He used to post his progress on a Subreddit for people trying to lose weight, but he doesn’t anymore. When he started trying to get in shape, he weighed a little over 350 pounds. He told me all about his plans and his goal weight and how he was going to do it, and I could feel a little piece of me die inside. I wanted him to be successful because I loved him, but I knew that — at my weight, about 280 pounds — a fit and attractive boyfriend would not stay with me for a long time.
I’m sure you’re thinking, “Why didn’t you just lose the weight with him?” And for a while, that’s exactly what I did. But I knew that between my compulsive eating, my medical problems (yes, there are actual problems that contribute to weight gain or retention), and my depression, it wouldn’t last long. And it didn’t. I hurt myself during a class at the gym in front of all the fit people, and comforted myself by ordering half the menu at Chik-Fil-A and eating it in my car while listening to talk radio. It wasn’t pretty, and I had to Febreeze myself before I walked in the house so that he wouldn’t know where I was or what I was doing.
When I started to fall off the wagon, I knew that he had to, too. I started cooking nice dinners and guilting him into eating them because I “spent so much time cooking them.” (I would load them up with butter and cream when he wasn’t looking.) I brought bad foods back into our cupboards that I knew he couldn’t resist. When we had our scheduled classes at the gym, there would always be something extremely important that we had to go to. It only took about three weeks for him to be done with the weight loss, to abandon his online journals and stop talking about it to friends. Now, he’s back on his side of the couch, eating takeout Chinese and watching TV with me.
I know this makes me a bad person, and I know that you are going to hate me for it. I would hate me, too. But when you have made a relationship with someone as a certain person, and with them as a certain person, if one of you changes — it’s over. No one says that it’s over. No one tells you, “I’m going to transform my life, and when I’m there, I will leave you.” It’s just what happens. The fact is that we are all with a certain kind of person because they fit who we are. They can relate to us, they can understand us, they can even make us feel normal (or beautiful). Being fit and slim in the eyes of the world is a huge change, one that makes you feel like you deserve more.
And maybe you do.
One day, I hope we try it again. I hope we can both stay on the wagon this time, and I don’t secretly fear that when he closes out his weight loss tab, he opens up a dating website to look for girls who are more suited to his new life. I’ve considered all the options I have, and one day I hope that I will change my life along with him. I’ve started to see a therapist, but it’s expensive. And let’s be honest, I could never tell her what I’m doing. She would hate me, maybe as much as I hate me. She would show me what I really am. And if there is one thing I can’t stand looking at, it’s a mirror.