MWLISS: What if my spouse won't diet with me?

Thursday, August 1, 2019

When Zeke and I first met, somehow, I gave him the diet talk. I'm sure I was very joyous about it. I basically announced I was on a diet and proceeded to tell him what I was doing. We even went on a diet together for a short period of time.

Once we got married a lot of things changed. Looking back, I didn't know that sometimes, what works for one person is not best for both.

I confess I tried to make Zeke do everything I was doing. He even went along with it for a little while. In my mind, that's what couples did: they diet together.

My quitting point was when we were in the nutritionist's office. I had tried everything, including leaving the diet book in strategic places so he could read them. The visit to her office was my last attempt to get Zeke go get in the diet bandwagon. He was gracious but I knew our interest level was not the same.

I cried a little bit on the inside and gave up on making him diet with me. So, what if my spouse won't diet with me? Here are some tips I learned over the years:

Respect your spouse - respecting the other is the best way to start. I know you want their good. I know you care about their health. You also need to respect them from the bottom of your heart. Respect their ability to know how to make good choices. Respect their ability to choose what's best for themselves. Respect the season of life your spouse is experiencing. There are seasons in life where a person just can't make big changes (stressful seasons such as grief or a if they are having a difficult time at work for example). Start with respect and everything will be better.

Pray for your spouse - I'm sure I spent time more nagging and strategizing than praying. After that visit to the nutritionist, I turned to prayer. I learned that God cares about the health of my spouse way more than I do. Only God can change hearts. Only God can transform. Prayer is the best thing you can for your spouse in any area, health and nutrition included.

Encourage your spouse - I must confess that my efforts to change Zeke were not encouraging. I know that most people clearly know when they need to make improvements to their health. They are simply not blind to it. Encouragement is like water to the soul. My husband actually told me that encouragement makes a person feel like they can conquer the world. Nagging and manipulating does the opposite. Only your spouse can decide when change will happen. Encouragement is a great way to pave the way.

Remember your boundaries - I wish I could change people. The fact is the only person I can change is myself. Boundaries are really important when it comes to practicing good nutrition habits. I understand that like most wives, I thought it would be way easier if my spouse was doing the same thing I was doing. Once I understood the concept of boundaries, I learned that knowing where I end and someone else begins gives me a sense of ownership. Knowing what I am to own and take responsibility for gives me a sense of freedom. I own the responsibility to take care of my health. I can make good choices for my health such as exercising and eating a nutritious diet. I don't need someone else to do that for me because this decision falls within my boundaries. Encouragement from others is always welcome but the responsibility, or should I say, response ability, is all mine.

You reap what you sow - My imperfection is a good reminder that I reap what I sow. I need mercy, therefore, I show mercy to my spouse. Chances are, Zeke wishes I would make better choices in a different area. I want to sow seeds of encouragement, understanding and love, knowing that God has this whole thing under control. When I respect, pray and encourage my spouse, I am practicing good boundaries. When I remember my own imperfections and need for grace, I am inclined to show mercy and to rely on God to do everything outside my power.

What if my spouse won't diet with me? The simple answer is, it will be okay. God is for you and He wants your entire family to be healthier more than you do. Follow the way of grace, mercy and encouragement. Practice good boundaries and smile, everything will be alright.

WW start weight: 175 lbs
Current: 155 lbs
First Goal: 150 lbs
Second Goal: 146 lbs
Third Goal: 136 lbs

Previously in this Series:
• First week of WW
WW Speak
• Premeditated Portion Control 
• Weights and Measures
• Time
• Carbs & WW
• Proof of Weight Loss
• Why I started