Category Archives: lifestyle. diet plan

Thrown Off Course

chillin

I was thrown off course with my exercise plan last week. I had not been feeling great the week before that and my exercise slowed down. I was tired a lot and started having trouble taking deep breaths.

I woke up on Monday, Oct 6 with what I thought was a horrible cold. I was very sick and eventually went to urgent care. Turns out, I had a very mild form of pneumonia. Let me tell you, if that was mild, I do not ever want to get full-blown pneumonia. I missed work most of last week.

I have also had trouble getting motivated getting back to the gym. I have gotten my diet back on track and I’ve been doing pretty good.

I also have received many requests for my spinach pie recipe. I am making it again tomorrow for a thing I’m going to at my friend’s art studio. The last time I made it, I took many pictures of the process. I am going to update my recipe with some good pictures.

I know I need to get back to the gym. I think tomorrow is out as I have the full day chock full of activities already, so Sunday, definitely. That said, I am going to be doing a lot of walking on Saturday, so there will be some exercise. But I am also going to start tonight doing some things at home. Planking, sit-ups, etc. Things I have difficulty doing at the gym in some of the exercise classes that I take. I feel much better doing those at home anyway.

Anyway, I am feeling kind of blah after my bout with pneumonia. It was kind of strange to have difficulty breathing after over a year of being able to breathe without any problems at all. Plus I’ve been resting, staying in, trying to make sure I’m fully recovered from the pneumonia so that I do not have a relapse. I feel like a big fat cow. I know I’m not, but I just feel so bloated and fat. That’s not really helping me feel motivated. I know it should, but it does not.

But on the bright side, it is Friday! Hopefully, after a weekend of getting back into exercise, I will feel much better next week.

Days Like These

I sure have been writing all of wonderfully positive posts recently.  Maybe the rain in DC today has me feeling kind of glum, but I feel the need to write a counter post of sorts.

I do not want to imply that everything I have experienced these past few months has been  unbelievably positive.  It is true that I feel great.  I have lost 88 pounds.  I fit into a size 20, which is down quite a bit from the 26-32 range I was originally.  I look better.  My blood pressure is controlled without meds.  I can breathe. I can walk.  I can breathe and walk at the same time!  Life is good and I feel good.

Part of why I started this blog was to give a realistic picture of what losing weight by having a gastric by-pass is really like.  There are a lot of great things happening that I love.  I do not have to stress about eating too much.  That pretty much takes care of itself.  I am losing weight pretty much effortlessly.  There are also some things that are a struggle, however.

HAIR

Over the past couple of weeks, I have noticed that I am shedding a lot of hair.  I am starting to freak out.  I know that many people who have had a gastric by-pass suffer tremendous hair loss and start showing bald spots.  I have been very worried about this.  I am diligent about my protein intake and my vitamins.  I though that I had managed to stave off any significant hair loss.  It could just be now that spring is coming, I am just doing some natural shedding in preparation for warmer weather, but I am very worried.

I made a few changes over the past month in how I get my protein and vitamins, which could be part of the problem.  I have been eating more protein bars instead of drinking shakes.  Pure Protein makes several very good protein bars.  I sometimes like eating them for two reasons.  One, less cans.  I hate drinking stuff out of a can.  Such a waste.  Yes, I recycle them, but still.  Two because they help in staving off hunger sometimes.  They are a little lower in protein, but not significantly.  I also changed my b-12 vitamin.  I was doing the melt-aways, but I got a good deal on the chewable kind.  Turns out, that may not have been a good idea.  Apparently,  you do not absorb as much of the b-12 in a chewable form.  I also ran out of the biotin shampoo and have been using regular shampoo and the biotin conditioner.

I have given up the protein bars and returned to the Pure Protein shakes.  I am heartened by the fact that I can by a large tub of Pure Protein powder at a store called Wegman’s.  Yeah, it’s a high-end fru-fru type grocery store, but a 16oz tub of the Pure Protein powder is only $9.99, which is much cheaper than buying it in can form anyway.  I also bought some more Unjury chicken broth protein.

