By Mary Ann Senatore-your friend in weight loss
Have you known people that use their spouse as the reason not to lose weight? I would like to tell you about a friend of mine named Lucy. She is one of those women who everyone says has a gorgeous face. Lucy is very overweight, and has started a new diet every Monday for the past three years that I have known her. Some of the diets work, and when Lucy gets to the point where her weight loss is noticeable, something happens that sabotages her progress.
She says the same thing all the time, that her husband doesn’t want her to lose weight. Lucy’s house is immaculate, she has two young children under the age of seven, she is a stay at home mom, and ten years ago before she was married, Lucy was a size 10. Lucy didn’t get married overweight; she gained weight when she had children. Can we all relate!
When friends get together for a girl’s night out, Lucy often wonders why she doesn’t get invited any more. Lucy will go to lunch with friends and there are always one or both children in tow, and very often during lunch her cell phone will ring with her husband asking how much longer she will be.
Lucy has been asked to be a bridesmaid in her sister-in-law’s wedding (sister of husband) and the wedding is 14 months away. Lucy is happy to be a bridesmaid but is very depressed about dress shopping.
I met Lucy at Weight Watchers. Lucy and I bonded over a lollipop which was dropped on my foot by her three year old. Lucy was embarrassed when the sticky, gooey, cherry lollipop attacked me, but the look of painful loss on her daughter’s face called for quick action. I removed the lollipop from my foot and turned to Lucy to ask if it would be ok to give the lollipop back to the child if I washed it off. Both Lucy and the child were delighted to see that there was life after the lollipop-foot interaction.
I asked if it would be ok if the child came with me into the rest room once the meeting was over. The child smiled and we all sat quietly until the end of the meeting. The child (Jessica) watched the lollipop as I held it. I don’t think the secret service watches the president with such intensity.
Once the meeting was over, we all walked to the ladies room, and as I ran the warm and cold water over the lollipop under the watchful eyes of Jessica, Lucy and I became friends. The weeks went by and each week we looked forward to our meetings. We sat in the same place, we exchanged recipes, we cheered each other on with successes, and we comforted each other with setbacks. Each week Lucy was at the meeting with either one or both of her children, so I knew her husband didn’t work on the weekends. He would take their son (Tyler) with him for some male bonding, but in the six months that Lucy did attend the meetings, Jessica was always there.
Lucy and I lost our first twenty-five pounds two weeks apart. We made a date for lunch once we both lost twenty-five pounds. At lunch, Lucy’s cell phone rang twice and she didn’t answer, but when the phone rang a third time, she answered. The conversation was brief as I heard her say that we are just about to pay the check. Jessica wanted to go to the pet store as we had done in the past many times before. The pet store is two doors down from Weight Watchers, and since they do not have any pets, the pet store is a fun place for the children. I have two cats, and will usually buy a toy or something special for my cats when we go, so the pet store became a place for us to enjoy.
Once Lucy lost thirty-five pounds, she began to miss meetings and finally she stopped coming all together. We stayed d in touch of course, and Lucy never stopped being supportive of my success. I would very often go grocery shopping after the meeting and Lucy would meet me at the supermarket and we would shop together, always with a child present.
Once I lost fifty pounds, Lucy was thrilled for me. We met for lunch at McDonalds because it was a kid friendly place. My daughter is grown, and Lucy and I are twenty years apart in age, but we have many things, including weight loss in common, being raised in Italian good filled families.
At lunch, Lucy said that she had to stop coming to the meetings due to the cost. Sadly, Lucy gained all her weight back. She seemed distant and we talked about silly things, but I knew something was bothering her.
Finally I asked what was wrong. It was then that Lucy revealed that her husband doesn’t want her to lose weight. He told her that she didn’t need to lose weight because he loved her just the way she was. He told her that he didn’t want her to change. He said that her weight didn’t matter and the she didn’t need Weight Watchers.
Lucy began to cry, and she said that she was angry at herself because she gained all her weight back. She asked me what she should do. My answer a question. Lucy, what do you want to do? Lucy said she wanted to feel better. She wanted her clothes to fit. She wanted to stop being the fat mom at her children’s school. She wanted to buy pretty clothes, and she wanted to have sex again with her husband. Lucy revealed that she and her husband had not been intimate in over two years.
All of this was familiar to me and I felt as if Lucy was talking about my life as well. I told Lucy I understood, and I couldn’t tell her what to do, but as her friend, I would support whatever decision she made.
I reassured Lucy that her body was her own, and as women we sometimes put ourselves second and everyone else first. As wives and mothers, sometimes we have to give ourselves permission to be a little selfish when it comes to our own health, and well being. It is only when we can give ourselves permission to be a selfish and put ourselves first sometimes that we can begin to do things for ourselves that we want and need to do.
To date, Lucy took charge of her life and has agreed to be a bridesmaid in the wedding in July 2010. Lucy and her husband had a long talk.
Lucy told her husband that the only way she would be a bridesmaid is if she lost weight and that she was going back on Weight Watchers, but to save the cost she would do it online. She told him that she loved him for saying that she didn’t need to lose weight but she didn’t want to walk down the aisle as a fat woman. She said the last time she walked down the aisle was when they were married and she was a size 10 then. She wants him to be proud of her as they walk down the aisle together again. Lucy also told her husband that she missed him in bed.
Lucy’ husband (Keith) said that he never knew how she felt. He said that he thought he was doing a good thing by telling her that she didn’t need to lose weight because he didn’t want her to think that her weight mattered. So far Lucy has lost her first ten pounds and is flattered that I asked her if should mind if I wrote my May article about her because her story is no uncommon.
It is easy to find excuses not to lose weight. It takes courage, strength and determination to take control of our own lives especially when it seems like control is almost impossible. I hope you will support Lucy as your have supported me and one another on our weight loss journey.
Lucy, we’re here for you!