What would you do if your efforts to feel positive were sabotaged by your husband? What if you had to choose between losing weight during menopause and losing the most important man in your life? Imagine the following situation…
Sarah was heavily overweight for most of her life. At the age of 55, and with a pre-diabetes diagnosis, Sarah came to me for advice and guidance on how to improve her health and perhaps shed a few pounds. Fast-forward six months and Sarah has lost about 44 pounds BUT may she be losing her husband in the process.
Working with successful businesswomen to help them gain control of their expanding waistlines as they approach menopause is an exciting and humble experience.
To see transformations unfold is rewarding and exhilarating. Women share their successes and downfalls in a safe environment, allowing them to achieve the body they are looking for.
Many women share similar stories as Sarah’s. Be it husbands, boyfriends, mothers or girlfriends, once a woman loses weight and get their hormones under control, not everyone in their lives may be celebrating in their success.
Sarah’s husband married her curves and does not want her to lose any more weight. This is despite Sarah sharing that she feels great, her pre-diabetes has been abated, and she would love to continue to lose another 40 pounds.
In my opinion, an Oedipus complex may be the crux of the issue here. His mother had curves and therefore he will only be happy being married to a woman with curves. I will not try to enter into this mind set mentality but I had to start with this point.
Second, Sarah’s evolution has progressed way beyond the physical. With a loss of weight comes a major shift in mindset. A lack of self-confidence may have led her to be grateful for any level of physical interest. This, in turn, may have propelled Sarah into a marriage where her husband dominated her. A new, confident and appealing Sarah may be intimidating for her husband who now is seeing his dominance being diminished dramatically.
In addition, Sarah may have once struggled with self-confidence to leave her marriage and “make it alone”. With renewed confidence comes risk taking and moving onto greener pastures.
I hear this from many of my clients. They feel like they settle for the clothes they wear just as they settled when they were the last to be picked in the teams at school. They then settled with a partner that may not have been their first choice but for someone who finally PICKED THEM.
A man’s interest in a woman is closely correlated with his own self-confidence in his position as husband. He may also have felt like he SETTLED for less due to his own lack of self-esteem. If no one else wanted him, will Sarah still find him attractive or take off to find someone else? He may have felt “safe” with her curves, believing that no one would try and steal her away.
With Sarah’s weight loss came increased self-esteem and confidence. He may have felt threatened that Sarah may leave him for another man.
Did the weight loss come with a new regime that does not include him? Where once they used to sit and watch television together, Sarah is now out for an evening walk or getting physical at the gym thus gaining admirers. Where is his place in Sarah’s new world?
Is this all Sarah’s fault for changing the goal posts? He married a woman with curves… and she is no longer the woman that he married.
Sarah – the first thing you need to do is delve deep into your reasons for losing weight during menopause. Have you had enough of settling? Do you want more out of life? Is it that you want to leave your marriage but are not willing to take the first step?
This is important, Sarah. Move on if he is holding you back. If he truly loves you, he will support you. If he sabotages your weight loss now, what else is he controlling?
Be true to yourself. Preventing the development of diabetes is a major step towards wellness. Exuding confidence and self-esteem is something that cannot be taught – it comes from within. Unfortunately, it is also something that very few people actually achieve. For this reason alone I urge you not to give in to your husband’s pleas to regain the lost weight.
The next thing you should do is encourage an open dialogue and make an appointment with a counselor. Pronto. He may be feeling insecure and, if you to stay with your husband, Sarah, you need to reassure him that, even though other men now find you more attractive, he should not feel threatened. Instead, he should be proud of any attention you may be garnering.
Along the way, include your husband in any extracurricular activities, such as walking, so the two of you can experience the benefits together.
While it is fine to have some curves (as opposed to being ultra-skinny), once your weight starts interfering with your health, action needs to be taken.
What would you do if you lost weight only to have someone close to you sabotage your efforts? I would love to hear you thoughts and how you handled the situation. What advice would you give to Sarah? You can leave your comments below and I will answer everyone’s questions.