Thursday, October 28, 2010

No promises broken here!

I promised Mr. Bunny I wouldn't write negative things about him here. It's our bargain--he's not allowed to read what I write, I assure him that there's nothing about him he'd be upset by. Which I hope is true. So just to be clear: this post is not about him. It's about someone else, Mr. Nunyb. Totally unrelated.

Mr. N. is about ten pounds overweight. He's got a bit of a gut. And he feels really bad about it. He's always saying things like I'm so fat, I'm disgusting, etc. He doesn't get any exercise. He travels a lot and it's exhausting. When he's home, he doesn't want to work out, he wants to relax. Unfortunately for him, he happens to be married to someone who is naturally thin, and who gets a lot more exercise as part of her daily routine (she walks a lot). She's pretty much in control of his diet when he's home, and she doesn't always make things that are low in fat, in part because she's been underweight before and needs to keep the pounds on. He wants to lose weight. She wants him to lose weight. But he can't seem to stick to a routine. The only times he's been good about it are times when she's worked out too, and she's not going to be working out any time soon. For various reasons. She's worried if he doesn't develop good habits now, he'll be overweight forever and then die of something sad. But she doesn't know how to encourage him. Nagging is not a good strategy, but is there any way of bringing up the subject that doesn't count as nagging? She could cook better food, which would probably be wise anyway, but cream is so goooood! And diet alone can't fix these things. He says that at some point he'll just decide to start exercising again. But that point hasn't come in the past three years. She feels bad for him and also just fucking selfishly wants him to be healthier. But it seems like there's nothing she can do.

Any suggestions for my unfortunate friends?


  1. Take heart! Overweight people live longer than underweight, normal, or obese people!

    You can't make your spouse (or friends) exercise, it doesn't work. He might do it on his own, but if he's only 10 lbs "over" he's in the perfect range anyway!

  2. you -- i mean mrs. Nunyb -- can't make him exercise, but possibly you can make him knock it off with the self-loathing, which um, A FRIEND told me doesn't help with any of that. so make sure he knows he's not disgusting, that you wouldn't be bunny-bouncing (did i just say that? GAG.) with a disgusting bunny, and so on.

    that's all i got. oh, and move to new york, where he'll have to walk all the time.

  3. Well, Mr. Nunyb may feel crummy about his 10 extra pounds, but if it's really 10 pounds and not 30 or 40, it's not really going to make him "die of something sad." I mean, we all die of something sad, right, but I assume Ms. Nunyb is thinking of things like diabetes and hypertension that hit overweight folks harder. 10 pounds won't really accelerate those risks, I don't think.

    I am much more like Mr. Nunyb than Ms. Nunyb. I have (more than) 10 extra pounds, and I fucking hate it, and I don't want to work out after work either. I eat very healthy, but I'm not naturally thin and I don't get enough exercise. I know this is my problem and only I can solve it. Speaking from that perspective, I don't think there's any way Ms. Nunyb can bring this up without making Mr. Nunyb feel worse,at least in the short term. He's thinking about it, trust me.

    But Ms. Nunyb is definitely coming from a good place--she's concerned about Mr. Nunyb's health as well as his self-image, and in the long term maybe there's a way for her to participate in his exercise without overly straining herself. Could she go with him to the pool and dangle her feet while he swims laps? Or something?

    But like I said, I have the same problem as Mr. Nunyb, so take my advice with a grain of salt.

  4. You know, it's not popular in today's nutrional guidelines, but there is such a thing as good fat. Cream, butter, coconut oil, etc. are good for you and also have the effect of curbing appetite. If he wanted to lose some weight without having to give up too much good stuff, tell him to lay off the carbs and he'd probably drop those 10 lbs in just a couple of weeks. A good book is Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Sally Fallon.

    My hubby was complaining a lot too about his weight (he was about 15-20 lbs heavier than his ideal) and he just started working out every day. It helps that he has a new job and has more time now that he doesn't travel as much or work evenings. When he was on that schedule, he wasn't able to keep up a workout routine either.
    Sorry to hear Mr. Nunyb is so down on himself though! Sometimes the hardest part is just to get started...

  5. I agree with callmemama...guys can loose weight super fast on the low carb thing. Then he wouldn't have to excercise much. F used to not work out either...I joined a gym by myself and worked out solo for 6 months till he decided to do it. And my nagging didn't help. It was a trip to Vegas where he ate buffets for a week that made him want to join a!

