A highlight from How to Get Your Partner to Eat Healthy
To the nutrition diva podcast. I'm your host. Monica roy nagle and today i wanna share with you a conversation that i recently had with dr rachel vanderbilt. Rachel is a relationship scientist whose research examines how we communicate in our romantic relationships. And the reason that. I invited her to join me on the nutrition. Diva podcast is to discuss common issues. That come up between partners. That have to do with food and nutrition such as how to handle it when your partner doesn't seem to be willing to support you in making healthier choices or how to approach a partner about that. They're making that you think might not be healthy for them. I also want to invite you to check out. Rachel's podcast the relationship. Dr where she shares evidence based research on how to live love and communicate with your partner and now. Here's my conversation with rachel. We are welcoming a new host to the quick and dirty tips family. Rachel vanderbilt is going to be now hosting the relationship. Dr podcast and today. She's joining me to talk about how our intimate relationships sometimes impact our food and nutrition choices and vice versa. Welcome to the acuity family. Rachel hi monica. Thank you so much for having me. I'm really excited to get to chat with you today. It's great to have you on the team. And here with us today. On the nutrition diva podcast and so often people that i'm working with. Who are trying to make healthier choices about food or lifestyle are often surprised that when they make changes it sometimes creates waves in their relationships particularly a partner or a spouse that they live with. But i thought you would be the perfect person to talk to to help. Give us a little bit more insight as to what sometimes happening when it feels like somebody who should have our back who should be there to support. Us actually isn't being terribly supportive. Yeah absolutely and it's really tough when we're trying to make changes like that to kind of determine how our partner is going to respond to that and kind of the best way to support our partner in the opposite case where they're trying to make a change and we're kind of resistant to it. Oh that's a good point. Yeah we can look at this from both sides of the equation and you know. Making changes to longstanding. Habits is hard enough without this extra layers. So i think this'll be really helpful for people. Let me share with you. Some of the scenarios that i hear from people all the time and maybe a few of them and you can help us unpack them a little bit and understand. Maybe what's really going on in these situations you game. Yeah absolutely okay. Here's scenario number one. You tell your partner that you decided you wanna make some changes in your habits. Maybe in order to lose weight and then they tell you. Oh you don't need to lose weight your perfect the way you are now. That would seem like a very supportive thing for a partner to say but sometimes that's not helpful. So what's really going on there. You know you hope that the sentiment behind a comment like that is that your partner just wants to let you know that you don't have to feel like you have to change on their behalf and so just because the intentions behind the sentiment are benign or not intentionally harmful. Doesn't mean that you won't feel like it's a little bit dismissive of your efforts and so your partner may perceive you to be perfect the way you are but you obviously feel like you'd like to make a change and lose some weight in the center right. So how do you respond to the partner. Who who kind of invalidates your your attempts or your what you just told them. A good response to this might be to just let them know that you appreciate the sentiment that they feel that. You're perfect the way you are but you are going to be taking steps to lose some weight for yourself for whatever reason that might be right and you can be open about those reasons like your personal reasons for that. I think you said something really important there and that is pointing out to your partner that you want to lose weight for you you know. Sometimes we need to say like. I appreciate you know. The unconditional acceptance. But this is really something. I'm doing for myself and not necessarily to win approval from other people and i think that's really important to acknowledge. Yeah and it's going to change the dynamics potentially in your day to day experience and so it's normal for your partner to be a little bit resistant to that and be nervous about your motives behind why you're trying to make a change. All of a sudden and so understanding from their perspective that this is changing their life. A little bit too is important to acknowledge and so you can explain to them. What specific changes you're making and maybe even how those changes my impact them and their lifestyle and what they're going to be expecting on a day to day basis yes some of that may be a little bit of fear of. How is this going to affect me. What's what's this going to change in my life. So preparing them a little bit for what that might look like. Could kind of dissipate some of that anxiety. Absolutely and just you know being upfront about having those conversations now so this is an ongoing process.