Sunday, January 23, 2011

Doing this for the right reasons

Years ago, the last time I did a major weight loss, I was doing it for the wrong reasons I think.  The last time I really tried, we had recently moved to Philadelphia. I had a horrible, boring job that was an hour away. We knew no one. Our finances were cut in half. We had a 1 year old who was in daycare from 7 am to 6 pm (which I hated) and my husbad was in a killer PhD program at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and my mother in law was just beginning her move to the United States and we were helping her buy a condo, getting her set up and so on while she slept in our living room on and off for several months when she went back and forth to Europe. Our marriage was really shaky at the end of that year - both of us were ready to call it quits, but didn't verbalize it until much later, when we were in a better place. Many times looking back at that year, we wonder how we made it through and in subsequent rough patches, I think we both look back and feel, "if we made it through that, we can make it through this."

So, at the end of that year, when things were so bad between us, I thought it was all about my weight. I had gained weight after we got married, and regained the weight I had lost when I was pregnant with my oldest son. I thought all our problems (now I realize how silly it was to feel that way) were because I was fat. I thought if I could fix that, then we would be OK again. But, being honest, I also had thoughts in the back of my head, "he'll be sad he lost me when he sees how good I'm going to look!"

And, when the weight started coming off, things were better between us. I think he was proud of me for taking care of myself. He liked the way I looked, and since I felt better, we were both probably nicer to each other.

But then, I changed jobs which was better for me in a way, but it put other strains. I had really odd hours as I was working university student activities. I had nights I had to be out until 2 am and so on. School was still totally consuming all of Sven's attention and things were just tough. All the weight I had lost (50 lbs and fairly near my goal), didn't seem to fix our problems.  I felt ignored, unloved, and like a horrible mother who couldn't be super mom. Add to that less time to exercise, more life stressors and I got to the point of emotionally eating again and gained all the weight back (plus some).

So this time, I'm doing it for me and my health and my kids, especially my little guy who is still so young. I owe it to him to be healthy as he grows up. Of course, I want my husband to be proud of me and I want him to like how I look, but I can't do it for him alone. When I put too much into that, I can get disappointed.

I love that my husband is a very honest man, but at times it hurts. I haven't been told I'm beautiful in ages, because I'm not beautiful in his eyes. Even today when I asked if he could see any difference yet, he was a bit incredulous, "You can't notice anything in 3 weeks." And I know my weight gain and lack of fitness has hurt him too. He wants a life partner and loves me, I know, but he's had to watch me gain weight and get health problems. I'm sure he's feeling hopeful this time will be 'it', but he's had that hope before only to see me fail... I have to remember that too.

I have to love myself enough to do this - and keep doing this.

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