Friday, January 30, 2009

Why Be Healthy If Your Spouse Isn't?

This evening, I overheard a conversation in which it was revealed that an obese man had lost several dozen pounds in a bid to be healthier. His wife (a frequent smoker and also obese) has no mind at all to change her ways. This got me to thinking: if the man goes on to be a healthy weight while his significant other remains the same, one could reasonably assume that the man would outlive the woman, perhaps by a half dozen years. This wouldn't be true in every case, but it certainly is a reasonable supposition.

Many couples talk about wanting to die together so that neither has to be alone for an extended period of time. But wouldn't striving to be healthy while your partner falters lead to more heartache down the road for the lower BMI'd person? If you knew that reforming your bad habits would only lead to you being alone longer in your 70's or 80's, would you still do it? Or would you hope that one day your partner catches on and does the same? Or have you the belief that if the other goes first, you'd have no problem obtaining another life partner?


Rocketstar said...

I want to live as long as I can. You'd get over the death of your partner eventually, you have no choice.

Randy said...

Let's see, the conversation could start like this: "Honey, dear, I think you need to lose some weight" followed by a whop-whop - she hits you, you hit the ground.

About 8 years ago I was single and dating. A lot of ladies told me that their ex was simply not their "life partner" or "soulmate". I grew to dislike that phrase as it seemed like a cop-out.

I honestly don't think their is such a thing. I think you're supposed to (remember the song?) "love the one you're with" and take care of him/her. That includes taking care of yourself. None of us is promised tomorrow, so there's no guarantee that if you got healthy you'd still live longer.

Brian in Mpls said...

I would and have gotten a new a partner when this became an issue.

Coconut said...

I don't understand why the woman wouldn't just get healthy with him. It's a lot easier to do that with a partner!

Thomas said...

Rocket, I know I say this a lot, but I totally agree.

Randy, my wife could stand to lose a few, so I've been gently encouraging her to get on the treadmill she bought for herself many years ago. I was able to get her to do 20 minutes last night which is not insubstantial.

I also believe that there are hundreds (thousands?) of women that could've been my life partner, women that I could easily have been happy with.

My spiritual beliefs say that one should not be in relationship to get something out of it, but to bring something to it, not to seek someone who will complete us, but rather someone with whom we can share our completeness.

Brian, can't say I blame you.

Coco, excellent point.

houstonmacbro said...

My partner and I are working on our weight/fitness together. I think you owe it to yourself (#1) and your partner/spouse/SO (#2) to be the healthiest you can be.

Otherwise, it's just ... triffling.

Timothy Smith said...

Both my wife and I got on the health kick years ago and are both at healthy weight and eat very well.

I do it not for the quantity of life but the quality.

I did it for my kids, if they grow up in a house where eating right and exercise are the norm I figure they have a good chance of developing the right mindset to stay healthy.

Almost 3/4ths of the country is overweight now, I did not want to be in that group. Screw corporate America...for the most part I no longer eat processed corporate crap.

Get in shape to feel better, not live longer. A simple accident can end everything tomorrow, healthy or not.

Thomas said...

Houston, that is for sure.

Tim, I'd not thought of the fact that if you eat healthier and work out, even if you die at 50, you'll have had a greater quality of life.

When I wake up in the morning after having been on the treadmill 30 minutes the night before, my body is energized and practically screaming, "Thank you for putting me to good use, for the use I was intended for".

The majority of the country may be putting on the pounds, but Goddamit, the people whose abbreviated first names start with T and end with M are kicking fat to the curb.