A Curious Weight Loss Debate

It has come to my attention that most women of the world seem to think that some men are shallow, selfish pigs by thinking their wife or partner would be more desirable if she lost some weight.

Call me a traitress, but I see nothing wrong with the man’s point of view.

I believe that society has become far too endearing. Everything is excusable, and everyone gets over-offended about everything. We have all gone into bitch mode and don’t know how to handle some constructive criticism without falling apart. Therefore, nothing can be criticized out of fear of offending somebody…even if the criticism is warranted.

DISCLAIMER: Before you read this…I am not talking about a 5-10 lb. weight gain, and neither is the study. It is also not referring to women who began as underweight individuals and then gained weight up until a healthy level. This is referring to women who have gained 30+ lbs. for no reason, and continue to gain it without care.

There was a rather large debate on FaceBook awhile back regarding this topic. A survey interviewed a large number of men about various topics, such as sex, relationships, and lifestyle. This one however, caused the most controversy and the most heat among the females. Here is a result from the study, taken from AskMen.com:

“48% of men said they would leave their partner if she became fat.”

Now, while I don’t necessarily think it’s right that a man would drop his partner if she gained some weight, I can hardly blame him for losing attraction and having second thoughts if she refused to better herself.

In the same respect, women have been known to do similar things. If your man is suddenly broke and refuses to find a new job and just play video games all day, would you want to stick around that, regardless of how much you loved him? Unlikely. This isn’t because you are necessarily a gold digger, or very shallow. It just shows a lack of caring on the man’s part. Nobody wants to be with someone who doesn’t care, and who doesn’t take care of themselves. Nobody wants to be with someone who disregards everything and stops giving a fuck about what happens to them.

Not attractive either.

Not attractive either.

As far as men who want their partner to lose weight if she happens to let herself go…I’m sorry ladies, but a man is not going to change overnight for something that has been biologically programmed into his head since the dawn of time. A man sees what he deems an attractive specimen, and makes a beeline for her, subconsciously knowing that she would breed good children and make a good mate.

Attraction and love are two very different things. No one ever falls in love at first sight. They can however fall into lust. Have you ever seen a very attractive guy or celebrity and think, “Holy shit, I’m so in love!” This is why we have so much confusion these days. While some men may have been attracted to your personality, 99% of men upon first encounter will be attracted to your physical appearance more than “what’s inside” since the outside is the first thing they see.

Don’t take offense to this, however. There is no stopping a biological response to an attractive woman. A guy will see an attractive woman and approach her simply because she is attractive, regardless of what her personality is like. If he finds that she is intolerable, he may leave her. But you see what I’m getting at, yes? Attraction is always the first thing. A man cannot sense your personality from across the room without ever having heard you speak. But he saw your pleasant smile, lovely body, and confidence, and thought he would approach you and ask you your name.

Men were not programmed to see your inner beauty upon first encounter. Men look at Megan Fox and all they can think of is procreating with her because of her looks, not because they know her well and think she has a beautiful personality.

Wouldn't matter if she had a bitch personality. Megan is stunning.

Wouldn't matter if she had a bitch personality. Megan is stunning.

“I didn’t have a perfect body when my husband fell in love with me! He loved me 50 lbs. ago and he loves me even more now, and I’ve gained 100 lbs. since our marriage!”

So…you managed to find a guy who looked past physical appearances and fell in love with you as a person. You’re pretty damn lucky, I won’t lie.

But how many of you get offended if your husband or boyfriend points out you need to lose some weight? COUNTLESS women will yell at him and cry and tell him he’s hurt their feelings. Despite the fact he gave you a chance and showed you that looks are not the only important thing, as soon as he asks for a little something in return to make you more physically appealing to him, you throw it in his face and whine to your girlfriends about how he’s “so mean”.

Your husband may still love you, but it doesn’t necessarily mean he is very happy. That being said, if your husband or boyfriend completely let himself go and gained 100 lbs, you might still love him, but you also might not be as attracted to him as you used to be.

Here’s an excerpt from an article I read regarding this subject as well, which pretty much sums things up:

“He’s found someone who he liked for non-physical reasons; somehow noticed the chubby girl standing in the corner with a Mai Tai and for some reason actually approached her while every fiber of his loins told him to instead saunter up to the moist mammal in the tube top whose ass is such an example of geometric perfection that Archimedes himself would have shouted Eureka at its sight.

