October 07, 2016
Question Friday #28
What’s up, my fellow WHOLE FOOD FREEKS?
Jessie and I are back in town with the kids, and that means I’m back on the blog. While we were in Seattle, we made some new friends and a couple of videos—of both the cooking and workout variety—that you’ll be seeing in the next few weeks (#editinglikecrazy). But enough about that!
What better way to jumpstart the ol’ blogger metabolism than by doing a few writerly laps on a quick question from a reader?
My wife and I struggle to be on the same page with our diets and goals. She’s aggressive and consistent about her Whole30 resets where I’m more likely to do a Whole5, then a Whole3 followed by a Whole4, followed by two beers and a (small) bag of Kettle Chips a night until the end of the month.
That lack of conviction irritates my wife, but I’m just not invested in the path she’s taken. Is there a way for me to take a less stringent approach to the resets? And do you have any words of wisdom that might help smooth things over with my lady?
Part-of-the-Whole in San Diego
It’s not an easy path, and it’s not for everyone. Making good decisions about what you eat will always have benefits, even if you’re inconsistent. But you won’t truly reset until you follow the rules for 30 consecutive days. That’s just how the program works. Sorry! #notsorry
However, it’s also good to remember that every partner in a relationship will have different levels of commitment to the system.
You might not guess it, but Jessie is WAY more into setting tough goals and hitting them than I am. So I know EXACTLY where you’re coming from. Because she’s such an over-achiever, oftentimes my role is to cheer her on and be as supportive as possible.
For instance, while we were on vacation, Jessie really wanted my help eating as CLEAN as possible. So we go out for dinner at The Table, which we’ve been hearing amazing things about, and as soon as we sit down Jessie picks up the wine List.
She’s a SHARP lady, but she can still be a SPACE-CADET. Alcohol is not a whole food (for the noobs).
Here’s how I handled it:
1 – I looked deep into her eyes
2 – I smiled and jogged my eyebrows up and down several times
3 – I took the wine list from her, and started going over it, casually
4 – Still looking down at the list, I said “Oooh, I thought you were trying to stay on the wagon”
A quick analysis of those steps.
1 – I made a connection with her
2 – I let her know we were having fun and that I cared about her
3 – I didn’t look her in the eye while confronting her
4 – I said something that implied the correct action without COMMANDING it
This worked. At this point we could have an open conversation about her goals. She thought maybe one glass of wine would be fine. I reminded her that that’s not how the system functions. She thought maybe the vacation could be a little more free and fun. I reminded her that she has high-standards for herself, and would prefer to stay strong. She was quiet for around a full minute, and then agreed.
In hindsight, The Table was a poor choice. Nothing there really worked for Jessie’s exacting standards. The conceit of the restaurant is that they twist blue-collar sandwiches with wicked flair, but that means that every entree is bread-based. Jessie settled on having some fries, but—since deep-fried is not Whole30 friendly—she ended up with an order of steamed potato wedges. The kitchen at The Table was incredibly accommodating.
You will not believe the respect that I have for that woman! She will not compromise on her commitment to consistency. She watched me take down an enormous Philly Cheesesteak and three glasses of an amazing Rioja. For the cheesesteak, they cook the onions in an Russian Imperial Stout reduction, and use Manchego instead of Cheese Whiz. It’s so rich that I almost regretted the full order of wings I had as an appetizer, but I POWERED through. When the meal was over, I looked at Jessie with eyes shining with admiration. She seemed to be doing some forearm exercises, clenching and unclenching her fists with gusto. She just doesn’t QUIT.
I have so much RESPECT for her incredibly high-standards.
My point, Part, is that it’s entirely possible to set different levels of commitment within the relationship, as long as the lines of communication remain open. Keep that in mind, and you’ll be fine.
I held Jessie’s hand as I steered my Rascal Mobility Travel Scooter down the street. I felt her wiry strength in my fleshy paw. While I panted in the passenger’s seat, spent from the effort of hoisting myself into the van, Jessie easily lifted the scooter into the back and shut the door.
She’s so strong, PEOPLE. Her standards could not be higher.
That’s it for now! Next week Jessie will be doing back to back half-marathons and I’ll be trying out a new insulin pump. You better believe we’ll keep you posted!