May 14, 2009

Ask Cranky Fitness: Sabotage, Husbands & Party Girls

Some blogs get so many questions from readers that they have to devote whole posts to answering their mail. Not Cranky Fitness. (At Cranky Fitness, we get emails from people who want to sell us amazing things like genuine Rolex watches and these pills that enhance body parts we don't even possess, which is a pretty neat trick in my opinion.) So we've decided we should simply assume that our readers are too shy to ask these questions, but would like us to ask the questions as well as supply the answers.

Or at least, that's our story.

Dear Cranky Fitness,

I'm really trying hard to keep my family and myself fit and healthy, but my efforts are being undermined by a certain individual, whom I shall refer to by a pseudonym to protect his identity.

Every time I decide to serve a nutritious salad and a yummy vegetarian casserole for dinner, "Hubby"(not his real name) brings home pizza or cheeseburgers. While this strikes me as far too coincidental to pass as anything but deliberate sabotage, he insists it is merely "a curious statistical anomaly." What are the odds of this "accidentally" happening Every Single Time? I'm not very good at statistical anomalies.

Frustrated English Major

Dear F.E.M.,

Either you're leaving tell-tale clues about the place like tacking a "Buy Lettuce" note to the refrigerator door, or else "Hubby" is an alien with mind-reading capabilities. Suggest in the future you bury the lettuce beneath a thin layer of cheese and serve it in a tostada shell, so that it looks to your family like they're eating something high-caloric -- until they get past that first layer. Then you can unleash a sinister laugh and insist they eat their dinner before they get dessert.

P.S. Putting the dessert somewhere in plain sight might speed this process up a bit.


Off with his head!

Oh, okay, perhaps that's not a practical solution. At least not if you are somewhat fond of the big doof, or if you prefer not to deal with the criminal justice system.

Just as you can't physically force him to eat healthy nutritious food, he can not make you eat hamburgers and pizza. I like Merry's suggestion of stealth and trickery! But if he is not easily fooled, and is seriously unwilling to eat the healthy stuff, seems like you're stuck. Short of a marital boycott (if ya know what I mean (nudge nudge, wink wink)), you may just have to admit you're not always going to eat the same things for dinner.

If you can get him to at least openly acknowledge that he's being a stubborn ass and trying to avoid eating healthy food, you might save some money on those duplicate meals. Which can then go for extra life insurance for hubby, since he's going to be croaking a lot earlier than you are.

Here's a good rule: if you have kids, then they get to eat the healthy stuff with you in the dining room, while he has to suck down his hamburger out in the garage away from their impressionable eyes. Seems fair, right? And then he can join you all when it's time for dessert, which he doesn't get any of, because he hasn't had his vegetables. But he can sit at the table and do the requisite fatherly things like belch and ask how school is going and break up food fights.


Dear Cranky Fitness,

Help! During the week I am really good at staying on my diet and working out regularly. Then come Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday: two and a half days of decadent feasting, wild bacchanalian parties, and exercising only my ability to appreciate wine, men, and song.

I don't want to give up my friends or stop having fun, but I'm not losing any weight here. Shouldn't five days of being good entitle me to a couple days of fun?

Party Girl

Dear P.G.,

The short answer to your question is: no.


Nothing wrong with wild bacchanalian parties! I'm all for 'em. Problem is, your ratio of Virtue to Reward is out of calibration. If you are not getting results, you need to suffer a little bit more and party a bit less. Otherwise, if your weekday sacrifices aren't paying off, you might be too tempted to say "screw this stupid healthy living stuff" and stop being virtuous altogether!

You may want to try cutting back to one weekend day of "whatever," and then finding less self-indulgent ways of being social the other day. A bike ride in the park with friends on Saturday, followed by catered bacchanalian orgy on Sunday! Then you can still look forward to the weekends without totally undoing all your good behavior the rest of the week.

Plus, of the "wine, men, and song" combo, two of the three are arguably exercise! Crank up the men and the singing, and see if your results improve.


Dear Cranky Fitness,

I keep seeing commercials on TV for a weight loss system where they make all the food for you and send it right to your house. It looks like delicious stuff, too--meals like spaghetti and chicken and pizza and meatloaf, plus there are desserts like chocolate cake and cookies and even ice cream! Lots of people have lost a ton of weight on these programs, you should see the before and after pictures. My best friend says these programs are a scam, but what does she know, she's never tried one! I think she's just being too negative. I love her but she's always such a buzzkill.

Anyway, the only downside I can see is that the meals cost a lot of money. But isn't my health a good investment? Don't you think I should sign up right now? I can totally tell that if I had all this great food to eat I would succeed in my weight loss goals and be slim and beautiful and a rich man would ask me to marry him and so the extra credit card debt would be no big deal in the long run anyway!

But what do you guys think?

Thinking Positive in Pawtucket!

Dear Thinking Positive,

I think you will probably do whatever you want no matter what we think because that's what people do when they ask for advice! (At least that's what I do.)

