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Old 12-21-2014, 05:18 PM   #1  
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I feel that one obstacle in me losing weight is that I'm feeding two people, not only myself. My husband doesn't cook, I don't really enjoy cooking and haven't been cooking dinner, which is hard for him. I'd rather heat up a quinoa patty, pour some baby carrots and nuts on a plate. The most I can do is chopping, microwaving, steaming/boiling, so I eat a lot of raw and steamed veggies, raw fruit, greek yogurt, and other "convenient" healthy foods. I don't feel like using an oven or stovetop, or chopping 10 different ingredients.

I don't want to cook a hot meal every day. I battle depression and work 60-80 hours per week, and my husband is in the same situation. I can barely portion out my own healthy snacks and meals, I don't have much energy or time to add a second person. Plus, he would likely eat his healthy food and still want something more. He doesn't have as much weight to lose as me, and he's had great success in the past, but it was by eating small amounts of not-totally-healthy foods (e.g. a white bread turkey cheddar mayo sandwich per day).

Ideally, I could get him motivated to prepare his own foods alongside me. It would be a nice way to spend a few minutes in the evenings with one another. Any tips on trying to convince him? I don't think he's big on measuring/portioning, but if I could at least get him to prepare hummus and veg, a healthier sandwich, and a protein shake every day, he'd be less likely to make a T-Bell run! I can't stay on track with that stuff in the house.

I need to lose weight before we have kids, because learning to feed yourself healthily while preparing food for little ones must be a challenge! I AM SO LAZY AS IT IS!
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Old 12-21-2014, 05:23 PM   #2  
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My wife split from me so I am the most unqualified on this topic as you will soon see.

But in my opinion, he will just have to either suck it up and eat what you eat or start cooking for himself.

The one doing the cooking makes the call.

During my weightloss it would have been totally unrealistic to assume that my wife and kids would eat what I eat purely for the sake of my diet. So I started preparing my own meals and my wife kindly prepared theirs.

If the roles had been reversed, I would have assumed the same treatment.

Speak to him about it. And great move on getting this sorted before having kids. It will be a good test.

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Old 12-21-2014, 09:54 PM   #3  
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You can't be bothered to prepare a meal for the both of you but you want him to? And then you're going to add a kid to the mix? Not sure I understand the point of the post but I do know that making a healthy for my family is neither difficult or complicated. Especially when everybody chips in and participates in some way. My husband doesn't always expect me to cook meals for him but if I'm home and we have to eat and I'm the better cook then what's the big deal? It can be fun learning together, you could even take a class together and learn how to use a stove! Trust me, kids will need to eat some hot food now and again, they can't live off hummus and carrot sticks.

If it's not something you can incorporate then you have no leg to stand on when it comes to changing how he eats, frankly it becomes none of your business at that point.
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Old 12-21-2014, 10:54 PM   #4  
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It sounds to me that the problem is more lack of time then anything. I bet if you were working less, it wouldn't bother you as much! But I guess you can't limit work, what if you tried to take some time to meal plan for the week? It would be more work on one day, but less work throughout the week. While I do most of the cooking in our house, when we plan a meal properly, and make a big one, we can just freeze the leftovers in already measured and portioned lunches I eat at work, but my husband takes them to his work, its really handy and makes the whole week easier! Right now he has five frozen meals sitting in the freezer ready for whenever. Just take it out the night before, let it thaw in the fridge and re heat it for eating. If you know you're going to eat fairly soon, you don't even have to freeze it but can leave it in the fridge.

In regards to motivating your husband to help, the only way that's going to happen is with a real honest talk. For my husband and I, we both have different chores. One of mine tends to be cooking cause I'm more experienced at it, even if I don't "love" it. But he does other chores I lothe even more! Like laundry, garbage and yard work.

Someone once told me that chores can never be "fifty-fifty" and I tend to believe it. I don't work as much as my husband, so I don't mind doing a few more chores. What we do, is take the two chores we HATE the most, and the other does it for them. For him, its dishes. So I do the dishes, and for me its laundry, so he does the laundry. Nobody likes chores, but we can still split them better.

If you feel you're doing too much with cooking, or more than him, sit down and talk about house hold duties. If you just want more help, maybe try compromise. You cook together, but maybe in retuen you can also help him and do a chore alongside him that he also dislikes. Then, you'd both feel happier with the help, and get even more time to spend together!!!

