Thursday, September 15, 2011

Exercise Together

I’ll have to admit, when this idea hit me, I almost dismissed it out of hand. If there’s anything that doesn’t seem romantic to me, it’s the idea of exercising. That belongs on the same list as going to the dentist; the list of things I’d rather not do. But, that was before I gave it a second thought.

Most women sufferer from a very negative opinion of themselves, especially when it comes to their beauty. Unless they’re convinced that they are God’s gift to men, they all think of themselves as fat, ugly and with hair that’s incapable of having a good hair day. In fact, even the ones who think of themselves as God’s gift to men think of themselves that way.

I think I’ve discovered why all women (even the size zero toothpicks) think of themselves as fat. Medical science tells us that women have an extra layer of fat to insulate themselves. But, they don’t tell us where that layer of fat is. My theory is that the extra layer of fat is around their brains, where it presses in on the brain, constantly saying “fat, fat, fat, fat, fat.”

There are three basic ways that women deal with these thoughts of fat. The first is to ignore it. While that’s a noble sentiment, few are successful in accomplishing it. The second is to get upset by it and eat more. While this may make them feel better for the moment, it clearly doesn’t help for the long-term. Finally, the third is that they try and lose it. For some women, the quest to lose weight is a lifelong quest, taking them from diet to diet, exercise program to gym, and a few even into problems like anorexia and bulimia.

Since exercise is the healthiest choice on that list, maybe we should gently, very gently, encourage our wives to start an exercise program. I say gently, because the last thing that any of us want to do is to express any opinion that might be misconstrued as if we were saying that we thought our wives were fat.
So, how do you very gently suggest that your wife exercise? Wait until she brings it up first. Then, offer to exercise with her, in order to encourage her. She will definitely need the encouragement, and you can give it to her by exercising with her. It’s always easier to exercise with somebody else.

Let me give a word of warning to the jocks amongst us. Whatever you do, don’t compete with your wife. She has enough problem with her self-esteem, without you pounding her into the ground with your ability to overdo it. You’re there to encourage her, not to beat her. Dial it back to her level. Let her think that she’s winning once in a while.  Always notice and compliment her for her progress.

Besides all that, exercise can be one more thing you do to take time to be together. That’s always worthwhile.

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