Am I being too sensitive about my weight?


#1

I am pregnant with mine and my husband’s 4th child. I have always gained alot of weight with my pregnancies and am trying very hard this time to control it, and doing a good job I think. I was about 10 pounds overweight still when I got pregnant (My baby was 11 months old when I got pregnant, so still hadn’t lost that baby weight). But I’ve gained about 10 pounds and I’m 23 weeks along.

Last night I was looking in a pregnancy book about how much I should have gained by now and it said 12-15 pounds, so I was kind of bragging to my husband. He sat there quietly, then said, “You’re 5’6”, right?" I said “Yeah… why?” He said, “Oh i was just talking to this girl at work and she is 5’6”. " With more probing, I found out it is his secretary who was a Florida State cheerleader a few years back, not sure if dh is attracted to her at all, I’m sure he would SAY no. Anyway, he said they were talking about their weight, how he wants to lose some. She shared with him that she is 133 pounds and would like to be 127. I was 150 when I got pregnant by the way.

For a bit of history, last February, we had a blow up that sent us to counseling when I was complaining about not losing weight fast enough and he sent me an email that was 5 pages long telling me that I wasn’t trying hard enough and that I owed it to him to be “hot” because that is what he married, and he founda marriage book that says a man has the NEED to have an attractive spouse. Needless to say, this didn’t do much for our marriage. In counseling, he never really said he should not have said these things, he basically thought he was right and had the right to voice his opinion. He did apologize for hurting me though. I got through it by offering it up and trying to see my losing weight as a ministry to him and to try to love him unconditionally and forgive him for the hurt. I guess I feel that it wasn’t truly resolved. I did work on letting it go, but those words are burned forever in my memory.

SOOOOO… one little comment last night sent me spiraling back down. I just feel like he compares me to other women all the time and I like to try to think that my weight doesn’t matter to him (I’m not obese or anything, and still fairly attractive, I like to think!) but every now and then, I’m reminded of how important this is to him. I don’t think I can give him what he wants/needs, at least while childbearing (which is also one of the reasons why I think he doesn’t want any more children after this one). I’m not a super skinny person anyway, and the only time I have felt like I was thin enough for him was when I was taking ephedra and got myself down around 130.

So where do I go from here? And am I over-reacting?


#2

[quote=Lone Catholic]I I have felt like I was thin enough for him was when I was taking ephedra and got myself down around 130.

So where do I go from here? And am I over-reacting?
[/quote]

if your husband expects you to take dangerous drugs in order to attain a weight he (not your doctor) has determined is optimal he has no concern for your health and welfare, and is shirking the principal duty of a husband. He needs counselling desperately, and so do you to learn how do deal with his attitudes and behavior. Since he won’t get it if you don’t get the ball rolling, start now. Your marriage is at stake. Personal conversations with secretaries, co-workers or ex-cheerleaders are neither professional or appropriate.


#3

He needs to lose some weight too, doesn’t he? Why not try going on walks together to get your exercising started :slight_smile: After you deliver your baby (Congratulations, by the way!!), you will be able to do even more exercise together.

Another thought–he told you every man needs an attractive spouse. Well, here’s a different spin on it–every spouse needs to feel attractive to the other. Although I don’t really know if *every * spouse *needs * that, it seems to make sense to me.

Have you gone to talk to your priest? You can’t go wrong there :slight_smile:

Oh, here’s one more little tid-bit. Babies of slightly overweight mothers are generally much healthier than those of malnourished mothers. Also, if you’re 30 pounds overweight, so what? If you’re 30 pounds underweight, you’re in trouble. A little extra weight is NOT something that should jeopardize anyone’s marriage. If I were pregnant, I would rather be overweight than underweight any day!! You’ll have time to diet and exercise later.

P.S. I don’t think you’re being overly sensitive at all–my feelings would have been hurt too.


#4

It sounds like there are several phenomena that are occurring simultaneously; that is, they are not mutually exclusive:

-you have, in fact, gained weight and not taken it off;
-your husband has noticed but has chosen a selfish, unloving approach to express this to you;
-you do sound sensitive about the topic of weight, albeit with reason to be. Wounds hurt when they’re re-injured.

