Weight Loss Support - arguing about food with my partner




3Beans
05-01-2009, 10:29 AM
My partner grew up in a French Canadian household with a dad and stepmother who ran a French restaurant. He very much enjoys food and cooking but detests the confinement of recipes, let alone calorie restrictions. (Of course, he's not at all overweight.) So I've been doing most of the cooking for the four years we've lived together, not because I'm a better cook - I'm quite admittedly not - but because I cook on my plan.

This whole time I've been working at home and that's allowed me a lot of time and flexibility to manage the cooking. But I'm starting a new job Monday and we'll have to start dividing it up. He's more than willing to chip in. But he's supportive of my weight loss efforts in every way except one - if he's going to cook, he's going to do it his way, with all its joie d'vive (sp?), and that's that.

I'm doing WW now and I'm on a streak - 10 lbs. in two months. I suppose I could use my weekly points for his cooking nights, but that means no dinners out, no wine at parties, etc. Please, whatever suggestions you have to manage this would be appreciated! :?:


M Dizzle
05-01-2009, 10:33 AM
At my WW meeting last week, this was one of our discussion topics. Alot of the members there said that they based the rest of their days points on what they would be having for dinner. Ask your husband to make sure he has the meal planned, so you can figure your points, and then work the rest of the day around them.

kiramira
05-01-2009, 10:34 AM
Hi there! MAN, fevres-au-lard, poutine, tortiere...you're in for a rough time. UNLESS -- when it is your night to cook, double the recipe. Make enough for left-overs for YOU. He can cook for himself exactly how he likes it. But when YOU cook, make lots, portion them out, and reheat for dinner.
I doubt if you can change his cooking habits as he seems resistant right now (just keep asking! he may change his mind...), so IF you want to keep on plan while having some wine and some dinners out, this might be your only option for now, especially since his meals will be SERIOUSLY point-heavy...
Kira


beerab
05-01-2009, 10:39 AM
Maybe you could also make sure on the nights he cooks to get in a good workout?

I'd also just nicely ask him to remember while HE is at a good weight YOU are still working on your own weight and health issues and if he could go light on sauces and so on you'd appreciate it. :)

JayEll
05-01-2009, 10:41 AM
I guess your partner thinks that since he has been eating your cooking all this time, you should do the same--but obviously that isn't going to work with your weight loss program. It sounds like he's not going to give you a points count or even a recipe in advance, so I agree that you'll have to find some way around eating his cooking. I agree with the idea of cooking enough on your nights so that you have food for the next day. You should also make it clear that the leftovers are YOUR food, not his, so he doesn't just eat what you had been saving.

Jay

econ nerd
05-01-2009, 10:41 AM
Hi there! MAN, fevres-au-lard, poutine, tortiere...you're in for a rough time. UNLESS -- when it is your night to cook, double the recipe. Make enough for left-overs for YOU. He can cook for himself exactly how he likes it. But when YOU cook, make lots, portion them out, and reheat for dinner.
I doubt if you can change his cooking habits as he seems resistant right now (just keep asking! he may change his mind...), so IF you want to keep on plan while having some wine and some dinners out, this might be your only option for now, especially since his meals will be SERIOUSLY point-heavy...
Kira

Mmmmm poutine :devil: Good thing I just finished eating an apple.

kiramira
05-01-2009, 10:48 AM
The mantra in our house right now is
RESPECT THE LINES.
Meaning, when I make a WW recipe and cut lines to represent the portions (i.e. a WW meat loaf has 12 portions, so I draw out 12 portions on the meatloaf right after it is made, so I know what a portion IS), I tell my DH to have as much as he likes, but RESPECT THE LINES. This way, he have have 1 or 2 or even 3 portions at one time (he has no weight issues), and I'm not left guessing or estimating what is left.
I often also make 4 servings of a meal, measure out 1 serving for me, 1 serving directly into a Tupperware for the next day, and then he can have what he likes from the rest. This way, again, no guessing on day 2 for me. And my portion is OFF LIMITS to him. He usually eats 1.5 servings, has the left-over half serving for lunch, and then he's on his own for dinner when I have my portioned serving. Sometimes I make 6 or 8 servings, so we can both have leftovers the next day. But I always measure my 2nd days serving immediately and put it in the fridge.
You might have to do this, too.

Oh, and the BEST POUTINE in my town is at Costco... POUTINE is SO good and SO right, but SO WRONG on SO MANY LEVELS......

Kira

Athenawithheart
05-01-2009, 10:50 AM
Could you try playing up the health aspect a little more, rather than focusing on weight loss? Even at a healthy weight, certain foods may make his cholesteral/blood pressure go up?

Just a thought ...

Or you could try eating and be super careful on portions. Avoid fats until dinner.

chickiegirl
05-01-2009, 11:10 AM
This may sound silly, but have you asked him how he expects you to lose weight if you are not carefully watching what you eat? I can't even imagine a logical answer for that question.

3Beans
05-01-2009, 11:13 AM
Wow! Thanks for all the fantastic advice.

Fortunately, he doesn't cook traditional Quebecois cuisine. But he does use copious amounts of cream, butter, oil, and/or cheese. For example, one of our sort of "house recipes" is curry noodles. When I make it, I use vegetable broth or miso. He uses an entire can of coconut milk. His favorite dish to make is gorgonzola risotto (which, to his credit, he usually serves with broiled salmon and melon wedges).

I think I'll try a combination of keeping leftovers for myself for some of his nights, and eating small portions of his food other nights, depending on the time I have and what he's making. I might also insist that he include a veg prepared with a measured amount of olive oil or fat free, so that there's always one thing I can eat to fill up on when I'm restricting portion sizes on the proteins and carbs.

