When I got married, my mother gave me a piece of advice. She said to me: when couples move in together their daily habits start to merge and they end up resembling each other physically. You look and you’ll see that if one person is athletic their partner probably is too. If one is super lean then their partner probably is too. If one is a muscle bound gym rat, the other probably is too. And if one is overweight the other person probably is too. And if they aren’t, give them time. One person in the relationship will shift the other way, the only question is which way will the shift occur. So beware and make sure the shift occurred in your favor.
When you start to make healthier choices in an effort to lose weight and improve your lifestyle you may notice your partner trying to sabotage your efforts by bringing home little treats or encouraging you to make bad choices at the restaurant. You may even see him eat worse than usual in an effort to convince you that you’re not eating so bad when you cheat- not compared to him anyway.
Why is he doing this? What’s his motive?
Believe it or not, it’s not really about you. It’s really about him. He’s not a bad, evil person. He’s frightened that you are changing and that you might be outgrowing him. Suddenly your discipline and self control are threatening to his everyday life. And so he has 2 choices. He can jump on board or he can sabotage your efforts and try to get you to regress. 9 out of 10 times, your partner will try the latter. It’s easier to try to get you to cheat than to try to make changes for himself and get healthier with you. And the more progress he sees the worse his sabotaging will get and it will become very hard for you to meet your goals and live in the same house with him. But if you understand his motives then you can do your part to patiently show him that sabotaging you will not work in the long run and that joining you in this new and health lifestyle is really his only option.
Getting him to see the light will take some time but here are 5 tips to help you continue to make progress even when he tries to sabotage your efforts.
1. Lead by example. He may honestly think he’s being nice by bringing you junk food. This may be his way of saying he loves you and that he was thinking about you. Teach him that there are other ways to express your love. Always make sure your gifts for him, especially the small ones, are non food items. He’ll learn how to show you he cares through other things besides food.
2. Declare a moratorium on your favorite treats. This one comes up for me a lot. My husband will notice when I buy myself something sweet and he’ll make a mental note that I really like that particular thing. But he doesn’t know that I meant for that to be a one time treat. So he then proceeds to biy it for me every single week. No bueno. In tjis case, explain that while you do love that particular treat, right now you could really use a moratorium on that type of food in the house.
3. Simply don’t eat it. Let it rot. Let him see that even when he ignores you and brings that junk food into the house anyway , you don’t cave. Because if you eat it, he’ll think, oh see she was just playing around, she really did secretly wanted it. Show him he’s wrong. Don’t take one single bite. Leave it there and actually watch mold grow on it. Stay the course!.
4. Offer to do the grocery shoppong alone and ask him for his list. This way he can’t get the junk food as part of the weekly grocery trip and say “oh I saw this and thought olmaybe you forgot to put it on your list. Oh yeah, I’ve heard that one before!
5. Show progress. Simple yet so hard. Keep losing weight, keep sleeping better, and getting way more done because you’re full of energy because you’re eating foods that serve you. Keep showing up in your life and having fun without food and eventually he will come around. Remember, all of his efforts to sabotage were really about not wanting to be left out. At his core, he just wants the two of you to be together but it is easier for him if the two of you just stay fat and unhealthy together. But if you persist he will have to come over to your side. He won’t want to miss out and he’ll be lonely on the other side all by himself. It will take time. Okay, it may take a long time, but trust me, it will happen.
At times, it will be lonely and feel unfair that you have to be the good example but just remember you’re doing it for the both of you. So stay strong and be the change. Eventually you will win. The sabotaging will stop. And the result will be two happy, healthy people committed to each others well being.