When Elijah and I met in 2013 his staple diet was KFC, maccas, cookhouse (army cafeteria) food and a mindset that he could eat whatever he wanted to because he had to train everyday for work. By this time, I had started making healthy changes to my lifestyle so of course I was slightly horrified. I understood that you can never outwork a bad diet. I would try very hard to educate him, but it seemed to go through one ear and out the other.
Fast forward to Jan 2021 and my husband has become more disciplined with clean eating than his health coaching wife. We have just completed our 21 day Daniel fast and while I was so excited to finish and eat the meals I have been planning in my head, he has chosen to continue. Believe me when I say, I never thought I would see this day. It has taken so much frustration and tears to get here. I would feel so unappreciated with lengths I was taking to build a healthy home for us. I'm absolutely stringent about trying to keep a chemical-free, healthy home.
We would argue about silly things like why I don't want anti-bacterial wipes in the home, why I'd rather spend £12 on organic chicken than £3 regular chicken. It can get exhausting. I sometimes felt like a mother trying to remove all the sweets and snacks he was putting in the trolley. He would even hide maccas wrappers and I would throw all the soft drinks down the toilet because he could drink all in one night. It's quite laughable when I think of those times now.
So how did we get here?
I stopped trying to fix him and started focusing on my own health journey. I would focus on switching to healthier alternatives, putting more healthier snacks in the house and turning healthy living into fun things we could do together. We had a Saturday tradition of going to farmers markets, visiting health food stores but it was also a time we could have coffee and eat a meal out. Actions speak louder than words so instead of constantly yapping on about it I lived it out.
I would make him understand the bigger WHY? He loves children and can't wait to have our own and we're in our early 30's. I would remind him that if we want to be running around with our children and have the energy that they deserve, we need to take care of our health. Eventually, when he started making small subtle changes he started seeing the benefits and started feeling good. I did it out of love, I would remind him that I want to keep him healthy and alive for as long as I can.
Connection over everything.
Whether it is financial, health or behavioural habits it is hard to change anything without real connection. If you haven't kissed, had sex and had a decent conversation in a long time don't expect anything to change. Learn to see what they're doing right and acknowledge them for it. We all want to be seen, to feel safe and heard. We need to allow each other space to speak and be seen.
Prayer works!! I used to have seasons of praying for my marriage and husband and then forget. Now I have it written in my diary so I never forget to pray for these things.
We recently watched a session together with a doctor who spoke on pre-conception care, pregnancy and building a healthy family together. It's only after watching it did he have a deeper understanding on why I do the things I do. He kissed me and thanked me and I can't begin to tell you how that made me feel. I literally started crying. It might've taken someone else to drill it in, but it did. Praise the God almighty for that!
So wherever you are in your journey, don't be discouraged. Keep living out your truth and speaking with your actions. You will look back and be so thankful you didn't give up.
Audrey and Elijah