In addition, I went back to the melt-away form of b-12.  The b-12 I bought also has folic acid and biotin.  I still need to buy more biotin shampoo, but I think I have enough conditioner to see me through until I get online and order some.

Constipation

I am still suffering through bouts of constipation.  I have been taking a stool softener sometimes and for emergencies, I do take Dulcolax suppositories.  I hate taking the Ducolax.  I have to be at home when I take that, which means if I have constipation during the day, I have to suffer until I get home.  Constipation is quite painful and even using the suppositories are painful.  Once I am done, however, I feel so much better.

I just do  not know why I keep getting constipation.  Maybe I am not getting enough fiber or liquid.  Who knows.

I suggested to a friend that maybe I was eating too much meat.  She immediately replied, “Yes, you are.”

I came back with, “But you do not see what I eat, how would you know?”

She answered, “You’re eating meat.  I’m sure it’s too much.  You should have more lentils and spinach.”

Now how could I argue with that.  She’s not a vegetarian, but she fully believes in the curative properties of vegetables, so I shall defer to her expertise and eat more lentils and spinach along with drinking luke-warm water and massaging my belly,  (her other suggestions for dealing with constipation).

I am really getting tired of dealing with this.  I was pretty sick and uncomfortable this week because of it, which is why I have not been up to blogging much.  I am doing better now, but  am still in a little bit of pain.  My stomach is a little bit sore even and I find I am not that hungry at all.  I really have to force myself to eat.  It’s kind of irritating.

I am also getting a little bit worried about having to use a supplement to go regularly.  I do not want to become dependent on them.  Plus, the pain and discomfort is so horrible, I can kind of understand how someone can develop a dependency on that feeling of release when you finally do clear up the problem.  It is such a relief and I feel so cleansed afterwards.  I can almost understand how someone with bulimia can become addicted to that feeling.  I would hate to go through all of this only to replace one eating disorder with another.  I have an appointment with the surgeon next month.  I am going to discuss it with him.

Coordination

I was never one anybody in their right mind would ever call graceful.  My mother used to joke when I was younger that after all, she did not name me Grace.  But as I am losing weight, I find that I have become even more clumsy than before knocking everything over, bumping into stuff, and dropping things.

The other day, I was walking to the Metro station after work, trotting along at a pretty good pace, feeling pretty good that I can walk to / from the Metro station every day and not get out of breath at all.  I went to step up on a curb after crossing the street, and BAM!  I was face down on the pavement.  I smacked the crap out of my knee and the laptop that I was carrying cross-body fashion hit me in the back of the head.  Fortunately, it did not hit me hard, but still.

I wish I could say my pride was hurt more than anything else, but I was really afraid I had done some serious damage to my knee.  A nice gentleman helped me up off of the ground and offered to call an ambulance.  I declined the offer, but he insisted on at least a cab.  I declined that as well, but came to my senses a few minutes later and hailed one myself.

Fortunately, my knee is fine.  Just slightly bruised.  My shin is a little sore and pretty scraped up.  And my head is fine, well at least as fine as it was before the fall.  It is my hope that after I reach a somewhat normal weight, I will get used to how I feel inside my own body and will be slightly less of a klutz.

Clothes

I am getting kind of tired of the whole clothes situation.  Most of my clothes are too big for me.  I did purge my wardrobe of anything larger than a size 24.  Now I am going to get rid of the 24s as well.  That will leave me with just clothes int he 20-22 range.  And I will be down to one pair of jeans and two pairs of yoga pants.  Not good.

I feel like I am at a crossroads.  I do not have enough clothes that fit me, and I do not want to spend any more money on clothes that I will only be able to wear for a few months at most.  I have decided that I will buy a few outfits.  I am not happy about it, but I am going to do it.  I need new pants and skirts to get me through the next few months.  And I need some new blouses and tops.

My sister gave me a gift card for my birthday and I bought a cute dress and a cardigan sweater.  I need sweaters these days.  Soon, it will be too warm for a jacket and I feel I need a sweater to get me through from spring to summer.

