The Truth Hurts, But I Have Band-Aids

“I am a kind person.”

“I am an honest person.”

These are two things I believe to be true about myself.  I want to be truthful, but when it comes at the expense of someone’s feelings, a lie sits at the tip of my tongue ready spare the person’s feelings.  (Or maybe it’s to avoid the awkwardness of saying something that could be taken as hurtful?)

Last week, my husband found out he needed to lose thirteen pounds to reach a BMI under 32.  (Not only do I need to meet the health requirements for discounted health insurance premiums, my spouse does to.)  He then asked me, “Do you think I’m fat.”

And with that one question, honesty and kindness were matched in an emotional cage fight.  I tried silence, to spare us both, but he wouldn’t have it.

“You do, don’t you?”

“I don’t know.  Uh, the chart shows 32 in the obese range.”  I’d hoped citing fact would get me off the hook.

“So I’m fat,” he responded, head bowed.

When we met eighteen years ago, we were lean, in shape.  Oh, and young!  He had a 29” waist and I wore a size 4.  He liked to jog, I enjoyed hiking.  We also indulged in lots of Mexican food and sweet desserts.

We had kids.  We faced a thyroid tumor, depression, and job losses.  We exercised (and slept) less, and ate more unhealthy foods.  Then, we found out we weren’t immune to the legendary metabolism freeze that happens as you age.  He expanded to a size 38, and I nudged up a few sizes too.  (I’ll tell you my age, but not my clothing size.) 

I felt terrible and needed to fix it.  “I could stand to lose about fifteen pounds,” I said.  “I read a blog about this person who ran a mile each day.  It was inspiring.”

He looked up at me.  “We could do that.”

I exhaled, relieved that kindness and honesty shook hands and made nice.

This is NOT me....
This is NOT me….

The next day, with the kids at school, we ran.  He timed it, because that’s how he is.  I didn’t want to know the time, because that’s how I am.

The kids got home from school and my older son said, “Dad says you want to go running.”

A little miffed hubby sold me out, I replied, “We already ran before you got home.”

“I want to run with you!”

Oh, no.  Never.  What that means is my cross country-running son wants to play trainer and show off while I suck asphalt.  Or put another way:  make me feel like I’m in junior high PE again.

There are those who steamroller feelings in the name of honesty.  I will never be one of them. This ordeal has taught me that a lie (or omission) isn’t always necessary to spare the discomfort of the truth.   In fact, kindness and honesty can live in harmony, and we can be better off for it.

However, if my over-eager son offers to kill train me again, I have no problem saying a firm, “No way!”  If he’s hurt, I’ll offer him a hug or a Band-Aid.

Fits truths of all sizes...
Fits truths of all sizes…

24 thoughts on “The Truth Hurts, But I Have Band-Aids

  1. ly October 20, 2013 / 10:25 AM

    Love the line about kindness and honesty making nice! Is there some rule about the BMI of lies? Aren’t the skinny ones OK?

    • jannatwrites October 20, 2013 / 7:50 PM

      I don’t know about the BMI of lies, but somewhere it came about that little white ones could slip in under the radar. The big fat lies never gained wide acceptance. It’s not fair, but that’s the way of lies 🙂

      Thanks for reading Ly. Your comment made me laugh!

  2. philosophermouseofthehedge October 20, 2013 / 12:10 PM

    “make me feel like I’m in junior high PE again.” You said it perfectly. (where and when did all these bulges appear? “We were lean and in shape” …can so identify…and craving chips right now….resisting..resisting…)

    • jannatwrites October 20, 2013 / 7:56 PM

      Haha, the bulges are a little disconcerting, but with the right clothes, I can ignore them 🙂

      I’m not good at ignoring the cravings, which is why I need to burn more calories. The more I think about not snacking, the more I want a snack. Thanks for reading, Phil.

  3. Debbie October 20, 2013 / 12:53 PM

    Ah, Janna, I do empathize. Why is it that having a baby (in your case, having two) puts on pounds that you just can’t get off? But I’ve got to remind you — when we were “young,” we were ACTIVE. Meaning, no computers. Yep, that’s it — let’s blame the Internet!

    • jannatwrites October 20, 2013 / 8:03 PM

      Oh, too many years have passed for me to use baby weight as an excuse 🙂 That’s true about activity…which is why I need to step it up now. Since I can’t step away from the chocolate, maybe this will help 🙂 Thanks for reading, Debbie!

  4. nrhatch October 20, 2013 / 1:24 PM

    Good luck with the running. And with the shedding of a few pounds . . . without feeling that you’re back in junior high PE again. 😀

    The intersection of KIND and HONEST is a great place to be.

