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My Life is getting smaller as I get bigger, and I can't find incentive to change

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Old 08-19-2008, 09:55 AM   #1
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Default My Life is getting smaller as I get bigger, and I can't find incentive to change

I know this is a common story, but I wanted to post anyway, because I need a bunch of group hugs.

I have gotten into fight with my husband over some insignificant thing, and it went straight toward the issue about my weight. Doesn't it always? ( Well, more like I pick the fights while he just lets it all roll off of his back and avoids confrontation, which infuriates me. ) I guess I cornered him into admitting to me in words what he has been saying with actions for years >>> that he isn't as attracted to me as he once was. He tries to comfort me by saying the weight is only a small part, but that he just feels older (he's 51). He works long days in construction, and has for over 30 years. (by the way, we built a house together, ourselves, took 6 years, and that hampered the romance greatly, and it seems that it hasn't really returned much). We have been together for 14 years, (he has grown children, I don't have any) I perceive him to be very apathetic in general, and more interested in sports and action movies than anything else, poor guy who works so hard doesnt have any energy left but to watch tv. The sports and action films I couldn't be less interested in. However, when we met I was a really fit bicycle crazed person, and we use to ride mtn bikes and kayak, and backpack, and go on fun adventures together, but I now that I'm so heavy, our adventures are few, and I know it's a huge disappointment to him. I just don't care to be the shining physically obsessed trail queen of my 30's forever, I want to find other interests, more mentally involved interests. He seems so preoccupied with all the fitness interests, and I am more with quilting, spinning/knitting, and gardening.... and cooking. I have even gotten back into performing music, which was my life before I met him.

Okay, so we have different interests, that's okay, even healthy, but I feel suddenly divided and out of control and that the fat is destroying my marriage and all aspects of my life. I am thoroughly injuring myself with this weight > physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I just can't see living the rest of my life this way. I would love to drop 45 pounds just to please him, and myself, but he has so little ability to notice or communicate praise (his biggest shortcoming) , and I am afraid that in the end I will thus be vulnerable to other men who notice me. I adore him, I do not want to leave him, I just want to find the sweetspot in our lives that seems to be missing because of the weight. I can't seem to find incentive to lose this weight even to make myself happy at least. I don't find much friendship these days in his general disinterest about me, and so I go to the food, and cooking, and a couple of internet penpals, the isolation and loneliness grows and the disinterest grows. It has got to turn around. I keep waiting for the shift inside of me to happen, to become determined, so the weight loss can happen, but I guess I'm just depressed and feel like a nobody because of my husband's lack of spirit toward me, and surely need somebody to believe in me.

I am going to twist his words around in my head , I know it, hearing that he is 'repulsed' by me, although I know that I am probably projecting on to him the fact that I am repulsed by myself. This is sheer craziness.
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My goal weight is now the weight that puts my BMI out of 'obese' range , into just overweight, and I'm fine with that.

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Old 08-19-2008, 10:49 AM   #2
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Hi Hermit Girl,

You've got a lot going on. And, I'm just some anonymous face on the net.

I guess a few things come to mind. I don't know if they're politically correct or not. But, they're honest, so I'm just going to try to put them out there. I'm in no position to judge and I'm not trying to. I'm just trying to say something that might be helpful.

To me, your guy doesn't sound so awful. We are all flawed. It's hard work to take care of a relationship. It takes two. You're upset with him because he's not doing his part to take care of your relationship. Are you doing all you can to take care of it?

As I read it, weight is only part of the issue. Attitudes and habits have slacked off over the years. I guess I wouldn't worry about being interested in other men down the road. I'd concentrate on loving myself and my husband today.

My guess is your husband isn't asking you to be who you were in your 30s. Make an effort. Watch an action movie with him. Fix a healthy meal for the two of you, but don't draw attention to it. Find small ways to make him want to come home. Find small ways to keep yourself motivated. Come here. Internet shop and find something that matters to you (for me it is those cute patent leather heels). Then, don't buy them until you've made and kept some goal. It doesn't have to be weight related. Maybe it means you reach out and attempt to make a new friend. Maybe you walk 5 out of 7 days. Maybe you make an apology that needs to be made.

Another thought occurs to me. And, it's the hardest thing for me to write because it sounds patronizing. Honestly, it isn't. It works for me.

When I'm in a place that I can't see the good around me.... then it's time for me to look for a way to think of others. School is starting. Take the staff a healty treat. Find a few books you love, but have more than one copy. Take the extras with you and leave them somewhere with a note for the finder to enjoy the books. On the web there is a site where you can track who finds your books. (You ask them to log their find at the website and then leave the book for someone else to find.) Buy some flowers for your dinner table. Put a small pot of basil in your window sill and love it. The idea is to look outward for ways to help, instead of inward where we continue to hurt ourselves with non-productive ways to help.