OK, I think that will be enough whining for now.  I did have a fairly rough week, which I think has really left me feeling exhausted.  I am looking forward to a good weekend, though.  St. Patrick’s Day is Sunday.  I love St. Patty’s Day.  There will be no green beer on the menu, which s good because I never could stomach green beer, but I will wear green and a button that says, “Kiss Me I’m Irish”.  Who knows, maybe somebody will.

I will be celebrating my sister’s birthday with the family tonight.  I am picking up her gluten-free vegan chocolate birthday cake, which I cannot eat, and we have having dinner at Carabbas, my sister’s favorite restaurant.  They actually have a gluten-free menu.  Her favorite dish, the Chicken Bryan, is on that menu.  She will have a very good night.  I have not had the Chicken Bryan in years, and now that I can eat cheese, I may have it too.

Happy St. Patty’s Day everyone!

Being Prepared: It Is Not As Easy As It Looks

Now that I am working at an office again, I have to spend a lot of time preparing and being ready for my day as far as food and vitamins go.  Staying on schedule as far as food/drink/protein/vitamins is very important post surgery. 

When I worked from home, it was pretty much a no-brainer.  I could cook when I want.  Take my vitamins and drink my protein as necessary.  Everything was right there with me.  It was easy.

Now I have to make sure that I have two protein supplements, all of my vitamins for the day, my lunch for the day, and money to purchase food in case I forgot something.  Not to mention, I have to factor in a 30 minute breakfast window into my morning routine.  I normally just barely have time to shower, dry my hair, style my hair, get dressed – keeping in mind that he getting dressed portion of my routine includes squeezing myself into some Spanx – find everything I need to take with me and dash out the door in time to catch the bus to the metro.  Now I have to take 30 minutes to have breakfast?  What a P.I.T.A.

I tried eating breakfast while I dry my hair and get dressed, but that has not been working out too well.  I start eating and then forget I was eating and end up throwing it away.  Or I eat too fast and get a stomach ache.  Not good.

I could wait to get to work to have breakfast.  If I do that, I have to carry one additional meal with me on the Metro.  Plus that puts my breakfast too close to lunch.  So, I either put off lunch until later in the day, have my meals too close together, don’t get enough water in, skip a protein supplement so that I’m not too full for lunch, or some combination of the aforementioned.  It just throws my whole schedule off if I wait. 

It has been a struggle to get the combination right, but I think I have a good system going.  I have also done some things to help me streamline the morning process.  I pick out my clothes the night before.  I prepare at least 3-4 days of breakfast and set it aside in refrigerator to only be used for breakfast.  I make 3-4 hard-boiled eggs, small pot of oatmeal, and some kind of fruit.  I also keep extra non-fat plain greek yogurts handy just in case.  I make my lunches ahead of time too.  Then I pack up everything I think I might need; laptop, keys, vitamins, protein supplements, etc.   In the am there is less gathering and less prep work.

Here was my am schedule last week:

  1. 6:30am  – wake up and shower
  2. 6:50am  – dry hair
  3. 7:10am – get dressed
  4. 7:20am – gather everything I need
  5. 7:30am – dash out door

Here is my new and improved schedule for this week:

  1. 6:00am – eat breakfast
  2. 6:30am – shower
  3. 6:50am – dry hair
  4. 7:10am – get dressed
  5. 7:20am – gather everything I need
  6. 7:30am – dash out door

In between all of this in my crazy morning routine, my sister calls me nearly every day.  We have our daily sister-chat in the morning otherwise we would never have time to fit in a good gossip.  Some times we talk for a full 30 minutes, but most days, we barely have 5-10 minutes to talk.  It’s quality not quantity that counts right?

I hate getting up at 6:00am.  It is so early, but I found I had to make starting my eating schedule off properly a priority.  Some days this may shift a bit as I have some flexibility with my starting time.  And days like yesterday where the government was closed, I can work from home which helps. 

I just cannot afford to lose focus just because I am working in an actual office now.  Staying on the proper food/water/protein/vitamin schedule is too important if I want to continue successfully losing weight.

 

Who’s That Girl?

Yesterday was a very strange day for me.  I saw several people whom I have not seen in a while.  Their reaction to my 75 pound weight loss was surprising to me.  I know that I have lost a lot of weight, but sometimes, when I look in the mirror or step on the scale, I can only see how far I have to go.

