Having a super fit and buff husband does have its perks. He can lift and/or carry anything, open any jar in the house, and he certainly is nice to look at. But it is not all pretty.
First of all, he was not this fit when we got together. We were about the same on the just-slightly-soft meter. In a good way. In our early days, we happily spent time vegging out, watching tv and snacking.There were also things like hikes and day trips to cool places; we weren’t completely sedentary. But we drank wine and ate dessert and didn’t talk about calories. Hell, our first date was for burgers and beer. My how things change.
I am aware that my husband is attractive. And I have had enough confirmation from outside sources that I know it is not just me who thinks so. And truly, I appreciate the compliments that I get from other women for the man I landed, and I find it somewhat flattering (with the exception of when it gets into the incredulous level praise), really I do, but sometimes I want to tell them to take it down a notch. If you actually drool while exclaiming to me that my husband is “so hot” this may be over the proverbial line.
I have actually had more than one woman ask me, “How do you even know what to do with that?” Excuse me? I don’t know how to answer that because a) it’s just my husband to me and b) are they actually asking for details? Do they think it is different to have romantic encounters with a muscular man than a doughy one? And c) At what point did he pass into the threshold of a “that”?
Really, the only physical difference that’s been hard to adjust to is that due to his (significantly) larger muscles, I can no longer comfortably sleep with my head on his chest because his chest is now so damn big it actually puts a crick in my neck. I am a bit sad about this, but I don’t think he mourns the loss too greatly…if I recall, this lovely cuddling sleep position usually put his arm to sleep within about 5 minutes and left him trapped for hours after. Apparently I get a touch cranky if I am woken.
As for other changes, some might say that his focus on diet is on the obsessive side. Some might get tired of assessing his 11% body fat body and assuring him that none of his bulging muscles look small. Or of pointing out that the tensile-strength-testing of his shirt from his biceps might be a clue to his bulk. He recently took an online quiz about body image. He ended up with the answer that said he “might be pushing the line of body image obsession.” Yeah, just maybe.
Winter is his “bulking” period, when he is attempting to gain weight. (Yes, he has to effort at this.) He actually complains during this phase about having to eat so much and so often. He complains about this this to me, who discovered what it was to travel in true comfort when my sister and I took a road trip to Wheeling, West Virginia. On this trip we were both pleasantly surprised to find out that we both got hungry about every hour to hour and a half. It was perfect symbiosis. We ate our way through that town.
Meanwhile, my husband says he doesn’t know if he can possibly eat his sixth meal before he goes to bed. He says this to me while I am heating up my milk with honey and vanilla in it and debating which dark chocolate bar to crack open. Can’t eat it? Buddy, I haven’t stopped eating since my Meal #1. There are times when I have woken up in the middle of the night starving and had to go eat more.*
*I don’t suspect a tapeworm. I think I would be much thinner if that were the case.**
**After some brief internet research, I would like to report that actually, 90% of people with a tapeworm do not have symptoms, let alone worm-induced svelte-ness. Damn.
RG reminds me of my mother when it comes to food: they both view food as a necessary fuel for the body. My mother used to say that she wished someone would just invent a pill you could take instead of “wasting all that time” making and eating meals. My mother has Meal #1 and Meal #2. When you go to her house for dinner, you are getting one of those. They are fine and relatively tasty and you know what you are getting. (BTW Mom, when you come up with that pill, I’ve got your first customer for you. He’s the large man sleeping happily next to me without a woman on his chest.)
RG told me recently that he is no longer requiring the shredded Parmesan I usually get for him from the grocery store as he needed to cut some fat from his diet. (Note: He puts a maximum of 1 tablespoon of cheese in his omelet in the morning. Just the one.)
While he was telling me this, I was desperately putting a snack together as I was starving. I was slapping crooked hunks of drunken goat cheese onto gluten-free crackers and pairing them with a pile of honey-sweetened coconut macaroons. I was eating this off of a paper towel while standing at the kitchen table. I looked up at the perfect moment to catch RG staring at my messy pile of deliciously fat-laden food.
He made no comment, had absolutely no criticism, but I could read him like a book: pure horror at the carby, fatty goodness I was about to consume. His eyes were wide and staring, and his body oddly stiff, like he was watching an animal in its natural habitat and didn’t dare disturb the eating ritual.
I asked him if my snack upset him and he just smiled a bemused smile without blinking. “No babe,” he said, and refrained from saying anything else.
Thank God he didn’t see the Peanut M&Ms in the car earlier.
There is hope for him yet though. RG eats massive amounts of cottage cheese. Not because he likes it (in fact, he hates it) but because it is a cheap source of good protein. Recently he was eating some and he had an curious look on his face. He said to me, “You know, I accidentally bought full fat cottage cheese and it tastes better than the stuff I usually get. Why is that?”
I felt like I was introducing him to one of the 7 Food Wonders of the World. “Well babe,” I replied, “fat tastes good.”