Thursday, March 17, 2011

'I'm listening' turned me into 'I'm thinking' - he's a MOB

So... 'I'm listening' over at Married to the Band (who has an spectacular new blog look thanks to the amazing Jenny) asked a question that I found very intersting and really tough too...

He was talking about how Tessie Rose blogged about being so much happier now than she was in a picture from a year ago.  He questioned that as they’d been just as happily married then as they are now.  And …“She explained that the unhappiness was with herself and for the longest time it caused her to question most of the affection and love I had for her. Looking back....that really made sense...pretty enlightening information for me. Theresa can get up in front of a room and do a standup routine but wasn't self confident enough to truly accept things in a normal relationship as they were. Those days are gone. But what if you gained all the weight back now but the relationship didn't change? Would you revert back?“

That gave me pause

(that was me pausing)

I can only answer that as me – the person not quite half way to my weight goal.  The me who’s been overweight forever.  And I say – yes, I’d revert right back.  I’ve lost weight before, felt good about myself and confident about my place in the world (hoooo now – let’s not get carried away!)  Okay, more confident about my worth (that’s better).  But if I lose all the weight I want to and blossom even more fully into the person I know I am underneath all this stuff – and work out all my issues with all my relationships and am good and confident and happy about it all.  (understanding the normal ups and downs of life still fully exist.)  And then…. I gain it all back. Well, after I’d kill myself.  I’d hate myself.  I just would.  Not only would I have the comfortable hate (or at least dislike and strongly disapprove) of myself I’ve known and loved (or rather loathed) all these many years – but I’d have the added pure fires of hell hatred at what a spectacular failure I am.  I’m smart and if I know I’m a failure and I know I’m unworthy of this or that, and I know you’re smart – well of course I’d believe that you’d know I was a failure and unworthy too.  I could easily see myself believing those around me were just staying with me cuz they felt stuck or maybe just felt a profound sense of pity and didn't want to hit a girl when she was already so obviously down or however unworthy or icky I was didn’t outweigh every one of the feelings they might have.  It was close, sure, but maybe the scale tipped a little bit to my side (all puns intended).  But then I’d feel badly that they had to settle for something so unworthy… yadda yadda yadda.

So… my question is… Will that thinking ever change?

I’m not planning on gaining the weight back.  Of course I wasn’t planning on it before either.  But I have this thing now and I truly believe it’s gonna help me maintain whatever weight I lose.  So… Once I’m in a truly comfortable place – and in all honesty I’m not that far right now mentally – will I get to a place where I’m so confident that I’m insulated from those kinds of thoughts?  I just don’t know.  I’ve heard many of you talk about having to get your mind to catch up with your body – I wonder if it happens?  Or happens all the way?

I’ve talked about how my marriage is not completely smooth right now but these next comments don’t have a single thing to do with that…

My husband has a huge ego.  I don’t know if it’s a male thing or just a Brad thing, but it’s hilarious.  He’s the first to admit it - and quite proudly too.  He will say, quite often.. I’m the best fucking AE in the world.  That’s his title and when he’s had a particularly good conversation with a customer, there’s no doubt that’s the first thing he’ll say.  We all roll our eyes.  Yes dear, we know.  But he could gain 300 lbs and while he’d be mad at himself, it would just not affect how worthy or loveable he believed himself to be.  Maybe there is a number over which that’s not true, but you get my point.  What I’m trying to say is – I don’t think he’d ever have the feelings I described above.  Ever.  No matter what he saw in the mirror. 

He’s put on weight in the last decade or so, but maybe it’s because he didn’t grow up that way?  Or is it a societal man/woman thing where the value on appearance is so much higher for women than men?

I realize I’m rambling a bit here – but… what do you think about this stuff??


Kristin said...

When I lost weight in my mid-20s, I felt just like you described - confident and just thrilled every single day. Then when I gained it all back it was all the more painful because I remembered how great it was when I was thin(ner). Did you ever read, "Flowers for Algernon?" I felt just like Charlie, and I thought of that book all the time.

My brother sounds a lot like your husband - suuuper confident whether he's thin or ... less thin. He was an athlete in high school and college and didn't start gaining weight till he took an office job. He's also gained and lost, but his confidence is sky-high. My sister-in-law always says he has more self-esteem than anyone she's ever met.

See you SUNDAY!

Theresa aka Tessie Rose said...

Pull up a chair...Seriously, I know that my husband can't wrap his head around this, he really can't, because although, he can see that I've lost weight and he's very complimentary, he was very complimentary when I was miserable with myself and he always told me he thought I was beautiful and how attracted he was to me, and it truly is my state of mind that has been the problem, my inability to beleive that I was truly worthy of his love and praise, because I felt so broken, so less than I knew I could be. I have lost significant amounts of weight many times and each time I put the weight back on plus some, I lost a little more of my confidence, a little more of the me that used to be. And, I'm afraid to say, that if History is correct, and it usually is...I would revert to those old feelings, just like I always reverted to my old ways of eating. Oy! In any case, I know some women who have really great self images, but nothing like men. My husband is so funny, one day I was looking in the mirror and just picking myself apart, he said "you know when I look in the mirror, I see Kevin Cosner!" We had a laugh, but it's true, he generally feels pretty good about himself. We could learn a thing or two from those men. Great post Read!

Jen from Oregon said...

Dang! A real thinking post! I think my head is going to explode. (in a good way)
I've never lost before prior to the band so I haven't had any ups/downs.
I don't think I have gained confidence with my loss so far (yet) so I would feel the same I think. I am working on that. It is hard work.
I am hoping it helps move me forward to where I am chasing my own dreams again and feeling worthy but those feelings are more of my core and not so much related to weight.
Great post.

I'm Listening! said...

It's a girl thing for sure.
I'm Bond....James Bond.

Theresa aka Tessie Rose said...

Hey what is MOB? I'm slow!

Drazil said...

See? Someone else makes you think too! I agree with you about the man/woman thing. Rambo could lose some poundage but it doesn't bother him or his ego or self esteem....and let me tell you - it makes me jealous. To matter what - he knows he is fun and loved and will have a good time and on and matter what he weighs. How does that even happen? *sigh* Must be the penis stick.

Beth Ann said...

Thinking is overrated!! :) Great post, Read!

Lee Ann said...

Great post Read. I've been thinking about this a lot lately too. I wrote my post today before even reading this (although you posted first). For me, it partially goes back to how my mom views weight, thinness, overweight, etc. I wonder, though, if she'd been "normal" (if there's such a thing) how or if I'd be different. Maybe I wouldn't put such a high value on it. But who knows. I think more is expected of women when it comes to appearance. I wonder if this is universal across cultures and time. Hmm.