    • jannatwrites October 20, 2013 / 8:12 PM

      Thanks, Nancy. I’ll need all the luck I can get 😛 My husband went running with our son tonight. My son came home alone and I told him to run the route backwards and run home with his dad. They came home ten minutes later. I’m not signing up for that!

  5. Tahlitha October 20, 2013 / 5:07 PM

    Hi Janna, honesty and kindness, beautifully written in the longevity of marriage. Have a good week ahead.

    • jannatwrites October 20, 2013 / 8:17 PM

      Thanks so much for reading and sharing your comment, Tahlitha!

  6. Widdershins October 20, 2013 / 5:32 PM

    There are some things a family shouldn’t do together … jogging with an extremely fit family member is one of them! … good luck to both of you … remember though, it takes 30 (consecutive) days to make a habit!

    • jannatwrites October 20, 2013 / 8:22 PM

      I agree – there’s no way I’m running with my son. He’s only eleven and he’d remind me every day for the rest of my life that he could run greater distances than than me. (Which, if I ran with him, probably wouldn’t be long :)) We’ll see what happens after 30 days, Widdershins!

  7. pattisj October 20, 2013 / 7:35 PM

    Running is something I’d like to do again, I just hope the rest of my body is willing–and able!

    • jannatwrites October 20, 2013 / 8:23 PM

      I’ve never been a runner, but maybe this time will be different, Patti. Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Eric Alagan October 20, 2013 / 9:49 PM

    Okay Janna, hope I don’t get on the wrong side here.

    But Lisa has always been petite – she can eat and eat and still gets into clothes she wore when we married 32 years ago – honest. In fact, if my father-in-law were alive, I would demand a refund. We Asians love our women round – and I’m very Asian in this regards.

    I once tipped the scales at 210 pounds (I was a body building freak) but am down to 160 pounds – jogging, brisk walking and road biking. If I don’t exercise daily – well, at this stage of my life, I can skip ahem (once in a while) but not exercise, that is a daily must have 🙂

    Many years ago, I learnt that exercising is habit forming – just like drinking, drugs and everything else – except ahem 🙂

    I’m sorry if this came across as a pep talk – it wasn’t meant to be.

    All the best with your fitness regime.


    • jannatwrites October 20, 2013 / 10:07 PM

      Hahaha…funny about your wife. She’s lucky!

      Pep talk or not, I’ll take any encouragement, Eric. I don’t expect us to be what we were eighteen years ago, but we can definitely be healthier. My husband is bothered by all the medications he has to take, so if he can get healthy and drop a couple then it’s a good thing. As for me, I’d like to keep up with the kids…an added bonus would be losing a few pounds 🙂

      I sure hope exercise can become a habit because right now, I’m really good at making excuses to put off ’til tomorrow!

      Thanks for reading and sharing your comment. It made me smile.

    • jannatwrites October 20, 2013 / 10:10 PM

      Thanks- I’m glad you enjoyed it, Windandlaughter!

  9. MasonBentley October 21, 2013 / 1:49 AM

    I’m with you. It might help – there’s a series of podcasts on itunes called ‘couch potatoe to 5k’ – they break down into 8 sessions for 8 weeks and it’s like running with a personal trainer – tells you when to walk and when to amazing! thoroughly recommend xxx

    • jannatwrites October 21, 2013 / 9:29 PM

      That does sound like a great program. Thanks for the tip, Mason!

  10. Sandra October 29, 2013 / 8:11 AM

    Oh, Janna! I’m back and catching up on all your posts! I especially love this one. I think you maneuvered this one kindly and honestly! How inspiriting that you both will be running/exercising for your own health! That is something I need to get off my bottom to do, too. I’d much rather sit here and write and read blogs, though. Best wishes to a healthy you and hubby. I could always use more inspiration from you. 🙂 (My daughter just ran a cross-country race yesterday in freezing weather; I’m so proud of her, cuz I’m no runner whatSOever!)

    • jannatwrites October 29, 2013 / 2:37 PM

      Well, I’ve ran about a mile, three or four days each week. Still don’t like running, but my husband swears it gets better, so I’m going to stick it out. Better yet, I’ve been making some healthier food choices, but haven’t sworn off all the good stuff…I’m down three pounds. It’s not much, but at least it’s not a gain 🙂

      Good for your daughter! (I wish I had that ambition.) My son runs cross country and since the season ended, he’s joined running club and they run after school a few days a week. I don’t get it! I’m glad you stopped by, Sandra.

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