Monday, October 19, 2009

Comfort Food is the Work of the Devil

I have been fighting the battle of the bulge all of my adult life. When I got married nearly 14 years ago, I was at one of the lowest weights of my life. Once I got married, a little bit of weight would creep onto my body…and I would try and get rid of it.

Note the word “try”.

One day, not too many years ago, I woke up and was 50 lbs. heavier than I was when I got married. Despite wanting to say, “I don’t know how it happened!”, unfortunately, I do know how it happened.

Then I got pregnant. During my pregnancy, I ate pretty healthy. Probably the most healthy eating plan I’ve ever had in my life. I didn’t want to indulge in sweets or overload on carbs. I wanted to enrich my body with a balanced diet, because, after all, I was nourishing another person inside of me.

So I gained about 45 lbs. with my pregnancy, and before returning to work after maternity leave, I had lost 55 lbs. I was actually 10 lbs. smaller than I had been when I got pregnant. Yay to me!

Over the next couple of years, I gained and lost those 10 lbs. numerous times. Up and down, up and down on the scale. The revolving door of my life.

Until, once again, a few months ago, I woke up and was 25 lbs. heavier than when I got pregnant. Yep, I know how it happened. I lost my job last summer, had lots of personal problems, and pacified myself with food. I medicated myself with sweets and carbs, because I am the type of person who can make the pain go away with food. When my stomach is full, I feel numb – and frankly, feeling numb gets two very big “thumbs up” from me because I’m the type of person who would rather run from her feelings rather than face them.

So here I am. About 75 lbs. heavier than I was when I got married. And don’t think I haven’t noticed it, either. I feel it in my inability to do any type of physical activity without feeling like my heart is going to explode. I feel it in my knees sometimes when I’m trying to climb stairs. I feel it all the time – my clothes are too tight and when I look in the mirror I see it in my midsection. It makes me very unhappy.

I was reading the book, “You Can Heal Your Life”, by Louise Hay. Ms. Hay discusses how she has her patients make an “I should…” list. If I were doing the “I should…” list with Ms. Hay, I know one of my thoughts would be, “I should lose weight.” Ms. Hay says that instead of saying “I should…” people should say, “If I really wanted to, I would…” I think about that statement a lot, because mine would read, “If I really wanted to, I would lose weight.”

This is something that is difficult for me to face, though. I have put forth effort (albeit a half-assed effort) in the past when trying to lose weight, and have given up when the pounds just didn’t melt away. I have tried every “diet” plan under the sun. You name it, I’ve tried it. And they have all ended in dismal failures, because I usually give up after a few weeks after not reaching my weight loss goal of dropping 50 lbs. in a week. (Unrealistic, yes, but I am a card-carrying member of the Instant Gratification Club.)

I bring all of this up, because today, I feel like a broken person.

My husband has witnessed all of my weight loss failures over the past years, and he’s usually supportive. Although, I do have to admit, I think because I have had too many failures, his patience is wearing thin. He is also the type of person that is more like a drill instructor rather than supportive partner, so if I ask for “help”, he will ride my ass from here to kingdom come, rather than decide not to order that pizza for dinner. He will bug me about exercising 3000 times a day rather than help me create a workout plan. In general, he will become one of the most annoying fucking people on this planet.

This weekend, the topic of my weight became the focal point of one of our conversations. You would think by now – BY NOW – he would understand this is a VERY touchy subject. And when I say “very” – I mean it’s fucking nuclear.

He tells me he’s only concerned because he doesn’t want me to die at an early age. In my book, this is fucking bullshit, because #1) he smokes cigarettes, and #2) I don’t have any weight-related health problems, except for my underactive thyroid, which I maintain with medication. And really, that’s not “weight-related” like hypertension is, or like one of those forms of diabetes is.

So we get into an argument, and the truth comes out. He yells at me that he “hates how I look.”

Well, then.

Can you image how much this hurt me? The one person in this world who I have trusted with most of my secrets – from my shitty childhood, to my depression issues, to all of my hopes and dreams – has betrayed me in the worst way possible? On November 3, 1995, he promised to love me above all others for the rest of our lives, through sickness and in health, through richer and poorer – and impliedly, through thinner and fatter. I remember making that promise. Obviously, he does not.

If my memory serves me correctly, the 25-year-old I married was probably about 70 lbs. lighter than the 39-year-old I am married to. Does his extra weight bother me? Not one bit. But apparently – my 70 lbs. bothers him. Bothers him so much, that he “hates” it.

In fairness, I didn’t ask him for clarification. I didn’t ask if the “hate” bothered him in the way that I took it. Of course I took it to mean that he is physically repulsed by me and finds me unattractive. I don’t want any clarification. Actually, at this point, I don’t want anything from him. I am so hurt, feel so betrayed – I can’t even look at him. Since he said those words to me yesterday, I have only spoken to him when absolutely necessary. As far as I am concerned, I don’t ever want to speak to him again.