Last night I went to my weekly writer’s group.  I forgot to take my water with me to the meeting, so as I was running out to my car, I decided to stop in the little market that is in my building.  Pre-surgery Colleen went to this market all of the time.  I bought junk food, frozen foods, drinks, etc.  Post-surgery Colleen does not go there at  all.  I think I went there once to buy some water one time shortly after I returned home from the surgery.  Needless to say, before the surgery, I got to know the guy who owns the store pretty well.

I walked into the store to buy a bottle of water, and he gasped when he saw me.  “You look so different!”  He asked me what I did, I told him that I lost weight and had my hair done.  He told me how good I look and to keep up the good work.

Then at my writer’s group, my friend Bobby was visiting who is visiting town was there.  Bobby is a long-time member of the writer’s group and has recently relocated to a Central American country.  I have not seen him since last summer when he moved.  He follows my blog pretty religiously.  In fact, he was my #1 reader for 2012.  However, he has not seen me in person in a while.  Bobby is very excited about my weight loss and everything I am doing.  He always offers me such wonderfully supportive and encouraging words.  I really love his comments.

Bobby came to the meeting a few minutes late.  I was reading over my notes for one of the stories we were discussing, so I did not see him enter the room.  He apparently did not see me either because I received a text from Facebook from him saying, “Where are you?”  I looked up at him in surprise.  I could see this look of frustration on his face and I’m sure he was thinking, “Bitch. I told her I would be here.  I came here all the way from Central America and she does not even show up! Grrr!”

So, I messaged back.  “I’m right here, looking at you.”  I saw his eyebrows raise as he read the message.  Then he craned his neck looking around people to find me.  I can understand his not seeing me right away.  I am kind of short and we were sitting in rows with taller people in front of me.  When he did see me, he just smiled and waved and texted back to me, “OMFG!”  It was hilarious.

After the meeting, I walked over to where he was and he gave me a big hug and told me how great I look.

Also, another writer friend and writer’s group member, Michael Sullivan, attended our meeting.  I have not seen him in several months either, maybe even before the surgery.  He does not attend the meetings often, but I think he showed up to see Bobby.  Before I had a chance to even say hello to Bobby, Michael came up to me and said, “Excuse me, but are you related to Colleen?  You kind of look like her, but different somehow.”  Clearly he was joking about that, but he also told me how great I am looking.

Even the leader of our group, who I see nearly every week, commented on my weight loss last night.  He called me the amazing shrinking woman.  I find this funny because I saw him just last week and I have not really lost any more weight.

I have kind of hit a plateau.  I am not too worried about it.  That has happened two other times so far.  The surgeon says this is normal.  Your body needs time to adjust to the new lower weight and then the weight loss starts back up again.  I have found this to be true, so far.  Plus, it gives me a couple extra weeks before I have to go and buy new pants again.

I do know that I have changed a lot.  I do see it when I look in the mirror or when I look at some “before” pictures.  I also know when I put on some old clothes and pants fall off of me or blouses and t-shirts are ridiculously too big.  I can also feel it.  I am breathing much easier, my back does not hurt so much.  I can stand.  I can walk a good distance.  I can walk up steps comfortably.  I am sleeping better.  And I just feel better all around.  I do not feel that I have a huge mind/body disconnect as far s the weight loss that I have achieved.  But it sure does make me feel good about myself when I receive such positive reactions from people who know me.

 

Sisters Weekend and the New and Semi-Improved Me

My baby sister Jenny lives in Minnesota.  Well, this weekend, she was in Pittsburgh visiting my mother.  My other sister Sandy lives not far from me.  We carpooled up to PA to visit with my mom and our baby sister.  None of us have seen Jen since her wedding, (see previously posted pic of us at her wedding).

We were all very excited to get together and have all the girls together again.  I wanted to get my hair done before going to town.  Jen is a hairstylist.  I did not want to go to see her with that mess of a hairdo I have been sporting since the surgery.

