You’ve gained weight
I need help figuring out how to address a touchy subject. Over the past few years, my lovely wife — let’s call her “Deb” — has gradually gained some weight. I’ve tried to pinpoint when exactly it started, and I think it was some time around when our youngest left for college, three years ago. Deb was (and still is) sad about the empty nest, and ice cream became her nightly comfort food. She also snacks on potato chips when we watch TV, and she always orders dessert when we go out to eat. I can be bad about snacking, too, but I’ve always had a good metabolism, and it’s been easy for me to stay thin.
Deb has noticed that some of her clothes don’t quite fit anymore but says she must have shrunk them in the dryer. She has mentioned wanting to be more active but never actually follows through on exercising. It’s as if she’s kind of aware of her weight gain but she would rather just sweep it under the rug and not think about it. She’s beautiful, and I love her no matter what, of course, but I worry about her long-term health, especially if she keeps gaining weight. — Holding My
Spouses hold a lot of sway over each other’s exercise routine. Start working out and there’s a good chance your wife will, too. Perhaps you could even suggest an activity you two can do together, such as tennis or bike riding. That would be to your benefit, as well, because no matter how blessed you are with a fast metabolism, exercise is essential to good health.
If your wife is still reluctant to get moving, have a talk with her, but keep the focus on her overall health and well-being, not the number on the scale. Check in with her about how she’s feeling emotionally and mentally. It’s important that she stay active, spend time with friends and embrace this new chapter in her life rather than continue to mourn the empty nest.
As an avid reader of your column and a retired educator, I couldn’t help responding to the mother of the schoolchildren who bestow end-of-the-schoolyear gifts on their teachers. She was upset that the instructors don’t send thank-you notes to her children for their thank-you gifts. It seems to me that would be a “thank you” for a “thank you,” and that is unnecessary.
Has she considered how these gifts make the students whose parents can’t afford gifts feel? Has she considered how bad teachers feel when their colleagues have a pile of gifts on their desks and they received nothing? Her gifts might well be a genuine expression of sincere gratitude, but other parents may then one-up her for the sole purpose of trying to impress.
The best way to show appreciation to teachers is to make sure homework is completed and turned in on time, pay your school lunch bill, send your children to school with their supplies, well-rested and clean, and support the rules of the district and classrooms. I’m certain the teachers gave her children hugs and big verbal thank-yous when they received the gifts.
— A Wyoming Teacher
If your wife is still reluctant to get moving, have a talk with her, but keep the focus on her overall health and well-being, not the number on the scale.