If you want to find out if your spouse has a vindictive streak, one sure method is to ask for some help in losing weight. This is especially effective if it’s the first time you’ve ever had to lose weight.
All my life I’ve been one of those fortunate people who were blessed with a slender build and a high metabolism. This let me eat and drink virtually anything in any quantity without gaining weight.
As you can imagine, this was a constant source of annoyance and irritation for my wife, who had to sacrifice, diet, and fight to keep her weight down. My somewhat flippant attitude about the subject of losing weight probably didn’t improve our relationship in this regard.
“Look at all the diet ads on television. Can you believe that people have to pay someone to lose weight? Where’s their willpower?”
Looking back, I would undoubtedly been a bit more understanding if I had known my time would come.
That time finally came when I noticed for the first time that my clothes felt a little tight and for some reason, my belts had shrunk a notch. Not paying too much attention to this, I continued to eat my five or six thousand calories a day. Finally, my wife couldn’t contain herself any longer.
“Honey,” she said, trying not to look too smug, “have you weighed yourself lately? Maybe it’s just me, but your shirts look a bit tight and I notice you’ve let your belt out a notch.”
“I haven’t weighed myself in a year. No need to. I always weigh 160 pounds no matter what. Oh, I might be out of shape a little, but that’s probably because I’ve been busy and haven’t had too much time to exercise. I just need some toning up, that’s all.”
“Well, why don’t you weigh yourself anyway, just for the heck of it? Here, you can use my scale.”
Of course, I couldn’t show any doubt now, so I confidentially said, “Okay, it’s a waste of time, but let’s take a look.” I stepped on the scale and watched the needle dance merrily right on past 160 and finally come to rest at 174. Oops.
Unfortunately, my wife looked over my shoulder at the dial before I could step off. The look in her eyes was not one of kindness and understanding.
“I thought that maybe you had gained a bit of weight. It doesn’t look too noticeable yet, but aren’t you the one who always said you couldn’t understand why anyone would let themselves put on weight when all it took was a little willpower? Now’s your chance to show everyone just how easy it can be. Isn’t this great?”
I merely shrugged. “No problem. Just cut back a little, watch what I eat, and I’ll be back down to 160 in a couple of weeks. What’s the big deal?”
Exactly two weeks later, I was up two pounds to 176. “Okay,” I told my wife one morning,” I’ll admit it isn’t quite as easy as I thought. So from now on, I’d like you to help me watch what I eat. After all, you should be an expert by now.”
Using sarcasm wasn’t the smartest thing to do at that time, especially to the person who was going to be monitoring your food intake, as I soon found out the next time our kids drug us to the Golden Arches to eat.
We walked in and I took the kids to the play area while my wife ordered. I told her I wanted the usual, which consisted of a quarter-pound cheeseburger, an order of fries, a large Coke, and apple pie. What I got was a garden salad and a small Diet Coke (did you know they serve salad at McDonalds? I didn’t).
“What’s this?” I asked, looking at the salad suspiciously. “I wanted the usual.”
“This is the usual for you from now on. Remember? I’m the one you asked to watch what you eat. So go ahead and eat, I’m watching.”
And watch she has. I’m now familiar to a horrifying degree with every salad bar in a ten-mile radius and I can state the caloric content of the major food groups with laser-like accuracy.
But I’m also losing weight. So, if you too need to lose a few pounds, take my advice: try eating a little crow.