Photo on 2013-01-21 at 21.09

She called me before the trip and told me she was bringing hair cutting supplies with her and she wanted to celebrate my 73 pound weight loss with a new hairstyle.  She also planned to stop by a beauty supply store and pick up some professional hair coloring to cover up my gray hair.  She also wanted to do Sandy’s hair.  Neither one of us are fashionistas like Jen, so we really appreciate her bringing us up to speed.

In addition to being a hairstylist, Jen has her certification as a Master Colorist.  Impressive.  As a funny aside, the day she received her certificate, she was so excited.  When I found out I called and left her this voicemail message:

“Jen, I have a serious problem and I need the help of a professional.  What two colors do I mix together to make purple?”

Yeah, I was teasing her, but that’s my job as a big sister.  We older siblings reserve the right to torture our younger siblings for being the youngest and getting all the things we were not allowed to have like their own room with a phone and lax rules for staying out on weekends.  Granted, the rest of us had moved out by the time she was a teenager, but that’s no excuse.  But I digress.

Nonetheless, Jen did not miss a beat and came back with, “You have a pen handy?  Write this down.  Red and blue make purple, crazy girl!”

In addition to getting my hair done, she and my mom wanted to take me clothes shopping for new pants since all of my pants either do not fit me at all or are starting to feel a little big, even the new jeans I bought in December.

We went to the mall on Saturday and checked out many stores.  We walked so much, we wore my mother out, which takes a lot.  We were all kind of tired except for Jen who can keep going forever, I think.  I went to many normal clothes stores with them.  Of course, there was nothing for me.  I did see a lot of clothes that I can wear after I lose a lot more weight, but nothing that I can wear now.

So, then we went to Kohls and Target on Sunday to try to find pants for me.  I do not know why we did not hit Lane Bryant or The Avenue while we were at the mall, but we did not.  I also did not want to spend a lot for pants since I will be losing more weight over the next few months.

We went to Kohls first and we could not find the plus sizes anywhere.  We finally found the section upstairs way in the back.  One or two walls filled with the ugliest clothes I have ever seen.  The only “activewear” pants they had were made from velour.  Not happening.  We were hoping to get some more yoga pants.  So, we left there and went to Target.  Again, very difficult to find the plus sizes.  Then one tiny corner of semi-OK clothes.  I did get a pair of cute purple pants, size 22!  And one pair of yoga pants in a 1x.

In December, my new jeans were a size 24.  The purple pants fit me perfectly.  The yoga pants fit me perfectly in a 1x as well.  For those of you who do not know, a size 22 is the equivalent of a 2x.  A size 1x is about an 18/20.  I am still wearing a 22-24 in tops.  I also got a light spring jacket, which my Jen insisted that I had to have since my purple jacket and winter coat are way to big for me.  The jacket is a little small, but it will fit me in a month.

As we were walking away from the plus section in Target, Jen said to me, “No offense, Colleen, but the clothes for plus sizes suck!  You get the teeniest section with the worst looking clothes.  Geeze even fat girls want to have cute clothes!”

I responded with, “Don’t I know it!  Welcome to my world!”

She went on with to say that somebody should do something about that.  I told her to let me know when she gets that fixed.  And while you’re at it, please let the clothes makers know that not all fat girls are nine feet tall.  Even the petites go down over my shoes much of the time.

My mom treated me to new pants and Jen did my hair.  I think she did a great job on my hair.  I was not in Pittsburgh for very long, but I sure had a great time!  Please enjoy the before and after pictures of me and Sandy.

I love my new hair!  It is a little Marlo Thomas-esque, but very cute.  Sandy went from gray to platinum blonde.  A true Targaryan if I ever saw one!

Me and Jen BEFORE

Me and Jen BEFORE

 

Me and Jen AFTER

Me and Jen AFTER

Sandy and Jen BEFORE

Sandy and Jen BEFORE

Sandy and Jen AFTER

Sandy and Jen AFTER

Colleen Jen and Sandy looking good!

Colleen Jen and Sandy looking good!

Fatty Fatty Two-by-Four

Do not like fat people?  Think they are ruining the health of this country?  Bully them!  So says prominent bioethicist Daniel Callahan.

