He sat on the sofa eating his fries, sipping his beer and licking the grease from his fingers after each chicken wing.
“C’mon babe,” he said, trying to entice her by shaking his carton full of fries, “just have a couple fries.”
“Nooooo, I can’t,” she protested, mixing greens on a plate next to her grilled chicken breast. “You know I have to lose weight or I can’t have my surgery.”
“Well, don’t expect me to be eating rabbit food. F@*^ that!” He retorted, taking a swig of his beer for effect.
This was the scene I watched one evening on a show called My 600 Pound Life. The show documents the journey of the morbidly obese as they prepare for gastric bypass surgery and how their lives have changed post surgery. With this particular lady, her husband seemed to feel very threatened at the thought of her weight loss. He did whatever he could to sabotage her from reaching her goals. Can you believe on the way home from the hospital after her surgery, he wanted to stop for fast food? After her gastric bypass surgery, she joined a gym, a weight loss support group and ended up losing over 300 pounds. Her husband by this time had become resentful, and she described their relationship as roommates rather than husband and wife. What kept her from throwing in the towel many times and going for that double burger with super sized fries, and pints of ice-cream each night was seeing the joy her weight loss brought to her daughter. This lady said being able to take her little girl to the park, pushing her on the swing, and riding bikes together was the best feeling she had ever experienced and was not about to return to a life of being immobile and stuffing her face with donuts. Weight loss brought her freedom, mobility and more importantly a renewed relationship with her daughter and herself. This feeling tasted a lot better than donuts. While she was falling in love with herself, she was falling out of love with her husband.
The relationship with her couch-potato husband also evolved, but for the worse. Overtime, he became angry, spiteful (eating pizza every night in front of her) and she observed, began to become more overweight and sedentary himself. While sabotaging her goals, he was becoming obese. When she encouraged him to go on walks with her, he merely scoffed. These two were becoming very different people and she didn’t think their marriage would out-live the year. I had to agree with her. Clearly, now that this woman went from potato chips to kale chips, her spouse was no longer on her team.
I think that when you are changing for the better, but those around you want you stuck in your same destructive patterns, it is because they don’t want to look in the mirror at themselves. They want no part of self-reflection. This man was a junk food addict and he needed others as a cushion. By surrounding himself with like-minded people, he could live his lifestyle without accountability. Although this guy was a bonafide jerk, I truly felt sorry for him. He seemed so stuck in his bad habits that I could see deep down he was miserable. He was terrified of changing for the better, so he didn’t want his wife to improve the quality of her life. I think the most difficult hurdle the folks who undergo this drastic lifestyle change face is not having the support of their family and friends. I observed through this show just how vital support is.
Refusing that slice of cake, glass of wine and fast food take-out on a regular basis, and saying yes to steamed broccoli and fish can be difficult when you have become a slave to the fast food industry. However, with your own mental strength and resolve, plus the support, encouragement and love from people in your life it doesn’t have to be.
Quote resource: http://www.livelifehappy.com