Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Weight and Marriage

As predicted, all the schools were cancelled. It turns out I would have had Mabel home today anyway because she woke up with a fever of 101.5. I think she caught the cold I'm now recovering from, but if this fever doesn't go away by tomorrow I may call the doctor.

I was also not meant to go work out this morning. Between the nasty weather and Mabel waking up at 5:30 in utter misery, motherly and household duties came first. However, in between taking temperatures and giving Tylenol I did manage to most of my stability ball exercises. And my getting to work preparations was a workout in itself. Shoveling was quite the exertion with all the heavy, sleety junk on my front steps; my upper body got quite the workout scraping all the thick ice off my car; and walking in that sloppy, thick, slippery snow/sleet was an exercise in balance and control. It wasn't an extended cardio workout, but I definitely wasn't lounging around in bed like some people in my house!

Anyway, enough martyrdom. I made it to work and doubt I'll see/hear from many people today. The whole region is pretty much shut down and most people will be busy digging and scraping themselves out today. I pity the florists today, attempting to deliver Valentine flowers to people on these dodgy roads. I reminded Hubby this morning that he needs to call his florist, because he had scheduled flowers to be delivered to Mabel at school today, and that has to be rearranged.

As for my Valentine's Day, we'll exchange cards and gifts, but the big meal will be Saturday in Pittsburgh. I had to snicker at Vickie's comment yesterday:
"Your husband would TRULY buy you candy? Has he not been paying attention????"

I'm pretty much 100 percent sure he got me candy because I saw a box of my favorite kind poorly hidden (sitting on a shelf in an open paper bag) in the den when I was cleaning it a few days ago. I don't know if he'll wait until Saturday to give me the candy or if he'll deliberately torture me by giving it to me today.

As to the question of his paying attention, he hears me, but I don't think he can fully understand where I'm coming from. I tell him the metaphor of giving an alcoholic a bottle of bourbon or a recovering smoker a carton of Marlboros for Christmas, but he must think I'm exaggerating or joking.

I think Lori got close to the truth of what's going on in her post yesterday on Angry Fat Girlz:
"Edward Abramson, Ph.D., author of 'To Have and To Hold,' notes unhappily married women gained an average of 42 pounds in 13 years.'A man often wants his wife to stay fat even as he tells her to lose weight,' says the University of California at Chico psychology professor. 'If she stays fat, it's OK for him to be fat,' or keep up bad habits."

Hubby has never told me to lose weight; he has been as attracted to me at 208.5 as he was at 280, my highest weight in my regain after I met him. So I can't say he gives me mixed messages, i.e. "you should really lose some weight/eat this chocolate cake with me."

I think my weight loss makes him anxious. As Lori said so well, "We're going in another direction. It might be frightening to see that and wonder what the status quo is in our relationship." My body is changing, which means my mind might be changing, too. And what does that mean about my feelings for him? Are they changing, too?

I don't know if it's a common phenomenon everywhere, but I remember even as a kid my parents and their friends talking about some woman losing weight, and the immediate reaction was to wonder if 1) she was having an affair or 2) would soon be on the hunt for a new man.

I guess it ties in to what Lori also mentioned in the AFG post, that according to one British study, weight gain during marriage = contentment. Which would correlate to weight loss = marital discontent. As for me, it's a toss-up: I started losing weight when I was utterly single and met Hubby after I'd already lost a considerable amount of weight (about 100 pounds from my all-time heaviest). Then I met, fell in love and got engaged to him, and by the end of our honeymoon I gained 50 pounds back. Was that contentment? I always attribute it more to the stress and adjustment I was going through, but a little bit of it was the knowledge that this guy loved me and was physically attracted to me just the way I was, and even when I gained.

But I don't think I got back to losing weight because of discontent in my marriage. I was just getting back on track to tackling the issues I began to face when I was single. Granted, being married has added some new elements, but the crucial thing is learning new coping skills: facing and working through my emotions instead of comforting and numbing myself with food.

So, if/when I get candy, I have two options. I can thank him and put them away for the weekend, or I can give him the "don't buy me binge foods" speech again. I don't know if either one really helps the situation.

Just so you know, I managed to get through yesterday without any binge eating. At dinner I had a salad with lo-cal dressing, a small cup of baked beans, broiled salmon, steamed broccoli, and for dessert I had a small piece of bread pudding. I then came home and got into my dark chocolate and ate 7 pieces at approximately 260 calories. It wasn't the best eating in the world, but it was contained and not out of control. I still have some anxiety bubbling under the surface here, though, and I really need to get to the bottom of it and weed it out. Because I don't want to commit any Valentine's Day Massacres in my kitchen! I'll let you know what I figure out.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! (By the way, I have the title of today's post going through my head to the melody of the song "Love and Marriage": "Weight and marriage, ... go together like a horse and carriage ..."

1 comment:

Grumpy Chair said...

This was a great post Andrea.

I think it is hard on a spouse when the other one is doing a drastic lifestyle (healthy) change. There are misconceptions about women "if they say don't buy me anything, they really mean buy me something". So I feel bad for husbands this time of year, she said don't but does she really mean do? Will she think I think she doesn't need that candy if I don't buy it... etc. So I guess I would be forgiving if the hubby brought home candy.

I have asked my husband to not buy me chocolate candy because it triggers bad headaches. Plus, chocolate isn't my "drug" of choice (bread, butter, combo of cream and butter based recipes)and it just sits around with me eating a little everyday. Last year he didn't bring any home, instead brought home a beautiful flower arrangement. He has never told me I need to lose weight, even at my highest 201 pounds (I'm short 5'3). And for keeping his mouth shut, I love him even more.

I thought about you this morning when I was watching the today show and they showed Pittsburgh. Brrrr. Stay warm. Hope Mabel feels better. (I always was sick on Valentine's day as a little girl).