Supporting the Diet of a Loved One

Recently, my husband was put on a low FODMAP diet. Something, that I never heard of before and barely understand now as I’m responsible for shopping, creating a meal plan, and cooking meals around this new diet. Honestly, navigating around nutritional labels is complicated. This is made even more complicated when you have to read through every ingredient on the label. I’ve gotten a bit of the hang of catching more obvious things to avoid. As my Meatless Monday meal failed due to me not fully understanding it yet, I still have a lot to learn. (Got the gluten-free pasta, didn’t remember lentils were on the “No” list.)

My husband is someone who is addicted to caffeine, which he had to give up. Especially his midday energy drink. But, he’s adjusting. It’s probably easier to adjust when his strict wife decided that everyone was going to go through with it with him. Well, at least me. And I’ve planned suppers around his diet, because I refuse to cook a different meal for everyone in the house. I just don’t have the will or the energy to do that at all. I found some great compromises, and even Korean meals and hot wing recipes that are low FODMAP, because I’m trying to make this adjustment as easy on him as possible. This way if it’s something we have to live with for a while, at least it’ll be sustainable.

It’s hard though. I do allow myself just a little more wiggle room than him while supporting him. I stick to it, except due to my own food allergies I’m not giving up certain things like breads. But, everything else is gone. Because it’s important to support a loved one when they go on a diet, for whatever reason. By seeing someone else stand by them and eating the same things that they are, there won’t be that jealousy of “Wow, they get a pizza and I have a salad with barely anything on it”. Then, they cheat on the diet. Certainly the consequences may be more severe in the immediate sense when it comes to a low FODMAP diet, but there are still consequences of them falling off the diet without this support. If it’s not sustainable, it won’t help them.

My husband even told me not to “suffer” like him. It’s not even that bad. I probably have the advantage since I didn’t have to give up “regular” bread. But it’s my job to support him so he can be successful. That’s what you do for the people you love. Things like this only work if they have someone to lean on. And if that means I’m grumpy first thing in the morning because I don’t have my coffee and my husband has to basically carry me to bed at 9:30 because my body just gave out from exhaustion, that’s where we are. I might even have the unintended consequence of helping my weight loss out.

People are more successful on any journey when they have people that support them. Whether it’s weight loss journey or following their dreams for their careers, being the best support possible makes a difference in how successful they are. They are more confident and more willing to go through with it if they know that there is someone in the fight with them. My husband and I are best friends and partners. And with this support, maybe he can quickly feel better. That’s worth any sacrifice in my book.

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