Last week, I wrote about bullying and divulged some hurtful personal experiences to my readers.
I seldom talk about those things. It’s hard. I dislike reliving them, but the fact is they never go away, so I end up reliving them whether I talk about them or not.
Still, I’m unsure who the stories hurts more, me or my husband.
You see, my husband is a big, strong, tall guy. He’s sort of intimidating – and he knows it. He has used this to his advantage in several situations, particularly when it comes to “protecting” his family.
When he looked at my column last week, I could see him wince when he read the stories of the bully boys humiliating someone he cares for so deeply. When his reason returned after calming himself from wanting to rush out the door to hunt the boys down, he made the confident statement, “Well, at least it doesn’t happen as much anymore now that you are writing this column, and people are starting to know who you are.”
It was as much to make himself feel better as he had hoped the statement would make me feel better. It seldom works that way, though.
He just doesn’t see it because people tend to steer clear of me when he is by my side. In fact, the taunting and nasty comments continue in varying degrees wherever I go. So when I told him that no, it still happens, and in fact, I had experienced a situation just the day previous to our conversation, he became visibly agitated. He’s unaccustomed to feeling helpless and being unable to protect those he loves.
My husband can’t win. He’s my biggest supporter when I tell him I want to lose weight, and he’s my biggest enabler for helping me keep the weight on. It’s not his fault. He does exactly what I tell him to, which is usually something different each day.
One day I’ll tell him, I’m going to start my diet so do not let me eat anything that’s bad for me. The next day, I’m demanding a whoopie pie. If he tries to do what I told him the day before by saying, “Um, honey, maybe you shouldn’t have a whoopie pie,” then boy do I let him have it. The worst part is, he knows it’s coming, because it’s the same vicious cycle we’ve (I’ve) been stuck in since we started dating 18 years ago.
My reactions to him doing exactly as I instructed range from an evil glare to an all-out bawling fit with accusations of him not loving me anymore because I’m too fat, or him trying to control everything I do. Inevitably, he gives in. I mean, what else is he supposed to do?
Honestly, the poor guy. I’m unsure how he’s put up with me for all of this time. He really does care about me, and I believe him when he says that he loves me just the way I am – fat and all (he doesn’t put it quite like that). In fact, he knows that the way to my heart is less with flowers and more with chocolate, which is why he likes to bring me home treats from the grocery store.
Our relationships with people close to us can help or hurt efforts of us heavy people to lead a healthier lifestyle. We truly are creatures of habit. It’s one thing to try and change our own habits, but how do you change the habits of those around you who are accustomed to big weekend gatherings with all kinds of yummy food, or who are used to hitting the drive-thru with you on your commute to work, or who like to bring you candy bars or ice-cream as a treat to enjoy together while watching television at night?
If the answers to these questions were easy, we’d all be doing what we needed to by now. It’s simple to come up with a solution, but less so to incorporate it into your life. Let’s be realistic. You and I cannot change the habits of others, nor should we attempt to. What we can do is focus our energy on our own goals when it comes to health and stop relying on others to do it for us.
At least, if I embrace that philosophy, that will give my husband a break from trying to protect me from myself and those evil whoopie pies.
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