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Is it fair to ask others in the house to get rid of junk food?

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  • Is it fair to ask others in the house to get rid of junk food?

    I'm addicted to junk food of the sugar/salt/fat variety. Simple as that. I know this and I've told my wife this but despite her educational and work experience in rehab, she's skeptical.

    My entire adult life I've maintained my own household and simply refrained from buying junk food and having it in the house. Fast food is a whole other story and I still struggle greatly with it.

    I'm 45 next month, 5' 11" and just shy of 400 lbs. I know if I went to the doctor tomorrow I'd get a diagnosis of pre-diabetes. At least.

    My wife's sister and her 9 and 11 year old nieces have moved in with us and the food she feeds those girls is so bad that I only half jokingly think it qualifies as child abuse. The 11 year old still looks like a little model but the 9-year old has a double chin and a gut that would make an alcoholic cringe. Also, I've never seen a kid as obsessed with food as she is. She shows all the signs of heading for a full-blown food addiction.

    Since they've moved in, our kitchen is filled with bags of chips, boxes of cookies, boxes of snack cakes, ice cream, boxes of frozen food (pizzas, hot pockets, etc....). For me it's like being an alcoholic living in a liquor store.

    To be totally honest, it pisses me off. I haven't really said anything to my wife because I'm conflicted about whether it would be a reasonable request. A big part of me thinks it's just my weakness and lack of will power but another part of me acknowledges that this addiction is part of my reality. If that crap is constantly around I'm going to have a very hard time with it.

    What do you guys think? Is asking my wife to tell her sister to get rid of the crap or maybe just keep a few things in their bedroom (where I never go out of respect for their privacy) out of line?

  • #2
    Your house, your rules. If she (SIL) doesn't like it, she can find another place.

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    • #3
      It would be entirely reasonable to request that "junk foods" be kept out of sight, maybe in their room, especially if you frame it as "I'm working on my weight/health, and you ladies would really be helping me with that by keeping foods that tempt me out of the kitchen."

      Women, in general, love to be helpful and co-operative. It's how we're wired, and a request for help will probably meet with little or no resistance, compared to an order.
      My Walk From West Coast to East Coast

      http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread81011.html

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      • #4
        I agree with the "your house, your rules" philosophy.

        Although I am also big on the "A guest is a jewel resting on the cushion of hospitality" train of thought.

        Are they guests in your home? Tenants? Are they paying rent? Those things make a difference. If I were paying rent for a room and "kitchen share," I'd have a real problem with someone telling me what types of food I could bring into the house.

        I tend to think it's weird to keep food in a bedroom, so if that's what you're suggesting they do, you might meet some resistance. Also, I think eating in the bedroom is a bad habit for anyone, particularly a little girl who might already be headed toward some serious food issues.

        Could you perhaps clear out a cabinet or drawer specifically for their junk food? Yes, it will still be in your kitchen. And yes, it will still be within your reach. But perhaps just having it in a designated spot--a place where you can say "That drawer is NOT mine"--would help you.
        Female, 40 yrs old, 5', 120 lbs (post-pregnancy)
        Went Primal January 2, 2012!

        Paleo Cooking for Cavekids cookbook

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        • #5
          Originally posted by sqidmark View Post
          Your house, your rules. If she (SIL) doesn't like it, she can find another place.
          Ditto.

          Comes down to if your wife has your back or not though.
          Last edited by Neckhammer; 02-27-2013, 05:40 PM.

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          • #6
            You could install a locking cabinet in the kitchen for her to keep their stuff in.

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            • #7
              I agree with above, designate a cabinet for their food. That cabinet will not be yours and will be easier to avoid. I do think that you should have a serious discussion with the family about getting on board with eatin better.

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              • #8
                Well... if I (a recently quit smoker) had a smoker move in with me, I would very kindly ask them to not smoke in my apartment. The temptation to join them would be too much.

                If having junk in the house is a struggle for you, they need to respect that. Maybe cook them some fun meals to make it easier.

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                • #9
                  I think it makes it harder to have crap in the house. I bet if you sit down, bring up your health issues and new lifestyle, and request that to help support you, that they keep the junk foods in their room, a seperate cabinet etc. that they will be happy to help.

                  Very sad about the daughter. Hopefully you will have success and set a positive example.

                  If you are going to be in an environment with tempting foods, make very sure that you always have plenty of your favorite primal foods. If I run out of eggs or nuts the stuff I keep around for my SO can start looking tempting. (Mainly if I need a snack, I have a hard time not eating cheese and crackers if I don't have a boiled egg or some nuts). So make extra sure that you have primal faves on hand so that you are enjoying a steak while they eat some shitty pizza versus looking sadly at your chicken breast on a dry salad....

                  http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
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                  • #10
                    Mixed.

