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Ask E. Jean For DearSugar: We've Both Gained the Newlywed 15 — Help!

Ask E. Jean For DearSugar: We've Both Gained the Newlywed 15 — Help!

Dear E. Jean,

My husband and I have been married one year and we're very much in love. What's the problem? We're getting fat and we blame each other! Instead of the Freshman 15, we’ve each put on the Newlywed 15 in less than a year. We’ve tried dieting together, but we fall back into bad eating habits during times of stress or celebration. My husband is a fan of the low-carb diet; I don’t think a life without carbs is worth living. He likes lifting weights and running; I prefer yoga. It’s impossible!

But no matter what E. Jean, we’re too attractive to let ourselves go! I haven’t been feeling as confident as I used to, and this affects our marriage in more ways than one. When I feel badly about myself I can’t give my husband the attention he deserves. We should be feeling frisky and sexy, not flabby and irritable! Help! — Fat and Unhappy in Houston

To see E. Jean's answer


E. Jean to Houston,

Darling, I’d like to see you and your husband try to keep the weight on after you have a whirl at this. (I’m a moron for not thinking of this years ago!)

Go to Decide how much money it’s worth to each of you to get rid of the 15 pounds forever — $15? $50? $150? $500? (I know people who’ve spent $5,000 a year since the Reagan Administration trying to lose the same 20 pounds.) Decide the date by which you want to lose the weight. Then tell Auntie Eeee the name of your husband’s ex-girlfriend. Because Auntie Eeee is going to send her the money if you don’t lose the weight.

Yes, and to make doubly certain you don’t "fall back into bad eating habits," the note I’m sending to the ex-girlfriend (along with your money) will say you’re such a delightful dingbat that you want her — the ex-girlfriend — to take your husband out to dinner because you’re no longer feeling "frisky and sexy" and can’t lose 15 pounds. (By the way, the note I’d be sending to your ex-boyfriend because your husband can’t lose the pounds is even more entertaining.)

Of course, you’ll get the money back if you do lose the weight; not that you’ll be able to look at food again. And if there are no exes in the case, you can name a horrid ex-boss, a mean girl from high school, or a nasty political group like Kill the Whales.

So let’s do it. The $40 billion-a-year diet industry has wasted everyone’s bread long enough! You can help feed the world’s hungry by stipulating that the United Nations Food Programme receives a percentage of the money you put down. My friend, Kenneth Shaw, a brainiac economics guy out of Stanford, has made the site so simple (no pictures! no bilge!) it’s almost Google-esque.

And best of all? On, you can maintain your svelte self by stipulating that the cash will go to your husband’s ex (the guy who stole your promotion, a puppy mill, etc) if you gain a pound back. Enjoy!

To see more advice from E. Jean, visit Elle magazine and

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