My Body, My Husband



I am not usually a person who likes to call attention to anything negative about myself. It’s not that I don’t criticize myself internally for countless things; it’s just that I see no benefit in pointing them out to other people. So this post will be a departure from my usual ways while I try to express something that’s been on my mind for quite a while now.

I am five feet tall. As a teenager and young adult, I had a great figure and wore a size five. But with my first pregnancy, I was so excited about it and so anxious to “show” that I allowed myself to gain without even attempting to keep it under control, and weight has been a struggle for me ever since. I’d say right now I’m about sixty pounds too heavy.

When I met my husband, I had already had two children (one who passed away and another who was a toddler then, a young adult now). So Brian never saw me at my best. He first knew me as an chubby 30-year-old with an especially ugly vertical c-section scar. I was so in dread of him seeing my ruined body for the first time, but he loved me then and he still loves me today. He has never once called me a name (not even passed off as a joke), made a cutting remark, or suggested a diet. He accepts me exactly as I am, even though the aging process is contributing even more unattractive components to my physical self.

But so often, when I’m alone, about to step into the shower, I catch sight of myself in the bathroom mirror and I want to say to him, “I’m so sorry.” I’m not anything so nice as “curvy;” I’m misshapen with a rear end (formerly my favorite body part) like a wad of chewed bubble gum. Brian’s usually not home at the time of morning when this happens, so I have thoughts of emailing him or calling him to apologize for myself.  I don’t do it only because he’d scoff and tell me I was crazy and point out that he is imperfect as well.  But you who are not involved, I hope you can understand me. This mirror-moment is not a moment of self-pity or of me wanting him to assure me that I look fine. I really don’t look fine, and I know it, and for the man who made a promise to be intimate with nobody else but me, I am sincerely so sorry that this is the body I have to offer him.

Some of you, right now, are yelling at your screen, “Then DO something about it!” I know; it sounds so simple, doesn’t it? I feel the exact same way when I look at people who can’t manage their houses—oh my gosh, how simple is it to keep up with laundry, take the trash out and make the bed? It’s easy! Or, hmm, maybe it’s just easy to me because the effort expended leads so quickly to a consequence that gives me great enjoyment. I like to look around and see a tidy house, so I clean up. Maybe some people feel great after eating a salad and climbing the stairmaster, whereas I’d just be irritable and exhausted.

So it seems pretty clear that I am not naturally drawn to being a gym rat, and i’m so far past my prime now that if I were single, I’d probably just buy myself some big ol’ clothes and just say “forget it!” But I care about Brian and what I am to him. I know he loves my heart and soul, but shouldn’t it be worth any amount of sacrifice and effort for me to put them in a prettier package?  I often think about this: if anything (God forbid) were to happen to him, I know my emotional makeup well enough to know that the first thing I would do is lose interest in eating, and all the weight would drop off. If I could do it then, why not do it while he’s alive and with me to enjoy it? I also sometimes think, (not that he would, but) suppose he got himself a girlfriend. The stress, the anxiety, the maddening fear of “what’s she got that I ain’t got” would have me wearing out the treadmills all over town. So why not do it now, before something like that happens? I don’t understand it myself.

I’ll end with an anecdote from a TV show… it may have been Dr. Phil from a while back. There was a husband who was just slightly overweight, but his wife was absolutely livid about it. It was brought to her attention that he had eaten a doughnut at work, and I was shocked at how infuriated she was with the poor, hapless guy. Her face suggested that she hated and was utterly disgusted by him. “How could you do that?” she demanded. When I try to get into that woman’s head and understand what was the huge deal about a doughnut, the only comparison I can come up with is to think how I might react in a financial crisis. If we were flat broke, desperate, counting every nickel, and Brian came home after making some fairly innocent but totally unnecessary purchase, I might feel a bit like the doughnut wife. It’s not the doughnut that counts…it’s the idea that she was trying so hard to move him in one direction and he deliberately went in the other one. It made her crazy.

So I’m wondering if I could refocus my thinking somehow…to get myself to believe that every calorie is important…not in and of itself, so much, but in relation to the direction I want to go. I’d like my husband to be not just content with me, but excited about me. Proud of me, even.

I do have one bit of news to share: this fall, I expect to be a participant in a clinical weight loss study, using an experimental drug. Sounds scary, I know. But maybe it will be a good thing. Comments are welcome, and prayers even more so.



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15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Helene
    Aug 14, 2014 @ 02:45:04

    I love your honesty here. I don’t want to tell you that it doesn’t matter, just do it, or that its easy. But I do want to say that the self-control that keeps your house clean is the same skill that will help you manage your weight if that’s really what you want to do. In the meantime remember that love is far more than the mirror sees!


  2. Heather
    Aug 14, 2014 @ 03:13:58

    Really well written. I did the exact same thing with my first pregnancy and yep, have struggled ever since. I am about thirty pounds over where I really should be to be healthy, but more of a struggle for me is just the fact that I don’t eat as well as I should. I try to think of the verse that talks about the two becoming one flesh in marriage and relating that to the fact that I how I treat my own body has an immediate effect on how my husband’s body might also be treated. He needs me to be well and be here. I’m working through it…slowly.
    I’m a new follower and happy to be reading along. :)


  3. smoorefitness
    Aug 14, 2014 @ 16:37:25

    This is really well written! Your sounds amazing and sounds like he really loves you! You are a lucky lady…but I can’t help but notice that you only want to lose weight or get healthy for him, it wont work. …you have to do it for yourself! You have to do it because you love yourself and care about yourself! You can do it and I’m sure you will! I just started my blog to motivate others and keep myself accountable, follow me so we can motivate each other! I just started an at home workout program that is only 30 minutes long and comes with color coded containers for portion control….which is my biggest problem! I hope everything works out for you!


