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I have been married 28 years to the same man.
Nevertheless, one day a couple of months ago, I woke up next to a dieter for the first time in my life.
My husband had suddenly transformed–for the first time in my 30 years with him–into a calorie-counting, exercise-obsessed, dieting fanatic.
Ok, maybe that isn’t quite fair. 🙂
I have to tell you…this is a challenge for me! I came out of all of that. I was rescued from an unhealthy obsession. The same one I now see consuming him. If I had any doubt, I knew he had contracted the disease when one day he went to the gym, came home and watched football, plowed through a boatload of bean dip and chips and returned to the gym for a “two-fer.” Back in my dieting obsessed days, he called that “Bingeing and Purging” by using exercising for purging.
So how is this affecting me?
I am struggling!
We can be in the middle of enjoying a meal and he throws out numbers about the calories he is ingesting and the calories that the elliptical trainer at the gym reassured him he was burning. I remember this math madness that consumed me each meal.
Sure, I am thankful he is concerned about his health. He was at his heaviest ever and has now lost about 20 pounds.
When you put together his obsession with the fact that I am facing a difficult trial right now, I must admit…I am being sucked back in as well…I have been on a scale more in the past 2 weeks than in the five years previous! I, too, have lost weight. As great as that sounds:
I know this isn’t healthy.
Something is wrong. But my stomach hurts most of the time. I know it is anxiety. But my diet-obsessed husband (who has never dieted in his life, but has lost weight using the Thin Within approach) continues to affirm my weight loss. Don’t get me wrong–I haven’t been particularly overweight, really. Just at the higher end of what is reasonable for me. I am healthy, playing tennis multiple times each week and doing other aerobic activity a couple of times each week.
I remember those days…where losing weight–changing the outside–was so important that I didn’t pay attention to what it was costing my soul, my spirit, my mind…
So I press on. Asking God to help me find balance…find a way to live with a dieter without being sucked in…to rescue me again.
Do you have any thoughts about this? I would love to hear from you. How do you stay free from obsession when people you are with and care about are dieting obsessed?