Savage Love

Big Love


I just came back from Carribana from watching a woman in size-possibly-28 panties, with one hand firmly gripping a take-out tray, with the other hand firmly on a chicken thigh, and with her mouth full and chewing, rattle her trunk of junk.

Let me tell ALL you sentimentalists: Just because you don't have a dick doesn't mean you deserve unconditional support from all onlookers. Save it for people who explicitly says they like you for who you are, and don't expect ALL of us to cheer you on when you are 5'4", weigh 265 lbs, and looking "FAB-U-LOUS!".

We moderately healthy people are entitled to our opinions.
I've noticed a little of the reverse. I recently (in the last year) lost just under 30 pounds because I wanted to be helathier and yeah, maybe wanted to fit into some other clothes to look better. I had a tough enough time with other women telling me "oh, you don't need to lose weight." Uh, maybe in their opinion, but I did it for me. Now, I'm not on a diet, but I am trying to keep healthier choices so I don't gain the weight back.

I've had people who were "worried about me" say that I need to be careful not to lose anymore weight. Look, I still like food, so there's no way I'm EVER gonna be anorexic, and my dislike for vomit helps head off bulemia. I KNOW my BMI and all that stuff, and I know the range of weight that is healthy for my frame, and know for certain not to go lower than a certain weight. I still see scales occasionally and check to make sure.

I passed my goal weight, but I can lose some more and still be healthy. I can also feel sexier. So I don't mind losing a couple more.

Here's the thing: I've been insulted by bigger women that I'm a "skinny bitch" who doesn't know what they go through so should never even MENTION that I lost weight. Hey, I don't mention it unlessed asked and I don't brag. Hell, my partner is overweight (though she is getting in better shape because she feels she wants to keep up with me) and I think she's GORGEOUS. I think big IS beautiful, but I think SHE is more beautiful now because of the effort she puts out (just like Dan's Hubby) and will continue to love her no matter size because she is TRYING for ME. That's sweet, and I don't deserve it, because all my trying was entirely selfish. But she loves me. Not to mention I'm happy that she's getting healthier because healthier means she'll live longer and I get to keep her longer.

But I feel sometimes like the sides are changing on weight. Women, just because you are big and another woman is little doesn't mean she always was or that you should get on her case for trying to better herself. Maybe she DID have a hard time losing weight like you, or maybe she is a lucky one who loses easily. But if you want to be respected for how you choose to keep your body, respect other women for how they choose to keep their own.

(Note: I still respect anorexics and bulemics, but I just don't get it... And it IS a health problem that requires help. So can being overweight, but mildly overweight seems to be less dangerous than "mildly anorexic" in my opinion, since anorexia is, well, starving...hard to explain... )
Hey Dan, thanks for this. It is important to tell your partner when their weight affects your attraction.
I recently had an almost opposite encounter with my boyfriend. He is on the larger side, 240 pounds, and told me he wanted to lose weight. Outwardly I said "That's great, babe!", Inwardly I was going "Wait--How much weight are we talking here?"
I like people on the chubbier side, but was afraid of being seen as purely into him for his weight or as a barrier between him and his health, so I didn't say anything. I want him to be healthy and live with me for a long time. But I like how he looks.
After reading your columns, I decided to tell him how I felt truthfully. He admitted while he did want to be healthier, he mostly wanted to lose weight because he thought I would find him more attractive if he lost weight.
We've since decided on some middle ground, a weight that will make him healthier... But still give me the chubby man I want.
Thanks Dan.
Why are women in such denial on this issue? Sex with an attractive mate is a basic need for the average person. Every partner has a right to expect that their partner will make a reasonable effort to fufill their basic needs. To demand mahogany from your partner while refusing to put in a reasonable effort to meet their needs is in essence cruel and inhumane - not much different than denying love, food, water, shelter, etc.

I am 53, male, with 12% body fat. I workout 3+ times a week and look 10 years younger than my age. My wife, on the other hand has been seriously obese (35+ BMI) for 21 of our 23 years of marriage. Over the years I tried everything to motivate her make a real effort to deal with her weight issue. But as other women have so aptly demonstrated here, there is NO way to approach this with them... and that is a real shame.

My wife is now having the enevitable health problems - knees failing, arches in the feet going, major back pain, blood clotting issues, and now heart irregularites. Two years ago she almost died in my arms from a pulmonary embolism. Two months ago, I again rushed her the the ER with heart irregularites that threaten to become chronic if she doesn't loose weight.

So a question to defensive women everywhere: What do you think it does to those who love you and whom you supposedly love when you force them to watch you destroy yourself over something so totally unnecessary? What does it do to them to watch you in pain, to see you gasping in the ER... and to force them to deal with your self-imposed health crises over and over? IT KILLS THEM INSIDE... that is what. I know - I have lived that life.