One other thing, I'll mention just about the weight. I can't say enough how much I'm enjoying this website and FitDay. I've learned so much in the last three weeks and I am so excited by it that I am certain that my life is changed forever.

Please stay strong. Look forward. Do something helpful for yourself or the ones you love.

Beth
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Old 08-19-2008, 10:59 AM   #3
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Thank you Beth ! I couldn't agree more with all that you suggest. I spend a lot of my days helping other friends (penpals I mentioned) get through their obstacles, and well, I just feel drained and needy I guess. Oddly, now that I think about it, the fight occurred last night with my husband (which I innitiated) after spending a whole afternoon nursing emotional wounds from a penpal going through a breakup. How ironic.

I think my husband is a wonderful person, even though he lacks expression of affection, and I hear you about taking the steps to show my love and appreciation toward him regardless, before I ask for it from him. I know that principle, it's just that sometimes we lose sight of our higher impulses. I know you understand. Thank you .
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Old 08-19-2008, 11:03 AM   #4
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I have made an observation about how I need a shift from within to happen so that the weight can come off. I figure I'm just too Zen in my middle age . I have grown away from vanity. This proposes a problem, as likely for many middleaged and mature women. My 'zen' is detachment from the weight. Vanity is at war with it. So against my mature nature, I have to get the vanity going, and ignore the zen. I know it's complex, but I think I've made a discovery about myself.
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Old 08-19-2008, 11:31 AM   #5
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I'm not always very good at typing nebulous thoughts but I'm going to try.

I believe one of the stages of a long healthy marriage is a change from both of you caring for young'uns to ... doing something else. I suppose it fringes on empty nesting.

While the children were young and needed care DH and I did this together. We cycled in and out of primary and secondary caregiver, support, co-support of each other etc.
As the children became more independent, we became less needed and had one less thing in common. And caring for children is a 24/7 endeavour. That's a lot of emptiness to fill. And in your case, your husband may be finding this differently worrisome from how you perceive it.

What's our focus supposed to be now? I, too, picked fights. I think I wanted him to tell me what to do with the rest of my life. Or what he expected of me for the rest of his life. Or what he was planning to do so I could come along

We're learning that we can be happy along side each other. We don't have to be doing the same things. DH often says "I just want you there." I read while the ballgame is on. I can knit in front of the TV. I've been to one of his games and a tournament. I don't like ball but the social environment is fun for a change.
I can't change him, so talking about eating and exercise ... I do here.

If you can imagine that our lives are revolving wheels .... ours overlap a little. The best I can do is respect that overlap, try to make it pleasant. If I'm happy, the overlap time is much nicer.
My outlook is like a transparent overlay of DH's (or vice versa) enhancing or clouding. Never independent.

I'd like to make a profound summary statement but it's all too ephemeral, this happiness thing.
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Old 08-19-2008, 02:37 PM   #6
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Hello Hermit Girl,

I'm not an expert on such things, but if I may make one comment on your original statement, "I would love to drop 45 pounds just to please him...". Don't go on a weight loss program, just to please him. It won't work, I know this from experience. This is something you must do only for yourself and for your better health. Decide on losing weight, not just so you look better, but because you want to feel better.

Take things one day at a time and don't be afraid to ask for an ear to listen.
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Old 08-19-2008, 03:05 PM   #7
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SusanB ~ I have no children, though my husband has grown children. He has had the empty nest syndrome for a few years now I think, since we moved into our new house we built, where perhaps I felt just plain unimportant while he sulked (his kids both went overseas right after college). I have felt very immature feelings of jealousy about all the consideration his college graduates got , but that's by the by. I have had to face up to either loneliness in the relationship or loneliness outside of the relationship, and out of core optimism, I choose to stay. We have a 3 year old GermanShepherd now, and she's as close to a kid as I've ever had. I am a totally focused dog mom.

I think my husband is just disconnected from emotions , in general, whereas I'm so emotional , typical maybe yes, and I just have to accept that. I have a few friends who give me support, and that's good enough for now, though I'd rather my husband to be my best friend, it just seems that's too much pressure on him as I'm so emotionally high maintenance.

All that said, I know the weight is the big obvious problem, and makes me moody and dwell in low self esteem , which turns into anger which kills romance. Probably typical for mid-aged relationships.

Like you I have to find my own SweetSpot, just co-existing next to the husband, not expect our relationship to be the whole infrastructure of his/my life. I am a very passionate personality and crave romance and creative expression, whereas he's a practical hardworking guy, who doesn't want to talk, think, or worry about things when he comes home. I need to find other outlets. So, I've got the creative endeavors I feel compelled to do. I just feel so sad all of the time when I go to bed and he stays up late watching tv, so, I suffer the usual hurt and rejected feelings middle-aged housewives feel, probably all to common.

