Lola Rolls
Advice on Life from a Former Sideshow Fat Lady

What We Love is Beautiful

Posted By on Monday, January 6th, 2020

Dear Lola,

When I first started dating my husband, he was in decent shape and a healthy guy. Since we got married five years ago, however, he has been gaining weight steadily and is now about 50 pounds heavier. We would like to start a family, but are having trouble conceiving, which I suspect has a lot to do with his weight. I want to be supportive, but when I try to get him to eat healthier or go on walks with me, he refuses. We argue a lot, and it’s hard for me to feel attracted to him right now because I find the extra weight a turn off and also because he seems to have no interest in helping himself. At this point, I’m at a total loss about how to get through to him.

-Just Trying to Help


Dear Just Trying to Help,

The frustration is very obvious in your letter. You want to start a family and, for whatever reason, that hasn’t happened yet. In our society, health has become synonymous with thinness, as much as fatness has come to mean unhealthiness. These ideas have solidified in your mind to such an extent that you think you and your husband’s inability to conceive a child must be the result of his weight. I’m not a doctor of any kind, but this theory seems pretty unlikely. Indeed, if you want to know the actual reason for these fertility issues, you should both visit a medical professional and let him or her make an accurate assessment.

Before focusing your energy on family building, however, I think you should work on your relationship with your husband. You are angry at him, as if he were an unwilling child who requires watching, scolding, and cajoling until he demonstrates acceptable behavior. This attitude is uncomfortably close to contempt for your husband—which is a terrible way to view a partner, particularly one with whom you want to have children.

You say you want your husband to be healthier, but what you really mean is that you want him to go back to having the thinner body that originally attracted you. It’s important to realize that even if your husband eats these healthy meals you prepare and goes on evening walks, it is highly unlikely he would lose the amounts of weight required to make him desirable to you again. Sustained long-term weight loss is complex and, as some basic online research would tell you, statistically unlikely. While you and your husband can and should talk about each other’s health and how you can both incorporate exercise into your lives, it is for you alone to decide whether you can accept him as he is, not as you wish him to be.

Do we love what is beautiful? Or is it that what we love is beautiful? You need to decide which view to adopt and then act accordingly.

Barbara Boehm Miller
Fiction Writer and Creator of the Character, Lola Rolls

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