Re: Husband's Belly & Man Boobs
When I reread this before posting, I realized I had come across rather sternly. But I decided to not edit out the word "FAT" from my post. Fat is the right word. It's not as hideous as "morbidly obese," or as pleasing as "plump."
When I was fat (over 260lb, 5'8") my ex-wife told me constantly about how fat I was, and about how embarrassing it was for her to be in public and how I should be embarrassed to be the fattest man in the room, etc. I was married at 20, 165lb. After five years of marriage, I was up to 220lbs, and peaked at 260 or so (I stopped weighing) after 25 years of marriage.
Our entire relationship was falling apart for years, and had been getting fatter for years. I was the victim of verbal abuse by her and this was just another one of her several topics of conversation. I know that I was a defensive eater, and no doubt, I was eating due to depression and maybe even as a way to slowly kill myself. I could (and did) blame her for my troubles, including my weight, which I was in denial about it being a problem. I was "fit and fat." (And, yes, I had man-boobs, before the word had been coined. I though they were just gender-neuteral "tits." Aren't aging hippies, with all their politically correct lingo so "quaint." )
It was not until a friend took me aside and said "Dude, you are going to die if you don't treat losing weight as your #1 priority." (actually, my Dr. also told me the same thing, but not quite so bluntly). I began to diet, and kept at it, until I was around 200. I hovered around there for 20 years, but have recently begun to push my weight down towards 170. I'm at around 185.
My point is, in part, that the derisive words of my ex, "you are fat," "you embarrass me," were less effective then "you will die." Maybe it was the statement of the consequence of my consumption was stated in nonjudgmental terms by my friend than by my ex.
At any rate, I finally left my wife, and eventually married someone who, like me, has battled weight her entire life. We made exercise and health an actual part of our wedding vows and make a point of making sure we get out and walk or ride bikes regularly.
Thoughts about my appearance over time.
I never saw myself as "FAT," even at my peak. I was surprised when I saw that fat man in the mirror looking back at me. I avoided cameras. I never accepted that I was FAT. That perception never changed until I lost 60lbs and saw pictures of me at my peak. Then I realized that I was actually FAT.
Now, people who didn't know me when I WAS fat are shocked to hear me lamenting about BEING FAT. I still THINK I'M FAT. I am surprised when I look in a mirror and see a skinny old man with grey hair.
My point here is that my perception of my own weight has never been accurate. I don't think anyone's perception of their weight is accurate. And there are so many people on the afternoon talk shows who provide ammo for anyone who needs an excuse to not lose weight. They report the slim volumes of studies reporting how the hefty volume of studies are all wrong, and that being fat is actually good for you. There are people who make it their business making people feel good about being fat. And people who make it their business to make it seem natural to eat high calorie junk food at every meal and who want to sell you sugar laden giant tankards of coffee and cola.
I'm not saying one has to outlaw 32oz glasses, or be a bag of bones or become anorexic or eat like a supermodel. I am suggesting that when our own perceptions about what's fat and what isn't can't be trusted, we really have to take a moment and look at the numbers on the scale.
Compare this, perhaps to how much people weigh around the world, and over time. It's alarming.
While you are at it, look at movies from the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. I'm shocked at how skinny people looked back then. Again, not the supermodels, but just the regular folk in the movies, in the background of youtube videos, etc. Pictures from your wedding party, your parent's wedding party, you growing up. The round-faced, multi-chinned, man-boob fancying adults were the rarity, not the rule. OMG, have you been on a cruise ship or to Disneyland? What a slothful civilization we have become. OMG. WTF. ETC.
And, from personal experience: My hip and knees have "gone out," the most likely culprit was carrying 70lbs more than I should have for many, many years. I am having a total hip replacement soon, and feel terrible as I've not been able to keep up my exercise. I am terrified of re-gaining weight.
Now, when I carry a 25lb bag of dog food, my hip is in agony. It points out, with painful, pinpoint precision, precisely what was wearing out while I was stuffing my face, feeling sorry for myself, denying my obesity when I was younger. I can lift a 70lb piece of furniture. I literally stagger with the realization of the price carrying that much extra weight is being paid now as I face going under the knife to undo the damage done in my ignorant youth.