Anyway, congratulations for finding this incredible resource on TV. Isn't it amazing that all those food manufacturers who fill the grocery stores shelves with reduced-calorie foods haven't figured out their secret yet? Because surely if pre-made low cal convenience food at the grocery store was this tasty and healthy and satisfying, everyone who wanted to lose weight would be successful! Then there'd be no need to sign up for expensive programs marketed relentlessly on cable TV that force you to buy your convenience food all from one supplier for every meal for 28 days straight.

And what's even more amazing about the plan you've found, is that somehow if you get this particular kind of convenience food, with it arrives the willpower you need to eat nothing else except what's on your plan! With regular diet food, this special packet of willpower is generally not included.

We love Positive Thinkers here at Cranky Fitness! As a special offer just for you, please send us $100 now and we'll set aside $200 worth of our Cranky Fitness Miracle Weight Loss-Cupcakes© for delivery right to your doorstep... just as soon as we invent them!


P.S. If you want a list of rich men who are looking for debt-ridden women to marry, please send a self-addressed stamped envelope and $4,382.07 (cash only) and we'll send you the list along with the cupcakes.

-- Merry

What, you think you could come up with better answers? Enquiring minds want to know!

For that matter, if you have any questions you'd like Cranky Fitness to tackle, send them to crabbymcslacker at gmail dot com.


  1. Merry, you awake? Great post -- again, you crack me up! About the whole "what do you do when when your 'hubby' tries to sabotage you" question - yea been there. If you're curious, check out my post here called "why boyfriends make you fat":

    And I'm e-mailing you a question!

  2. Hi Annabel! We've synchronized our circadian rhythms or something. A question? Terrific! (Um... unless it's about healthy-sounding brownies, which is not a subject I'm well versed in.)

  3. Do boyfriends make one fatter than husbands? (Or girlfriends/wives)

  4. HA! I love this!! I think husbands make you more fat than boyfriends...or I guess boyfriends can have the same effect if you live with them huh?

    Hope you are well!

  5. "Crank up the men and the singing" is the best diet advice ever.

  6. Merry - you are toooo much. Now let's see, maybe if there was more nudge, nudge, wink, wink, sing, sing and less glug, glug, grub, grub and fat, fat... well then there would be no place for the Magical cupcake diet and man would that ever be a pity. PS When are they going to hit the grocery shelves - think they'd look fabulous next to those Jenny Craig boxes!

  7. I love the Ask Cranky Fitness posts!

  8. Merry! I'm submitting your name for Surgeon General! Not only are you a surgeon, but even the president has to salute a General!

  9. Oh I'm giggling so hard! Too many favorite lines to choose from but I really love this one: "Plus, of the "wine, men, and song" combo, two of the three are arguably exercise!" That needs to be on a t-shirt somewhere!

  10. You guys are so friggin funny!!!!! Hey, I will take some of them cupcakes!!! HA!

    Well, my hubby eats different than me & although I have gotten him to eat better with time, will still have different taste buds. When I make chicken, I just flavor his differently. He may have a baked potato & me broccoli. We have learned to live with each others differences PLUS we eat at different times too! I am a mini meal eater & he likes the 3 meals & a snack thing. Works for us!

    I just posted about that weekend binge thing when my stepdaughter gained 4 pounds from the weekend fun! I like what you had to say.. Me, I actually do not do a whole day thing. I eat my healthy meals but I plan for a couple treats that are "my thing". I rather have a treat than a meal out so this works for me. People have to realize that between extra food AND alcohol, you may never lose weight if you keep putting back on the weight over the weekend that you lost during the week.

    On the weight loss programs.. sure, go broke buying their meals & never learning the stuff yourself & as you said, can you stick to just that!!!

    Thx for the laugh this morn!

  11. here's what I do about the "hubby" issue: I cook in "layers". For example I will roast some chicken - then I will add a sauce/cheese/stuffing for him and I'll eat my chicken just with spice. I'll add a carb like rice for him and I'll pass on that. I'll take my veg with just spices and cheese his up. My dessert is fruit - his is cake/ice cream and fruit. Voila! we eat together and each eats what they want.

  12. Whoops!

    It looks like Silly Crabby failed to sign her answers a couple of times in the original post, sorry for the confusion! I fixed it now so hopefully it makes more sense and you can tell who the sensible one is (Merry) and who is nutball advocating martial decapitation and catered orgies (Crabby).

    Love some of these great suggestions for dealing with binges and spouses with different dining habits!

  13. My new weight loss plan: try to eat while reading Crabby Fitness posts. Unfortunately, this will only work if you don't like laughing with a mouth full of food.

  14. I have "hubby" (also not his real name) fully convinced that he is 100% responsible for my weight gain and he has to eat what I eat or I am just going to keep on gaining.

    (I'm tellin' ya birth order is the secret to a happy the oldest, and bossiest of your siblings, and marry the youngest and least like to resist being bossed.)

  15. I agree birth order matters. (But maybe I'm agreeing simply because I'm the youngest and don't want to argue with an elder?)

