the nutritionally recalcitrant spouse . . . part four (summing up)
Lisle and Goldhamer, in The Pleasure Trap, write about how as a culture we’re like that frog in the boiling water. You try to put a frog in boiling water, he’s going to leap out. But put him in cold water and turn on the heat, he’s going to gradually boil to death without realizing he’s in trouble.
If you could go back in time and serve a plate of chicken nuggets and fries to your great grandparents at the turn of the century, with a slice of Sara Lee afterward, they’d get very ill. They’d be appalled and perplexed at the ingredient list, sickened by how sweet the dessert was, confused by the lack of natural flavor replaced by chemical/fried taste and texture—and they wouldn’t want that meal again. But that’s not how it happened.
Like the frog, over a few generations, we have gradually been fed more and more addictive food, with more chemicals like MSG added, and in the past 30 years, meat consumption has doubled. Refined foods have gotten less expensive while produce has gotten more expensive. We find ourselves in a state of nearly the whole population being processed-food addicts, having been boiled to death gradually. Our poor kids!
So, your DH has been like the frog in the boiling water. You, miraculously, have jumped out of the pot. Logic suggests that you could use the same frog-in-water approach to reversing the national trend in your home.
In other words, you take a step at a time, without fanfare, making meals he’ll enjoy. Add another step a month later so he doesn’t even notice, a year later, that a radical transformation has taken place. By then, he’ll be cooked! I mean, hooked! What he’ll be hooked on is how he feels (like the alpha male he once was) and how he looks (the smokin’ hot dude you married)—and he’ll never want to go back.
You have two choices when faced with a spouse digging in his heels over your changes. One is to follow these suggestions (and feel free to add some of your own) with patience and the long-range goal always in mind. The other is to throw in the towel and go back to eating trash. Clearly one of these two choices would be a big mistake.