I don’t believe men and women can truly be equal until I can lose weight as quickly as my husband.
Three weeks ago, my husband and I decided to actively start losing weight together. We’d experienced pregnancy cravings together and gained the baby weight together, so it seemed only natural we’d make losing the weight a team effort as well. A mistake I’ll never make again.
During the first week, I had to keep reminding him we were actually on a diet.
“Uh, Rob? What’s that?”
“We can’t have sugar!”
“Oh crap, I forgot,” sip, sip.
Go ahead and interchange “mocha” with some other forbidden foods like “deli sandwich” and “donut they’re giving away at the front desk” on constant loop and now you know my life.
Meanwhile, despite constant distractions from my diet half-assing husband, I was diligent. Focused. Everything that passed my lips was counted, weighed, allowed. I thoroughly enjoyed my 9 months of pregnancy and 6 months postpartum, now was the time for sacrifice, health, cleansing, overcoming cravings! But more importantly, being able to wear my clothes again because my maternity nursing tank and capri sweats were wearing a little thin. I was a focused fat-burning machine, confident I would reap my reward on the scale. Hallelujah!
After our first week, it was time for our weigh-in. I noticed Rob was looking a little thinner. “Can you tell if I’ve lost weight?” I asked my husband. Sure, it’s a dangerous question for the both of us, but I could swear my underwear felt looser.
“Not really. It’s still early yet babe. Can you tell if I have?”
“Nope. Too early, I guess,” I said through thin lips. Okay, so I wasn’t charitable. I’m only human!
I got on the judgmental piece of machinery first. It flashed slowly in bright blue eventually revealing what I lost — one pound. We both pep talked myself. “Yeah, okay — a pound is great! We just got started, that’s a great pace!” Blah blah blah. I had assumed I would lose 10-30 pounds of water weight, but whatever, a loss is a loss! Rob got on the scale — 8-frickin-pounds.
He was dead to me.
I had gone from eating cheese popcorn until the orange stain was tattooed on my fingertips to eating arugula with a squeeze of lemon and all I get is a pound? I have to remind Rob he’s even on a diet and he drops weight like he has mono?! Is there no justice in this world?
And believe me friends, the hits just kept on coming. Next week, I lost 0.3 lbs. Rob lost 4. The following, I lost 2, Rob lost 3.3. To make matters worse, he is allowing himself “cheat days” (an option on the plan we’re following), so as I’m bitterly eating a hard boiled egg, he’s preheating the oven for a pepperoni pizza.
But then I quietly remind myself: this isn’t about numbers on a scale, this is about health, well-being, cleansing, spiritual growth, and feeling comfortable exposing my bat wings under the summer sun.
I’m a naturally competitive person, so I’m not surprised I made losing weight a secret competition with my husband — a battle I was going to lose from biology alone. To mentally get back on course, I’ve taken the emphasis off “team” and accepted we have similar goals, but we’re playing two different games. I’ve also accepted that weight I slowly gained over the course of a year isn’t going to fall off in 10 days like melted butter (but if anyone knows how to do that safely and healthfully, please email me later).
Anyone spending time on social media knows — fat shaming is out, body acceptance is in, so I hate to be another drum in the chorus, but truly, life is too short to obsess over this crap. Sure, I want to get back to my healthy size, but all the shame and disappointment and unrealistic expectations just hurts the spirit — my most authentic, dazzling, and dare I say, attractive asset. Besides, I read once that Mother Teresa didn’t walk around complaining about her thighs, she had shit to do.
So, as my competitiveness wanes, I tell my husband regularly not only do I notice his loss, but he’s looking pretty darn hot. The best news is, I love him at any size, but when his butt looks this good in jeans, we’re both winners. I guess it’s a team effort after-all.
And for the record, my underwear is looser.