People contact me about my column.
Some folks seem drawn to anyone in the media as moths go to light. This is flattering but can be, at times, well, just plain weird. I’ve been approached about government meat conspiracies, high fructose corn syrup alternative energy systems, even a faster-than-light engine (no, I don’t know how it was tied to my column). If cornered publicly with such theories, I momentarily feign attention, smile awkwardly, mumble an apologetic excuse about “a guy I’m supposed to meet,” and carefully; very, very slowly; back away.
There are those who offer to me the secret “they” don’t want “us” to know about weight loss — for a price of course. I am cynical about “secrets they don’t want us know.” For one, who are “they?” Secondly, why would they deem you to be the ultimate messenger of such vital intelligence? Moreover, are you putting us in harm’s way by passing it along? I would feel miserable knowing that — although I now lose weight quicker — it was at the cost of your life. Actually, I’d feel so darn guilty; I’d probably eat too much, gain back my weight and make your magnanimous (albeit mercenary) gesture to have been in vain.
What affects me most are those seeking counsel.
I’m not a therapist; heck, I’m not even sure I could be “Dear Abby.” But if my words touch someone so deeply that they seek me out for guidance, I’ll do my best.
Some conventional wisdom portrays my gender as uncaring, stoic, non-feeling, self-absorbed louts more concerned with cold beer and hot chicks than a supportive relationship, a strong family, and an engaged life. If you’re still holding that stereotype — some unsolicited advice: let it go. If your man is truly like that, maybe you ought to let him go. Just sayin’…
A caring husband, asking for advice on how he can help his wife, is a common focus of emails I receive.
They usually go something like:
“I love my wife no matter how much she weighs. I think she’s beautiful. But I want her to be happy and healthy. I’m concerned because I think her weight has gotten to a point that it’s harming her health. What can I do to make sure she stays on her diet?”
If you’re in that place, here’s my best, most sincere advice.
Understand that NO ONE can make ANYONE do ANYTHING, at least not in a loving supportive relationship. All any of us can do is put out there how we feel, express what we desire, and then hope they will respond.
People who need to lose weight know it. Many times, they feel embarrassed because they’ve promised to do so so many times that the perceived risk of humiliation yet again is more painful than what they weigh. Often, they simply don’t believe they can do it “one more time.” Sometimes, they’re even afraid that if they do, they’ll lose their relationships.
Your (albeit well-intentioned) push will move her in one direction: away from you.
So, what to do?
Be honest. Tell her how you feel. Tell her you’re concerned. Remind her you love her and you’d like her to be healthy; and if she wants help, you’re there.
Then love her for who she is, let go as much as you can, and be there if and when she asks for help.
About the author: Scott “Q” Marcus is the CRP (Chief Recovering Perfectionist) of www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com and founder of 21DayHabitChange.com, guaranteed to help you change a habit in just 3 weeks. He is available for coaching and speaking at 707.442.6243, firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook.com/ThisTimeIMeanIt.