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Playing dress-up

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I've been married to my darling wife for three years. One of our first fights was when we had to go some place that required we dress up. Before I started really Sparkin' along, having to dress up was always a horrible experience. As I got fatter I would gradually reduce my wardrobe to a few tent-like garments that still fit. I did this almost unconsciously, so I never really had to face how big I had gotten.

But trying to find something to wear to a fancy occasion meant the end of denial and the beginning of self-loathing. Dress pants either wouldn't button and zip or were so tight that I felt it was going to be impossible to breathe or sit down, and I was always afraid that the main button holding the two sides of the pants together was under so much pressure that it might suddenly explode off, fly across the room and take somebody's eye out.

Meanwhile I have been blessed with my darling wife who has always loved me for who I am, not for my waist size. I have internalized so much societal loathing about being fat that sometimes that is hard for me to take in: my wife loves me just as I am. Yes, she wants me to lose weight to be healthy, but her love is in no way conditional on me shedding those pounds.

On this particular day, I was in my closet looking for something, anything, halfway presentable to wear and I was failing. My self-loathing was in high gear: you fat pig! How did you let yourself get so huge!

And so on. And so on.

When I finally emerged, I felt like three pounds of sausage stuffed into a two-pound casing and I hated myself. When my poor wife saw me, her eyes filled with love and she opened her mouth to say something. "Don't say it" I thought but to no avail.

"Look at you" she said. "You look great."

And she meant every word. But I was so down on myself that I just couldn't hear it and I redirected my aggression at my unsuspecting wife. I exploded. And then I felt doubly bad because I had repaid this women's genuine love for me by picking a fight.

So it is a delight, now, as I approach forty pounds lost, to find that there are more and more things that fit, that I couldn't wear even a few months ago. And even the things that don't fit don't negatively affect me the way they used to because I know that I'll be wearing them soon. For example, this morning I tried on a pair of jeans that were just too snug, but not by that much. When I looked at the label, I saw that they were a 36" waist. "Oh, I thought. 36 inches. But last March I was wearing 44" inch waist pants." I am really starting to believe in myself: that I can and will lose the weight, and then I will keep it off. It has been a slow process from when I first joined Spark, but I have been making permanent changes in the way I live my life. There's no going back.

But best of all is that now when my darling wife tells me I look great, I believe her.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    628 days ago
    I know exactly what you mean about being so down on yourself that you cannot take a compliment at face value. I used to pick fights with my dear husband over how "bad" I look in everything I tried on when I was not at my optimal weight.

    Keep going and as the weight goes down your self-esteem and feeling of self worth will go up.

    emoticon on your weight loss!
    1638 days ago
  • KELPIE57
    Wonderful post!
    1640 days ago
    And now another milestone to think about... when your wife or anyone else gives you that gift of a sincere compliment.... (and this is hard when you aren't used to it) always smile and say thank you. Maybe you do this already.... but I know Im guilty of right away trying to negate the compliment in some way, almost like I don't deserve it . A good friend told me that this makes the person who is handing out the compliment to feel uneasy or like you don't believe them . emoticon I loved your blog, you two are a wonderful couple! ***SNOW*** emoticon
    1640 days ago
    What a wonderful story. Congratulations!
    1641 days ago
    Sounds like you believe in yourself as well as your wife! It's the mental challenges that turn out to be the most difficult...turning around the negative thoughts is a key to changing and believing this is all possible! emoticon
    1641 days ago
    Awesome blog! Great wife! Glad you understand now!!
    1641 days ago
    This is awesome to read! Keep up the great work and keep taking it one day and one step at a time! You're very lucky to have such a great and supportive wife.
    1641 days ago
    I know exactly what you're talking about, both the misery of trying to find slacks that will fit without exploding AND in finding that you have to dig back a bit to find pants that will fit your much slimmer self. Well-written and congratulations on the success thus far.
    1642 days ago
    1642 days ago
    Well said! Took the words right of our mouths!
    1642 days ago
  • 68ANNE
    Great blog, self discovery too
    1642 days ago
    Sweet, sweet sweet!!! What a fabulously lucky couple you are!!
    Congratulations on your success. We all appreciate the motivation it gives us!!
    1642 days ago
    yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! emoticon
    1642 days ago
    Wonderful Blog!! There's nothing like having everything in your closet fit (or be too big). And there's nothing like the look in your spouse's eyes when you really do look your healthy best. Like you, I have a DH (I suppose we should make that generic to DS) who has loved me at 116 and 196 and every number in between. Even so, he admires me where I am today because I'm healthier and happier.

    Congratulations on that 40 pound loss!!
    1642 days ago
    AAAAWWWWW!!! emoticon
    1642 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.