The good thing about this forum is that we can get honest feedback from anonymous people, based on what & how we share. The drawback is that we can then dismiss anything that we read that we don’t like, saying “well, they don’t really understand the whole story anyway.”

My message is this (and it is meant in a loving, sisterly, c’mon girl-go-get’em, shot-in-the-arm tough-love Dr.Phil/Dr.Laura kind of tone):

The fact that (from what you shared) your husband needs a lesson in basic tact & manners as well as a lesson in how to be supportive should not be used as an excuse by you if you feel that you’re out of shape. Get fiesty, get up, and get goin’!

Did I cringe when I read what he said & did? You bet. I know how hard it’s been for me to get anywhere near the fighting form I was in before I got pregnant (my son’s almost 1 & I’m still 2 sizes bigger) and my husband is 100% supportive of me. I can’t imagine how hard it will be after our (God-willing) 4th!

Of course you want to check any exercise program with your doctor, but be honest: are you giving your husband your best “you”? Are there practical things you can ask him to do to help you, so that he knows you haven’t given up? (membership to a YMCA w/childcare; watching the kids while you get in a good round of lunges, etc.

While I agree with Puzzleannie about the seriousness of your husband’s attitudes, I just don’t think you want to use that as your eternal “excuse card”. (I am not saying that that is annie’s suggestion; I am saying that it’s possible that’s what could happen.) You can have a husband who needs to work on being a better husband while simultaneously doing all you can to take care of yourself, be healthy***(note: healthy does not = supermodel stick-thin, especially while pregnant or post-partum!) and be as desirable to him as you like.

Please post again if there’s anything I should clarify, or if you feel I’m way off base. I hope you can hear (read) that I think we all have been brainwashed from birth by unnatural images of female “health” and beauty; only you can determine what is the best image of health for you, and it’s not necessarily done by looking at a scale or pants size, and IMHO, not by taking drugs either.


#5

You need to stop pretending that things are not as bad as they appear. Your marriage is in jeopardy.

You need to get the ball rolling and get to a Catholic counselor as soon as possible.

Your husband is insensitive and hurtful towards you. He should not be sending you e-mails telling you that it’s your duty to be “hot”. The type of conversations he had with his female co-worker are totally inappropriate. He is giving you messages that something is wrong.


#6

Thanks everyone for your input. Let’s see if I can address a couple of things here.

Puzzleannie–while I agree with everything you said, and I definitely know my husband has a problem here, I am trying to focus, for now at least, on what **I ** need to do, in light of the situation.

CatholicSam–Your post made me smile! Thanks!

StephanieC–Your post definitely has some great points to ponder. You are not off base here, and I totally agree that I should not use the excuse of my husband’s attitude and not do anything about MY problem. This is what I am struggling sooo hard with. I don’t know what to do. You are right, I have gained weight and not taken it off, but it was not for a lack of trying. Having 3 babies in the span of 5 years is very very hard on one’s body! I think I have done rather well, considering. I think it is unrealistic for him to expect me to weigh what I did in college. When I say something to this effect, he says that is my saying I’m not willing to try, and just a defeatist attitude. I would be happy to be 140. I once said that if I could get under 140, I would be so happy. His response was that he thought 125 would be better. I nearly cried, because to me that seems like a total impossibility. Any time he makes a comment like he did last night, I feel like my spirit is crushed. I start feeling good about myself and then bam, he pushes me back down. My husband is a wonderful guy. He really is. I know that none of this is intentional on his part. He says that he does not have unrealistic expectations, that he just wants the wife he married. I say that, while I understand that, I think he is being superficial. I am the wife he married, and I do still look similar to that girl, but lets, face it, things change!!! Oh, and I am doing what I can. I get up and walk in the mornings before he goes to work and I do some weights also. I don’t just sit around eating bon-bons and watching the weight pile on! The hardest thing I have done is given up sugar (for the most part). I LOVE sweets! But I have noticed that keeping it out of my diet definitely helps me lose/maintain weight, and it has helped me immensely in this pregnancy so far. Anyway… I guess I just don’t know what I should do, how I should act.