These are just suggestions though, I've only been married for about five months and we didn't live together before marriage (we both still lived at home!) So I may not know what I'm talking about. Its just some of the things we do!

Nobody starts off knowing how to cook, and I think its normal for lots of people to not love it or have a mixed attitude about it. But, I do agree that it is something that everyone is eventually going to have to learn , especially if you want a family. I don't love it either, but I try to focus on what I do like about it. I like knowing I can take care of my husband and I. I like how happy he is to have a cooked meal! I like being able to pick what's being made. I like to throw a show on while I cook or listen to music.

Good luck, and remember, the more you learn to cook, the easier, faster and better you'll get at it! And I will say, its easier for one person, or two people working together, to make a meal then two people to a make their own separate dinners. I eat less than my husband, and don't always eat the same things he does, but I still make them for him.

Last edited by SenseAndSensibility; 12-21-2014 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 12-22-2014, 12:01 AM   #5  
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I feel that this is not really all that much about your spouse, as it is about you, and the choices you are willing to make, or NOT make.

You are not the only person on the earth that works a butt load of hours and has various health issues.

It's a choice. We are free to choose.
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Old 12-22-2014, 12:33 AM   #6  
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When I was short on time I did what SenseandSensibility suggested, and just had leftovers a lot, or quick meals. I'd spend one of my days off prepping everything to throw in a crockpot, or to just heat up.. that way I didn't have to do it when I was worn out from work.

Now, as far as cooking for your husband goes.. was this something you suddenly stopped doing? If you didn't cook for him before, then why does he expect you to now (which is what your post seemed to be implying). Honestly for our house, my boyfriend eats something different from me if he doesn't like the healthy meal I prepared. He's got lots of freezer dinners and such to microwave. Usually he likes what I prepare just fine, and if he wants something additional, that stuff is there. Is there a reason your husband can't just do that if he doesn't feel like eating what you are?

It does sound like you two need to sit down and have a little talk to get everything sorted out. The choice of what to put into our bodies ultimately has to be our own. There's not really much you can do to "convince" him to prepare healthy meals for himself if he doesn't want to. That choice has to be his, and if he cares enough then he will find the energy to do so.. same as you find healthy things that work for you.
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Old 12-22-2014, 01:34 AM   #7  
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Sometimes the truth sounds harsh, but it is far kinder than just telling you what you want to hear.

This isn't an obstacle unless you choose to make it one. You are responsible for yourself and your spouse is responsible for himself. If you weren't there, he wouldn't starve. He'd feed himself like the grown up he is.

You don't need help to convince your husband to eat healthy. You need to convince yourself that you are responsible for your choices. He might bring Taco Bell home, but he's not making you eat it.

If you don't want to cook, don't cook.
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Old 12-22-2014, 08:38 AM   #8  
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You can lose weight and stay on track with that Taco Bell junk in the house. Whatever he chooses to feed himself, you can ignore it and continue to feed yourself healthy foods. Consider it practice for when you have kids and are making three dozen cupcakes for World Sugar Consumption Day or whatever it is kids celebrate these days.

The fact of the matter is, you are responsible for what you put in your mouth, no matter what anyone else is doing. You get all the empathy in the world from me on how hard it is to have people eating junky stuff in front of you while you eat chopped nuts with a side of twigs and berries -- because I've done it and I felt like the world was going to implode.

But it didn't. And eventually the junky stuff stopped having such a pull. And I like twigs and berries, after all.

Is it easy? No, particularly right at the start. But you can do it and if you keep doing it consistently, it will get easier.

Hang in there. Keep putting your health first, and leading by example.
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Old 12-22-2014, 09:22 AM   #9  
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I have so many thoughts on this but I'm not sure any of it will be helpful. I also wonder, did you prepare meals for him before and now you've stopped? If not, I don't see the issue. Prepare your own meals and let your husband do his thing. As Mrs. Snark said, you CAN stay on track even when he brings home something you may want. It would be easier to overcome that hurdle than it would be to prepare meals for him. Trust me. You can do it. Make sure your husband knows that you have no intentions of eating anything unhealthy that he brings him. Repeat it over and over, out loud. You don't need it.