OK, to be fair, he does not use the word bully, but I see little difference between what he is recommending and bullying.  He calls it “stigmatization.”  He tries to compare it to the successful stigmatization campaign against smokers to reduce smoking in this country.  He justifies his theory thusly:

It will be imperative, first, to persuade them that they ought to want a good diet and exercise for themselves and for their neighbor and, second, that excessive weight and outright obesity are not socially acceptable any longer. 

Really?  Excessive weight and obesity are not socially acceptable any longer?  When, pray tell, was being fat ever acceptable?  I would like to know when he thinks that is.  I have been battling poor self-image all of my life because even when I was thin, everyone told me I was fat.  I have faced social ostracization,  mean comments uttered both aloud and muttered so that just I could hear them, and mockery because of my weight.  I have been held back professionally because of my weight and my weight also affected my dating life.

So, when exactly, does he think it became cool to be fat?

Here are some of his suggestions for bringing social pressure to bear on fat or on their way to being fat people:

I do not know what is scarier, the fact that he is promoting bullying as a useful tactic in the fight against obesity or that he thinks that overweight people do not know what so-called thin people think of us.  Yes, I stand by my term bullying because that is exactly what this kind of social pressure is.

The worst part of all of this?  Mr. Callahan makes many other astute and valid points in his thesis.  He talks about bringing government pressure to bear on the food industry, taxing high caloric, high fat food, changing school lunches, finding ways to address childhood obesity.  All excellent ideas.  But those ideas are completely overshadowed by his promoting negative social pressure.

He spent a lot of time comparing fat shaming to smoking shaming.  He also tried to address what he views as the reasons other people do not think fat shaming will work.

Why is obesity said to be different from smoking? Three reasons are common: it is wrong to stigmatize people because of their health conditions; wrong to think it will work well, or at all, with obesity; and counterproductive with the obese because of evidence that it worsens rather than improves their condition. Ethically speaking, the social pressures on smokers focused on their behavior, not on them as persons. Stigmatizing the obese, by contrast, goes after their character and selfhood, it is said, not just their behavior. Stigmatization in their case also leads demonstrably to outright discrimination, in health care, education, and the job market more generally. The obese are said to be lazy, self-indulgent, lacking in discipline, awkward, unattractive, weak-willed and sloppy, insecure and shapeless, to mention only a few of the negative judgments among doctors and nurses.

These are the wrong reasons.  I am not saying that he does not have a point with some of these reasons, but he is missing the bigger point.

The differences between smoking and eating are this.   One, we need to eat to live.  People need to consume calories, protein, vitamin rich food every day or we starve.  We do not need to smoke to live.  Two, smoking affects the health of the larger community through second-hand smoke.  Obesity generally only affects the health of the obese person unless that person is pregnant or may become pregnant.  Also, there is no evidence that social shaming and ostracization keeps people from gaining weight or makes fat people lose weight.  It only makes them feel bad about themselves and encourages fat discrimination.

Finally, we will never really find a way to combat obesity in this country as long as many people live in poverty, lack access to healthy food, and lack access to health care.  Also, as long as losing weight is seen as part of the “diet industry” and a way for business to make money off of people who want nothing more than to be healthy we will not adequately be able to address the obesity problem.  People need real knowledge on how to become and stay healthy.

I have no problem with some amount of social pressure to encourage people to be healthier.  I just think that the pressure needs to be positive and encouraging not shaming and negative.  I think most people want to be healthy.  Most every woman I have ever met has dieted or tried to change their diet to lose weight and improve their health.

I imagine that on many issues concerning obesity, Mr. Callahan and I are much closer together than we are apart.  I just cannot agree with his fat-bullying campaign.

What we do not want to do is create a world where it is OK to harass fat people and create such stress that it drives many people into eating disorders to live up to negative social pressure to meet seemingly untenable goals set by people who do not have their best interest at heart.

Wait…what?

Are You Dating A Fat Chick?

So, I saw this interesting article on Yahoo today about mixed-weight couples.  Obviously, I had to check it out because it is a subject with which I have some experience, but more on that later.

One of the assertions put forth in this study was that when there is a relationship between a thinner male and an overweight female, there are more relationship problems than with people of similar weights or a thin woman/obese male combo.  Then I read this sentence in the Yahoo article and I nearly lost my mind.

