Drawing the Line (or Thinking of Me)

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I drew an imaginary line sometime last fall.

Or was it just before that?

No matter.  I drew it, even if it was in my head, and still is.

I drew the line and told myself that on the other side is what my partner Denise wants, BUT must want MORE than me.

Last summer Denise said she wanted bariatric surgery and was going to follow through.  It was her idea.

She wanted to lose all her excess weight and feel better.

She also said she wanted to be more attractive to me.

Looks and weight aren’t what turns me off about her.  It’s attitude and how she treats me and other people.

But back to the line and bariatric surgery.

We attended a seminar put on by the surgeons.  I learned some new things this time, such as diabetes being reversed after many of the successful surgeries and that they absolutely will not operate on a current smoker as the risks are way too high.

The patient must also lose a certain percentage of weight prior to surgery, which requires a pre-surgery diet.  This helps shrink a fatty liver, otherwise they may not be able to do the surgery.

Denise indicated, in her own words, that dieting and losing weight before the surgery is stupid because if she could lose weight on her own she would not need the surgery.

True IF she follows the diet for the rest of her life, but I think she missed the point they were making.

I knew from our first bariatric surgery seminar well over a decade ago that she would have issues with the requirements, mainly the foods she couldn’t eat after the surgery.

She loves her carbs and sugar.

But we still followed the preliminary steps for the surgery.  Meeting with the doctor’s office, dietitian, and the psychiatrist.

I was usually the one setting up the appointments, getting the insurance information, doing dietary research, keeping track of the paperwork, and taking time off so I can be at all the appointments.

The process ended after the second meeting with the psychiatrist, after being told some depression issues that they feel could hinder her success after surgery.  She would have to go to counseling for a while, and she didn’t and still doesn’t want to reopen childhood wounds.

Understandable, but she is also physically miserable.  She is over 300 lbs, has chronic pain, has a very hard time walking, has diabetes and severe stomach pain.

She says she doesn’t want to be fat anymore.

She is also a smoker, still, and most of her diet consists of carbs, with a good percentage of that being sugar.

If she wants to lose weight, or at the very least feel healthier, SHE has to do the work.

And she has to MOTIVATE HERSELF to do the work.

Nagging only pisses her off.

Besides, motivation and doing something just to stop the incessant nagging are NOT the same thing.

After all, I do things I DON’T WANT TO DO (and don’t think I should do) just to stop the incessant nagging.

 

I could have followed my normal pattern.  Denise wants something, and I make it happen.

However, I can’t make her bariatric surgery a success.

Denise has to make it a success.

 

 

She must want this surgery more than I do.

I can’t do that for her.

I can’t follow my normal pattern where I work my ass off to get Denise what she wants.

I realized that, and I drew the line.

Regardless of if Denise has the surgery or not, she is the one that has to decide that she is going to be healthier.

She has to determine how she is going to stop smoking.

She has to determine if she is going to cut down on sweets and start eating healthier.

She has to determine how she is going to handle her depression and feel better about herself.

I can’t do that for her.

She decides her destiny by what she chooses to do.  She has to choose the healthy actions in order to be healthier.

I can’t do that for her.

I can only do that for me.

I have taken online courses, read numerous blogs and articles about healthy eating and living.

I am cutting out sweets and a lot of sugar.  I am making things from scratch and using fresher ingredients for both what I eat and what I use on my body.   I am opting to eat as few processed foods as possible.

Denise is seeing that I am not eating the same things she is.  She knows I am buying better food for myself.

However, she refuses to eat what she considers “crap”, which means she will usually only eat the tried and true meals I cook that we know she likes.

Most of the time, that means unhealthy, carb and processed filled meals.  Papaya salad is one of the healthy exceptions, though.

In the meantime, even after only a few weeks of eating differently, I feel better.  Even without giving up my daily alcoholic beverage.

And if our unreliable scale on our unlevel floors is correct, I’m losing weight.

I’ve gained almost 40 lbs since we’ve been together.

That’s without ever having kids.

While I don’t think fat is necessarily bad–I don’t like having big boobs and a big stomach, so I’d like to lose those at least.

Mostly, though, I want to lose the fatigue and feel better.

While I’m pretty active because I have over 30 animals to care for (including barnyard animals), I still need to be more active.

I don’t make the recommended 10K steps per day, so I can do some more walking.

And so can my dog.

So for now, I am getting ME healthier.

And maybe Denise will follow suit.

After all, if she decides she is going to take action without the nagging , then it means she wants herself to be healthier more than I want her to be healthy.

And that’s the only way she is going to get healthier.

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4 thoughts on “Drawing the Line (or Thinking of Me)”

  1. I was that ‘ make it happen’ person . I was given the role and assumed it from childhood. When my mother died, it became unbearable. A friend gave me literature from her Alanon group. I learned that people who are self medicating display similar patterns of behavior and the enablers(me), have feelings and behavior patterns as well. I learned how to break the cycle without feeling guilty or responsible for their problems. Sounds like you’re on the right track. The only behavior and feelings you have any control over are your own. Good luck

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the encouragement! I’m glad you were able to break free. It’s been much easier once I truely realized nothing I do will help her, no matter what I do or don’t do.

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  3. All I can say is, even having never exchanged a word with you and with this is my first visit, how impressed I am that you realize all of this. The line you drew? Is where you end and she begins. I hope that this healthy perspective is contagious, and I hope that you both benefit from this.

    Meanwhile, I’m taking a harder look at myself… Well done!

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    1. Thank you so much! Yes, the line is where I end and she is expected to take the lead. I’m hoping it’s contagious too– It still takes a lot to change my thinking and implement the practice, so it’s a day to day struggle,

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