"My Husband Nags Me About Being Overweight"

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His Turn

"Weight Has Always Been a Concern of Mine"

"I do want Sherry to lose weight -- not just for me, but for her, too," says Mark, a stockbroker. "This is a serious health issue for her and for our daughter. If we don't start now to instill proper eating habits in Ashley, she'll never learn.

"Frankly, weight has always been a concern of mine, too. I shopped in the husky department. My father died suddenly from a heart attack when I was in college and I suppose I became somewhat obsessive about health after that. My father always had a heart condition, but he never took care of himself. He smoked, he ate anything he wanted. I guess I'm still angry at my dad for not paying attention to his health. I don't want that to happen to me.

"I grew up in a close-knit family. My grandparents lived with us so there were three generations under one roof, plus lots of aunts and cousins nearby. My parents would have the usual arguments -- "Helen, you're raising my blood pressure!" Dad would say -- but I knew there was a lot of love there. In fact, my parents were loved and admired by everybody; they were the kind of people everyone in the community knew you could count on. I was very close to both of them. I used to go to work with my dad on Saturdays -- he managed a wholesale automotive supply company -- and that made me feel very special. Mom was your typical Jewish mother: self-sacrificing but always there for her kids. She didn't spoil us, but she probably went way beyond what was necessary to fill our every need. I remember going home for lunch in elementary school, and Mom would always prepare a hot meal for me.

My brother was five years older than me and we were also pretty tight. But when I was 25, he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. It was a total shock -- he'd had no symptoms -- and he died six months later. Losing him so soon after my father's death was devastating. I was in a daze for almost a year. Everyone at my stock brokerage firm was very supportive, but I know I did a lousy job during that period. I don't think I began to recover until the summer I met Sherry.

Continued on page 4:  His Turn, continued


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