“The overweight partner might feel insecure, judged, and angry, which could ultimately contribute to a power battle around food and eating in the relationship,” the researchers wrote. 

So, you’re saying that if there is conflict over dining together or relationship stress, it’s because the overweight woman feels insecure and judged?  I was like, wtf?  It certainly could not be because maybe he’s an ass and makes her feel bad for being overweight to make himself feel superior, could it?  I was ready to hop on here and rail against this study.  Then I decided to actually read the abstract on which the Yahoo article was based.

The reason for relationship stress was actually much more nuanced than the Yahoo article implies.  I am going to sum up here.  Basically, they said that if the healthy weight partner was not supportive, there was stress in the relationship.  Overweight women did one of two things.  They either spoke their mind and there was fighting, or they suppressed their feelings and ate more, thus compounding the problem.  On the other hand, if their partner was supportive of healthy choices and was encouraging, there was less conflict in the relationship.

I highly recommend reading the abstract.  They reached some other interesting conclusions, but I will leave that for you to read.

I think it is interesting that they focused on mixed weight couples, but it has been my experience that many men are overly concerned with their partner’s weight regardless of whether that partner is actually fat and regardless of whether they themselves may be carrying a few extra pounds.

When I was in college, I weighed maybe 130-135 at my heaviest.  Granted, I probably could have lost a good 10-15 pounds, but I was not fat.  I was dating a guy who was 6′ and about 200-210.  I wasn’t a stick, but neither was he.  He often talked about my weight or made derogatory comments about it.  More than once, he placed his hand on my abdomen and said, “Shouldn’t you do something about that?”

Meanwhile, I never said anything to him about his weight.  Would he have looked better at 185-190?  Maybe, but I was not concerned.  He apparently thought about my weight and what other people thought about it a lot and often mentioned it.

This is just one example, but I did a quick search of the internet and found the following:

Men’s Health: How to talk to her about her weight

Huffington Post: Half of men say they would leave a partner who gained weight

Science Nordic: Men say women weigh too much

I know that there are also many examples of women who treated men badly because of their weight, the money they make, or any number of things.  Women are not totally blameless in bad relationships.

I just really think that it is important to remember that if there is something you want to change in your partner, like their weight, being supportive and caring goes a lot further than insults and guilt.

I think also, it is important to learn the difference between a little bit of extra weight and being obese.  We have a distorted view of what is considered overweight.  I hate it when I watch commercials and they show a picture of someone who is at least 75 pounds over weight next to some skinny chick and the skinny chick says, “I followed this diet and I lost 30 pounds.”  No, honey, you didn’t.  Not if that picture is actually you.  No wonder women have such a distorted view of what our bodies look like.

I have often thought of putting out a book with pictures of women’s bodies at different heights and weights and including their measurements.  I know that is probably nearly impossible because women come in all shapes and sizes and weight can be carried in many different places on different people.  But I still think it would be important for both men and women to see real difference between 30 pounds of extra weight and 75 or 100.

Nonetheless, in my opinion, if you feel your partner is putting on too much weight and that weight is causing health problems, obviously you should talk to them.  For instance, if they have gained considerable weight, say 15 pounds a year every year you’ve been together, that might be a problem if you’ve been together for 5 or more years.  That can start causing some health problems.  If they are obese or morbidly obese, obviously something should be done.  If you want your relationship to work, approaching the situation from a place of love and concern is the way to go.

I suggest doing the following:

  • Look in the mirror and evaluate your own health.  Do you need to lose some pounds?  Do you have other health concerns you want to address?
  • Talk to your partner about addressing both or your health problems because you want to have a long, healthy life together.
  • Ask your partner what health goals they want to set instead of making it about what you want for them.
  • Suggest that you both develop a health plan together and come up with ideas.
  • Support and encourage each other’s healthy choices.
  • Allow for mistakes or cheat days for each of you because nobody’s perfect.

However, if your partner is only a few pounds more now than when you first started dating and that extra weight is not actually causing them any health problems and they see no reason to address it, you might just need to learn to live with it.