I’ve been with my husband for over nine years. In those nine years we’ve shared dreams, devastations, ambitions, phenomenal failures, terrific triumphs, catastrophes and miracles. Our challenges as a couple are always met with unyielding support and encouragement. Because of this, I’ve shared everything with him. The irrational thoughts that swirl around my loud brain, the fact that sometimes I forget to brush my teeth in the morning, the curious joy I get from naming random objects and bursting into song. I have shared everything with him. Well, almost everything. Not quite everything. There’s just this one thing. My weight.
Somebody once said, there are three things you never ask a woman – her age, her political affiliation, and her weight. I’m 26. I’m a democrat with some independent views.
I weigh _ _ _. I’m an annoyingly honest person – but I just couldn’t share that number. I often suffer from foot in mouth disease, where my bluntness and the fact that I wear my heart on my sleeve gets me into trouble. But there was something about those three numbers that I could never admit, and they hung in the air like an eternal question mark, a number that would never cross my lips. I was ashamed. I am ashamed. But I am also optimistic.
Maybe it was the stigma of being over the dreaded 200, or the fact that I’m about 60 pounds heavier than he is. Maybe it’s the fact that women just DON’T talk about their “number” with men. So I told him. We were having dinner, and I told him. I was sick of leaping off the scale when he came into the room, afraid he’d see my weight. I was sick of having to dance around it in conversations about my weight loss – “Well, I’m up this many pounds but down from the last time I was this much, so that makes me 23 pounds less than my highest…” I was sick of having it be a big, fat elephant sitting on my chest – because the bottom line is that it’s just a number. It doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of life. In my health and self esteem, sure. But it’s not going to make or break my marriage.
We were sitting at the dinner table and it came up, like random bits of conversation often do. I paused. I wanted badly to tell him. I tried. The words stopped at my lips, the “two” dangling mid-air. Did I want to do this? Why? Did it matter? Does he need to know? Yes. Yes ,I want to do this. It matters because it’s a secret. And I don’t like secrets – not between me and my best friend. “You don’t need to tell me,” he said. I told him.
He smiled. He admitted that he was impressed that I told him. He reassured me, and was 100% awesome about it, ensuring me that once again, I totally married the right guy for being always, unequivocally at my side. He’s my biggest fan – and I’m glad that now, I can officially say that there are no large, looming mysteries between us. My weight is now just a number – not a secret.
When it comes to your weight and your partner – is mum the word, or do they know the number? If you haven’t shared it, why do you think that is? For me, it’s the years of shame and stigma associated with being fat, the insecurity of my self worth possibly being judged just by a number. I’d like to know your perspective, too.