My husband and I met on an airplane. On our way to a singles cruise. The rest is just as cliche: started dating the minute we hit US soil, engaged 8 months later, married 11 months later.
It was fast, but it works for us. Now, nearly 7 years and one baby later we are still going strong. (despite the fact that I’m writing this while he wants to be cuddling and watching movies together)
One of the most baffling things about my husband when we first met was his eating habits… and how “awful” I thought they were. In truth, I was a crazy food-shaming dieter at the time, so I was appalled by how he ate. But miraculously (or so I thought) he was lean and healthy.
He MUST have the world’s best metabolism I thought… then I started spending every waking minute with him (you kind of have to if you get married in less than a year from when you meet) and realized that he didn’t have a turbocharged metabolism—or tapeworm— he just had some healthy habits that had nothing to do with categorizing foods into black and white categories of “good” or “bad”.
Here are some of the biggest realizations I had about the way my husband ate:
- He didn’t really eat that much more than I did — in fact, I would say that there were days where I would easily and (unknowingly) out-eat him. Not all in one sitting, but while he was eating 3 meals a day without thinking about food in between, I was munching and grazing my way through WAY more food than he did at his three satisfying meals.
- He didn’t care about what he “should” do, just what his body needed — if he wasn’t hungry, he never stressed about “but it’s breakfast time.” If he was hungry for that last slice of pizza, he ate it…. not because it was there, but because it was what would satisfy his body.
- He could easily forget to eat if he got busy — If he had a lot going on, he could easily forget about food for an extra hour or two… then realize “oh wait! I need food”. While this isn’t a habit I would encourage everyone to adopt, it speaks volumes to his mindset compared to mine. I was OBSESSED with food, I ate by the clock, I thought about my next meal ALL. DAY. LONG. This obsession with food made overeating easy for me — while his mindset around food made eating less easy for him.
- He trusted his body to compensate for what he ate — I remember going out for breakfast with him once early in our marriage. We both had big, delicious meals, and it was definitely an indulgence for both of us. I spent the next few hours planning how few calories I had left to eat that day, what combo of meat and veggies would be best, how much extra exercise I had to do to “make up” for it… and he just sat by our apartment pool, read a book, and waited until he was hungry again to eat, which ended up being an early dinner.
- Food was food — it wasn’t a substitute for love, happiness, or entertainment. It was just food.
Often, the journey of changing our relationship with food is one of un-learning. Unlearning all of the bad habits, the bad advice, and the bad rules that we have created for ourselves. My husband had very little knowledge about nutrition, yet had a great grasp on what his body needed, and how to treat himself well, while I used every nutrition rule in the book to try to beat my body into submission.
If you want to take a journey into unlearning some of the big things that lead to overeating, check out my upcoming webinar on Tuesday.