Last year my husband and I lost a combined 130 pounds. He lost 80 lbs., and I lost 50 lbs. There are so many prefaces and things I want to say before I start this post (like this is a moment in time/I have a long way to go/weight is different for everyone/you’re beautiful no matter what size you happen to be/you never know what’s going on in peoples’ lives) but I don’t think it really hit me how incredible the loss is until I’m here typing it. This is our couples weight loss story. This post is vulnerable and not for everyone at this moment, so please skip it if you’re not in a place to read it. Throughout the past year, I jotted down some notes and experiences as I’ve been on this journey.
I had never set a weight loss-health related goal before. Maybe I’d think about losing weight around New Years like “I should lose weight” in a fleeting sense, but I never really put any thought or set goals around it.
Sure, I’ve tried just about every diet to lose a few pounds quickly. But I always found a work-around on a restrictive diet – Whole30, Atkins, South Beach, etc. Another example, gluten free…guess what, I can make you the best gluten free cake full of butter and sugar and chocolate (butter, sugar, and chocolate are gluten free and so is rice, and so is cheese and omg the list goes on). Want me to eat nothing but meat? Great, send some bacon my way! If I was supposed to restrict something, I’d just think about THAT THING until I hit x day when I could have it again and then I’d have way too much of it.
The diets worked, for a short period of time. Then I’d eventually stop them, because, life, and I’d gain whatever weight I’d lost back, and then some.
I’ve never been a “small” person weight-wise and don’t aspire to be one. I think people are beautiful no matter their size, and truly have never understood all the fat shaming that goes on. It can be hurtful, and of course, during the bigger phases I’ve had people make comments about my weight-all the way back in grade school when I got teased when I wore this beautiful bright blue sweater my dad had gotten me for Christmas and someone called me “the world” because I was so big that I was like all the lakes? I guess?
Or when a “healthy blogger” I met in person was telling me why this other blogger was so big because she didn’t make her weight a priority, just like I didn’t make mine a priority, and that’s why I/we were so big…um…never mind that it was mean girl stuff and that who cares what size a person is and why are you talking behind someone’s back? Even if there was truth to what she was saying, it was so awful the way she was saying it in a condescending way. Because you don’t know what someone is going through. Just a p.s., at the time I was on medication trying to get pregnant and it made me retain weight and feel puffy. I cried in the bathroom. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized it’s usually about the other person’s insecurities.
I’ve always had supportive family and friends, and always felt like I knew how to dress for my body shape and size and pose in pictures (kind of, awkward for sure, but that’s what people tell me). I’ve always loved food.
Weight is one of those weird things. It’s so incredibly individual. What works for one person might not work for another, even if they’re doing exactly the same thing.
It’s hard when you’re trying to lose weight and your partner seemingly isn’t, but does so anyways. I’ve come to realize that’s all internal stuff and has nothing to do with the other person. I’m so incredibly proud of and happy for Nick.
Here are a few of the hard moments from the past year:
- Even though he didn’t have a health goal, when my husband started to lose weight, it seemed so quick and easy for him. It was like he blinked and was 30 lbs less.
- I remember when his weight dipped below mine and I cried. He had lost 60 lbs and I had lost 37. 37 lbs down is a lot, it’s a toddler lol. I tried to think about perspective.
- When we moved in August, I was down 39 lbs and my husband was down 65. We were going through the coat closet. Last year around Christmas we realized my husband hadn’t bought coats in years. He had like 1 ratty old winter coat. So we in the fall I got him a gorgeous LL Bean coat, then he got a North Face winter coat and a some Carhart outdoor gear. All very pricey items. He tried on the coats and outerwear and it looked completely ridiculous. It looked like he was playing dress up in dads clothes. He was annoyed at all the money that had been spent. He asked if he should just keep 1 or 2, and I said absolutely not. He was annoyed and I was annoyed at him for being annoyed instead of in awe and happy. I mean yes, I understand how annoying it is that now he doesn’t have a coat, but really, I told him he should be so incredibly proud and happy that he’s lost so much weight. Plus I want this to be a forever thing.
- UGH -between August and October, I would go up a pound, down a pound, up 2, down 1, down 2, up 1, down 1 down 1. It was awful. I thought I wasn’t losing any weight, but it was snails pace, and a few months later it was cumulative down. It definitely goes slow slow slow sometimes.
- I feel like you can really see the change of shape of Nick as a whole, and my turning point like that hasn’t happened yet. Maybe it will, or maybe not. I’ve come to terms with it being different for everyone.
- Nick got a pair of jeans that was super small. But they fit so nice. He put them on and just looked like a different person. I remember tearing up. I didn’t want him to think the reaction was about him, so I went into the other room and called my parents and cried. It was so stupid I was so emotional about it. My parents were so sweet and reassuring that everyone is on their own path, and that weight loss for women and men (and every single individual) is so different.
- Ben came up to me and pushed into my stomach and said “mommy you’re SO squishy.” I jokingly laughed and said back to him “you’re so squishy” and he said “no mama, I’m rock hard and you’re squishy” and laughed.
- Weight loss with your partner – it can drive you mad if you’re doing different things. Nick weighs himself all the time. Like 6 times a day (I’m exaggerating…but am I?) And I only want to see the scale once a week, I go crazy if I try to weigh myself every day. But that’s the thing, what works for him is completely different than what works for me.
- I’m just sharing to show you that it’s hard sometimes, even with the most supportive partner, there’s stuff we as individuals need to work on.
- biggest success has been in portion control, not eliminating anything, just eating less of it.
- no in-between meals eating
- piece of dark chocolate instead of looking for a dessert after a meal
- Before you eat, ask yourself this: I read somewhere that if you feel like you want to eat, to ask yourself if you’re actually hungry for food or something else (like if you’re frustrated at work, you want a hug, and that is triggering you to want comfort in the form of food etc.)
- Portion control: Try to eat a little less. I’ve also read somewhere that what you eat is 80% of weight loss.
- German saying: I was talking to my mom (who is German) and she was asking me what I was doing, and I was telling her I wasn’t doing much, just trying to eat a little less, and she said it reminded her of this German saying that goes, “Fress die haelfte,” which means loosely translated, “eat half (of it).” However, in German there are two words for eating: essen (to eat for people) and fressen (to eat for animals), so…it’s a little more tongue in cheek than just eat half.
- Start small and write it down: you don’t need to set crazy goals, but you do need to have some kind of goal, that you write down. My goal was lose 52 lbs (1 lb a week) and do some kind of movement/exercise 30 minutes once a week.
- Special equipment myth: You don’t need any special equipment if you want to move a little bit . Literally you need zero equipment…I googled a free yoga workout and did that in my pjs in the bathroom one day.
- Movement/exercise app: I heard about this free app iphone app called Workout For Women. It can be overwhelming because there are 5 million resources, this one is nicely laid out and not too intense. They have a program called ‘the daily 7’ and it’s 7 minutes a day.
Food/portion control tip: separate a big bag of chips/pretzels/snack mix into single servings/little containers – there’s some psychology behind the likelihood you’ll stop sooner or eat less by the act of having to open each bag vs trying to stop yourself after getting going on the whole bag.