If you have prepared foods for him in the past and you've stopped because it seems too difficult, I'd say there's plenty of ways around it. I've taken the responsibility for cooking dinner in my household ever since we started dating, so when I decided to lose weight, I had to make some changes so that we could both be satisfied without driving myself crazy or forcing my boyfriend to eat foods he hates.

I keep some frozen sides (like Green Giant veggies with barley) in my freezer for my bf, things I know he likes and are generally healthy. Healthier than what he would eat otherwise. I grill two chicken breasts, one for him, one for me. I make my side dish, and I microwave his side dish. It doesn't entail any extra work other than putting something in the microwave and we both end up fed and satisfied. Or I'll make a big pot of chili, and then cook up some extra veggies to throw into my bowl.

But he also knows that some days, I won't be cooking for him, and in that case he usually takes himself out to eat (he doesn't bring it home where I can gawk at it).

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Old 12-22-2014, 09:48 AM   #10  
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My husband is a very picky eater. If I happen to make something he will eat, great. If not he makes his own dinner/snacks. That works for us. He's not overweight but in the past I needed to lose about 25p.

#1 I want to look good for ME.

#2 I refuse to let myself go after all of this hard work so I will always find time to exercise. Plus I want to look good for my husband.

Last edited by novangel; 12-22-2014 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 12-22-2014, 09:53 AM   #11  
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Healthy cooking (or any cooking) need not be complicated or time-consuming at all. Stir-fry some chicken strips and add pre-shredded carrots, bean sprouts and one sliced onion, and you've got yourself a meal. Stir-fry some ground beef, add high-quality pasta sauce, and pour over cooked fresh noodles... another meal. Put some chicken drumsticks or thighs in a baking pan, surround with baby potatoes and baby carrots (no chopping), pour a bit of oil and orange juice overtop, and shove in the oven... a third meal.

IMO it's less taxing to cook together than alone. My husband and I do it most nights and it takes no more than 15 minutes, usually less.

Good luck.

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Old 12-22-2014, 10:26 AM   #12  
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Your post sounds familiar to me. I have no desire to cook everyday of the week or even more then a few times a week. And while I am trying to eat healthy my husband is not. He has no desire to lose weight. And he wouldn't eat half the things I eat and vice versa.

My solution is to only cook once-twice a week for the both of us. I can sneak in veggies and make it healthier and then just portion control and he can have as much as he wants and it works out for us. I usually save him the leftovers as well.

I also maybe once every few months cook a meal just for him. I find it sweet but he works and I don't so its a bit different. If I worked too I prob wouldn't do that nearly as often.

The rest of the time its find your own food for both of us. I like simple grab and go type things like right now my big meal of choice is grilled cheese on wheat bread with turkey and a salad/cottage cheese on the side. Its so easy.

And he has lots of simple things in the house to eat for himself. Like soups, sandwiches, pasta.

We never really discussed it but if you are used to cooking for your husband I would just so he isn't caught off guard. When we go shopping I always let my husband know ahead of time what meals I will make for us so he can plan accordingly to get stuff for himself.

If you are cooking it is on him to eat what you make or eat something else. He is an adult. So just let him know you are trying to eat better and will be making some changes. At first make extra for him of whatever you are eating and if he doesn't want it, I am sure he will find something else to eat on his own. Yes that might mean fast food. As long as he isn't bringing home extra for you it should be fine. You just have to resist temptation, which is easier said then done.

i find what works best for me is having an understanding with my husband that he can eat junk but he should try to choose things that are not as tempting for me. He can eat all the chips he wants because I won't touch them. Or if he wants dougnuts he gets a kind I don't like. If he is gonna go out he goes somewhere that I don't really enjoy. etc....

Goodluck!
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Old 12-22-2014, 12:57 PM   #13  
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Strategies. You have so many options, but it boils down to planning ahead, otherwise when you're tired or depressed you will fall back on what is easiest and most familiar.

When you're both equally unmotivated, it is easy to see the other person's lack of motivation as an obstacle, so you start to think you need the other person's simultaneous motivation - you don't.

Simultaneous motivation (at least in our house) is only slightly more common than a simultaneous (well you know what) during sex.

Even when we both are motivated, we're not equally motivated, or motivated to make the same choices. Even when dieting, our preferences are different.

For my hubby, a taco run used to be one of his more health-motivated decisions (as opposed to thick-crusy pizza or burgers).