He somehow saw the diamond in the rough that is you and is willing to help you hack at the overgrowth to get to the jewel.

He’s not insisting you develop a passion for midget wrestling or that you give up meat. He’s not asking you to give up your religious beliefs and instead worship the Rutabaga god that commands his faith. And neither is he asking you to submit to his sexual perversion, which involves nipple clamps, a bucket of canned meat, and a 15-horsepower leaf blower.

All he’s asking is that you lose 15 pounds.”

And you know what? He’s right. And more than likely, you probably need to lose a little more than 15. He’s just hoping you’ll get motivated after losing 15 and go on to losing another 25.

All men and their wants aside, why would you not want to do this for yourself, if not anyone else? You should be trying to maintain your appearance and health regardless of whether your partner thinks you’d look better doing so or not. The kind of women who complain about this are the ones that get married and turn into Jabba the Hutt, expecting their husband to continue to feel the same way he did when they met, without ever wishing for anything more. They feel like now that they have a ring on their finger, they don’t have to worry about attracting anyone anymore, so anything goes.

Let’s get real, ladies.

Despite how much he loves you, sometimes a man just can’t stand to watch their woman go from 10 to zero in a matter of years. Despite how much he adores you and thinks you’re a wonderful person, if he loses attraction to you and can’t get aroused because having sex is like playing hide and go seek with your fat rolls or making love to a butterball turkey, you can’t expect him to have a healthy relationship.

It’s hard to not be giving in to the temptress at the bar he goes to on the weekends with the perfect body and sultry eyes, simply because she is attractive. It’s not that he doesn’t love you, it’s that he isn’t attracted to you, and one cannot function very well romantically in a relationship if the attraction is fading.

I’m sure we would all love for men to see our inner beauty before our external beauty, but it’s just not how it works. Through history, beautiful women have brought kings to their knees, and other powerful figures to ruin. Beauty has more control over a man than you could ever imagine (don’t hate me for letting out the secret, guys).

Going from slim/normal to being fat as soon as you’re married shows a lack of care and respect for yourself. No man is going to want to be around that. TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY. Why wouldn’t you want your husband/boyfriend to find you attractive? Is having another donut and watching TV instead of working out more important to you than being healthy and keeping your man and more importantly, YOU happy?

And I say you, because I haven’t met a woman who gained so much weight in a period of time who was happy over the fact that she gained the weight. Most of the time they bitch and moan about “skinny girls” and how they’re “so unhealthy”, and then proceed to stick their face into a tub of ice cream, and complain about their fail genetics.

One of the reasons your man is not comfortable with pointing these things out to you is that 98% of the time if he told you that you needed to lose some weight, you’d probably cry and get defensive. And then when he gets fed up and leaves, it’s suddenly:

“Why didn’t he just say something about my weight? Jerk! I deserve better!”

It has nothing to do with being a “real man” either, so don’t pull that crap. A REAL man is more visual than a woman. Never put all of this on men. If a man gets fat in a relationship, it’s his fault…but when a woman gets fat, it’s suddenly the man’s fault. See what I’m getting at?

Responsibility for your actions is where it’s at. Respect for your partner is where it’s at. Respect for yourself and your body is where it’s at. If you love and have respect for the person you love, you will do things to help keep him happy. I know guys who gave up their lazy lifestyles and hit the gym just because they knew their girlfriend would like it.

So why aren’t women willing to do that for men?

Instead of expecting your partner to be happy to ride the waves, why don’t you just lose some weight? It’s not the end of the world. No one is saying you’re a hideous beast, and no one is forcing you. It’s not as difficult as people make it out to be either.

But this is a choice that YOU have to make. Nobody can change you for you. I’m just giving a fair warning of a strong possibility of what may happen if you stop caring.

MEN:

Same goes for you. If your lady if putting in the work and keeping herself in shape, it’s your responsibility to keep in shape as well. NOBODY should be letting themselves go. So put the bag of chips down and pick up a barbell.

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50 thoughts on “A Curious Weight Loss Debate

  1. Great post. We live in a society full of pussies who can’t take constructive criticism. In a good relationship, you should be able to talk to your partner about anything – notice I said talk to, not tell. Engaging in civil, non-derogatory discussion is productive, and being open minded and talking about things to get both sides of the story is integral for a happy and healthy relationship. If my partner was gaining unhealthy amounts of weight, I’d talk to her about it, and I’d absolutely expect her to do the same for me. It’s not an insult, it’s an expression of concern. We all need someone to keep us in check from time to time.

