I don’t call Gibran a keeper for no reason. Lucky for me, my husband lets me be myself and each day loves me just as I am, good or bad. That’s one of the qualities I love and appreciate most about him but I realized back when we got engaged that although this type of 24/7 support is beyond wonderful, it can also provide a false shelter for you to hide behind if you’re not careful. Though I weighed 170 pounds when we met in 2004, by the time Gibran was on bended knee in our living room on Christmas Eve 2009 I weighed a whopping 245 pounds. (No joke!) We’d both put on a few couple-comfort pounds when we first started dating by staying in, ordering in, and frequently going out to eat. But it seemed like for every 5 pounds he gained, I put on 15.
Now I must give Gibran immense credit for never once during those five years making me feel like I was any less beautiful or sexy in his eyes, but the truth is, I felt less and less attractive every day. He would tell me I was beautiful almost every day and for a while I thought I agreed. But then, I started to like what I saw in the mirror less and less and his compliments began to feel more like words I thought he felt he had to say. I don’t think he ever stopped meaning it, but I stopped believing it. I was thankful each day for having someone in my life who saw my beauty despite the season, the hairstyle, or the size, but I still felt incomplete.
He loved me but I had stopped loving myself. I’m naturally a very confident person, so this wasn’t easy for me. The worst I felt about it the more supportive he became but for some reason it took staring at an engagement ring for me to finally snap out of it. He asked, I said yes, and then the next day I joined New York Sports Club and Weight Watchers. My mission to love myself as much as my man loved me began. Over the course of 2010 I fought the urge to demolish every brownie in sight and I chose Wii Fit games over afternoon naps.
It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life (food is an addiction people!) and I couldn’t have done it with his support. Gibran bagged and trashed all of the bad food in the cabinets for me when I came home from my first Weight Watchers meeting with a list of what I could and couldn’t eat. He worked out with me to help me work off the stress when I thought I’d die without a McDonald’s sweet tea and apple pie. He would even set my alarm to make sure I didn’t miss my early morning Saturday meetings after we’d stayed out late-late Friday night.
Gibran only ate by my new rules for the entire year in a show of support for my cause. Once he knew that losing weight made me happy and helped me to begin to once again see in myself the positive things that he always sees in me, he was all in. It’s been a hard road, and we’re still on it, but we’re making it work together. On our wedding day when Gibran saw me for the first time in my dress his jaw dropped and he said to me, “Baby, I hope you feel as good as you look because you earned this and you deserve to enjoy it as much as I am.” It was not only sweet of him, but a very profound statement as well.
For me, the moral of this story is that finding a partner who loves you for you means very little in the end if you can’t love yourself that much too. I’d still like to lose another 40 pounds to get to a healthy weight for my height, but Gibran’s pleased with the 30 he lost helping me stay on track. I’ll keep you posted periodically on our continuous journey. In the meantime, please love yourself and what you see in the mirror, and if you don’t, do something about it. It will be good for you and your relationship.
- Marriage and Holiday Shopping Do Not Mix (manwifeanddog.com)
- The Importance of Growing Together (And How We Have Managed to Do It So Far) (manwifeanddog.com)
- A Look Back At Our 11 Favorite Moments From 2010 (manwifeanddog.com)