As far as husbands go, I think I got the best. Sure, he has his "quirks" and oh boy, what a post I could write about those, but in the interest of 33 MORE years of wedded bliss (cough, cough) to go with the 33 behind me, I think I'll just stick with telling you about our come to Jesus meeting. He does read this blog!!
At the risk of being anticlimactic, I'll say this right up front. There wasn't much, if any, new material that came from the discussion. Mr. B knows all about my issues with food and my problems with weight control. He has always, without fail, been kind and loved me at 203 as much as he loved me at 138. He loves me right now at 159. He listens and says, "what can I do?" and "I just want you to be happy."
During this period of relapse, there have been some differences and that has been scary to me. Since beginning this blog last May, I believe that the writing has begun to uncover some layers that had remained hidden for many years. That culminated in last week's posts and were the discoveries I was attempting to communicate to him over the weekend. I think he senses that I have hit rock bottom (this scares him) and also, my determination to change. This might be a bit threatening to him because it can't help but mean change for him as well.
I think, in a sense, he wants his cake plus all the trimmings. He is so proud of me at my goal weight (he just beams when I walk down the staircase in something new or something he hasn't seen in awhile), but he also enjoys the me that comes home from the grocery store with all sorts of goodies, the me that suggests pizza for dinner, the me that packs a killer picnic lunch you don't even want to know about, the me that can plan and execute a backyard party to die for, and the me that says, "look the HOT DOUGHNUTS NOW sign is on" when we pass Krispy Kreme doughnuts.
He is a normal eater with a normal appetite. He can do all of the above things with no obvious repercussions. He is NOT a healthy eater and does not share my passion for becoming one. This is a problem. I know my choices are mine and mine alone, but we are each other's best friend and sometimes it is highly discouraging to me that this is one of the few things we don't share and therefore, will never be able to function fully as a "team" when planning, discussing and implementing healthy clean eating. He loves to cook and is an EXCELLENT cook. Thank goodness, one of us is! I know it is frustrating to him when he wants to plan an elaborate dinner party and I ask if it can be a healthy menu. The answer is no and his stubborn, only child, my way or no way syndrome kicks in resulting in much pouting and "let's just forget the whole thing." I feel pretty strongly about my home representing frugal living, healthy eating and a sustainable environment and I can be pretty stubborn too. We have not yet found the "let's meet each other halfway" point on this subject and sometimes, the conversations aren't pretty!! This is also a PERFECT example of what I talked about in last week's posts. I give in to make him happy, but I'm already angry because I feel manipulated into participating in something I didn't want to do in the first place, the food is delicious and I eat it - ALL OF IT!!
It also means that I am having to retrain myself to function alone in this way and I'm not used to that. In all of the above situations and all of the areas I discussed in the earlier posts, I'm having to learn to say, "no" or "can't we do it this way," or "this is what I'm eating, can you take care of yourself tonight," or the hardest one of all, "I"m going to need to ask you to not eat that in front of me," or even harder, "for now, we can't have that in the house." It compounds the whole issue when he shouldn't be eating the stuff he's eating to start with and I am thinking how much fun it would be if we could plan and eat our healthy meals/snacks together. Did you hear the BIG SIGH OF FRUSTRATION here??
Here are some of the specific things I asked from him:
1) I am the ultimate planner and his preferred method of operation is flying by the seat of his pants. I have asked that with respect to our social life and eating out (which BTW, he loves to do), there be no flying by the seat of our pants. If it is a sudden social invitation, we say "no" and we plan restaurant eating so that I can look ahead, decide EXACTLY what I'm going to order, tell him in advance and ask him to either order for me or hold me accountable. He will not even "allow" me to open a menu.
2) I've asked him to identify some food items he enjoys that aren't temptations to me. Believe it or not, there are some of those!! LOL!
3) I've told him that my grocery shopping is now limited to ONE time a week. We will cook and eat from what we have on hand or what I purchase during that one visit. I am a good, frugal shopper and love meandering around in different grocery stores to see what they have. This has become a problem in terms of impulse purchases and uncounted calories via demon sample pushers. I've asked that any items he wants be on the fridge magnetic board and if they aren't there, he doesn't get them until the following week.
4) Mostly, I've asked that he not allow me to manipulate him into becoming an "enabler" even when the enabling might benefit him (think HOT Krispy Kreme doughnuts that was MY idea to go get). If you don't read Diane's Fit To The Finish blog, you should. Her post from this morning, especially the last two paragraphs, were given to me in perfect timing.
Our "Come To Jesus" meeting was a great discussion and made even better by the fact that we had driven to the mountains and were enjoying a wonderful trail that runs along the river. He listened and I believe he senses something a little different about this valley. He does want it all (the at-goal me AND the me that suggests the doughnuts) but he would like to see the depressed, remorseful, sick at her stomach from overeating, me go away for good. What remains to be seen is whether the layers I'm uncovering about who I really am and the changes required from BOTH of us to find and embrace her, will be accepted. I hope so, because I think I'm going there with or without his full support. He's my best friend, my soul mate and my partner of 33 years - I really want him to go with me. We'll have such a good time!
All this has caused my curious nature to run rampant. Those of you with DH's, significant others and/or kids still at home, tell me about your relationship with that person/kids with respect to YOUR food and weight issues. Is it a team effort, are they enablers, do you get resistance, how in the heck to you cook meals that please them if they aren't on board without sabotaging your own efforts? Talk back to me - I think it will benefit us all.
I'm going to try and tie all this together in tomorrow's post. It's been a tough few days, but I truly believe that, "darkness may linger in the night, but joy comes in the morning." And BTW - I am on day 3 of on-plan eating.