My husband. I think he's got it.
He got on the scale the other day, something he rarely does, and is still shocked at the number-- his highest weight was 406 (that I know of, since I've known him), though he was not at his highest when he started this (more like around 370). He's do down to 332, which he probably hasn't been since his late teens. I'm a bit pissed because he's passed me and now weighs less than I do, but that's another story. We have a bet running of who can get under 330 first. Today he put on a pair of pants he has not worn in a long time and he is swimming in them-- they are at least 2 sizes too big.
Yesterday was a major lesson for him and I think that lightbulb is finally going on in his head.
We went out with the kids to see Toy Story 3 (loved it-- cried though). We then went for pizza-- the good NY style, not the crappy kind that tastes like you spray-painted the cardboard. It's not a food choice we can indulge in a lot, but still reasonable, we agreed, as long as we were able to be careful the rest of the day, it was a nice little treat.
Well, we have not eaten "white carbs" in weeks, because I noted how addicted we both are to them and he has been good about staying off them as per my judgement. We just have not kept them in the house- only 100% whole wheat bread (no corn syrup or hidden white flour), brown rice, etc. not even cereal.
So eating the pizza yesterday unleashed the beast. Every person who has every struggled with weight issues knows what I am talking about-- that little beast deep down inside that sniffs the air, smells the junk food, rises and roars and begins to pound your brain with relentless thoughts, demanding feed me! feed me! feed me! More! More! More!
Now in the last few weeks, he has had to settle for just one chicken breast or one potato or 1 cup of cereal when he is used to more, and for the most part he has been dealing with it.
Not this time. The beast's tenacity in his head was almost blinding, making him want to binge. Making him want to buy and extra pizza and eat half of it. Making him want to snatch slices off the plates of his children and chomp them down in two massive bites and stuff pizza and bread and food down his throat until he was filled to the brim. He had to step outside as we finished our meal.
It scared him. He said he doesn't know if he'll ever be able to go back to eating white carbs, at least not on even a semi-regular basis; maybe real special occasions. Definitely not for a long time again, not until he's lost more weight and gotten a better grip on the new habits. And most definitely not to have it just lying around the house.
Now that he is somewhat "detoxed" and out from under the influence of these white carbs, he finally seems to be realizing that these white carbs and high fructose corn syrup/high sugar foods are dangerous to him; that they have a powerful drug-like effect on him. Now that he's away from them he is able to step back and understand just how much they have done to him-- always kept his hunger high and appetite huge, always prevented him from truly "tasting" and enjoying other foods (I swear, I think they dull your taste buds), always kept him thinking he could not possibly live without them and that it was better to be morbidly obese than to live without them.
And finally, he's not making excuses. He's not taking the "food's side" this time. He's not saying, "I know it's bad for me, but what are you going to do? I'm hungry, and this is what I eat."
Previously I have described his relationship with food as a Romeo & Juliet thing-- as if they were two star-crossed lovers that everyone wants to keep apart. And that even if he has to keep away from it, he's always secretly thinking about food like, "My dearest, I love you, I shall count the hours till we meet again."
And now, it's like Romeo is looking at Juliet, disillusioned, thinking, "Wow, you are so not the woman I thought you were."
He's also realizing that, Yes, Virginia, fat is not a permanent state of being. Yes, it is possible, even for someone so thick headed, to lose body weight. And, yes, it can even be done without giving up human food entirely and surviving on rabbit food. He's starting to realize what a "real" portion is, compared to "his" portions-- and more importantly, to realize he doesn't need "his" portion size to be satisfied. He's starting to realize that healthy food can mean lasana, rice & beans, burgers & crispy baked chicken with cole slaw (what we are eating tonight). It doesn't have to mean deprivation and dispair and loss.
By George, I think he's getting it. This actually leaves me having to pick my jaw up off the floor because, Goddess love him, as good a husband and dad as he is, these kinds of lessons just don't easily seep through that thick skull. And they finally are.
Great now I am crying. Not only for him... that he might be able to prolong his life and be healthier, but for me.
Because he used to be a huge sabbotage of my attempts. He'd keep bringing foods I can't handle into the house. He'd eat them in front of me. When I would have weak moments, he thought he was actually helping me by offering me food. Because he thought instant gratification was such a good thing, he thought he was doing a good thing by telling me "Eat. Come on. I'll buy you Oreos. I'll go get you McDonalds. Don't sit here miserable, just eat." I began to worry that I'd never be able to do this living with him, and that my kids were doomed to have the same outlook and, with our genes, inevitably suffer the consequences.
So he's on board... he finally "gets it," which means the light at the end of the tunnel just got a whole lot stronger..