Replacing Me

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. 


Author: Regina Bartlett

Regina Bartlett is a blogger and speaker from the gorgeous Rhode Island coastline where she spends her days with her amazing husband Jeff and their combined family of six adult children and two very tiny adorable chihuahuas. She’s active in her church, sings on the praise team, and is amazed every single day at how God has totally changed her life. Formerly 425 lbs she’s battled her weight for 30 years until RNY Gastric Bypass surgery in December 2014 where she lost 250 lbs and gained a new lease on life. She wants to share with anyone who thinks that they MIGHT be interested in surgery and knowing the real truth behind the surgery since there are a lot of misconceptions and fears. Deciding that she needed a challenge to continue with her weight maintenance she decided to embark on running the NYC Marathon in 2016 on Fred’s Team for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Like so many people, her life has been touched by people affected by cancer. Discovering that her friend of over 25 years was diagnosed with breast cancer she had even more inspiration to run. On November 6, 2016, she completed the grueling 26.2 miles through all five boroughs of New York City and realized her 20 year dream of completing the largest marathon in the world. This blog will travel with Regina as she laces up her shoes and continues to challenge herself while sharing stories of her life and the people who have been an influence on her over the years. You’ll find stories, recipes, crafts, photographs of the wonder that is Little Rhody and countless photos of her tiny pups Sid Vicious and Taxi Fitzgerald. TL;DR: Wife, mother, writer, avid crafter, lover of Jesus and tiny dogs everywhere with a story to tell. FOR BOOKING INFORMATION please use the contact form below or email navigatingweightloss@gmail.com. Thank you!

6 thoughts on “Replacing Me”

  1. Regina

    Another amazing post! I’m still trying to change the messages in my own head my husband also is very supportive in this journey and I struggle to see myself the way he see me. But I’m working on it.

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