I don't think saving lots of points for dinnertime would work for me though - I don't react well when I over-restrict for breakfast and lunch. Also, I work out regularly already and I walk and bike around whenever possible. Now, with starting this new job, I don't think I can add activity. I already earn around 15 activity points a week, give or take.

Again, thank you all so much!

kiramira
05-01-2009, 11:16 AM
:D
Let us know how you make out!
Kira

3Beans
05-01-2009, 11:19 AM
This may sound silly, but have you asked him how he expects you to lose weight if you are not carefully watching what you eat? I can't even imagine a logical answer for that question.

Well, he really doesn't see a need for me to lose weight. But let's not read too much into that as a reason for the current problem, as tempting as it is. He's very supportive overall. It's just that he grew up with cooking as an art form and is unbending on that one point.

freshmanweightorbust
05-01-2009, 11:40 AM
What's poutine?

sws19
05-01-2009, 11:43 AM
3beans, i think you really hit the nail on the head there with your last observation. i too am struggling with this as we speak, except both villain and victim are ME. i think it is really hard for people who are "foodies," who really enjoy cooking and dining and stuff as an art, to restrict themselves from making use of the entire color palette of ingredients, so to speak. each ingredient is specifically chosen in order to strike the exactly the right note, nutritional value be damned. and dammit if we aren't particular about this. i still have not figured out how to find as much joy in cooking and eating now that i feel like i have to choose the muted red crayon instead of the vibrant fire engine crayon. i'm sorry i don't have the answer (though i think a number of the previous posters' suggestions sound good), but i just wanted to show my support for you AND your bf. i totally know what you're both going through right now.

kiramira
05-01-2009, 11:47 AM
Poutine! Deep-fried french fries, topped with gravy and cheddar cheese curds....absolutely amazing. HUGELY caloric....sigh...
Kira

3Beans
05-01-2009, 12:18 PM
i think it is really hard for people who are "foodies," who really enjoy cooking and dining and stuff as an art, to restrict themselves from making use of the entire color palette of ingredients, so to speak. each ingredient is specifically chosen in order to strike the exactly the right note, nutritional value be damned. and dammit if we aren't particular about this. i still have not figured out how to find as much joy in cooking and eating now that i feel like i have to choose the muted red crayon instead of the vibrant fire engine crayon.

Yes, it's an internal conflict for me too, as well as a conflict with him. I think location as context is important here too. I see you're in Brooklyn. We're in Northampton, MA, just outside the Berkshires. This area is either home or getaway to writers, artists and musicians from all over New England. So of course there's a huge foodie scene, amazing restaurants and tons of fantastic local produce, cheese, honey, etc.

If I were surrounded by fast food joints I'd be just fine, because I really don't enjoy that stuff. But here, I do struggle.

At least when I do have a treat meal, it's really a treat. It's often high quality, delicious local food - just more calories.

3Beans
05-01-2009, 12:19 PM
:D
Let us know how you make out!
Kira

Thanks, Kira, I will! See you here and on the WW forums...

Megan1982
05-01-2009, 12:34 PM
Though I'm not a full-fledged foodie, I do really enjoy cooking. And I love cooking with a bunch of healthful, flavorful ingredients. Using all the textures of fresh fruit and veggies, for example. Experimenting with new grains and new methods of cooking. I made some (low calorie/lowfat) stuffed red peppers that BF told me looked like works of art - and were delicious, too! And it's not that I'm trying to substitute my healthier foods for those mashed potatoes with heavy cream and butter or the deep-fried batter-dipped fish or the buckets of pasta or whatever... it's just a different, equally delicious thing. Rather than focus on the things I "don't" eat I try to focus on all of the wonderful (healthy) foods I do it. And if I eat the healthier foods most of the time and the others only once in a while it will balance out...

But that's not really the subject here, I know, and I doubt you'll be able to convince your BF of that, 3beans. ;) First I just wanted to ask, you said in your initial post that your BF is willing to pitch in w/ cooking but won't change his cooking ways. Have you sat down and had a talk with him about this, or are you just assuming? It sounds like he's set in his ways but you never know, talk to him and asking him to compromise might be worth a try. Maybe you could ask him to help cook and tend more towards "your way" most of the time and have a special Saturday dinner where he gets to do it "his way" or something like that.

But if you haven't, I second the great suggestions already made. You can try to eat small portions of what he cooks and eat large portions of filling vegetables or whatever's most on-plan in the meal. But if this isn't working (of course it could work for you, but I know it wouldn't for me), then cooking extra on your nights to cook and making it clear that that's your food for his cooking night will work. I just think it's important to keep communications open. e.g. "Honey, I do love your food, but it doesn't love my waist, and losing a few pounds is really important to me right now" or emphasizing health, "Honey, I love your food, but the butter and cream really sap my energy before my evening workout" etc.

Good luck!

sacha
05-01-2009, 04:04 PM
Oh dear!

My husband is French Canadian (100% - says 'dat' instead of 'that' and hates Vancouver drivers who don't use snow tires).

Luckily for me, he is on the health food bandwagon. The only suggestion I have is to prepare traditional meals (tortiere, etc) with other ingredients (extra lean beef, onions, fat-free cream, etc)

midwife
05-01-2009, 04:24 PM
Maybe you could ask him to always, if nothing else, steam or stir fry up a mess of veggies with whatever he is making. Most things taste pretty good over a bed of zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, etc......even a little poutine over a bunch of veggies, I'd guess.....but that way you can have lots of volume and healthy veggies and whatever else he makes is more like a condiment. Also, those pouches of salmon are quick if he makes something totally off your plan.