Today I’m turning my attention away from me (just a little) and towards the wonderful Mrs. FogDog. I don’t talk much about Mrs. FD, but everyone should know that I owe much of my current success to her. For all intents and purposes, Mrs. FD takes care of all the food related activities in our house. Shopping, prep, cooking, menu, it all comes from her. I wouldn’t survive this eating plan without her which is why I want to help her…
Mrs. FD is also focused on improving her health and is doing the same plan as I am. However, where my situation is pretty dire (I need to lose about 150 pounds), Mrs. FD started at 165 and only really needs to lose about 50 pounds. Still lot's of room for improvement, but certainly not morbidly obese like I am. In the first 6 weeks, Mrs. FD has managed to lose 15 pounds; an impressive amount for a woman of her size (actually higher percentage of weight lost than me).
However, week #7 wasn’t as kind to Mrs. FD as it was to me (she gained 2 pounds). She confessed to me that this week she ate 3 king-sized candy bars; one for every time she went into a store during the week. Additionally, she also admitted that she’s not keeping up with her water consumption (64 oz.). Her biggest concern… that she’s going to drag me down with her... sends me a message that she thinks this is the beginning of the end of her weight loss ways.
We had a good discussion the morning after our weekly weigh-in. Focusing on the candy bars, we quickly ruled out hunger as she had her snacks at the right times. She’s not a stress eater like me, but what we did notice is that Mrs. FD looks for enablers to use as an excuse. Last week was a great example; since I was “cheating” a little each night, it became a reason for Mrs. FD to cheat as well. You can see the same thing with exercise. Mrs. FD has a full schedule, but her schedule affords her some free time during the day. She could easily make a commitment to exercise each day, but because I don’t exercise, it gives Mrs. FD an excuse not to as well. Looking back through our history and you can see this pattern regularly show up… We do well for a while, I falter, then Mrs. FD falters more, then I fall apart and we end up back into our old routines.
We also talked about Mrs. FD’s future. Unlike me who eats as a relief from stress, Mrs. FD eats out of boredom. After being a stay-at-home mom for 10 years, there are definite signs that Mrs. FD needs a new challenge. To me, this is the stuff that she needs to put some thought into. I think if she can find that path and establish a direction, the mental focus to be healthy will get easier.
I find myself in this quandary of trying to find a balance between helping Mrs. FD and focusing on my own well-being. As I said Mrs. FD is a critical part of my plan so by helping her I help myself as well, but I can’t sacrifice my own progress in the name of helping her (A.K.A. the noble excuse). We all have only so much mental fortitude, and this isn’t one of those “women and children first” moments. Mrs. FD has to find her own way as we all do. We can be part of each other’s support structure, but we also have to watch out that we don’t become enablers of bad habits (as we have in the past).
What about you? Do you have similar issues with your spouse or other member of your support structure? How do you deal with it? This is new territory for us so I’d love to hear other perspectives.
[Photo: Flickr / DaPuglet]