I appreciate the analogy of the revolving wheels, and to respect the overlap. I get that it's about being appreciative of what overlaps rather than resenting what doesn't. I need to change over . The anger and resentment and self pity are likely innate problems within myself, and though therapy has helped in the past, I need to just find tangible outlets to focus my passions toward. Craft and music are mine. I use to love to bicycle commute, and will do more once I lose weight and it is more enjoyable (we live on top of a mountain, not easy). I appreciate your effort to share and teach about your Bliss. Thanks SusanB
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My goal weight is now the weight that puts my BMI out of 'obese' range , into just overweight, and I'm fine with that.

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Old 08-19-2008, 03:07 PM   #8
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Hello Hermit Girl,

I'm not an expert on such things, but if I may make one comment on your original statement, "I would love to drop 45 pounds just to please him...". Don't go on a weight loss program, just to please him. It won't work, I know this from experience. This is something you must do only for yourself and for your better health. Decide on losing weight, not just so you look better, but because you want to feel better.

Take things one day at a time and don't be afraid to ask for an ear to listen.
I know better than to try to lose weight for another person, my mom always advised me to do such things only for myself, so I fully understand. I am fit , though fat, so I feel pretty good anyway, I just haven't found the surge of passion to be slender and fit. I know it will feel heavenly, and I am so close to feeling that shift within myself. It *does* help one hundred percent just to come on this forum and talk with you all about it. Thanks so much.
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My goal weight is now the weight that puts my BMI out of 'obese' range , into just overweight, and I'm fine with that.

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Old 08-19-2008, 03:36 PM   #9
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I have gotten into fight with my husband over some insignificant thing, and it went straight toward the issue about my weight. Doesn't it always?
I dont have much to say..... others have said it better, and while I am married we don't have kids..... so that is a bit different....

I just wanted to comment on this statement.....

My husband and I have been married for Thirteen years labor day and we have had our arguments.... although I can say we don't "fight" per say we do have an argument every so often.... usually because he doesn't think I help out enough around the house or spend to much money and usually he is right.....

BUT

in all of our years together, 18 total.... he has never ever ever once mentioned my weight.... and whats funny is the other day I commented about how I wanted to join the gym and that I needed to be careful so I didn't feel uncomfortable and he was like why would you feel uncomfortable? its like he doesn't even see it..... and that was shocking to me....

my husband on some level knows how sensitive I am about my weight and he must know that him mentioning it would hurt more than anything else.....

I think discussing weight in the context of a marriage is one thing.... he only mentioned it once in the course of a discussion about my health (after my very serious accident) and that was it.... never again.....

You're comment above makes it seem like you believe that saying hurtful things about someones weight in the course of an argument is normal..... and to be honest I don't think it is.... in my mind it's mean.... and it's meant to hurt....

just my two cents
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Old 08-19-2008, 04:04 PM   #10
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36paws ~ I guess I wasn't very clear that I am always the one who instigates the arguments, and when I say it always leads to the weight, I should have said that it is I who often targets it. I am the volatile confrontative one. My husband is very polite, and usually doesn't say anything if he doesn't have something nice to say. Not to say he's like your husband who seems to be attracted to you regardless to the point of seeming not to notice, I know mine notices and is disappointed in the fact that I've gained 50 pounds since he met me 14 years ago. It is in his actions. Actions speak louder than words in my philosophy. We were an activity oriented couple, into backpacking and mtn biking, and I know he admires the slender athletic outdoorsey woman, though he doesn't gawk at them or anything.

It's just me targeting the obvious issue, because ignoring the weight as a contributing factor to our disconnect, is like ignoring an elephant in the middle of the room. Just my opinion, not a matter of what is normal. Thanks for your imput
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My goal weight is now the weight that puts my BMI out of 'obese' range , into just overweight, and I'm fine with that.

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Old 08-19-2008, 04:42 PM   #11
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36paws ~ I guess I wasn't very clear that I am always the one who instigates the arguments, and when I say it always leads to the weight, I should have said that it is I who often targets it. I am the volatile confrontative one. My husband is very polite, and usually doesn't say anything if he doesn't have something nice to say. Not to say he's like your husband who seems to be attracted to you regardless to the point of seeming not to notice, I know mine notices and is disappointed in the fact that I've gained 50 pounds since he met me 14 years ago. It is in his actions. Actions speak louder than words in my philosophy. We were an activity oriented couple, into backpacking and mtn biking, and I know he admires the slender athletic outdoorsey woman, though he doesn't gawk at them or anything.