Shannin–We probably do need to get back in counseling. We were going to a Catholic counselor before after that last blow up with the email, and he was the one who got me to get over it and keep going and keep trying. But I wonder how much it helped. Especially my husband. I do think he has issues here that he is not admitting to, and the counselor was pretty ho-hum, kinda just listened and had us figure things out on our own. Maybe I wanted someone to confront him about his issues.


#7

Have your obgyn write out the optimal healthy weight for a person of your height/frame size. Both pregnant, and not pregnant. I think his expectations are unrealistic and unhealthy. Maybe with a DR. opinion, he will soften up.

DO NOT jepordize the health of your baby by not eating. I gained between 50-60 lbs. with each of my 4 kids- 5 lbs. became permanent. (I am still working on the last one- he is 1, so I figure I have about 15-20 lbs. to go.) Make sure you know EXACTLY haw many good calories you need to maintain a healthy pregnancy. You NO NOT want your baby to suffer in utero. Also- if there is not enough nutrition for the baby by what you eat, the baby will take nutrition from your body to grow. For example- if you don’t get enough calcium, the baby will suck it straight out of your teeth- leaving you with problems later. Again- talk to your obgyn about this.


#8

[quote=Lone Catholic]Thanks everyone for your input. Let’s see if I can address a couple of things here.

Puzzleannie–while I agree with everything you said, and I definitely know my husband has a problem here, I am trying to focus, for now at least, on what **I **need to do, in light of the situation.

CatholicSam–Your post made me smile! Thanks!

StephanieC–Your post definitely has some great points to ponder. You are not off base here, and I totally agree that I should not use the excuse of my husband’s attitude and not do anything about MY problem. This is what I am struggling sooo hard with. I don’t know what to do. You are right, I have gained weight and not taken it off, but it was not for a lack of trying. Having 3 babies in the span of 5 years is very very hard on one’s body! I think I have done rather well, considering. I think it is unrealistic for him to expect me to weigh what I did in college. When I say something to this effect, he says that is my saying I’m not willing to try, and just a defeatist attitude. I would be happy to be 140. I once said that if I could get under 140, I would be so happy. His response was that he thought 125 would be better. I nearly cried, because to me that seems like a total impossibility. Any time he makes a comment like he did last night, I feel like my spirit is crushed. I start feeling good about myself and then bam, he pushes me back down. My husband is a wonderful guy. He really is. I know that none of this is intentional on his part. He says that he does not have unrealistic expectations, that he just wants the wife he married. I say that, while I understand that, I think he is being superficial. I am the wife he married, and I do still look similar to that girl, but lets, face it, things change!!! Oh, and I am doing what I can. I get up and walk in the mornings before he goes to work and I do some weights also. I don’t just sit around eating bon-bons and watching the weight pile on! The hardest thing I have done is given up sugar (for the most part). I LOVE sweets! But I have noticed that keeping it out of my diet definitely helps me lose/maintain weight, and it has helped me immensely in this pregnancy so far. Anyway… I guess I just don’t know what I should do, how I should act.

Shannin–We probably do need to get back in counseling. We were going to a Catholic counselor before after that last blow up with the email, and he was the one who got me to get over it and keep going and keep trying. But I wonder how much it helped. Especially my husband. I do think he has issues here that he is not admitting to, and the counselor was pretty ho-hum, kinda just listened and had us figure things out on our own. Maybe I wanted someone to confront him about his issues.
[/quote]

Well Lone Catholic, I will pray for you and your family.

You sound like a very intelligent and nice person. God bless you.


#9

[quote=Lone Catholic]I think it is unrealistic for him to expect me to weigh what I did in college. … I once said that if I could get under 140, I would be so happy. His response was that he thought 125 would be better.
[/quote]

A 35 year old couple went to a beach. An 18-year old, thin and pretty woman in a skimpy bikini walked by the couple. After she passed the wife started crying.

Her husband asked, “What’s wrong Honey?”

The wife sobbed, “I just know I’ll never look like that again.”

Her husband replied, “Neither will she.”


Real women have curves.140 is in the optimal range for a woman at 5’6". Beyond that, what is optimal is what you are comfortable with carrying and maintaining. 125 is unreasonable for your height.

I don’t know about him, but I wouldn’t want a spouse that looked like a boy - or Kate Moss.


