I am Not Defined By My Weight - Part VI Marriage
This piece is Part 6 of a 9 Part Series called I Am Not Defined By My Weight, inspired by Rachel Hollis' book "Girl, wash your face".
Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have, and as I previously mentioned, mine was not the best. It was my mentality regarding weight that influenced my self-worth. I did not love who I was, and because I did not love myself, I could not accept my husbands love either (not in a real sense anyway). My negative self-worth created challenges in the beginning of my relationship and eventually reared it's ugly head after I had my daughter.
In the Beginning
My weight-loss journey started during my college years when I was required to lose weight to join/serve in the Air Force. When most people were gaining their freshman 15, I was losing it, plus more! I had about 25 – 30 lbs to lose to wear the uniform and it took me about a year to lose it.
Unfortunately, losing the weight did not solve the more significant issue at hand—emotional eating and food addiction. I rode the weight-loss train all throughout college, through my first duty assignment, up to current day (1.5 years postpartum).
In the beginning, I would do almost anything to lose the weight.
Severely restrict calories…
Sweat it out in the sauna for hours on end…
Spend hours on cardio machines…
I'd even binge and purge every once in a while...
The sauna and elliptical were not long-term solutions to my weight loss, and so, I would quickly gain back any weight I lost.
All it took was a stressful event, heartbreak, or a random craving that would send me over the edge into a binge fest of all foods unhealthy.
When He Becomes Your Motivation
When my husband and I first started dating, I finally found the motivation to lose the weight and keep it off (or at least I tried). My boyfriend was 30 lbs lighter than I was and I hated it! I started learning about clean eating, strength training, and how moderation was vital to keeping my weight in check. A year and a half into our relationship, we got engaged.
This put a deadline for when I needed to reach that magical weight.
I signed up for a myfitnesspal account and started tracking my weight and calories. For the next 14 months, my weight would decline with a few small increases here and there.
Then, on February 21, 2015, 12 days before our wedding, I weighed in at my lowest ever—168 lbs. I was only slightly heavier than my future hubby and figured it was adequate enough for us have a “happily-ever-after" kind of marriage.
During this time period, I believed his love for me was conditional. I thought the key to a happy (and sexy) marriage was to be similar in weight.
Then, six months into our marriage, I went through a really rough season at work. I was thrust into a toxic work environment in which I had very little time to take care of myself.
I started eating my emotions and gained 15 lbs in 3 months, damaging all progress I had made.
I felt unworthy of my husband's love and ashamed of my body.
How could I ever be intimate with him when I despised every single part of me?
Soon after, the Air Force gave my husband and me orders that would send us overseas to live as husband and wife, for the first time ever.