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.