01 November 2006

P Minus 10

Happy Samhain, or All Souls Day, as it now happens to be. I did not pig out on candy, though I did buy a bag in preparation for the 6 trick-or-treaters who came by a day early. I do not understand the whole concept of Halloween-on-a-day-that-is-not-Halloween, but I will save that rant. I now have less than 10 pounds to go to reach my target weight, and that is what I wish to write about today.

My stated and immediate reasons for starting this little dieting journey were health-related. Those were certainly the catalyst, but I've come to the realization that there's another reason I'm doing this. I'm also shedding the baggage of my relationship with S. When I reach my target weight, I will be about 5 pounds above my weight when I started dating S, and I may well go on and lose that additional 5 pounds, as all of it was a product of that relationship.

You see, when S and I started dating, we both gained a fair amount of weight fairly quickly. This was most likely a product of my love of cooking and his love of all things starchy, but the weight eventually became a physical manifestation of emotional baggage - largely that which he was dumping on me. S had a problem with fidelity, as it turned out, and in the end, the relationship was based pretty much on his lying while he fooled around behind my back for 4½ years. When he dumped me a year and a half ago, he claimed that all of it - the cheating, the dumping, and basically everything in between - was because I wasn't hot enough for him. Because of the weight gain, of course.

Now, he weighed just as much as I did, had gained as much weight as I had. And he'd basically undermined every attempt I'd made to lose weight by throwing temper tantrums when I tried to cook healthier meals. He also threw temper tantrums if I tried to listen to any music that wasn't Bach while he was home and ignored me if I tried to talk to him while Bach was playing or Law & Order was on TV and was generally not an easy person to live with. And even though I am a fairly self-reliant and self-confident person by nature, this took an emotional toll which made the weight loss even harder. But it was still ultimately my fault, in his mind, that he was cheating.

So I've come to realize that losing this weight is, in part, ridding myself of the weight of that relationship. Not long after I started dieting, S e-mailed me with details about his refinancing of the house - the last major step in disentangling our affairs. At the end of that e-mail, he expressed a wish to resume being on speaking terms. I took a few days before responding and then, as civilly as possible but in no uncertain terms, told him that how he had treated me was abusive and that his actions were his own doing and were no fault of mine. I also told him that unless and until he could fully own his actions and quit trying to rationalize or excuse them, I didn't feel it was in my best interest to have any contact with him. I've not heard anything from him since.

Now, I will say that I don't believe that S is completely bad. He was certainly nowhere near as awful as Franklin's Mr. Ex, and though he did some pretty awful things in our relationship, I do still care for him and do hope that he someday learns to deal with his own baggage. Still, ridding myself of the emotional and psychosomatic baggage he saddled me with has been wonderfully liberating, and I look forward to seeing the rest of it go.


Anonymous said...

I first had contact with you before the end of your relationship with S, and the man you are now sounds completely different.

Congrats on the weight loss, but even more on unpacking the baggage and putting your stuff away.

Everyone has baggage, the lucky ones get to unpack it and use the space for something else in their life.


Anonymous said...

You're completely beautiful, Mel. The baggage is definitely dropping away, because the light's turned on--your eyes say it all. That can't happen when you're drowning in bullshit and Bach. When I got rid of my own version of emotional abuse (horseshit and halakah), I lost 40 pounds. I'd never been overweight before that, but the entire marriage was marked by that 40-pound emotional hazmat suit. What a relief to take it off and feel whole again, eh?

Anonymous said...

Congrats on finding a better, healthier way of living and thinking. You have really found balance and happiness, and what a wonderful place to be! The journey to find it is not always easy, but the destination is amazing. Have a great day!

JoVE said...

Congratulations on seeing clearly what has been happening and on getting to a place where you are happy in yourself and in a relationship with someone who is truly a partner. Your response to S. sounds like exactly the right one. Your summary of his behaviour made me think of this post I read the other day. Doc has some good principles in there that I think are similar to what motivated your response.


carrym said...

Congratulations on the weight loss, but even more on the baggage lightening. It is all too easy to buy into the negative stuff we hear about ourselves for some reason.

I, too, somehow got the blame from a gf (years ago with, ironically, an S as well) for her cheating and, get this, eating disorder. So know you are NOT alone.

Anonymous said...

Hooray for the loss of luggage! I think you handled S perfectly. Life is too short to spend it with people who don't have your best interest at heart.

FemiKnitMafia said...

Wow. Just give me S.'s address and I'll call The Feminist Mafia, k?
For your part, congrats on the weight loss and for coping with that relationship. You sound so sane about the whole situation.

Sheepish Annie said...

It is always startling for me to realize just how much the extra weight I carried for so many years had begun to define me. I know that I was a good person all that time. But I wasn't "me." Less of me has meant more of me, in many ways.

And day-am don't I look good in my jeans!! I defy anyone to tell me different. ;)

Great job on the weight loss. It is the hardest thing, but so rewarding!

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how shedding emotional weight often goes hand-in-hand with shedding physical weight. About the same time I decided to give up my pursuit of a Ph.D. (after 7 miserable years in grad school), I also began working to lose weight.

I remember my soon-to-be-former advisor commenting to me that I seemed "lighter," and not just because I had lost 40 pounds. It was a great feeling.

I'm glad you continue to shed the pain of that relationship! Ooh, if I ran into that damn S, I'll give him such a bitch-slap!

Anonymous said...

I remember when you were leaving S (we hadn't met IRL then but you and Sara had and that's close, grin). I think some of us were a little worried about you--you seemed down on yourself in a way that was so far from reality--but at the same time you seemed to know that it wasn't true. I'm so glad you're in a better place now. It's wonderful to see. It's not about weight, it's about happiness.

Anonymous said...

Damn. Your X sounds much like my X (or Psycho-X as my brother called him) with just a few of the details changed. Mine told me when I hit 98 pounds that my ass was getting big. Congratulations on shedding the physical and emotional weight!

Christine said...

Good for you! It must be wonderful to actually SEE a physical image of you dumping the crap you've had to deal with. Sounds like you're living in a good healthy relationship and treating your body good and healthy as well. The two go hand in hand.

Manipulative people really piss me off. There's a reason those people end up Xs. Cross them out of your life, out of your mind and get out there and LIVE!

Good for you!

SaraSkates said...

Most excellent! I first saw you in person when you were just leaving that whole relationship behind - and you sound so much "lighter" now - so yes, you are shedding it all! Emotional and physical baggage be gone...