Saturday, April 16, 2011

How to get your family to eat healthy...

That is the question, right?

You've started on this new journey of eating healthy and losing weight and it's going great for you. You're losing weight. Feeling great. And so you naturally start looking at the one's closest to you and wanting the same great thing for them.

So... I ask... How do you get your family to eat healthy?

I'm afraid I'm going to have to stop you right there. Is there really a sure-fire way to get your family to eat healthy? Oh, sure, there are plenty of tricks you can do to include healthy foods hidden inside the unhealthy-looking food. Like putting cauliflower in the blender and adding it to chili or spaghetti. This works for the little ones. They won't be able to tell that there's something healthy in there.

But what about the one's who are old enough to know that you're tricking them. The one's who will SWEAR they can taste a difference between chili made with turkey and chili made with lean ground beef. Sure, you can buy healthy snacks for them to choose from, but you can't force them to eat them. You can set "healthy traps" for them with the hopes that they'll get caught in them.

But what's the answer?

How do you get your grown children or your spouse to start eating healthy?

Well, I'll tell you, I don't have the answer for that. I wish I did. I wish it was as easy as appealing to their senses and kindly telling them that you love them and you want to see them live a long and healthy life, but let's face it, that's a conversation that'll almost never go as you think it will.

You can sit and think up all the right things to say and all of the kind words to use and all of the loving supportive things to encourage them along, but when it comes right down to it, the only way you're going to get your (older) family to eat healthy is if it's their idea. Just like it had to be YOUR idea for YOU to start losing weight, right?

I can't tell you how many times my husband so lovingly had that conversation with me. He said he would love me no matter what size I was. And I know for a fact that he TRULY meant that. But he wanted me to be a healthy weight for my sake, not for his. And I can't tell you how many times I told him that I didn't want to lose weight. I was happy the way I was. I didn't need to lose weight. I was healthy as a horse. No high blood pressure, no high blood sugar, no high cholesterol. And I had plenty of energy to do whatever I wanted.

But the fact was, I was almost 300 lbs. And even though I felt completely healthy, I was not. But no one was going to be able to convince me of that, until it became my idea. Were you like that too?

I'm not saying that you shouldn't try to encourage your family to eat healthy and lose the weight they really need to, I'm just saying that if you can't succeed in getting them to "see the light" don't be discouraged, just think back to the way you used to be. And know that it WILL dawn on them, JUST like it dawned on you. Be patient with them and be encouraging, and know that pushing them isn't always the most helpful.

And when they're ready, they know they can come to you because you've already gone down the road that's ahead of them. Just wait patiently for that day. It will come. I know it will.

Is anyone going through something this right now? Or in the past? How did you handle it?


MaryFran said...

Very good post. I have a friend that is going through this right now. And she's struggling. I keep telling her make the changes for herself. You can only change yourself. Eventually that person may get some trickle down affect from your cooking healthier and whatnot, but their weight loss, their health is really and truely in their hands and their hands alone! From what I've seen though...many times those family members eventually hop on board when they see the fantastic changes that take place within!

I'm lucky though. My husband has always been very open to my weight loss efforts. (he made it clear that he loves me at any weight though). He also is working to lose weight, so it's a mutual thing. :-)

Change Aweights said...

Great post. I tend to believe everyone has to hit their breaking point. For some that is a number on a scale, for some it is being diagnosed with Diabetes, and for some unfortunately it is not till they have a heart attack. You cannot ask, talk, or nag others into losing weight. Even those closet to you, you'll only push them the other way, especially pre-teens and teenagers. The best you can do is lead by example. Think of how many talks people gave you? How did you react?

TOM said...

Great post, i think that people often forget how important it is to try and get those around us to eat healthy especially when we are working towards a more controlled weight ourselves.


gastric bypass surgery Los Angeles said...

Thanks for the encouraging thoughts.It is very hard to start eating healthy and also helping others in the family to eat healthy specially the children who are faster fast food generation.It pays to be slim and confident and healthy.

Walter said...

You must have a good and healthy food for fast losing weight.

paul said...

Thanks a lot for sharing that valuable post. It's very important for us to teach our family what's right for their health.

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