I’ve gained 50 pounds in the past few years and I am too embarrassed to go to the gym. My husband has recently been throwing out some gentle hints about wanting me to get in better shape and I find it not only annoying but also the opposite of encouraging.
He says he is worried because diabetes and heart disease run in my family but I wonder if he doesn’t like being seen with me because he is in very good shape.
I finally told him great – send me to a fat farm if you want me to lose weight because I don’t want to have people I’ve known for years see me at the gym. This opened a big can of worms and a fight about my lack of motivation and what he sees as a silly problem of being too self-conscious. He just doesn’t get it.
He can afford to send me to a health and fitness spa for a month and a really good one, Green Mountain, is just two hours from our home in New York. Don’t you agree this would be a good start for me on my weight loss journey?
Dear Shining Example of First World Problems:
A fat farm or health spa or however you want to label it may give you a nice kickstart, but I see two major issues with this idea: 1) the damage this little sojourn will cause to your marriage, and 2) your quick, “silver bullet” approach to weight loss isn’t viable in the long-term.
Becoming and staying healthy is a lifestyle change and commitment, not a trip to a spendy fat farm.
When I read your letter I assumed you don’t work. When I emailed you to get more information you confirmed you are a “housewife” with no kids at home, a cleaning woman, and you do no volunteer work.
You asked me why I assumed you didn’t have a job – you actually seemed a little put off I drew that conclusion. Seeing as how you can just take off several weeks to go to Camp for Chubby Grownups, you shouldn’t be too surprised that I connected those dots.
Another assumption I made was that your husband works pretty hard to provide you with this cushy lifestyle.
Turns out I nailed that one too. Wow – I must be psychic.
As I view this quandary from your husband’s perspective, he has watched you adopt an unhealthy lifestyle for several years and he is just now getting the courage up to discuss it with you.
I commend your husband for his honesty, the kind way in which he has approached a touchy subject, and his bravery. I say “bravery” because if Mr. Patience and Understanding ever comments on my weight he is going to need a doctor and a lawyer pretty damn fast.
Your reaction to his concern for your health is to deny accountability for the situation and thrust our your hand for vacation money. If I were your husband, I’d be pretty peeved at your attitude of entitlement and your state of denial.
You take no responsibility for your own situation and you aren’t willing to put in the hard work to lose weight like the rest of us have to: slowly and safely through calorie reduction and consistent exercise for a long period of time.
I’m not trying to be hard on you, but in our email exchange you gave me several excuses for why you have put on 50 pounds and haven’t made a serious and sustained effort to get in shape. I’ll list those reasons and my reaction to them along with some advice.
1. You are too busy to exercise.
OK, I laughed out loud when I read that. You must have giggled a bit yourself when you wrote it. Barack Obama is the President of the United States and he finds time to exercise. I’ll go out on a limb here and suggest there may be a few free hours in your week for you to get your sweat on. Just a hunch.
2. You don’t like exercise.
Oh honey, most of us don’t! The key to my exercise program is largely based upon distraction, not a love of cardio. Download fun and interesting programs on what I assume is your top-of-the-line tablet and watch them while you are on an exercise machine.
Another option sounds silly but it’s really fun: blast your favorite music and simply dance your heart out. I do this sometimes when I am bored or frustrated with my routine and not only does it give me a great workout, I always feel really upbeat afterward. Try it!
3. You are embarrassed about your weight gain and thus don’t want to go to the gym.
I can absolutely empathize with you on this one. I went through this years ago when I decided to make exercise a part of my life. I walked into the gym that first day with enormous trepidation and fear that others would be silently mocking me as I waddled from machine to machine.
You know what I learned? It’s not all about me. SHOCKING!
What I mean is this: most people go to the gym to exercise, not to judge the bodies and efforts of others. To assume you will be the focus of your gym mates’ attention is not only slightly paranoid, but also a wee bit arrogant.
I strongly encourage you to drag your ass to your club because it’s filled with machines that will help you lose weight, people who are on the same journey, and your husband works hard to pay for it.
If you absolutely cannot stomach the idea of going to the gym until you lose some weight, purchase an exercise machine and use it at home. And dance!
4. You find counting calories or points too challenging.
So do I; that’s why I don’t do it. Instead, why don’t you try this: eliminate 500 calories from your diet every day and see what type of results you get after a month. Do you have a favorite snack or coffee drink you can give up? However you do it, identify 500 calories worth of consumables every day and don’t consume them.
5. You eat in restaurants at least 5 times a week for lunch and diner because you don’t like cooking for just yourself or the two of you now that the kids are gone.
Listen bitch, now you’re just pissing me off. Who are you: Queen Elizabeth? Can I borrow your scepter so I can bonk you on the head with it?
Immediately after you clean the coffee off your computer screen (I’m sorry my advice made you mad but was throwing the mug really necessary?), go online and print 20 healthy and interesting recipes. I would link to some for you but honestly, you need to do some damn work for a change.
Commit to making lunch and dinner at home at least 5 days a week. You will be astonished at how much this will aid you in your weight loss journey, not to mention your husband will probably be thrilled to finally get a home cooked meal on a regular basis.
You’re kind of a lousy housewife, I’m sorry to say. You need to take your game up a notch.
Find a weight loss buddy and try to have fun with this. If you take a simple approach, such as “I pledge to do 120 minutes of exercise every week and cut 500 calories a day from my diet,” I am confident you will succeed.
In closing, I’d like to say this: you sound spoiled and bored.
If you love your husband and you want to stay married, I suggest you find something to do with your life. You are smart, you are funny (unintentionally, but that’s OK) and you need to be doing something besides sitting in front of a computer all day on Pinterest, pinning exercises you will never do and meals you will never make.
Either get a job or help others who are less fortunate. In doing so, your self-esteem will grow far beyond what it would if you lost the 50 pounds and looked amazing.