  2. This is a fantastic post. I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere along the lines it seemed that women became completely above reproach. As much as feminists and other “revolutionaries” try to change society to what they feel it should be (fat acceptance, etc) biology will always trump propaganda. Most men do not like fat women. Once women accept this and do something about it, the will be much happier (and frankly so will their men).

    Your analogy regarding men is one I have used as well. No one would criticize a woman for complaining that her 250k earning investment banker husband quit his job upon marriage to pursue his dream of playing WoW 10 hours a day. Likewise then, it is up to the woman to keep up her commitment to be a good wife and mother during marriage, and that includes staying attractive.

    My mom has always stayed thin, even though as she gets older she really can’t have as many treats as she’d like. However, not only is she happy b/c her husband finds her very attractive, but she is also happier in general because she feels good about herself (not to mention the boost in mood from exercising).

    You are a breath of fresh air! I love your posts and your no nonsense take on life.

  3. …and honestly you’re right…it’s not that hard. I am always astonished at what I eat to remain a size 4. I drink beer, eat desserts, carbs etc- just not every day. I really don’t feel like I am starving- and when I lost 7 lbs for my wedding (garnering greatest compliment from husband: “You look like a bag of toothpicks”, lol) I also didn’t resort to starving.

    Frankly, a lot of these women want to unload their jealousy and de-emphasize their gluttony by accusing thin women of anorexia or narcissism. I think it’s just a case of sour grapes….which is quite frustrating, as it is something that you can DO something about. You were born a beautiful (maybe), healthy, normally formed individual, which is in itself a miracle. Why eat yourself into something grotesque? It makes no sense.

    OK- sorry, will have to stop pontificating. Keep writing girl!

    • Precisely. It doesn’t always take extreme amounts of effort to remain fit and healthy. Really, all it takes is you practicing some self-control and discipline. Committing to an exercise routine and not eating so much. Anyone can do it, they just need to make the choice themselves.

      • Really? “You look like a bag of toothpicks” is the greatest compliment ever?
        I hope you don’t ever need to earn your own income.
        And Christine, really, shame on you for not even picking up on the BLATANT, SCREAMING FOR HELP, E.D. in that statement. Is it all okay just because she agrees with you?

  4. Great post.

    I struggle with this. I lost weight 5 years ago and have kept it off. My significant other has been overweight the 7 years together and just doesn’t care. He’s actually has gained a bit in the last year. He goes through short stints of trying to lose weight, but then gains it back and then some

    • Melissa,

      Like I said…nobody can change someone. They have to want to change themselves. Aside from encouragement and positive reinforcement, there’s little else you can do. Maybe try to actually sit down and talk to him, and tell him that it is concerning you?

      • we’ve done that over and over again. It breaks my heart, it really does.

        going on vacation to hawaii next month, i’ll be hiking, scaling volcanoes, doing active things. he’ll probably be lagging behind because he can’t even begin to keep up with me

    • All I can say is tough love needs to be applied here. If you bust your but to look & be great in all areas of life, use yourself as an example. Be sure to include the fact that LIFE takes a bit of work, and staying healthy is not an exlusion or something to leave for someone else to worry about…
      Sorry, I am a former fattie, show no remorse, and totally wish that the people I love were harder on me 110 pounds ago….GOOD LUCK!

  5. Great post. I am also fed up with all the PC crap of calling all fat women ‘curvy’. You can be fat and curvy and you can be slim and curvy. But fat does not automatically make you curvy.

    • Well Said! I was curvy before I got fat. Legitimate hour glass. Then I got FAT. As in, my belly was bigger than my hips, bigger than my boobs….Nothing curvy about that….More like LUMPY!