I would order a hard-shell taco or two and sides of jalapenos, diced onion or scallion and pico or salsa. I'd crush the tacos and spread them and the sides over a large plate of lettuce (from a bag, if I was really lazy), and maybe a little light dressing.

Hubby and I usually fend for ourselves, because our food preferences are very different, especially when one or both of us are trying to diet.

We use the crockpot a lot, and often buy rotisserie chickens or roast turkey from a local IGA deli.

You have hundreds of options, but you probably won't think of them when you need them unless you plan ahead. Keep a notebook of possible strategies, so you're ready for almost any situation.

You can do this with or without your husband "on board."
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Old 12-22-2014, 02:09 PM   #14  
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This sounds like a sit-down-and-build-a-strategy topic to me.

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When my husband and I have things like this which aren't working well for both of us, we cart ourselves down to the coffee shop if there's a chance of emotional inflammation (or stay home if not, but sometimes the coffee shop is a good excuse for coffee so there's that), and talk things out.

First we both identify our issues with the current system. Your husband may have an issue with what you're making, for instance, and you may have an issue with feeling like you need to do more.

Then, we identify what an ideal outcome is (not the strategy for getting there, just the outcome). Perhaps the ideal outcome is both of you eating healthy food. Perhaps your husband would prefer to put no effort into cooking, and you would prefer your current minimal effort. Or perhaps he will surprise you and say ideally he would like to be contributing. Also, identify what things are preventing the ideal outcome (amount of time available at home, etc.)

Then identify something you can try out which might help both of your situations, while not causing undue stress. This could mean finding an hour together every week to pre-make some meals, or it could be something as small as buying pre-chopped veggies and other healthy snacks when doing regular grocery shopping, and making sure they're openly available to both of you.

The next week, meet up again and evaluate whether the change has been implemented, and if so, if it's made any difference. Come up with a new plan or addition, then try that for a week. Rinse and repeat.

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My husband and I have various meetings all the time to work on our relationship and get stuff done (Hobby Sundays, Tidy Tuesdays, Costco shopping on Thursdays, Accounting/P.O.O.P.S. meetings on Fridays)... and the most useful of all of these is our "POOPS" meetings (not actually an acronym - it's "poops" as in "sh*t" - as in, "get shi*t done.")

At POOPS meetings (every other week - we do accounting on the off weeks) we haul ourselves down to Starbucks and go over the last POOPS meeting resolutions, drop things from the list that no longer need to be addressed, and bring up any new things we find annoying on a day-to-day basis. For example, last time we added "front entrance hallway/re-org" to the list because we both get annoyed at the shoes being in the hallway, but I can't deal with the current shoe storage solution so we need to come up with something new. This might mean I have to reorganize the hall closet, but this isn't near the top of our priority list so it won't get done unless I get an energy burst (which could happen) - but it's on our radar and every week we see the note. We'll address it eventually.

Our POOPS meeting notes have categories as well, which we've defined based on the the things that are most important to us (finances, food, exercise, upcoming events, etc). The "food" category has evolved a lot over the past three months as we've both been losing weight and working towards eating a more whole-foods diet. We both bring ideas to the table; things we can try out to see if it makes our lives better. One such thing that's stayed in place is the simple small act of making sure we always pick up a pre-cut veggie tray when we're at costco (we don't actually go to costco every week, but we make sure to if the veggie tray is running low). It gives us something to munch if we're hungry before dinner, something easy to pack into lunches for ourselves, and something to grab when watching TV. Whoever suggested that was brilliant (we don't keep track).

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Anyway, having a proper sit-down discussion is a way to make sure both people are involved and equally represented in decision-making. When I have children I fully expect to involve them in some meetings as they grow capable of making decisions, since a lot of these things will impact them as well. If everyone is included and represented, it means everyone is aware of where the decisions came from and how they impact everyone, and it's a whole lot harder to be selfish and think only of your own needs.
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Old 12-22-2014, 02:25 PM   #15  
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I hear a lot of women say they need to lose before having kids.

As an experienced mother, I would suggest working on the overall picture - your perceived obstacles - to make it easier. 60-80 hours? No wonder you guys have no time to care for yourselves. You have no time. Cut that down, seriously, there is no $ or material thing worth more than your health. I suffer from depression too and low weight/exercise/relaxation/low stress is a huge factor.

Make time. Then learn to cook. You will find yourself cooking all day once you have kids. Take time to give yourself the gift of health.
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