#10

Obviously you should be gaining weight during pregnancy and its ok if you get a little heavy. But eating a lot during pregnancy isnt a great idea because then you have a ton of weight to lose, as you said you had trouble with. Sad as it may be, people DO care about appearances, and I think a woman or man should keep in shape so that their spouses will be attracted to them. In shape doesnt mean an anorexic model, but lean in a healthy sort of way. With young kids its probably hard for you to get a lot of exercise, but maybe you and your husband can go for walks together? Thats what my parents do…or take your kids for walks. Beyond that, really watch what you eat. Dont starve yourself, but you say you love sweets. at my school they’re selling chocolate bars and I ate one as a snack before I realized it contained 320 calories - enough for a meal! So make sure you realize what youre consuming. Your husband certainly was insensitive, but I can also see where hes coming from. He should make more of an active effort to help you lose weight in an encouraging way.


#11

[quote=Siena]Have your obgyn write out the optimal healthy weight for a person of your height/frame size. Both pregnant, and not pregnant. I think his expectations are unrealistic and unhealthy. Maybe with a DR. opinion, he will soften up.

DO NOT jepordize the health of your baby by not eating. I gained between 50-60 lbs. with each of my 4 kids- 5 lbs. became permanent. (I am still working on the last one- he is 1, so I figure I have about 15-20 lbs. to go.) Make sure you know EXACTLY haw many good calories you need to maintain a healthy pregnancy. You NO NOT want your baby to suffer in utero. Also- if there is not enough nutrition for the baby by what you eat, the baby will take nutrition from your body to grow. For example- if you don’t get enough calcium, the baby will suck it straight out of your teeth- leaving you with problems later. Again- talk to your obgyn about this.
[/quote]

No worries about me not eating enough!! hahaha. I’m following the Bradley diet which has about 2000 calories I think. My midwife said that as long as I follow that diet she doesn’t care how little or how much I gain. Truly it is just cutting out sugar and eating more whole grain that has made the difference. I’m not starving myself!!

I did send my husband the BMI chart once (which has my ideal weight as I think somewhere between 130-150, I really can’t remember now. He responded that the BMI chart is not really that accurate, and why, and examples, etc… BTW, he’s an attorney. No one can tell him anything. He knows it all and can argue it to his death. :rolleyes:


#12

[quote=SemperJase]A 35 year old couple went to a beach. An 18-year old, thin and pretty woman in a skimpy bikini walked by the couple. After she passed the wife started crying.

Her husband asked, “What’s wrong Honey?”

The wife sobbed, “I just know I’ll never look like that again.”

Her husband replied, “Neither will she.”


Real women have curves.140 is in the optimal range for a woman at 5’6". Beyond that, what is optimal is what you are comfortable with carrying and maintaining. 125 is unreasonable for your height.

I don’t know about him, but I wouldn’t want a spouse that looked like a boy - or Kate Moss.
[/quote]

hahahahaha. Thanks!! so funny. and thanks for the kind words as well… It is nice to hear that from a man’s perspective!


#13

[quote=SemperJase]I don’t know about him, but I wouldn’t want a spouse that looked like a boy - or Kate Moss.
[/quote]

:amen: You’d just be all loose skin and your breasts would be little floppy things :smiley: I think if he knew what he was wishing for, he’d change his mind! That idea about getting a doctor’s suggestion for weight gain during and weight loss after pregnancy is wonderful. Also, babies whose mothers did not eat enough while they were in the womb are at an increased risk for developing schizophrenia later in life. Take care of yourself :thumbsup:


#14

:rolleyes: Educated beyond his intellegence, perhaps??? :stuck_out_tongue:


#15

This is just my opinion. As we say in my 12 Step program, opinions are like noses - everyone has one.

(actually we use another part of the anatomy as an example but it is really crude and I, as a woman of grace and dignity, will NOT use it as an example :rotfl: ).

You are pregnant right now, right? And you have been really honest with us about the number of pregnancies you have had in the past five years. Quite frankly, I think you have done a FABULOUS job of keeping yourself in shape. Could you have done better? Sure. Could your husband? Well, sure since he is the one who said he wanted to lose some weight himself.

So, gee whiz, the big secret is out. Neither one of you is perfect.