      Sidenote: Now I’m FIT :)

  6. I sincerely appreciate this post, and I wish the me 3 years ago would have read it.
    I was seriously overweight (50+lbs) and in complete denial about how bad it was. Still I managed to nab a great fiancé and I know he really loved me regardless of how bad I let myself go. Still, instead of being a better fiancé to him, taking care of myself, and changing my bad habits, I continued on the path of self destruction and I was a disgusting train wreck. I really do wish he would have said something to me… I wish anyone would have said something to me about it instead of letting me turn into what I did (but then again, why wasn’t I accountable for my actions?)
    Something clicked one day, and I realized I had to change, and although my body is still a work in progress, I know that my fiancé and I’s relationship is better than ever. I did it for me, and I did it for him, and my only complaint to this date is that my engagement ring no longer fits… Haha. Anyway, thanks for spelling it out as usual, I sincerely hope this changes someone out there’s mindset!

  7. Great post, and I completly agree. To call a man shallow for wanting to be with someone who is attractive is just as stupid as calling a woman a gold digger for wanting to date someone with a job. There’s another good one, to any women who complain that guys are shallow and care too much about looks, ask them if they would date a guy who is shorter than them. I’ve had a couple of short guys tell me that!

    There’s a good relationship book called His Needs Her Needs which focuses on why married people cheat. The interesting thing is that it puts the focus more on the cheatee, and what they might have been doing to not meet their partner’s emotional need. It breaks it down to 10 needs, 5 of which are much more important to men, and 5 more important to women. The chapters (emotional/physical needs) are:

    For women:

    1. The first thing she can’t do without — Affection.

    2. She needs him to talk to her — Conversation.

    3. She needs to trust him totally — Honesty and Openness.

    4. She needs enough money to live comfortably — Financial Support.

    5. She needs him to be a good father — Family Commitment.

    For men:

    1. The first thing he can’t do without — Sexual Fulfillment.

    2. He needs her to be his playmate — Recreational Companionship.

    3. He needs a good looking wife — An Attractive Spouse.

    4. He needs peace and quiet — Domestic Support.

    5. He needs her to be proud of him — Admiration.

    It’s pretty good, this post made me think about it. Anyway, good stuff.

  8. So does the AskMen study cited in the post also mean that 52% of men surveyed wouldn’t leave their spouse if she became fat? Did the next statistic say that half the men taking the fat-wife survey were deceptive people? Perhaps, it means those men, like their wives, are fat too. Which makes me think of that the study was conducted in the U.S. — the all time fattest nation in the known universe. And, that makes me sad. Sad to think that the nation of the people, by the people, and for the people can also be fairly called a nation of big fat liars, by big fat liars, and for big fat liars. By the end of the previous sentence, I am thinking I don’t trust American democracy so much now. Conclusion: attacking fat people is burning the American flag.

  9. I love this post. I’ve been with my husband for nearly 12 years (married for 7), and he has been with me through a 90 pound weight gain. When we got married, I had gained 60 pounds from my lowest weight (130), which is what I weighed when we got together. So yeah, I know I am one of the lucky ones. I’ve since lost about 54 pounds, and I am still trying to lose another 25 pounds to get to 140 (I’m 5’7″).

    My husband did (not so willingly lol) admit to me that he was not as attracted to me sexually when I was obese. And now, though he tells me he wants me to be happy and feel good about myself, I know that he would be more attracted to me if I had a better body too. That is what drives me to reach my goals. I know that being fit would mean better sex, and that would *definitely* make him (and me) happy. Eff *just* getting healthy–I wanna look hot in a bikini.

    You make some excellent points, Christine. This is a message every woman needs to hear (whether she wants to or not). Even if he doesn’t leave you, he’s probably checking out other women.

    • Kathy, you will get there. It’s not always an easy process mentally or physically but it is definitely doable once you set your mind to it. You have already come such a long way, you should be very proud.

      I hope that more women will read and understand it. Keep working hard and good luck with the rest of your weight loss!

  10. OMFG! So happy to have read this in my newsfeed this am. I completely agree with everything said. When I met my husband almost 11 years ago (was 21), I was about 10 pounds heavier than I am now. Over the first 5 years of our relationship, I managed to gain 100 pounds. It took a long time, but I finally lost that, plus ten more. Recently I was looking through fat pics, and found the worst one (they’re all the worst one) – I immediately brought it to my husband and asked him WHY in the world he never said anything. How could he let it get that bad? I am a curvy girl – so I didn’t exactly walk into the relationship as some skinny young adult, who could have used a couple pounds. I can imagine that the first 15 pounds I gained put alot more junk in my trunk than anything desireable. How could you not be concerned, I asked him. He says that he just didn’t notice. Touching, but not my point. My point is – Don’t wait for someone to tell you. Don’t wait for the happiness to fade from your relationship. As it will – even if your signifigant other- like mine- truly loves the inside and is somewhat blind to the outside. It will inevitably happen – YOU will cause the unhappiness because when you are THAT much bigger, your whole mindset and way of thinking changes and YOU will create the BAD FEELINGS that will drive the two of you apart. Don’t wait for things to become bad. If you gain FIVE pounds, it’s definitely time to do something before you need to deal with losing 100.