If he thinks this “tough love” is going to drive me into a gym for 4 hours a day, he obviously doesn’t know me. All this does is make me want eat sugar and carbs until I feel like I want to throw up. I am like a heroin addict, needing to feed my addiction. The pain in my heart today is too much to deal with – so bring on the numb.


Anonymous said...

He's a total dickbag for saying that. A total and utter dickbag.

Anonymous said...

First of all I have to totally agree with PCL. He is there to support you in your quest for better health. Not put you down and make you feel even worse. If my Hubby would have said that to me I probly woulda hit him in the face. Not cool to hear that from your husband. I've struggled with my weight ever since graduating HS. I want to lose weight and get healthier but I just don't want to put forth the effort. (oxymoron, I know!) I'm a self proclaimed lazy person and it's caught up with me in a bad way.
I really hope your husband comes to his senses and apologizes for being such a dick. You deserve support from him. Not mean comments that make you wanna kill him! :)

Jodey/Fat Chick Biker said...

First and foremost, ((hugs)).

Secondly, fuck him.

Thirdly, I hope you two can talk this through, if that's what you want. Weight is an issue hard to talk about, especially with his horrible words hanging about. If it's not what you want, then again, fuck him.

Lastly, tell him to look in the mirror and notice the 70lbs he's put on and try to remember a time when you EVER lambasted him about his weight.

Mariska said...

I am with Jodey:

1) BIG HUG!!

2) Fuck him. Keep your distance if that's how you feel. He is TOTALLY out of line. He is allowed to say that he hates that this is such an issue for you, because he wants you to be happy, but he is NOT allowed to say what he said. So, in the meantime, fuck him, and concentrate on YOU.

You need to find the value of you, with or without that 70lbs. You are NOT your kids, your job, what your husband thinks, or your arse. Yeah, its fucking difficult, but its so important to your happiness, which takes a lot of work and practice.

This might also help - there's a great antidepressant called Wellbutrin. It works differently to the SSRIs, and it is also used to help smokers quit smoking, as it helps curb cravings. It also curbs hunger cravings. Might be something you'd like to read about. I@m not advocating drugs over healthy lifestyle/body image, but I'm all for a headstart/leg-up.


PS I hope I don't come off as patronising or offensive - I've been in the same sort of situation with my body image and realised that I didn't like myself very much. When I found things I liked, I took care of me better :)

Tennyson ee Hemingway said...

I'm in a similar situation, in that I need to lose some weight because of health related problems in my family, but I just can't be arsed. My wife says she doesn't care but sometimes, I don't know. I sometimes wish she'd just say that she doesn't like how I look, because it might kick me into gear. Having said that though, it doesn't mean that I agree with what your husband said. I totally agree that we are to be there as support - no matter what. I would never even think of saying something so hurtful to my wife; it is really not on.

mysterg said...

At least he's honest. Even if that does make him an asshole.

MyTruth0812 said...

All: Thank you for being supportive. Even though we've never met, it meant a lot to me when I was near tears for most of the day.

Kim: Yes, he's a dickbag. Fo' Sho'.

Kylie: I am the same way which is what Husband must find frustrating. But really, it's my struggle, not his.

Jodey: Thanks for the hugs and support! Much needed. :)

Mariska: No, you do not sound patronizing. Not at all. And I have been on Wellbutrin (which I loved). You remind me I should go back to it like a long-lost lover. I'm currently on a different medication, but my first love was those Well-bees.

Tennyson: I don't think he understands the true meaning of being "supportive". Tough love never works on only causes me to continue on the downward spiral.

Mysterg: Brutal honesty should only be given when requested. Never volunteered. (And even then it should never really be truly honest, especially if it will hurt. Words are hard to take back once they've been let loose!)

Jane said...

My heart is breaking for you. I can't believe your husband said something like that. I don't have any advice for you, but I hope you are able to heal.

Anna W said...

I have to pipe in about the Welbutrin too! It helps a lot, even gives me more energy...
But I can't believe he said that to you. I just...I am so angry just reading about it and I don't even know you. But I can say that I know exactly how you feel and I wish you and I and everyone else in these crappy situations could just be happy.

Anonymous said...

For as long as I can remember my dad made comments to my mom about her weight and for as many years my mom fought with her body to try to lose weight. My mother was never obese, she's about 5'3 and at her heaviest she was likely around 160lbs. My father is also like your husband in that he is a bid of a drill sergeant about "helping".

After 25 years of listening to my father make comment after comment about her weight my mother said to my father in complete and total sincerity "If you say one more word, just ONE MORE, about my weight I will leave you."

My father never said one more word. It's over 10 years later and my dad has been nothing but supportive. I think sometimes they just don't understand what a struggle it is until it's too late. I wish you all the best.