I suppose you both could make a committment together to eat really well, exercise together and pray together so that you become perfect specimens of physical health from this point forward - but you might never look like that ex-cheerleader and he might never look like Mr. Universe so he better be willing to deal with that issue.

I don’t know - I think it is fabulous when people can stay thin and beautiful for their entire lives. However, I also think it is fabulous when people get older together, maybe get a little chubby, a little paunchy, a little less attractive by cheerleader and Mr. Universe standards but still think the other person is the most beautiful in the world because the real center of their marriage is Christ and not People Magazine’s Most Beautiful People issue.

From what you say you are doing your best to stay healthy for your husband and your family. Maybe he can learn to communicate a little better for his wife and his family. Whaddya think, guys? Would that be asking too much?


#16

[quote=LSK]I don’t know - I think it is fabulous when people can stay thin and beautiful for their entire lives. However, I also think it is fabulous when people get older together, maybe get a little chubby, a little paunchy, a little less attractive by cheerleader and Mr. Universe standards but still think the other person is the most beautiful in the world because the real center of their marriage is Christ and not People Magazine’s Most Beautiful People issue.

[/quote]

Beautiful. :thumbsup:


#17

Without reading all the other responses, let me say that this is not about you. This is about him and his selfishness. I don’t care if he did apologize for the email. Those kinds of thoughts don’t get written down unless they are on his mind. And did he apologize for being a jerk, for not understanding his marital vows about better/worse, for understanding that a woman’s body houses the miracle of birth and that makes it beautiful no matter its size, for not understanding the toll 4 children takes on a woman’s body? No, he “apoligized” that for hurting you. Hmmm, did he think he could have that opinion of you and have it not hurt?

Sounds like he wants a trophy wife. Worse, he sounds like he thinks he “deserves” it and “needs” it. Does Little Miss Cheerleader have 3+1 children?

Sorry, but it seems to me like your hubby has some major issues. He seems like he would be the kind of guy who would blame his wife for his failings. I was unfaithful because she is overweight. I hit her because she deserves it. Not to say that your husband would ever do these things, but its the same thought process. I deserve to have a hot wife??? PULEEZE.

No you are not overreacting. Your self image has taken a beating.
What your husband is doing to you borders on emotional abuse. I think returning to counceling would be a good idea, but his issues need to be addressed.

Good luck.
You are beautiful just the way you are.

Arlene

No, you are not overreacting.


#18

[quote=Arlene]Without reading all the other responses, let me say that this is not about you. This is about him and his selfishness. I don’t care if he did apologize for the email. Those kinds of thoughts don’t get written down unless they are on his mind. And did he apologize for being a jerk, for not understanding his marital vows about better/worse, for understanding that a woman’s body houses the miracle of birth and that makes it beautiful no matter its size, for not understanding the toll 4 children takes on a woman’s body? No, he “apoligized” that for hurting you. Hmmm, did he think he could have that opinion of you and have it not hurt?

Sounds like he wants a trophy wife. Worse, he sounds like he thinks he “deserves” it and “needs” it. Does Little Miss Cheerleader have 3+1 children?

Sorry, but it seems to me like your hubby has some major issues. He seems like he would be the kind of guy who would blame his wife for his failings. I was unfaithful because she is overweight. I hit her because she deserves it. Not to say that your husband would ever do these things, but its the same thought process. I deserve to have a hot wife??? PULEEZE.

No you are not overreacting. Your self image has taken a beating.
What your husband is doing to you borders on emotional abuse. I think returning to counceling would be a good idea, but his issues need to be addressed.

Good luck.
You are beautiful just the way you are.

Arlene
No, you are not overreacting.
[/quote]

FINALLY! THANK YOU ARLENE.

I have to say I’ve made myself refrain from responding to this thread (so far) because I wasn’t sure I had anything charitable to say about the OP’s husband and some of the responses were very surprising.