    From Experience – XOXO, Cookie ;)

    P.S. Love ya Babe! Thanks for sticking it out <3

    • Your husband sounds like a sweetheart. However, I agree with you – it shouldn’t have to take that long for you to understand where you’re heading. You shouldn’t have to wait for someone to imply you need to change. Change should come off your own accord!

      You are awesome, thanks for being an inspiration to everyone struggling with this!

      • Omg, did you call me awesome and I missed it? Thanks – you are awesome for posting this and starting this great discussion. I know I’ve already posted this link to my fb page twice. I am def trying to figure out how to reshare it again from my phone right now cause I am so in agreement with it!

  11. Great post. I have NEVER understood the logic in dieting for a wedding, then just gaining the weight back (and quite often more).

    I find that a lot more people forget that our bodies are not in fact made to carry and extra 50, 75 or 100lbs extra than needed.

    I also wonder what kind of message these parents are sending their children.

      • In the same respect, if they are gaining the weight back fast, they either:

        (1) Crash dieted
        (2) Didn’t care after they got to wear their wedding dress
        (3) Both

        Crash dieting can lead to a bad rebound. At the same time, so many women just let themselves go after, even if they didn’t crash diet, sadly.

        • I think most of the post-wedding weight gain is due to crash diets. One of the most shameful things I ever did was a terrible crash diet for my wedding. I was out of the state and found out four weeks beforehand that my dress had been altered a size smaller. I wasn’t planning on dieting at all for my wedding day, but I was forced to because my dress didn’t fit. (I couldn’t get it altered back because I was out of the state.) I’m currently 15 pounds heavier than I was on my wedding day, but I’m still at a healthy weight for me.

          • I REALLY don’t think that we can fairly say that people crash diet for weddings and then gain weight because they don’t care. Being married myself, let me warn you – when you move in with a man, and you love him, and y’all eat together and prep food together, you will more than likely gain weight. Not because you “don’t care” but because you’re in love and adjusting to being married and you’re happy and – here’s the big one – you’re eating together; you’re eating what he’s eating. Unfortunately if you weigh 80lb less than he does, that just ain’t gonna work in the long term.

            And even if you DO know better, it’s easy to overlook calorie needs and whatever in the moment because, well, you’re a newlywed. You’re not focusing on your diet. And really, you shouldn’t be – you never get your first couple of months of marriage back.

            It has nothing to do with laziness or not caring. You think that there are a large amount of women in our society who don’t care about how they look or how thin they are? With all the media messages we get all day long? All the objectification and sexualization?

            I think almost everyone cares. I think the problem is that they don’t really know how to go about losing weight – there is a LOT of information and it’s overwhelming and on the surface, lots of advice seems to contradict itself. And as I mentioned below – staying motivated through a 50lb weight loss is a bitch. Coming from personal experience. That shit takes a year and halfway through you still kind of look awful (if you’re me and carrying 50 extra pounds on a 5’1 frame. Short girls represent!)

            Anyway respect to everybody. I can see where all the comments are coming from. I think I’m still sensitive because in my own head I’m still “a fat person.”

            • I completely agree Sable. Is isn’t easy and it is dehumanizing all this talk of “fat” people as if they don’t care. There are MANY factors at play, the Hollywood prototypes with their plastic surgery and crazy diets do not help the situation, and it is accurate knowledge about true health that the “fat” masses need. And besides, a marriage should be deeper than appearance and about mutual encouragement to help each other be as happy and healthy as can be. But I draw the line at saying women should lose weight or else it is understandable for the man to leave her. Men have higher resting metabolisms and moving in with and cooking with a man is an adjustment. Bottom line is health and happiness should motivate self care and self love. NOT trying to live up to some Hollywood ideal OR what media and porn teaches men is ideal.

