One of the reasons my husband claims to have married me was because I am a good cook. When we were dating he would marvel as I would work my magic in the kitchen. Smiling with anticipation, he would be giddy as I placed a plate in front of him. He was one of those people that would take a picture of what I made, post it to Facebook and let the world know how much tasty goodness I made for him. When we got married and relocated to the middle of nowhere, I started cooking like I wanted to try out for Iron Chef. I did this partly because I enjoy cooking, but mostly because I love eating. With a lack of great restaurant options at my disposal, if I want to eat it, I have to cook it. For the past few years, this has been fine, I have been well fed and so has my husband, until now.
Last week my husband made a declaration that he is too fat and that it is my fault. I feed him too much, he says, and make him too much good food. It is not his constant snacking or love of a good cheese plate to tide him over until the main course. Nope. It is my cooking. It is not his middle of the night pilgrimages to the kitchen where he proceeds to eat the entire trifle cake I made or the pudding he decimates. Nope. It is my cooking. I will admit that if I didn’t make the trifle cake, it wouldn’t be there for him to eat, but am I to blame for him eating it all in one sitting? According to him, I am. Every week I hear his complaints that there “is no food in the house” despite weekly food shopping trips that top well over $150. To avoid the cries that he is wasting away, I give in to his request to buy pretzels, ice cream, and cookies. In his eyes, if you can’t open the package and eat it right away or if it involves more than putting it in the microwave for 2 minutes, it just isn’t food.
So here we are. My husband has put on the poundage and is taking action. He has decided to go on a diet. Diet is a four letter word. I never go on diets. I have lived enough of my life as a starving student and as an entry level low-paying job adult to know what not eating is like and it stinks, so for my husband to purposefully opt to not eat the food I provide makes my head spin. I suggested that it’s not my cooking that has caused him the added weight, it’s his snacking. Maybe, I said, he should just cut out the snacks and see what happens. He wasn’t hearing that. He claimed that I always give him a larger portion. That is simply not true and in fact, I usually eat more than him and my weight has stayed steady. Well, my husband is not going to let facts or rational thought change his mind. He is going on a diet, which means I’m going on a diet.
What does going on a diet mean for me? It means salad and more salad; salad every night. Yes, we are going to top our salad with salad! My nose is already starting to twitch like a bunny rabbit. It also means measurement. He is calculating, measuring, weighing and monitoring every last gram of food and due to the miracle of modern technology he has a plethora of gadgets and apps to help him accomplish this. It started with his heart / calorie monitor so he knows how many calories he is burning and then he downloaded the app to calculate calories he is eating. Not being enough, or perhaps questioning the accuracy of correctly identifying the food items he was logging, he downloaded another app that scans barcodes of items in the pantry and instantly tells him how many calories are in his salad accoutrement.
My husband is a man of strong will. I know he will see this through, but I know what will happen. He will lose weight and I will find it. I never crave food so badly as when I can’t have it. He starts chopping the salad and I start craving the mac and cheese. He looks for the caloric content of a handful of olives and I reheat the pizza from last week. This will not end well….for me.