A response or two seemed to imply that ‘well, the husband has a point, by golly…if you are ten pounds overweight then don’t let anything stop you from getting those nasty bags of fat off you’ and I think that is completely the wrong response in this particular situation.
*
If your husband can’t appreciate YOU, who you ARE, then he is certainly not going to magically love you without condition when the scale happens to read the numbers that HE ordains as being optimal. *

I have no idea what your bone structure is and nor do I really care, but I know that women who are exactly the same height and weight can look worlds apart, based on a variety of factors ( proportion, fat vs. muscle, bone structure, etc.) One of my sisters is almost 5’10, more curvy then muscled and weighs about 165. She has a medium bone structure but a small ribcage with wider hips. However, I am just over 5’10 and look gaunt and emaciated at 165. My bones are much larger then hers and I naturally carry more muscle–I just build it more naturally than she does. I don’t carry weight more in the top or the bottom, it’s fairly proportioned. At 150, I look withered and anorexic. I only got down to that weight a few years ago when I was extremely sick and basically didn’t eat for weeks. I have another sister who is 5’7 and 110. She looks nothing like me or the other sister I mentioned, but 110 fits her frame perfectly. She is long and lean with very tiny bones. Your husband has no right (nor medical authority) to compare your body with his cheerleader secretary’s weight aspirations.

Jeeze, isn’t Oprah also 5’6, like you, and at her tiniest last year after dieting and exercising like crazy finally got down to 162 or something??? But hmmmmmmmmm she has a larger bone structure then some!!! I am so tired of people being hung up about NUMBERS when it should be about health and how one feels about their appearance. I mean can you imagine Oprah at 125??

Your husband seems to think that cheerleader-type numbers in terms of your weight needs to be “the goal.” He sounds rather controlling, selfish and totally unrealistic. He wants you to have a cheerleader body after four children? Furthermore, don’t married adults usually have have discussions about personal feelings and sensitive issues IN PERSON? Or at the very least on the phone? Writing you a five page email about a topic such as your weight and his “need” for a hot wife is highly disrespectful and immature.

Also, he is not entitled to a ‘hot’ wife and nor does he deserve one. Scott Hahn, a Catholic apologist, speaks about stretch marks and saggy childbearing skin and says they are wounds borne for Christ–and that we will have them even in the ressurection. Did I miss the part in the vows where we say we promise to remain cheerleaders and drill teamers for our husbands?

Being a good steward of our bodies and keeping them healthy and in good working order does not mean starvation to keep a husband’s ego soothed. Yes we are called to kindle desire in our husbands but they must have love and compassion for the reality of childbearing, natural aging and slowing of metabolism.


#19

Hi Lone Catholic,

Let me first say that I am so sorry to hear that you are going through this. I feel like I understand the severity of your situation.
If you ask me the issue has nothing to do with weight at all. You wrote, “When my husband makes comments like he did last night my spirit feels like it is being crushed.”

I think that this is because you are being verbally abused. It sounds to me like he wants to control you. I’m learning alot about verbal abuse and have been very surprised to learn that experts and victims agree that verbal abuse is far more damaging than physical abuse. Please know that there is absolutely nothing anyone does to deserve verbal abuse.

I think you also wrote that his comments are “burned into your brain.”

You’re right. I believe from what you’ve been writing that there’s a part of you that knows what’s going on but you need more information to make sense of what’s happening. My advice is for you to try an internet search on verbal abuse, however, I think you should be careful about sharing this info with him. There are quizes you can take to help clarify if this is happening to you or not.

You and your family are in my prayers. I hope I wrote this o.k. I really want to be supportive but also honest.

:gopray:

Crystal


#20

Hi Lone Catholic,

Let me first say that I am so sorry to hear that you are going through this. I feel like I understand the severity of your situation.
If you ask me the issue has nothing to do with weight at all. You wrote, “When my husband makes comments like he did last night my spirit feels like it is being crushed.”

I think that this is because you are being verbally abused. It sounds to me like he wants to control you. I’m learning alot about verbal abuse and have been very surprised to learn that experts and victims agree that verbal abuse is far more damaging than physical abuse. Please know that there is absolutely nothing anyone does to deserve verbal abuse.

I think you also wrote that his comments are “burned into your brain.”

You’re right. I believe from what you’ve been writing that there’s a part of you that knows what’s going on but you need more information to make sense of what’s happening. My advice is for you to try an internet search on verbal abuse, however, I think you should be careful about sharing this info with him. There are quizes you can take to help clarify if this is happening to you or not.

You and your family are in my prayers. I hope I wrote this o.k. I really want to be supportive but also honest.

:gopray:

Crystal


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