So please... get over your defensiveness, recognise that your health and appearence is a legitimate concern of your mate and you have a responsibility to deal with it without being defensive. If you truly love your mate (and your children) don't put them through what my wife has put me through.

For me, I am finally to the final act. Marriage counseling and then divorce if that fails to budge her. I have come to the realization that no one has the right to drag their partner into such an unnecessary and hellish future... and I'm refusing to go down that path anymore. I love her - but love is a two-way street.
I agree with Punky; a demand for mahogany from a partner when there is a veritable forest of willowy young ladies yearning for polished wood is reason enough to give the relationship the ax.

Sorry for that... I needed to meet my daily asshole quota. I really do agree with Dan's advice, and it frustrates me, as a woman, to see others acting so hypocritically and acting as if they are fighting for all women. And sorry again to Punky. However, I do find it odd that someone would be capable of going from physically fit, or at least healthy, to a 35+ BMI in 2 years of marriage. It seems very likely that your wife already was obese, or close to it, before you got married. This doesn't take away from everything you've said, but it does make me question it a little.

As for all the indignant fat women out there: a man is not obligated to feel sexually attracted to you! We all have our own tastes, and if you do drastic things to your appearance, like full body tattoo, gender reassignment surgery, anorexia, or even... obesity(!), it's incredibly unreasonable and unfair to expect your betrayed partner to change their sexual tastes to accomodate your new look.
Ultimately there will always be a problem if two people are so out of touch with each other that years go by and they are unable to talk about these things. There needs to be a balance between being polite and staying on level with each other, mentally. Kids, jobs, travel, life get in the way, sure. I know that, I've lived that. But every year you have to remember: what are we doing together? How can we communicate better? What are things we've stopped talking about?

Then you can talk about things before one person gets defensive.

Lord help you if you're with someone like Punky though. Christ.
God, why did people get so mad about honesty? It is reasonable to expect someone to maintain their weight +/- 20 pounds since you first met -- the gainer does not want to see the other person look like that. So why should it be different in telling the gainer that he/she needs to lose some weight. Manipulating has its advantages (re: the "Concern-About-Your-Health" card), but the person gaining weight has to know that they are getting unattractive; now if the person CAUSED the other person to gain weight then that is a completely different issue.
Off of my soapbox -- they were really being too hard on you Dan.
Just as a side-note, your name is awesome: DAN backwards is NAD (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide -- an important molecule in cellular respiration), rearranging DAN you get the favorite conjunction "and" thus nobody can write too many sentences without using a variation on your name, and lastly (and most awesome of all) another rearrangement of your name is DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid, which without it life would be much simpler).
And YNGH should have said "drinking like a fish or smoking like a chimney" -- if your going to use cliches get 'em right!
mahogany! ha! no-- it's cool.
@8 (bsmaster112): She was attempting to be amusing in her rant by spoonerizing the cliches. You, on the other hand, need to learn the correct usage of "your" and "you're".

And I also demand mahogany!
You know what? As a fat woman, I think that if my husband had a problem with my size, he SHOULD tell me the truth so that we could get a divorce and he could go off and enjoy all those people who want to be with him.

Honestly? I exercise every day, I have several medical problems that I am mitigating with dietary changes and medication. I am doing my damned best to be healthy and taking care of myself. But I will probably always be fat, and as gross as my "thyroid gut" might be, it's not going anywhere anytime soon unless my thyroid magically grows back.

I would much rather find some guy who was interested in my current body size (as it has stayed the same for over 5 years), than to stick around with some guy who wants me to change when I cannot. I can only imagine what this guy is going to do if his wife were to get wrinkles or gray hairs! OHNOES!

Seriously- I want someone who wants me for a lifetime. If I can't have that, I'd much rather invest my time and energy in my children, my friends, my family and all of those other people who actually give a damn if I exist.
I do think the responses to men and women should be a little bit different in this situation. There have been numerous studies showing it is easier for men to loose weight than women. Most men, barring a medical condition, can make a few easy changes to their diet, add a small amount of exercise and shed pounds. For women it isn't as simple. We don't have as much testosterone to help build muscle, and we have hormones that men don't that tell our bodies to store fat in the hips and stomach. Also, I think it might be harder for a woman to hear that she's fat, because there is more of a stigma for being a fat woman than a fat man. Just think of the range of weights in professional Actors vs Actresses. Also, might I suggest before marrying a woman, if fat is a huge deal to a guy, he should meet her mother? If her mom is skinny later in life, chances are her daughter will be too. If she's not, well...
At least from the description, it sounded like HARD's wife wasn't making *any* real effort to maintain herself. There's a big difference between "I am doing all I reasonably can, but got dealt the "gain a lot of weight" card by my body" and "I am going to sit around eating fried chicken and watching TV, rather than actually trying to do something about my excess lard"... and I say this as someone who's got a fair bit of excess lard herself.
I'd prefer that my partner be mahoganish, even if it's just a veneer....