  12. I was normal sized but not healthy living off Raman noodles and Mtn Dew. Then married my awesome Ectomorph-ish husband at age 30. I don’t blame him, but within two years of eating the same things he did I probably gained 75 pounds. I don’t really remember. I do know my weight went up and down all through my 30s but within a year of quitting smoking I took up running. After a few marathons I still had excess weight due to improper eating habits… as we all know running does not equal weight loss.
    Weight Watchers helped with that and I lost 25 more pounds. My husband couldn’t be happier. When I posted my WW Lifetime charm as a pic on Facebook I received a flood of congratulations and one from my husband stating “Yay for me too!” I was a little ticked but he was totally honest and it all comes down to what you have posted here. I’m now focusing on weight training and having a blast getting stronger every day. I WILL be fit, healthy, and happy for the rest of my life. OH and I had to have my wedding ring sized down so I’m even in better shape now than when we got married 12 years ago.

  13. I agree….and I disagree. I have been obese, and I have had a BMI below 18, and I’ve been everywhere in between.

    I think what we need to recognize is that obesity is rarely simple, and is NEVER easy to solve or escape. “Put down the chips and pick up a barbell” – sure – but we need to realize and acknowledge how difficult it is to change your entire relationship with food…. and how difficult it is to eat right and exercise and still be obese…how difficult it is to lose 50lbs and still be obese and have people look at you in disgust. To experience that, and continue eating right and exercising, requires a tremendous amount of discipline and dedication and MAYBE if the western world were not so fat-shaming but focused more on HEALTH, the transition period would be easier.

    • “I think what we need to recognize is that obesity is rarely simple, and is NEVER easy to solve or escape. “Put down the chips and pick up a barbell” – sure – but we need to realize and acknowledge how difficult it is to change your entire relationship with food”

      Of course. Nobody is arguing against this. However, there are a million different variables, the main point in this post was to bring across the subject of change in mindset. I could go on about how hard it is to change the relationship with food, but that comes AFTER the initial decision to change your ways in the first place. This isn’t about the process after the decision, it’s about the decision itself.

  14. One of the differences between men and women however, is that many women have to go through childbirth at some point in the marriage… I’m guessing 100% of men don’t!

    Blah blah blah there are COUNTLESS examples of women who have “gotten their body back” after baby, or even achieved a better physique, but it doesn’t happen overnight unless you happen to be Jessica Alba with 24/7 culinary service and a personal trainer. It took 9 months to grow a baby, it’s going to take at least that long to repair and recover. And if some guy is going to leave because his partner still has an extra 25-35lbs post-baby… well fuck him!

    So if a male partner is going to throw stones, he better damn well live in a glass house. My guy is a 70s big man… lifts big, eats big, doesn’t have a 6-pack, but sure isn’t fat. If we one day did get married and I (heaven forbid) gained a saddlebag or two (*knocknocknockonwood*) he better be a spitting image of how we met if he decides to start making comments! :P

    So it’s a balance. Obviously nobody wants a partner who doesn’t care, but I honestly don’t think there’s ever a point in someone’s life where they don’t care what they look like. But those with the hottest bods aren’t necessarily the most educated. There’s hot students everywhere on campus and I bet at least half of them won’t look nearly the same 10-15 years from now. Because a body that was relatively easy to maintain as a 20 year-old won’t be so easy to maintain down the line. And simply drinking a Bud Light instead of a regular bud ain’t gonna do it!

    • There’s really no such thing as “baby weight”. Yes, child birth is a pain for women. Men will sympathize with you but don’t try using it as an excuse to double your calorie intake because you’re “eating for two”. You’re eating for one with an additional 300 calories for the baby. Women gain weight after pregnancy because they overeat over a duration of 9 months, not because their baby mysteriously left 30 pounds of extra fat on your body as a parting gift. If it takes you another 9 months to burn what you put on however, that’s fine and kudos.

  15. I enjoyed reading this, really.

    The only thing I like to say is that according to some psycologists it’s the words that matter a lot. If someone critisize you, you most likely go defeating yourself, even if you are agree with all this stuff deep in your heart.
    I didn’t remember where I have read this (probably even in MH magazine), but I find it rather helpful: it’s always easier to make a woman to do something if you praise her. So, instead of talking about weight gain that occured, one may like to say something: “You look so sexy in that gym/running outfit/old dress of yours” so the woman feels an urge to wear it no matter what.

