Let me start by saying that I'm still overweight. I'm 5'0 and weigh just under 150 lbs...but 5 and a 1/2 months ago I weighed just under 200 lbs. I've gone from a size 18 to a size 10 and a lot of my weight is from muscle, as I'm currently training for a 5k. My plan is to get down to around 125, which is a very health weight for my body type (yes, I'm curvy in the sense that I have a big chest and hips and small waist...but no rolls!). My husband is tall and athletic and I find him exceedingly attractive. We've only been married 3 years but honestly, I'd gained most of the weight while we were dating and before he proposed to me. Still, I've always known that he prefers thinner, fitter women and it has always bothered me that I wasn't his feminine ideal even though he fell in love with me for many of my other attributes. When I started reading this website it broke my heart because I knew that my husband probably felt the same as many of you, but was too kind to say anything. Of course, there are a couple of men on this site (no names necessary I'm guessing) who are disgusting pigs undeserving of a woman's love...but the majority of people on this site seem to be here seeking help in a desperate situation. I'm only writing this in case I can help someone else who's struggling, so I'm going to list what's helped me get to where I am today.
On Dateline they pitted six different diets against each other and the guy using Tom Nicoli's weight loss hypnosis CDs lost more (and kept it off) than all the others. I don't know *why* it works, I just know that it does...I listen to mine on my ipod at night, 3-4 nights a week.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: CBT can work miracles. It is the only talk therapy that's proven to achieve long lasting results with changing unhealthy behaviors such as smoking or over eating. If you don't have a CBT practitioner in your area, I suggest getting the book "The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain to Think like a Thin Person".
For me, my weight gain started with an injury that led to chronic pain and depression which only worsened as my weight went up and up. But don't get me wrong, I wasn't this thin athletic person before my injury, I've *always* had trouble with my weight. I would diet like crazy only to give up and gain the weight back, plus some because I had a destructive relationship with food and didn't know how to change. What's different about this time is the CBT. It retrains your brain so that your relationship with food is different. It is still *incredibly* difficult for me to lose weight. I have to exercise and restrict my calories, I have to give up a lot of my favorite foods...but the CBT helps me see the advantages of doing so. It's all about *choice*. Instead of thinking "It's not fair I *can't* have pizza"...we learn to reframe the situation "I really love eating pizza but I *choose* not to because I know I'll end up eating too much and feel sick. It's not worth it to me." It may seem like a minor difference, but how we think about food is key to gaining control over it. For the record, when I was fat(ter) I still loved my husband. I wasn't trying to be disrespectful to him or his love but not taking care of myself...and I wasn't lazy. Food was/is an addiction just like an alcoholic's relationship to alcohol, and yes, it often *is* biological. Try to forgive your spouse for getting fat. They probably aren't doing it out of spite and I'm guessing they aren't happy about it no matter how it appears to you.
Being fat sucks!
One thing I did with my husband was write him a letter telling him *exactly* how he could help me such as:
"give me hugs when you see I'm struggling"
"don't criticize me if I'm eating something not on my plan"
"give me attention when you see I'm making an extra effort with my appearance"
I also told him I'd need to spend some money related to my fitness plan and that he needed to be OK with that. I bought new work out clothes, bras, walking shoes (shape-ups), food scale, water bottles, etc.
Here are some things I've learned through my extensive research on the subject of weight loss:
Drink lots of water. I have a 27 ounce canteen and I drink at the very least, two of them everyday.
Get enough sleep, at least 8 hours a night.
The best exercise for fat burning is those that engage your slow twitch muscles...such as paced walking. Walking has helped me burn more fat than all of my previous expensive work outs (eliptical, kick boxing, step aerobics, etc.) that engage medium and fast twitch muscles that don't burn fat as much.
Weigh and measure your food in the beginning and log what you eat so you get a better idea of portions. Try to mostly eat stuff that isn't made with flour or sugar.
That's about it. I drink water, get a full night's rest, eat lots of healthy protein, fiber, carbs, and fat, walk about 4-5 times a week (only recently I've started training for a race).
What my husband has done to support me is:
Flirted with me, treated me like a sexy woman even before I got there. He noticed any time I made an effort (by wearing a coordinated outfit, curling my hair, putting on make-up, using sexy linger, etc.).
He was kind and helpful without being manipulative. He never compared me to other women. Never openly checked out other women in front of me or tried to make me feel jealous or threatened by another woman.
He told me repeatedly how much he loved me. Is appreciative of all the things I do for him.
Does some of the cooking and grocery shopping (healthy food only) and some of the cleaning so I always have clean pots and pans for making healthy dinners etc.
He doesn't order buttered movie popcorn in front of me when we go out to the movies. Doesn't bring home pizza or ice cream or other foods not on my plan.
Makes suggestions for us to do fun, physical things together, like walks on the beach or skiing.
Doesn't make me feel guilty if I want to take it easy and watch TV or read a book at night sometimes.
Builds me up in front of his parents and friends. Brags about me to everyone (but not about my weight loss because I've asked him not to).
I've read on here already that you can't MAKE your partner lose weight. They have to decide to do it on their own. I made the decision on my own, even though my main motivation was for my husband. I don't know if that would have ever happened if I'd felt pressured by him. I had to believe that he loved me first. Those of you who call your spouse a fatling obviously have no respect for your spouse and they are probably well aware of that fact. Don't feel that you owe yourself an affair...that is the liar's way out. If you have no love or desire for your spouse and have given up on helping them regain fitness...then do them a favor and be honest with them and get a divorce.
Thanks for listening!