Weight for it.

Dear Shreck,

My husband will tell me from time to time that he’s fat (he’s not) and needs to work out and eat better (he already eats well.) So, in an effort to help, I make smaller portions. Every time I do he acts like I’m trying to starve him! I know from talking to other men he’s not the only one like this. How do you guys expect to lose weight while eating the same amount of food?

Confused Cook


Dear Confused,

I had some trouble coming up with an answer for this at first, because I am the exact same way.  My wife will tell you, I’m a pretty logical human being until it comes to food. Then I turn into something reminiscent of a 6’5″ toddler with an epic beard.

I do have a couple of thoughts.  First, if he’s really serious about losing some weight, you have a powerful weapon on your side: you’re a woman.  With nothing but looks, sighs, and one-liners, you can effectively alter a man’s behavior.  For example, next time he grabs a bag of potato chips, a well placed “I thought you were trying to lose weight?” will certainly exasperate and guilt him into a vegetable.  You could also try calling him with your number blocked, and when he answers, say “This is your feet calling. Long time no see!”.  Sure, it’s a little mean, but the reality is that he hasn’t been in “college shape” since college, because his college roommates aren’t around to keep him in line. That’s up to you now.

As for his eating habits, I grew up with an Italian family…clean your plate is a way of life. If you leave anything on the table, it’s “whatsa matta? you no like it?!”…so this was always a tough one for me.  However, the other thing that my Italian grandmother was great at was treating you like you acted. If he insists on acting like a child, treat him like one. I have no doubt that if I told my grandmother that I wanted to shed some pounds, and then complained about the portion sizes, she’d serve my next meal cut into small pieces, with a sippy cup of milk and a bib.

My final thought is in reverse psychology.  You say that he eats healthy already, and that he doesn’t need to shed pounds.  Great! Bake a cake, and eat it in front of him.  Point out every amazing Olive Garden commercial.  Make sure to read aloud that homemade ice cream recipe you found on Pinterest.  Then follow it up with, “oh, but you wanted to lose weight…nevermind”.  In the meantime, take him to Wal-Mart and point out the people riding the motorized scooters (you know they’re not handicapped).  Pretty soon he’ll realize he’s less “muffin-top” and more “stud-muffin”, and you can go back to enjoying family meals again.  After all, Jesus is coming…you should eat dessert first!

Hope that helps,