  16. Your primary point (that a woman who, after marriage and due to apathy, becomes obese has no justification to criticize her husband for wanting her to lose weight) is lost in your meandering style that touches on a number of offensive ideas. It’s hard to pin them down, because many of your strongest statements are followed by hedging and back-tracking, leaving your argument anemic despite your shocking topic sentences. This ebb and flow leads you into misguided or, at least, poorly worded assertions that provide no support for your central argument. Additionally, your generalizations, again, often followed by clarification (i.e. denial of the generalization) only further weaken your argument.

    There are two particularly careless points that I’d like to address specifically: the biological inevitability of attraction and the responsibility of marriage. You use the former to justify a man’s loss of interest in an obese wife. I would contend that, in the modern world and, perhaps, historically, attraction has been a matter of psychology. People are attracted to what society tells them to be. In various cultures around the world, assorted body types have been considered appealing. Early man may have found fat women attractive because they could survive lean times; in “civilized” society, additional weight was a sign of luxury and wealth. One could argue that, due to fast food and the costs of exercise, thinness is now represents the same. From durability to class structure, attractiveness has certainly not been constant “since the dawn of time.”

    Regarding marriage, my argument, as yours, deals less with evidence and more with perception. Through a few off-hand comments, you seem to absolve men of the responsibility for their actions that you urge women to take on. Marriage, in the US, is both a legal and social contract. While the legal part is largely binding, requiring official divorce proceedings to be broken, the social side seems to have lost its significance. At “I do,” both parties provide sworn testimony to support the other through good times and bad. Obviously, there are situations that go beyond the realm of matrimonial support, but I don’t think loss of attraction does. Especially given the complex nature of diet and body image, a situation as described is when one calls most strongly on the guarantees of love and marriage. If one wants to promote individual responsibility, I think its hypocritical to release men and women from the responsibility of that promise.

    I appreciate your attempt to speak out against the apologetic and, often, one-sided conversation regarding the responsibility around relationships, diet, and body image, however, I think some missteps in your argument weaken your point and invite criticism.

    Eli

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  20. Great post, and I agree with everything that is being said. Just one thing that maybe people should consider though, sometimes people are overweight because of mental health disorders like Binge Eating Disorder or Compulsive Overeating, and not just because of laziness. That being said, if a person recognizes that, he or she should do anything in their power to seek help for their disorder–but it isn’t necessarily because of laziness. I just bring this up because I have gained 30 lbs in the past month from Binge Eating Disorder, and while I am still at a healthy weight (I was close to being underweight before this happened), it has dramatically affected my self-esteem and confidence in a vicious cycle–the more depressed I am about gaining weight, the more I eat and the less I work out (very productive, I know). Just something to think about :)

  21. Wow, great post. I found your blog via a forum (BodyBuilding.com I think) and the fact that this is such an awesome thing to read first means that I have now added your feed to my RSS reader. Gonna go read some more posts right now :)

  22. There is something to be said for being healthy. While you don’t have to have the most toned muscles or a perfect figure, taking care of your body and yourself will flow over into your relationship.

    • Hey, well said! I think that’s the most bothersome thing to me a about the couple of obese people I know and love. They look and behave as if they just don’t give a shit about anything. Including thier health. Sorry for the potty mouth – a hot topic for me

  23. It’s funny, I had a “heated” debate with my girlfriend about this very same topic not a month ago. Your post defends my view on the matter far more eloquently than I could, so I just went ahead and forwarded her a link. :)

  24. This is going down in my top 3 favorite online reads, ever(If I actually had a top 3). You said what needs to be said and you said it pretty damn well. I don’t want to sound like an asshole or anything but I really hate the fact that the majority condones being excessively fat and it’s sort of ridiculous. There’s almost a theme in the media about how you should accept your body and love yourself for who you are. What exactly is “accept your body” supposed to mean? Does accepting your body mean you shouldn’t try bettering yourself through means of exercise? Maybe it means you shouldn’t care that you overeat every day. Or perhaps it means you should look into a mirror and say, “I’ve come to peace with it.” How can you love yourself if you lack self-respect? Truly, a paradox.

    If it was actually your message that circulated through society, I sincerely believe the world would be a more positive and overall better place.

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