; unless you're a cereal/pasta/KFC-bowls/Panda Express kinda family. Just make good food and subtract bread. She won't even know what hit her!

    Hope this all helps. I'm no expert for advice of course. Please keep posting!
    Last edited by kcarol; 04-08-2012, 03:29 PM.


    • #3
      Hello neighbour! (I'm in the 'burbs of Vancouver.) Pretty much doing this on my own too, except for the online primal/paleo world. I'm really ok with that..I'm doing this for my own wellness, not the approval or acceptance of others.

      Nobody else in my house is primal, though I cook primal dinners (with a side of rice) and the kids are still young enough that I can be in control of most of what they consume. The rest of the family still eat grains, and more sugar than I'd like, but for the most part their diets are clean. Definitely cleaner than most other people I know!

      I share my food and nutrition findings with them all, and they are learning why I've made changes to the food that I buy, and its sinking in 12yo daughter will be the next on board I'm sure. While my hubby appreciates the good food I make, he's not at a place where he's ready to join me. His choice. When I look back, I think we are never in sync...when one is skinny the other is fat, and vice versa.

      For someone with an addiction, or an intolerance to a certain substance -- be it wheat, alcohol, gambling, or heroin -- the "everything in moderation" philosophy doesn't fly. A drug addict can't have heroin in moderation. Who would invite an alcoholic into their home and insist they have "just a bit" of wine? If you were Celiac, would she insist that wheat was ok in moderation?

      I can speak from experience....when I eat a big ass salad and a pan fried steak with butter sauce, I can eat until I'm full and push the plate away completely satisfied and happy, even if I don't finish it all. There is no urge to overeat. I can go all day CRAVING a steak and looking forward to it for hours, and not binge on anything else while I wait till steak time. However if there's an open bag of chips or Oreos, I will eat until its gone, whether I'm hungry or not. I dont' have to be craving chips or cookies to eat them. They just have to be there. If they're not in sight there is no temptation. The same applies to most wheat based or highly processed snack foods. Get them away from me.

      Your wife will either join you, or not. She will either support you, or not.

      There is no ONE correct body type, nor is there one correct way to eat and/or lose weight. Her way doesn't work for you, and clearly doesn't work for a whole lot people, which is how we all ended up here. (how many of us know someone who became a Weight Watchers Lifetime Member *again*)

      Will you wife do some kind of activity with you? Walking? Hiking? Biking? Dancing? Geocaching? Even if you're eating different foods you can get fit together and enjoy each other's company.
      *My obligatory intro

      There are no cheat days. There are days when you eat primal and days you don't. As soon as you label a day a cheat day, you're on a diet. Don't be on a diet. ~~ Fernaldo



      • #4
        My wife is not on board. She is also chronically sick and overweight. That I dropped 10kg and have maintained weight for over two years is irrelevant. So is my fitness and vitality.

        Sure it creates stresses. I sit here on a holiday morning having slept in but still been up for over an hour but my wife and three adult children are still in bed. The day is always half gone before they rise. Then I'm the difficult one who only wants to eat whole food.

        They way I see it, I do what is best for me. They do what they see is best for them. Neither side has to compromise to coexist. My wife is unlikely to follow my lead - she's as stubborn as me. Just hope the kids twig at some time.
        Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

        Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine


        • #5
          Sorry to miss your post, Ellington. I was sick in bed on the 7th & missed it. I popped on it today because of the intriguing title. I am always looking to belong, it seems.

          I have no spouse, but I do have close friends who just cannot accept this lifestyle. Some of them aren't even vegans. I've decided to just not talk about it unless someone asks. I get my acceptance here. It's frustrating when a friend yammers on about their health or their weight and they can't see how CW could possibly be wrong.

          And I was there. I stumbled upon PB in January of 2011. I thought it was a great idea, but I was also scared of it because it flew in the face of everything I've ever read before about how we're supposed to eat: low fat/whole grains. Mark Sisson happened to be coming to a suburb near where I live to do a talk, so I made the trek out there to see him. It was at a crossfit facility. Believe me, I stood out like a sore thumb. I sat in the front row so that I didn't have to see the stares.

          Listening to Mark, talking to the other folks about their experiences convinced me. But I still had a hard time & see-sawed back and forth for a year between "This is what I must do" and "This is too hard to maintain". Unfortunately, it took a diabetes diagnosis to convince me to make PB my priority. And it is. I am 100% convinced this is the right way for me, and as I get thinner & fitter & healthier I'm more & more convinced.

          I regularly turn down invitations to eat at folks' homes, and suggest some other activity. "Let's go for a walk and have coffee afterward", is usually my suggestion. When people ask why I tell them that I'm trying to stay away from "food-centered" activities because of an allergy. Or lie...I'm doing a fast for some medical test on that day. If a restaurant is involved, I try to pick the restaurant, so I know there will be food there I can eat. And there's almost always SOMETHING I can eat. Steak & salad. Baked potato. I went to a place last week with a pulled pork sandwich special. Ate the pork but left the bun. The sides were cole slaw & potato salad with bacon. Perfect. I went to a mexican restaurant with a friend last week. I couldn't find a thing I can eat on the I didn't eat & had a glass of iced tea. "Not eating?" "No, I had a huge lunch & I'm simply not hungry." Because I'm used to intermittent fasting now, going without a meal doesn't feel like such a hardship.

          I lived with someone once who did a complete shift to being a vegetarian and expected me to lock step. I tried, but I ended up fat & sick. I'm single now, and much much healthier.


          • #6
            Okay, Ellington, some advice. If you want to belong, and you're choosing to do it through your journal, you need to do regular posts. we need some back and forth to build relationships, just like in real life. Your first post was very compelling, and then-- nothing. Are you still plugging away? Doing primal by yourself? getting your wife to go along?


            • #7
              an online community may not be as advantageous as one that's face-to-face, but to build a community of contacts online, you need to read others' journals and comment. provide insight when asked, and when you have something to add. the people who seem to have the most friends online are the ones who update their journals (with info that's often off-topic and interesting), and who frequent others' journals.

              in face-to-face relationships, eating primal doesn't need to make you an outcast. it can be a non-issue if framed as a matter-of-fact "this is how i eat" and then moving on to other topics. it doesn't work for you to eat the way your wife does. explain that to her and move on. certainly there are other things that brought the two of you together besides food, right? try to make it as much of a non-issue as you can by fasting when there are no primal options, and eating what you can in social eating environments. bond over non-food activities, and give people compliments on their cooking when possible. honestly, after the novelty wears off, people stop bugging you about it.
              my primal journal: