Hi! I’m John, Diane’s husband, and I have the honor of being Diane’s first guest blogger.
I like the name of Diane’s website and upcoming book, Fit to the Finish, because it is very descriptive of her. One of the things I admire about Diane is her ability to finish what she starts, especially since I am a chronic procrastinator. No matter what she sets her mind to, she stays on task until it is done. Diane never dabbles in anything–she masters it. Over the years I have seen her learn quilting, scrapbooking, photography, refinishing and upholstering furniture, and of course blogging. But the one thing she could not seem to master was weight loss.
Early in our marriage, when the pounds began to mysteriously appear, Diane tried different diets. Unfortunately, she was not able to stick with anything. The big meals, desserts, and snacks continued unabated—I should know, I was right there with her stuffing my own face! But honestly, I always thought of her weight gain as temporary, because I knew it was something that bothered her a lot.The extra weight didn’t change my feelings for Diane at all. To me she was the same wonderful woman I married, but I knew all the extra weight was having a deep impact on her self-esteem. Diane had always cared about how she looked and enjoyed being on the go. But when she became heavy, she was less concerned about her appearance and she limited her activities, often sitting on the sidelines or staying home. As her clothing size increased, the selection of clothing options decreased, and she had to resort to making her own clothes. To save money, she would buy clearance fabric (never the most attractive colors or prints). I remember one jumper she made that was purple and blue with a fish pattern (yes, it was as bad as you are picturing). She had spilled bleach on it and ruined it. A few days later, I met her and the kids for lunch at the mall and she was wearing it! I asked her why and she said, “It’s fine. Besides, no one looks at me anyway.”
When the scale announced that Diane had hit over 300 lbs., she set her will to doing what it took to lose weight. Unhealthy or dangerous foods were banished from our house (darn). To my dismay, the Oreos, Breyers ice cream, and chips were gone. It was as if she had put a lock on her mouth. She could not be enticed to deviate from her plan. Sometimes I tried to get her to share my guilt in some gluttonous indulgences, but to no avail. Once, at a child’s birthday party, the mother offered us a big slice of cake with the requisite mound of ice cream, and pointed us to the savory treats at the “adults’ table.” I gladly took my plate and then heard Diane say, “No thank you.” I did a double take and looked at this woman who had always joined me in consuming such tasty treats in bulk, but was now politely refusing some of her favorite foods. I knew then that she was serious. She became almost annoyingly tenacious about exercising. No matter what the weather was like, or even if we were on vacation, the girl was going to walk. And sure enough, the pounds began to come off. This is not to say that it was an easy journey and that she didn’t stumble at times, but her determination returned and she was back on track. I could tell, she really wanted to lose weight.
At the time, I called Diane “the incredible shrinking woman.” I enjoyed watching the reactions of family and friends when they saw her transformation. It was great to see her buying new clothes and having more energy. One of my favorite memories was at Sea World where she was invited from the audience to participate in the Shamu whale show. When the show was over, she leaned over and whispered to me, “They never would have asked me if I had still been fat.” Seeing the look in her eyes made me realize how she had always felt about her weight problem and how much being overweight it had hurt. It brought tears to my eyes, I was so happy for her that she had reached her goal of being fit. (Read that whole story here.)
In so many ways, Diane is my hero. When I face temptations in my life or think I can’t accomplish something, I remember the commitment she made to herself and her unflinching resolve. In dealing with my own weight issues, her example showed me, that no matter how many diets, gimmicks, or good intentions you have for getting fit, until you set your will and make deep down commitment, is isn’t going to work. Do you have that resolve in your journey? John