Letter to your Husband
I considered myself a pretty typical guy in my mid 50’s. Life was good. I had a decent job but worked hard. I loved good food and knew I could lose a few pounds but really didn’t want to give up my Eggs & Bacon or Eggs Benedict for breakfast, or my company lunch meetings & dinners or worse yet, the Big Green Egg BBQ or my Weber BBQ – you know, the one thing I had which was the envy of the neighborhood – great BBQ. My BBQ’s were the entertainment capital of the world, right there on my deck – proudly positioned aside my beer & drink cooler, which was adequately stocked with 4 different brands and backed up with the sacred beer fridge in the garage, bursting at the seams.
While I was loving life, I had noticed a few things which got my attention in the last year or two. People at work started calling me “Big John” for no real reason – I thought it was just a friendly quirk a few people had picked up. I was traveling a lot and noticed that when I arrived at the airport gate for my flight, I was sweating pretty heavily and it took me quite a while to cool down. That was OK, it was hot outside or the thermostat in the airport was higher than before…right? I was also finding my seat on the plane to be a little small and having to lean left or right because of that very present “big guy” in the middle seat hogging the armrest or bumping into my shoulder. Those darned airlines making the seats smaller to cram a few more people in…
I also noticed that someone had changed the position of the steering wheel of my car and dropped it down a few inches. It never used to rub against my stomach like that.
Then… one day… all hell broke loose…. The new puppy escaped and was running around the yard, with the front gates wide open. All I could hear were screams of “The puppy is loose” and “Save the dog, he’s going to get run over”. OK, now its Hero time Ta Daaaa…. I put down my beer along with my BBQ tools and yelled “Someone look after the steaks” and headed for the front gate like Usain Bolt at the Olympics.
The puppy was running at break-neck speed with everyone trying to catch him and having a great time barking “I’m free, I’m free…Catch me if you can.”
I was half way to the open gate, huffing and puffing with my 250lb frame lumbering down the driveway and the remaining 50 or so feet now feeling like the world’s longest touchdown. I just had to stop and catch my breath, and you guessed it, the puppy made a beeline from behind me to the ultimate freedom and headed straight across the road full of traffic.
By now, this had turned into a level 10 full on panic and I felt a sudden burst of adrenalin kick in. Within seconds I was across the road diving on the puppy who was about to become an appetizer for the neighbor’s huge Rottweiler.
I made my way back to the house, puppy tightly gripped in both arms, sweating uncontrollably, totally out of breath, couldn’t say more than half a word at a time and my heart beating so hard in my chest that my toenails hurt. Slopped in the chair, it took me a good 5 minutes to talk in a sentence and 30 minutes to get out of the chair.
A few weeks later my wife and I had a conversation:
Wife: “You know, I think I might like to give Weight Watchers another try. It worked for me a long time ago.
Me: “I know what you are trying to do. There is no way you are going to get me on one of those yo yo diets.. no sir-ee… Not gonna happen”!
Wife: “They have a different system now where you can eat whatever you want and it seems to work for a lot of people. It is a Healthy Lifestyle – not a diet.”
Me: “Nope, I’m not giving up my BBQ or my beer fridge”
Wife: “You don’t have to, you can eat whatever you want, just under more control, so you track what you eat. Its pretty easy really”
Me: “Nope, I’m not about to embarrass myself in front of a bunch of people at a meeting”.
Wife: “You don’t have to go to meetings, you can do it all online, with a simple app. Just track what you eat. Do it in your underwear if you want.”
Me: “Nope, I’ve seen those weight loss ads on TV where you have to buy all their food and it costs a fortune and I’m not about to eat like a rabbit with salads 3 times a day– not gonna do it”!
Wife: “You buy your own food – whatever you choose. If we do it together, it will be much easier for me to lose weight after my surgery and I can come up with new recipes and still cook great tasting food. We can even continue to eat out… and besides, the next time the dog gets out you might be able to close the gate before he get out”?
Me: Where do I sign up.
I have to say, I was probably the most resistant, stubborn, pig headed, least likely, with every excuse in the world candidate who ever signed up, but figured we could sign up for the discounted 3 month plan and it would be over in a week or two anyway.
It was one of the best things I have EVER done. I look back and can see that I was well on my way to a fatal heart attack.
I still use my Big Green Egg and my Weber. I still drink beer, wine and whiskey when I want. I still eat all the foods I love, including pancakes, waffles, eggs & bacon, steak and pizza…I just don’t want to eat as much of them at one sitting and I’ve learned to love some foods I never thought I would.
I am still the same person I was 6 months ago and still don’t exercise or go to the gym.
Together we made a lifestyle change – for the better…. You can too.
I am today 55lbs lighter and I am much, much happier and have more energy – a LOT more..
I am thinking of things we can do rather than making excuses to not get out of the chair.
I have stopped comparing myself to the dad out of The Goldbergs.
I sleep much better at night and my mental attitude is crisp.
I don’t sweat through the airport, in fact I like walking now and have a Garmin tracker (my wife has a fit bit)
My airplane seat has plenty of room and there is a decent gap between me and the steering wheel of my car.
My neck size is currently 16 ½ not 17 ½ and my pants are 36” not 40”.
I feel fantastic – all the time and have a sense of accomplishment and commitment.
My wife & I have a much closer relationship. I am usually in the kitchen helping her cook and learning new things – with a glass of wine in my hand – having a conversation, rather than watching TV.
We recently started hiking in an amazing mountain park at the end of our street.
I am thinking this 50lbs was so easy, I should go for another 20.
I can catch the dog !!!!
Please… support your wife in her challenge and you will end up benefiting simply as a side effect, in so many ways. I was just like you and with hardly any effort, my life has changed for the better. It is worth it, believe me.