                    Guests in the home should abide by the rules of the house. If you have a no junk food rule, then it should be abided by.

                    Residents of the home (IE, your wife) should have the same freedom to eat what they want as you do. What if your wife went Vegan and told you that you can't have meat in the house? Would that be cool with you?

                    I'd say, compromise. Ask them to put the junk out of sight. But that said, I don't buy into having an actual "addiction" to junk food. I can buy that you get cravings for it- they have chemists that make that stuff so that you will. But it's not heroin. You can choose not to eat it.
                    High Weight: 225
                    Weight at start of Primal: 189
                    Current Weight: 174
                    Goal Weight: 130

                    Primal Start Date: 11/26/2012

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                    • #11
                      What do you guys think? Is asking my wife to tell her sister to get rid of the crap or maybe just keep a few things in their bedroom (where I never go out of respect for their privacy) out of line?
                      Not out of line at all. You can probably find a mini fridge on craigslist and put it in the bedroom where they stay. OTOH, if you do this, you'd better never come home with McDonald's breath. On some level the sister has to know that she's letting her kids eat garbage. Giving up some square footage for a fridge to house that garbage might just put it in perspective for her.

                      Once they make the concession though, do show them you're serious. Wake up 20 minutes earlier in the morning (or more) to get in a short walk before your shower (for example).

                      Also, whether it's your weakness or not, spouses should support each other. If your wife can't see your weight as a serious medical issue, if you can, go to the doctor. S/he will certainly require you to lose weight whether you've become diabetic or not. Once the doctor says no junk food, the whole household will take it seriously.

                      Good luck to you. There are as many excuses to not regaining health as there are people. Don't let your family be your excuse. You deserve to be healthy.
                      "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

                      B*tch-lite

                      Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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                      • #12
                        Some good advice here with some angles I hadn't thought of. That's why I posted the question here because I know I'm unlikely to think completely rationally about the situation.

                        Step one is going to be to dive in feet first into my own eating plan. If I don't do that then the junk food is pretty much a moot point. If a month from now I'm still on track and the junk food is still a major issue for me, I'll address it with everyone.

                        I talked to my wife about some of my concerns with our guests (not all diet related) and she's as frustrated as I am with what her sister is feeding the kids. She's talked to her about it but the sister is afraid that if she doesn't give them everything their dad does, then they are going to choose him over her. Lot's of different dynamics going on with that situation.

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                        • #13
                          You are almost 400 lbs and pre-diabetic. What else do you need to justify your desire to change for a healthy lifestyle? Its not just a few vanity pounds to lose, its very serious! The choice between your life or death and their questionable comfort?
                          Besides that feeding crap to the children in fear that they might choose their dad who does feed crap to them - are there any signs that the dad in queston will even want to have 2 soon teenage kids to feed and care for EVERY day? Take to school, trainings, art circles, birthdays, etc? Somehow it often stops right there - shovel some candy in them and forget till next time.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Corwin1968 View Post
                            Some good advice here with some angles I hadn't thought of. That's why I posted the question here because I know I'm unlikely to think completely rationally about the situation.

                            Step one is going to be to dive in feet first into my own eating plan. If I don't do that then the junk food is pretty much a moot point. If a month from now I'm still on track and the junk food is still a major issue for me, I'll address it with everyone.

                            I talked to my wife about some of my concerns with our guests (not all diet related) and she's as frustrated as I am with what her sister is feeding the kids. She's talked to her about it but the sister is afraid that if she doesn't give them everything their dad does, then they are going to choose him over her. Lot's of different dynamics going on with that situation.
                            Kind of what I was going to say,
                            Keep your wife in the loop, share with her your concerns both for yourself and others, but try to not be judgemental.
                            Even though things would be easier without junk food in plain view, there is still some lessons to be learned by yourself and leave the door open to good primal food and lay it out in plain view, who knows, the SIL may just bite and turn the corner and remember if the kids get on it, well they say if you hook them young, you've got them for life.
                            "There are no short cuts to enlightenment, the journey is the destination, you have to walk this path alone"

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                            • #15
                              What's really sad is that my sister-in-law loves to cook, is EXCELLENT at it, and many of the things she cooks are completely primal. They are Indonesian and do a lot of meat/veggie dishes, many with coconut milk! Of course, they eat everthing with white rice but I don't have a problem skipping that stuff. Now if I had married into a Mexican family I would really be in trouble.

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