Saturday, 10 April 2010

Serious questions

Debbie (the very sucessful Ex Yo-Yo Dieter) asked a couple of very prescient questions in her last comment on this blog. She asked whether my recent sucess coincided with my husband's absence and whether I generally find it easier to be "good" while he is away.

Regular, long-term readers will know that my weight and my husband are not issues that mix well. He has never been one of those guys who professes that my weight just doesn't matter and that he hardly notices etc etc. I used to read slimming sucess articles in various magazines and always marvelled at those husbands! Where were the ones who blame your weight for everything wrong in your relationship; who say they don't fancy you when you're fat; who call you greedy and lazy and who say that they might leave you if you don't lose weight???

Yep, I have been the woman married to that man and I can't believe that I'm alone in this. I'm not proud of it and he sure as hell shouldn't be either. That said, it all sounds very shocking when it's written down but those few phrases don't tell the whole story of a marriage so please don't all assume that he's the world's worst pig because of that. He is not, he just has a blindspot to do with my weight and doesn't cope very well with talking about it.

As I have got stronger and to know myself better we have learned to manage this issue between us. I hope he is coming to trust that I'm not going to pile the weight back on (hell, I'm only just coming to trust that myself!). And this is having the result of us being able to be more relaxed about weight, food, exercise etc. I'm coming to trust that, although he may, in the heat of a row, say horrible things about my weight, he is incredibly loyal and has been very supportive in that bloke way. So actions speak louder than words.

So, there's the potted history for background. Now to the questions.

Yes, D has been away for the last 3 weeks coinciding with the start of Bootcamp2010 and that was intentional. Especially when I'm just starting, it is very helpful to have a clear run at things, to be able to clear the fridge and cupboards and not juggle social life with gym or exercise. Now I'm on a roll and have achieved some sucess, it's fine to prioritise exercise and minimise drinking etc but I find it difficult to start that way.

I find it harder to diet while D is at home for the simple fact that there is more food in the house. Bread (which I seldom buy and leave in the freezer when I do) litters the kitchen for D is a chap who buys a fresh loaf every day and leaves the old ones to moulder until I throw them out!! Full fat milk. Coffee always made. The occasional packet of biscuits knocking around. Also, we eat supper together so I tend to cook more elaborate evening meals involving meat and potatoes when D's at home rather than the snacks and salads I will aim for when he's away. I know I can still have the light meals and salads and cook D something else or just not have the spuds etc. but the temptation is there and I inevitably succumb a bit more often!

When I'm on a roll as I am now, the psychological side of the D/weight issues question is not so prevalent. I'm currently in control and therefore there is no problem. The problems start when I'm falling off the wagon. When I can see D observing me eating stuff I shouldn't. Even if he doesn't say anything, I feel it. Maybe I'm making it up but maybe not. The net effect is that I either feel bad about myself and therefore more likely to retreat to food or defiant. It's a distorting influence.

I wish I could be more resilient but I suppose I'm projecting my own disapproval of what I'm doing onto D in a way to spur me on.

That's why I'm trying to be very clear-thinking with this Bootcamp idea. Full, objective accountability of what I'm doing in terms of weight, exercise and food intake so I don't rely on subjective "shoulds" and "oughts" and "good" and "bad". It's helping. I have to keep up with it while under the greater pressure that D's presence in the hosue inevitably brings!! Wish me luck.

After all that rather negative sounding stuff - we're going to go out for a walk now with the dogs in the gorgeous spring sunshine and I can't wait. He's not a bad old stick really... I just thought saying the unsayable might help some other women who, like me, aren't blessed with the supportive, blind-to-weight type of husband or boyfriend.


Claire said...

My ex used to be similar...told me in no uncertain terms that my weight was a problem for him.

This could have been a positive spur to drive me to lose the weight but in the end I ended up eating to spite him!

My point being really regardless of what anyone thinks or says losing weight is something we should do for ourselves....easier said than done some times (says the woman who was basically ordered to lose weight by the NHS!).

Lesley said...

Very true Clare and now I'm it doing for me and for positive reasons rather than out of fear, it's much easier and he's much more supportive.

Lesley x

Peridot said...

Ah Lesley, you know I can relate to this. Although P weirdly now sees me as slim (SO not true) - and I've noticed this is generally true. I had to lose quite a bit of weight before anyone noticed and now I've put some back on, I don't think they have twigged. It's like you're tagged in people's minds and it takes quite a lot to shift that.

But of course it's easier without him - eating is a social thing if there's more than one of you. And you have different stuff in the cupboards too. Without distraction, it's easier to just get your head down and stick to it. That's why I always moan about dieting not being compatible with an actual life!

Peridot x