    Also with the cooking...maybe you can leave some things out and just add them to your plate. Like I can't eat dairy so we'll cook w/out any dairy and F will add cheese/sour cream/etc to his own plate and not mine. Maybe something like that?? =)

  6. For me it was the competitive challenge to get Mr M off the couch. I am overweight, but live for exercise. The more I get the skinnier I am. But that takes hours on my part. Before Fiji, I talked the mister into the body for life program. Short, sweet, focused and it gave him structure for working out that he enjoys. Alas he has just polished off a halloween cupcake and two beers whilst watching the world series and asking if I'd go to the gym!

    My thought is for you to eat more elsewhere in your day and join him for a walk on good days and offer to go to the gym on bad days. You walking slow on the treadmill watching jersey shore (I know you watch it, don't lie!) while he commits to a cardio workout for at least 2 minutes.

    All that said, 10 lbs won't kill him. But, the exercise habit is important for the long haul. The leading by example seems to be the only thing that has worked for me.

    PS. I know you don't watch jersey shore. I expect that the gym plays mystery! And the news hour with jim lehrer or at least jeopardy.

  7. As the others already had good suggestions regarding the food -- how about a kind of exercise that he enjoys and/or has friends to drag him along? I have to admit, though, that H is sort of similar to Mr. N in that he doesn't really want to go exercising unless I come along. Which is odd, as it's his favorite sport, not mine. He also complains that he's "so fat" (20 pounds over ideal, maybe), but still doesn't do anything about it, neither eating- nor exercise-wise. So if you find out how Mr. N can be convinced, please let us know.

  8. I do have a suggestion! Please note this is not a paid advertisement.

    Does he like gadgets? Get him Nike Plus. It is so very fun. It tracks all sorts of stats on your run - speed, distance, route. Go check it out online.

    I adore mine and it turned me into a real runner years ago. Granted my fat ass hasn't really run since the ART pursuit of Toddlerina, but that is beside the point.

  9. Let me know if you find a way to get your "friend's" husband to exercise cause I sure as hell can't get mine, mine isn't fat but has a bad back which I know would get better if he'd friggin exercise, instead he won't and will never be able to play ball with our soon to be son (sigh)

  10. Tricky one for your pals. I don't know myself, having a perfect, harmonious relationship and spending all my time running on the beach with my shiny hair flowing out behind me, but my friends tell me there's no point nagging about diet or say, learning to DRIVE, for (random) instance, it doesn't work. I mean, who wants to be a nag? Not I. Too busy cresting the peaks of mountains, with a glow in my cheeks! So maybe the thing to do is be really really supportive the next time Mr N brings it up. Let him come up with a plan? Swimming is good, or something he enjoys. And adjust cooking accordingly?

  11. Ahh, this is difficult. It doesn't sound like Mr. Nunyb is so horribly overweight that it's a huge health concern, but it definitely is bothering him. It's got to be tough for him to have a naturally skinny wife like Mrs. Nunyb who has to fight to keep weight on. I am not a naturally thin person (thanks, hypothyroidism and mom's big booty) and neither is my husband, we're both athletically built, can build muscle or fat with our extra calories (unfortunately muscle has turned to fat in the last couple of years, though neither of us has gained weight since college).

    But, anyways, I have brother who is naturally thin, has to fight like hell and eat like crazy to gain any weight at all and when he does, it's muscle. He's 6'4, so that doesn't hurt either. I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to watch him down an entire cake or an entire box of girl scout cookies in one sitting and not gain an ounce. not to say you do that, but just letting you know how much mrs nunyb's naturally amazing metabolism may drive mr nunyb nuts.

    Does Mr Nunyb enjoy any sports or working out? Is it a matter of just getting to the gym? With my hubs, it's just taking the time to go and once he's there he goes all out. For me, working out has always been the ticket to everything - the more I work out, the healthier I want to eat, and the more I want to work out. If he's a person like that, perhaps Mrs. Nunyb could sign Mr up league he likes, basketball, volleyball? Or maybe personal training sessions to get him started? I've been considering personal training for my husband just to get him in the gym, b/c I know once he gets in a routine, he loves the way he feels and will keep going back.

    Best of luck, and let us know how it goes!

  12. I don't think you can get someone to change their habits. They have to decide for themselves or it will never stick. I like Roccie's suggestion of a gadget, or something else to spark his interest in exercise. Hopefully he'll try it and begin to really appreciate the benefits of exercise.

    Anyway, I know Mrs. Nunyb is super supportive and is doing the right things!

  13. Do more exciting outdoorsy things together so they are spending time together and being active?