Monday, March 14, 2011

Good Measures

Mmm. Chicken sausage and
whole wheat pancakes with
cinnamon, flaxseed, pecans
and fruit compote.
I mentioned I started a diet last week. About six years ago I tipped the scales at 230 pounds and was out of shape. I guess I'd entered that complacent phase where I was happy in a relationship and focussed on things other than obsessing in the gym and/or mirror.

The turning point came when my mom passed away after a long series of complications of diabetes, a disease that also took her father, Grandpa Bill. It didn't help when my doctor (who happens to be a hot gay dilf) said "Look at me. I'm 50 and in way better shape than you." He was right. Right there I made it my goal to never let him be able to say that again.

So at Dr. B's advice, I placed an order with Good Measure Meals. I didn't really know what it was, I just knew it was like Nutri-Systems or Jenny Craig. (I was wrong.) The first delivery did not go over well at Casa Midtown.

I've since learned Mexicans have a culturally different relationship with food than I grew up learning. Meals are every bit as much about family communion as they are about nutrition or simply feeding a hunger pang. My JB reacted to my bringing food prepared by someone else into our house as if I were cheating on him.

Even as I dropped 25 pounds, JB pouted and fought me every step of the way. I offered to include him but he refused. I offered to hire a nutritionist to teach both of us how to prepare similarly balanced meals, and he said he wasn't going to pay anyone to tell him what to eat. Even JB knew he was being unreasonable, but he couldn't help how he was feeling and he couldn't help expressing those feelings.

"I feel like anymore we're just roommates," became a common refrain. "Roommates who love each other and have sex?" I'd ask. It didn't make sense to me, but I did my best to try to understand where he was coming from. His upbringing, his drive to be a family care-taker and provider, his control issues, his insecurities about my losing weight and how that made him feel about himself. But ultimately this was about myself and my right to choose what I put in my body. I wasn't going to relent for the sake of domestic tranquility.

Things settled down after Lent was over and I stopped the meal plan. Even JB had to admit the progress I'd made and seemed happy that I looked and felt better. When I decided the following year to do Good Measure again for Lent, I sat JB down and went through the motions of asking his permission. Again, I offered to include him. He declined to participate but gave the go-ahead, yet once I started the meals the drama resumed.

This issue threatened to end our relationship. I loved JB and in every other way he seemed loving and supportive of me. Why would he fight me with this? I explained it was temporary and begged him to be patient and support my decision. While I feel compromise is an important part of any relationship, I didn't feel my health should be a bargaining chip on the table. If I don't have the right to eat they way I want to eat while in this relationship, then this relationship wasn't good for me. Eventually it took its toll and was the major factor behind JB and I splitting up for several months.

Fast forward through months of counseling and three years of health issues and scares on JB's part. This year JB is doing Good Measure with me for the first time. After the first week he's lost 5 pounds and his blood pressure is the best its ever been. He mentioned he's feeling great and enjoying the free time he's not spending in the kitchen.

Yesterday he hugged me and thanked me for getting him started. And for not giving up on him.

5 comments:

  1. Often I start conversations with “You stated that you want support…” Good for you, keep it up!

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  2. That's both sweet and really, really cool. I wonder if there's a UK version?

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  3. I plan to describe the meal service soon, but it's a local operation which serves as a profit center for Open Hand Atlanta. Using the same infrastructure Open Hand uses to provide meals to needy members of the community, they can generate operating revenue while offering fresh local food under the guidance of expert dietitians. I don't have enough good to say about them.

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  4. Good for you! I understand completely about the Mexican family and food; my partner's family always has gigantic barbecues 2-3 times a month, with carne asada, chicken, burgers, hot dogs, etc. etc. I always stop after a plate and then, the questioning looks begin. They're excellent at bringing on the guilt eating. . . .

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  5. LOL @ Greg! I only visit JB's family once or twice a year so I don't even try to moderate my intake. I'd like to say it's to please them, but it's just really, really good. I do however draw the line at menudo.

    JB is talking about us going to Texas for Easter, so that would make for an excellent way to end Lent. :-p

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