A Tale of Cheesy Enchiladas and Tears

Michael and I had a moment of conflict recently. I will preface this story with a yes I had a minor meltdown and yes I was already feeling overwhelmed and overstressed leading up to this “moment.” (Note to Self: listen to my body and my stress and do more self-care, perhaps verbalize some of the frustrations before they become overwhelming!)

It was a Rest Day for me and all week long I’d been doing my best to cut down my calories. I wasn’t restricting myself drastically, I was just being mindful of just how MUCH I was munching on the “extras” throughout the day. You know those extras–they are the bites, nibbles and tastes that we fail to count during our day. Sometimes we forget to record them, sometimes we trick our brain into thinking that they don’t count. For whatever reasons we do it, those calories do count and they do add up. I was trying my best to become more accountable to myself.

After a crappy day at work, an even longer week of exhausting obligations on top of cutting down on my sugar intake, I just snapped. We were in the kitchen making dinner together. Michael decided we were having veggie enchiladas–which was awesome because I’d been craving Mexican food for awhile. He cooked down the spinach and onions. I chopped the black olives and jalapenos and got the sauce and black beans ready.

We began assembling the enchiladas. Stressor #1 – I realized that we bought the much larger tortillas than normal and they were 210 calories each. I shuddered as I started to add up the math in my head and realized I could only have one enchilada instead of the two that I really wanted.

Stressor #2 – Michael was stuffing the enchiladas with shredded Colby Jack cheese. Handful after handful went into them until it was heaping.

“Can we put less cheese in two of those for me?”

Michael said no. “Stop it. Lots of cheese is what makes these good! You can have cheese.”

I felt annoyed that he was dictating what I should and could eat. I said it was too much cheese. His response: “If we ate this in a restaurant it would be twice the amount of cheese.”

“But we are at home and I can make it healthier.”

“Come on! That’s not fun!”

This was the breaking point. There were tears. I was frustrated and angry. I felt like a huge, wet blanket because I couldn’t “have fun” with my food. I said, “I need you to stop belittling my food choices and making me feel guilty for how I eat. I have been living a life of moderation for years now and I will always count my calories and be concerned about my intake. It will always be a struggle for me. I will always want more food and I make choices every single day to stay on track. I am aware that my food is not fun or gluttonous. But I need you to be supportive of me and not push food on me. Please don’t make me feel guilty for trying to be healthy.”

Michael apologized profusely. He admitted he made a mistake with trying to pressure me and apologized for adding to my stress. He was compassionate and understanding. We resolved it and made up. There were hugs and then we enjoyed our cheesy enchiladas.

Michael isn’t normally a food-pusher but every once in a blue moon we do have this conflict. Michael can only relate to my struggles so much but he’s never been obese and never knew me as That Girl. He didn’t see how hard I worked to lose the weight. He didn’t see the process of working so hard to lose one pound after another. He’s proud of my accomplishments and supports my efforts but he really can’t relate to what my struggles are with food.

It sucks that the argument had to happen at all but once in awhile it’s good to remind our partners if we need help. Please don’t push food on me. Please keep my triggers out of the house. Please support my efforts. Don’t feel like you can’t speak up and ask for support!

We enjoyed dinner. The veggie enchiladas were delicious and pretty big. I was full but definitely wanted to eat another one. I resisted. I recognized that I did NOT need a second one, I WAS full and satisfied. The conflict isn’t always there, but in times of stress it’s easy to turn to food, or to revert back to old habits. Sometimes those old habits lay dormant for years, and then boom! Stress, or something happens and it’s harder to resist those temptations.

QUESTION: How do you handle food conflicts with your significant others/family/friends?

17 Responses

  1. Hi Lisa! I’m glad you two made up! I can relate to this. My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 7 years so he’s seen me at my heaviest and been along for the ride of my trying to lose weight and eat healthier, but he doesn’t fully get it. He’s a really tall naturally thin guy and he thinks losing weight is super simple, you eat healthy and work out and the weight falls off. UMMMM NO! Haha it’s a daily struggle and I have to tell him that often as he’s chowing down on thousands of calories while I’m enjoying my tiny portion of whatever we’re eating. It’s tough sometimes, but in the end I’m very thankful I have him to help push my in working out and be my shoulder to cry on when I need it.