  4. Sweet-Water-and-Bitter
    Aug 15, 2014 @ 08:40:19

    Thank you all for the comments. About self control… I don’t actually feel that I overeat in general, so it’s probably more a matter of forcing myself to exercise than eating significantly less. Exercise…blehhh! Heather, thanks for following, and that’s a good thought about the one flesh. Smoorefitness, I will go and check you out!


  5. Laura Connell
    Aug 15, 2014 @ 12:59:23

    This is really sweet. I do believe we need to give these things to the Lord. Our bodies belong to the Lord not to our husbands or even ourselves. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 changed my whole outlook on my body image. I’m a new Christian so I’ve been completely transformed by verses of scripture like this one. It does make a difference to come back to the Bible and read it as a child with new eyes. After I read that verse I got rid of my television and magazines and stopped going to malls where they display images of perfect women. We only think our bodies are bad when we’re comparing them to something else. So getting rid of those images completely as far as is under my control was my way of “doing something”. I exercise now for health and good feelings. The minute I start exercising to look good for someone else I stop because I know that is the wrong reason.


  6. outstandingbachelor
    Aug 19, 2014 @ 21:59:46

    Best wishes in your efforts.


  7. Sarah Ann (@faithalongway)
    Aug 22, 2014 @ 02:19:12

    I LOVE this post! It is honest, it is vulnerable and you just shared the thoughts of women everywhere. I completely understand, having been overweight almost my whole life. About a year and a half ago, I realized I wasn’t happy with myself and couldn’t keep up with life, I’ve lost 20 pounds and look and feel so much better. I had to come to a point to wan this for me alone and not for someone else. Don;t go crazy with change and try to change over night. It is a process but God can and will give you the self-control in even the weakest moments to change. Thanks for sharing with the Saturday Soiree Blog Party!!


  8. Sweet-Water-and-Bitter
    Aug 22, 2014 @ 09:21:00

    Hi Sarah Ann, and thanks. Even since I wrote this, I got some lab work done that tells me it’s time to get serious for the sake of my health. I may not be able to participate in the clinical trial now (due to elevated liver enzymes) but either way there’s about to be a change around here. Grocery shopping tonight!


  9. Trackback: Saturday Soiree Blog Party #7
  10. Cathy
    Aug 24, 2014 @ 10:47:56

    Every woman has felt this way at one time or another. Your words are honest and real. Now that your health is a concern, make that a priority.. Get healthy with your husband. Trial drugs are not the answer. Once you start with a little exercise (like a walk) and watching the serving size, and eat great nourishing food, you will want to feel better and better. Small steps, healthy goals, it’s really not about the weight. Be kind to yourself like you are to everyone. You can do this!


  11. Crystal From Tidbits of Experience
    Aug 24, 2014 @ 22:21:27

    Wow.. I feel like I’ve met a fellow kindred spirit here. I wrote a similar post in my “Holey Granny Behind” post.
    My husband and I went to Nashville and in our hotel room were mirrors ALL over the room. I was forced to look at my naked body in the mirror a lot on that trip. I did say I was sorry to my husband, and yes, he reassured me of my looks being more than enough for him. I was no where close to convinced.
    It sounds like we should jump on this bandwagon together because you’re so right our husbands are well worth counting the calories and getting off our duffs and at the very least walking 10-20 minutes a day.
    Thank you for this wonderful post and putting it into a different perspective.


    • Sweet-Water-and-Bitter
      Aug 25, 2014 @ 02:25:47

      Well, I’m always on the lookout for kindred spirits! If that bandwagon will hold both of us without splintering, then let’s jump on it! :-) I am just about to hit the sack but I’ll come visit your site tomorrow. Thanks for visiting mine.


  12. Aimee
    Sep 09, 2014 @ 18:34:33

    “The Maker’s Diet” by Jordan Rubin has a lot of good insights into what nutrition we need for our bodies and why (plus a 40-day challenge), and I’ve heard a lot of good things about “Trim Healthy Mama” (both can result in healthful weight loss and maintaining a healthy temple thereon out and are by Christian authors). “Nourishing Traditions” is a cookbook/textbook about nutrition all wrapped up into one. Maybe prayerfully consider investing in some of these resources for good long-term health. The pharmaceutical industry is not necessarily interested in good health and long-term, preventative results. Sometimes it’s not specifically about the calories, but about what type of calories and how our bodies process them (example- calories from canola oil as opposed to calories from extra virgin coconut oil- the latter is far more useful/healthful for our bodies). The Bulk Herb Store (do a websearch for the website if desired) has an herbal product to help those who are headed in the direction of healthful weight loss. I share these as beneficial resources that have been a help and a blessing to many. While it costs to be a gym rat (and takes time to get there and back), walking is free.

    Finally, it’s not for our hubbies- “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God.” I Corinthians 10:31

    May the Lord bless and help each lady considering this journey! Got to go beyond considering, however- one must take the first step and keep going.


  13. Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage
    Nov 06, 2014 @ 04:40:07

    Before you try a clinical trial, look into Trim Healthy Mama! Lots and lots of ladies are having success. I’ve lost some weight and am just getting started again. or check out the facebook group. Real moms losing real weight and sometimes lots of it in a sane, healthy, way. Only required expenditure is $35 for the book.

    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage


  14. Tricia
    Nov 10, 2014 @ 02:52:49

    Please look into Trim Healthy Mama! I have been on it for 5 months and have lost 55 pounds! It is not a fad, but something you can do for the rest of your life!


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