My wife Casey and I have never officially been on a diet together. Without fail, throughout the course of our marriage, one of us would lose weight while the other person seemed to gain it back. When we got married, I gained a nice, even 70 pounds. Meanwhile, Casey went down in weight so she could be happy in her wedding dress. After we got married, I dropped my 70 pounds rather quickly. Casey went on an anti-depressant medication and gained weight.
This pattern has continued to exist the entire time that we’ve been together.
It’s as if we are perpetually stuck on separate sides of the scale. One goes up, so the other has to go down. No matter what we do, we can’t lose weight or gain weight together.
We have both done many, many diets. We’ve tried the fab diets, the just eat good foods diet, the eat whenever you want diets, the no-carbs diet, and the shakes diets, but we’ve never tried any of those diets together at the same time.
Until now, that is.
When I got back from running The Walt Disney World Marathon, I decided to take a break from exercise for a full month. It was well needed, as I’d run a half marathon and two full marathons within a year. So why would someone need to go on a diet right after marathon training? Because it’s easy to over eat while you’re training. The running takes so much energy that it became simple to have a quick snack before a run and then a meal after the run, and eventually that quick snack before a run became a meal all in and of itself. I was essentially eating one extra meal per day. While there wasn’t much weight gain, and the weight gain happened slowly, I still ended up being heavier than I wanted to be by the time my training was over.
Casey has been battling her own demons, and her reasons for wanting to go on a diet are her own. In the end, we both wanted to drop some weight at the same time, and, for the first time, we hopped on the same diet together. It’s a no-carb, no-sugar, reduced calorie diet that has us extra hungry at certain times of the day. The lack of sugar and the lack of carbs has a tendency to cause us to crave things like pizza and chips.
What we’ve learned as we’ve both been suffering through hunger pains and cravings is that while there can be strength in numbers, weakness can happen in numbers as well. And children really prefer that there only be one parent dieting at any given time.
Our two daughters have been struggling to understand why we don’t eat the same things that they’re eating. My nine-year-old Addie is probably hoping that one of us would give up this “eating healthier” quest due to the grumpiness that seems to currently prevail throughout the household. It’s tough to be in a good mood and get excited to get down on the floor and play with kids, when cravings seem to dominate your every thought.
The first week of our diet, we remained strong together as we suffered. We each seemed to take turns playing with the kids. Encouragement came from mutual empathy. But the second week was a whole different story. Eventually the peer pressure and grumpiness became too much, and when one of us fell, the other was quick to follow.
We are both off the main part of our diet now, and our dieting paths will separate and go their own ways. Hopefully for the first time in our marriage, we can maintain weight loss, or at least a steady level of weight, instead of hopping back on that scale only to find that we’re repeating our old patterns once again.
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