    1. I think it’s a VERY common struggle between couples. Men can often eat bigger portions and not gain; and when they decide to lose the weight it seems to melt off their bodies with little effort. It’s a STRUGGLE for me. I work REALLY hard to lose and keep the weight off and I have to be mindful of my portions and how many calories I eat.

      It wasn’t a big fight or anything and it was resolved quickly. I shared the story because I think it’s a lot more common between couples than people talk about.

  2. This is the worst, and even if a significant other is also trying to loose weight it’s still not easy. My husband and I have completely different trigger foods which can be problematic. (Cookies/sweets are no big deal for him and he doesn’t quite get that chocolate needs to be hidden and my will power is not great.) My husband and I are on weight watchers. Since he’s a man, taller, and has more weight to loose than I do, he can eat 2x as much as I can. He sometimes forgets that pasta for dinner for me is really hard. Or cheese. God damned cheese! And while I love him, he’s never had to struggle with his weight until about 10 years ago. So he grew up eating full fat food and things that are “diet” food taste “bad”. So he scoffs at lower calorie foods – example: I have a great lower fat recipe for mac & cheese. But when I make it, he’ll often say “Oh. That’s not how my mom used to make it. This is good…but…” Yeesh.

    Sorry for rambling, but I’ve been there!!!
    Dina recently posted..Dinner Last Night

    1. Not rambling! I think this is VERY common! Thanks for sharing your story. It’s great that you guys are both on Weight Watchers together. Hopefully he can support you in your efforts, too, even if it’s not as much of a struggle for him.

      It’s hard. It adds another issue to relationships something. Food shouldn’t be a war. And most of the time, it isn’t in our house. Most of the time I CAN eat a little bit more of “this and that” and not worry about the scale so much. Just lately…lately it’s an issue for me.

  3. Hi Lisa, I understand the frustration. I also don’t know many couples who don’t have the occasional arguement like this. Sounds to me that you two have a very healthy relationship, it was resolved quickly, and its behind you. Have a great Tues.

  4. I am glad all is resolved! I also think the “argument” was normal and handled very well by the both of you. My husband is VERY supportive of my eating habits. I just know if he said something about not having fun over food I would FLIP out! I am impressed how well you voiced what you needed from him. I think it was perfect. AND… isn’t making up fun?!?!?!? 🙂

  5. My bf and I have this issue too. Lately I’ve been doing 2 different things to cope with it, since I cook 90% of the dinner meals in the house, and dinner is the only meal we eat together every day.

    If he wants something I know will not be good for me, I either make two different dinners, sharing the veggie sides and whatnot, or eat smaller portions of what he wanted, go to the gym, work it all off, and have a snack of some sort of fruit (really fond of raisins lately) when I get home.

    Either way, it seems to be working as finally after the holidays I am starting to lose again! I was worried for a little bit!
    Deb recently posted..Day 107

    1. I’m glad you guys figured a system that works for you. We don’t want to cook separate meals so we usually compromise and eat healthy things. Again, this isn’t an issue most of the time–just once in awhile!

      1. I didn’t want to do separate meals either at first, then I realized we have totally different tastes in food, so it made even more sense to try it. He hates spicy, I love it. I like to eat vegetarian sometimes, he has to have meat. I could eat chicken almost every time, but he gets bored with it. And there’s some nights I just want to make a big salad and call it good, while he’s not much of a salad eater. lol

        Most of the time, like you said, we can manage to agree. But sometimes… heh. Not so much.
        Deb recently posted..Day 107

        1. It sounds like you guys do have very different food habits. I’m glad it works for you! And I agree, sometimes a big salad is all I want too.

          Michael and I have pretty similar food tastes except I crave sugar and he craves salty.

  6. I don’t have conflicts like this since I do most of the cooking. Food doesn’t stress me out that much. I’d be much more stressed if I couldn’t afford something to eat rather than the fact that I had plenty of food, but it was just too calorie laden for me. In the grand scheme of problems and things to be stressed about it, it’s small for me. I know maintaining takes a lot of diligence, but peace of mind/not being stressed is part of my overall health and I value that too.

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