    And Crabby, when did I become the sensible one around here? I think your advice sounded perfectly sensible to me :)

  16. Damnit I'm screwed. I'm the oldest and BY FAR the bossiest, but so is my BF.

    ...CRAP! That's probably why I can't boss him into my low carb lifestyle. I still have those "when I'm married, I can fix him" dreams. But that's only because he's lazier than me so I figure he'll eat it if I cook it :)

  17. Holy cow, I'm laughing so hard! But I think the bit about making "hubby" eat in the garage so as not to be a bad influence on the kiddos is something I would actually DO. Does that make me a bad person?

    (That's probably why I date older siblings, too: I'm an older sibling, and the younger ones just let me boss them around. It's boring! Not to mention that sometimes I can be a TEENY TINY bit unreasonable. Hard to believe, I know.)

  18. OK, you HAVE to make this a regular feature. So funny! Besides, all the best advice columnists make up their own questions.

  19. We've actually done Ask Cranky Fitness before, but while we have fun with it, many readers seem to go elsewhere when they see one coming!

    Oh, and I know this must be shocking information, but I too am the oldest child and married a youngest child.

    Bwah ha ha.

  20. Can I get Party Girl's email address?

  21. Loved this! My boyfriend & the kids have the same deal - they used to (cuz I cured them of this one) eat out all the time - fast food & the ish. I started doing it too - then I got real. Ain't nothing wrong with me saying NO and them having their burgers and fries. I cook for myself separately if they don't want what I'm having and cook stuff for them (which I still 'sabotage' with a dose of healthy).

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. Tanya, I like the sounds of 'healthy sabotage.' Has a nice sneaky ring to it!

  24. tfh, I love doing Ask Cranky posts, but as Crabby wrote, not everyone seems to appreciate them the way we do :(

    If you click on the Ask Cranky label at the bottom of the post (before the comments) you can see previous Ask Cranky posts.

    Nitmos, it would be completely irresponsible and unethical to give out Party Girl's email address without first receiving a large cash donation to the Ask Cranky Fitness fund. We do have standards here, y'know.

  25. Well, I loved it! This broke up the monotony of my day quite nicely.

    My problem is kind of similar to F.E.M.'s, except that my hubby is a darn good cook. Oh, he cooks very healthy stuff most of the time and is considerate of my dietary needs...problem is, I just want to keep eating & eating & eating....Which brings me to my question: Can the Party Girl Fitness Plan be effective with "man" instead of "men," providing the "singing" part doesn't make the "man" part run away screaming? (Which would undoubtedly provide "Hubby" with excellent exercise. Me? Not so much.)

  26. This was hilarious. What was more hilarious? Last night, my husband and I got into an argument because for once, he came home and I wanted pizza and he said, I'd rather have veggie wraps. I REALLY wanted pizza! What are the friggin odds?!?!? -e

  27. Yesterday was definitely pizza day.

    I was trying to fight off an intense pizza craving and Be Good. Crabby tried to help distract me by talking about dark chocolate instead. (Thanks, Crabby!)

  28. For those dieters out there who have been or are currently using Hydroxycut supplements to diet or get in shape, you should know it's been recalled and is apparently very dangerous. This site has a lot of good information on its problems:

  29. I usually just lurk around here but this was too good to pass up!

    Like Patty, I am the oldest sibling, married to a youngest (of 6!) sibling, and "hubby" is very very helpful with the food thing. He even hides chocolate and then if I *really* want some will tell me one of the (many) hiding spots. And like Pubsgal he is a good cook (me, not so much).

    But...I am that party girl. Well, except that there is only 1 man, although the benefits are still the same (wink wink nudge nudge). I am *trying* to at least keep the insanity to just Friday and Saturday nights, drink water, and avoid late-night ramen runs.

    Um, and yes, I am 31 not 20, why do you ask?

    - the Party Wife(not real name)

  30. Hilarious post! Keep 'em coming. :-)

    My "hubby" is pretty good, but he likes eating out... and is often tricked by healthy-sounding dishes (like say, "salad") on menus. It's taken me a long time to convince him to look at the details.

  31. Here is an at-home routine that you can do for a total body and great cardio workout. Hope you like it.

    RUN IN PLACE - kick heels up to buttocks



    BACK LEG LIFTS - keeping the hips forward lift your left leg back - it's a small movement so don't arch your back to lift very high - do one side for half the amount of time and then switch

    HEEL DIGS - press heel out in front of you and hop to switch feet

    SIDE LEG RAISES - standing lift your left leg out to the side and lead with the heel (don't turn your toe up) and also don't lean over sideways as you do this - half the time and then switch sides

    BURPEES - standing place hands on floor and jump feet back into pushup position and then jump feet back towards hands and stand up (that completes one burpee)

    PLIE SQUAT - stand with your feet wider than should length apart and your toes turned out at a 45 degree angle, squat down and using your inner thighs press yourself back up

  32. Good idea to put something delicious on top of the lettuce. I did that long time ago to help me get used to salad. It works really nice. Otday I eat without salad dressing.

  33. funny article! husbands vs. boyfrends - who make you fatter? :D

  34. Nice article, The Merry, but as for me it's not really true...

  35. The most funny letter and answer were the Party Girl's ones. "The short answer is - no", haha :)


Thanks for commenting, Cranky Fitness readers are the BEST!

Subscribe to comments via RSS

(Note: Older Comment Threads Are Moderated)