Jack Doubles Down



Dear Jack,

A couple of years ago, I hurt my back. It wasn’t a bad injury. It wasn’t really an injury at all. I just did something to it and it has bothered me ever since. I’ve been to my doctor but she can’t find anything wrong. The pain isn’t horrible, but it’s there, all the time.

So I finally started seeing an acupuncturist a few months ago and have finally found some relief. My boyfriend, who is a very rational engineer-type (though he isn’t an engineer), says that only proves there is nothing wrong with my back. He says I am wasting my money. He wants me to see his back specialist instead, but I already know what his doctor is going to say. I like my acupuncturist and the relief he provides, but my boyfriend won’t leave me alone about it.

Pins and Needles

Dear Pin Cushion,

You say your boyfriend has a back specialist? That must mean he has back problems, too, but of course his pain is real while yours is all in your mind, right? You should do whatever makes you feel better, and tell your boyfriend to get off your back.

Dear Jack,

I’ve been married almost 10 years now. Over the past eight or so years, my husband has been slowly but steadily gaining weight. Lately, his weight has begun to affect his health.

On the advice of his doctor, I’ve been encouraging him to start some kind of exercise program. He has looked into a number of different things, even started a few only to quit after a couple of weeks. When I try to talk to him about it, he says he is still doing research. Meanwhile, he continues to gain weight.

I’m afraid of what will happen to him if he continues to do nothing. What can I do to motivate him? He doesn’t seem all that concerned.

Wondering What to Do

Dear Wondering,

Doing more research is his excuse not to start doing something. The longer that goes on, the harder it will be to get started if he ever makes a decision. My guess is he’s shy and self-conscious about his body. It’s been a while since I went to a fitness club, but most of those classes are filled with women. Maybe he feels those exercises are too girly. It could be he’s looking for something where there are more men involved. But of course, when he does find that manly fitness class, it will be filled with buff dudes strutting around flexing their muscles and making the fat boys feel like junior high turds.

I suggest finding something you can do as a couple. Maybe at first that’s just walking around the block a couple of times every night. The most important thing is to stick to it, no matter what he decides to do. Home fitness takes tremendous willpower. It’s too easy to skip a day. One day becomes two, two becomes a week, and before you know it you’re starting all over again. At that point most people give up and sell the rowing machine in the garage sale. That’s why I recommend taking a class.

He might give the martial arts try. They are a wonderfully manly activity, and when you first start out, you are usually in class with other people who are also just starting out. All the fat boys will be together. You can help motivate him to stick to it by taking the class together. It wouldn’t hurt you to learn to kick some ass, too.

Got a problem? Jack Waggon will set you straight: jack.wagg@gmail.com

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