Husband loses weight, gains an attitude

September 23, 2010|Susan Reimer

Sex, money and kids top the list of stressors on a marriage. You probably can add housework, snoring and the remote to that list, too.

But I'd have to say weight loss is right up there.

My husband has lost a lot of weight. I mean, a LOT of weight. He's lost so much weight that not only do his trousers fit better, his shoes fit better.

And this is good news because his doctor warned that, with diabetes in his family, his weight made him a sitting duck.

It took time and determination to lose all that weight, and his doctor pronounced him "amazing." But having shed the weight, he seems to have taken on a new personality. One best described as self-righteous.

This former doughnut-a-holic has taken to preaching healthful eating with the zeal of the newly converted. No more Danish for him. No, sir. Chocolate candy bars are the devil's playground. And lips that touch Dr Pepper will never touch his.

He can be subtle. He will walk around jangling his hands in his pants pockets until his newly roomy waistband flips around like a hula hoop.

Or not so subtle.

When he said to me at an Italian restaurant one night that "you probably consume more calories than you think," I almost stuck my fork through his hand. The male member of the couple who joined us that evening shook his head. "If I said that to my wife, she'd bend all my fingers back until they broke off," he said.

The fact that men seem to lose weight faster and easier than women has increased the strain on our marriage.

He lost 50 pounds by, essentially, giving up soda, pastries and late-night bowls of ice cream.

I gave up that stuff 20 years ago! If that's all it took for women to lose weight, we'd all be skeletal.

Apparently, that 50 pounds was the party animal he's been carrying around all these years because the man is as much fun to dine with as somebody on a hunger strike.

"I'll just have a pile of lettuce," he says when I ask what he'd like for supper.

"How about water with no ice to wash it all down with?" I mutter in response.

No breads. No pasta. No potatoes. Nothing from the white food group.

No rum, no Coke, no Maker's Mark. Nothing from the booze food group, either.

"Did you ever really taste a carrot?" he will ask, apropos of nothing.

If he starts packing his own food for parties, I will leave him at home.

Before you haters fire off nasty e-mails to the chubby-cheeked girl in the photo here, let me say that we could all lose a few pounds and never miss them.

But I am in the normal range on all those charts, and if I wanted to match my mate and lose 50 pounds, I'd have to consider amputation.

What worries me is this: If his weight loss continues, will he pass me on the way down?

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