It's just me targeting the obvious issue, because ignoring the weight as a contributing factor to our disconnect, is like ignoring an elephant in the middle of the room. Just my opinion, not a matter of what is normal. Thanks for your imput
I guess I misunderstood what you said.... I am sorry.... so then my question for you is

are you sure it is the elephant in the room???? or even if you lost the weight would there be another elephant??? I think that weight can be the obvious .... and is an easy way to cover up other issues because it is right there.....but I guess I wonder if there are other issues that are really being hidden by the weight which is the easiest one to blame..... but really in a good relationship wouldn't really matter ..... I always think that when I see two 80 year old people walking down the street.... or my MIL and FIL who are older now.... they are not there because they find each other so incredibly sexually attractive.... there is something else..... that transcends beauty and weight.....

just my two cents
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Old 08-19-2008, 04:49 PM   #12
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36paws ~ Well, I guess for *me* the problem is almost entirely the xtra weight. Funny thing is, now that you've brought it to my attention, I *feel* completely unnattractive inside when I am overweight, so I percieve others thinking me unattractive, so it perpetuates... probably, good guess anyway. I have this saying that I love : "We see the world through our own eyes", meaning that how we feel about others and their perception of us, is mirrored by how we percieve ourselves. If I feel attractive = I *am* attractive, and so forth.

Perhaps the elephant that I'm ignoring is that I think I can accept it, live with it, but project on to my husband that it is unacceptable (and poor guy, he's just trying to eat his cheerios, and go to work...heh, heh). In short, yes, I agree, there's always much much more underneath the surface. I keep thinking when I feel the shift to acceptance about myself from within, and love myself without judgement, then I will feel it from the world, then the pounds will literally melt away because I won't need them anymore. How's that?

So now, how to get that shift thingie going....
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My goal weight is now the weight that puts my BMI out of 'obese' range , into just overweight, and I'm fine with that.

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Old 08-19-2008, 05:01 PM   #13
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ya know that lady that is a size 24 or 26 at the beach in a bikini????

I have always said that i wanted to be her..... I wanted to be so comfortable in my own skin that I could go to the beach in that bikini and not give two hoots what anyone else thinks.....

But shoot I was a size 4/6 at 5'9 and I couldn't wear a bikini comfortably.... I still felt fat and inhibited....

it's about us.... it's about us feeling comfortable because when we feel comfortable and attractive and sexy that is portrayed to the people around us.... and when we feel ugly and fat and unattractive that conversely is also projected....

seems like maybe the work is work you have to do.... and maybe that means going and buying clothes that fit and look good on you NOW and getting hair done, and putting on some make up and the things that make you feel good....
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Old 08-19-2008, 05:12 PM   #14
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36paws~ I was a 6 when I met my husband, race fit and riding with the men and beating some of them to the top of the trail. I am about a snug 14/16 now. I never have worn a bikini since I've known my husband, but that's not to say I wouldn't love to experience the liberation you talk about.

What you're saying about feeling comfortable vs feeling ugly, and projection, I think we're both on the same page, with slightly different words.

I just want to look and feel great without fashion and make-up, in fact, I can't even think of a single thing I crave in the way of a reward, but to fit back into my old medium gramicci drawstring pants. I was a size 6, but I'd even settle for size 10 now, happily, though I am vowing to buy only elastic waists now (something I've learned in my mid-age humility) I don't need to flaunt looks, I just want to be dynamite healthy au natural. That's what my husband likes, anyway, which is good for me, because that's who I *am*.

It's true though, the work to lose the weight is daunting, and stay focused without vanity is very difficult.
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My goal weight is now the weight that puts my BMI out of 'obese' range , into just overweight, and I'm fine with that.

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Old 08-19-2008, 05:22 PM   #15
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36paws~ I was a 6 when I met my husband, race fit and riding with the men and beating some of them to the top of the trail. I am about a snug 14/16 now. I never have worn a bikini since I've known my husband, but that's not to say I wouldn't love to experience the liberation you talk about.

What you're saying about feeling comfortable vs feeling ugly, and projection, I think we're both on the same page, with slightly different words.

I just want to look and feel great without fashion and make-up, in fact, I can't even think of a single thing I crave for but to fit back into my medium gramicci drawstring pants. I'd even settle for size 10 now, even though I am vowing to buy only elastic waists now (something I've learned in my mid-age humility) I don't need to flaunt looks, I just want to be dynamite healthy au natural. That's what my husband likes, anyway, which is good for me, because that's who I *am*.

It's true though, the work to lose the weight is daunting, and stay focused without vanity is very difficult.
my point is that whether its au natural or whether its heals and pantyhose that I personally have vowed never to wear....

sometimes i think it is easy for us to say
I won't get myself clothes that look good and fit right and make me feel good because I want to lose weight
and i think that is absolutely the wrong way to approach it ..... whether it be a haircut, or a new pair of jeans that makes you feel like you look good at the size you are now.... sometimes that is enough to give us the kick start we need.... because if we don't we just sink further and further into the not feeling good, and being sad, and being depressed about it... and feeling ugly and overwhelmed....

s
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