One of the odd things about weight loss is how the world responds to you. Those that knew me at 425lbs are always shocked when they see me today. Also, people who know me now and then discover how much I used to weigh are equally shocked. I’ve written about this before, the feeling like I’m trapped between two worlds. People see me differently but I’m still very much me. People will often make comments and pleasantries that I know aren’t made to offend… but often do.
For example, the more common phrase I heard while losing weight was directed at my husband: “Watch out! She’s really beautiful now!” My husband would always say: “She’s always been beautiful, inside and out.” People have made other “jokes” about me potentially replacing him.
As much as I know these are supposed to be lighthearted compliments, they strike a particular chord in me. It makes me feel like since the way I look changed that my heart for my husband would change. That somehow I would want to seek better because I’m perceived as looking better. It devalues us, our love, and the strength of our relationship which is based on a love of God and one another NOT on the size of my jeans.
Another reason I’m particularly sensitive to this subject is because my husband is an alcoholic. When he first quit drinking one of our friends asked me if I was sure I was okay with him stopping drinking. I said of course! She then said:
You have to understand that when he quits he’s going to leave you.
I felt like I was kicked in my chest. Did she really just suggest that he was going to take off his beer googles and discover who he’s really been dating all this time!
I know she was probably meaning that when people get sober they often have to change environments and not return or old patterns could surface. However, it took me months to stop thinking that I was this 400lb beast he was unaware of all this time. What didn’t help was that for the first few months we were dating I was questioning it myself courtesy of low self-esteem! I was just at the point of believing this fairy tale like relationship was real and BOOM!
It was actually his alcoholism and his determination to get sober and stay sober that allowed me the ability to see my food addiction in full light and have the confidence to face it. Ultimately, we wanted to be better people for each other.
We’ve bonded over our struggles and grown closer in our faith as well. We were together many years before we were convicted to follow Christ and it was through His love and our love that we’ve grown deeper and closer in all of our relationships.
Weight loss brings about a lot of change and only a couple are physical. The mental and emotional changes are huge. The changes in your relationships on all levels are significant. Many people get divorced on the heels of this process but I’m convinced that it has more to do with the foundation of the relationship and not just the weight loss.
My husband has always seen my heart not just what wraps around it. There’s absolutely no replacing a love like that! For the past nine years and every size imaginable I’ve always felt like the most beautiful woman in a room to him. I’m and humbled and grateful for every day I get to spend with this amazing man and our enduring love.