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Okay…today…we’re turning the tables…I need input…I need help…there’s an issue that I’m grappling with…that just isn’t setting right with me…and I’m going to disguise it…and it isn’t about me…regardless of yesterday’s cheesecake blog…
Here goes…Susie is a somewhat depressed…middle-aged house wife…she has found two things that make her feel better while she is doing them…eating…even though she feels guilty afterwards…and her husband wants her to lose weight…and she really does, too…and scrapbooking…
Seizing the opportunity to encourage her to curtail her eating and lose weight…Susie’s husband tells her that she will be allowed to scrapbook…only as long as she is following a reduced calorie eating plan…and is losing weight…he will be doing spot weight checks…if she has gained weight…on one of these checks…he will take her scrapbooking supplies away for a period of one month…during which time she should get her act together and follow her diet…of course…she can still watch others scrapbook…she just can’t participate…just to keep her motivated…
If she has not lost weight at the next weigh in…she will lose scrapbooking for a full year…during which time…she is expected to buckle down…follow that diet…and lose weight…or she will never be allowed to scrapbook again…
Okay…and I honestly want some input…what do you think about this kind of motivation…would it work for you…is the desire for something positive…scrapbooking…enough to prevent you from doing something negative…overeating…
What other interventions might Susie’s husband try when she gains weight…let’s even change it a little bit…let’s give Susie a health condition that would improve greatly if she lost weight…
Let’s remember that Susie is depressed…she’s got some issues…she is using food and scrapbooking to feel better in the moment…
Please…the more input…the better…you are welcome to email me…if you don’t want to post your comments here…I know…some of us are shy…
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Jane, she is an adult but her husband is treatinmg her as a child! If he really wanted to be supportive he would he would show it by his love and affection at home and also when they are in public. He may be wanting a size 6 from a woman that will never ever reach a size 6. In other words, his expectations may be unreasonable and she may be attemting to please him more than herself. If that is the case, I am almost one hundred percent sure that she will not succeed in losing very much weight and keeping it off. Her husband will pressure her too much. Anyway, that's my take on the situation
This is a hypothetical situation…with the details changed…but…your insight is very good…Thanks so much for sharing!
In my very humble, but very biased opinion, this is the exact wrong kind of motivation.
The husband is in control – not Susie, and that may help Susie in the short term, but in the long run, it could cause a ton of resentment… hubs is holding all the cards here!
First and foremost, she needs to get to the bottom of that depression. Hubs holding scrapbooking over her head is NOT going to help with that.
Once the source of the depression is discovered, the overeating and the escaping can be dealt with.
Both the overeating and the scrapbooking are her forms of escape. If hubby takes both of them away and she's still depressed – guess what? She's going to find something else…
This is a VERY similar situation to what I experienced with my depression (minus the husband part). Every time my escape was taken away – I found something else… alcohol, shopping, food, I went round in those circles quite a bit…
Again – deal with that depression first and everything else will fall into place…
I agree with Jenn, if she is depressed taking away the one thing that makes her feel good is not going to all of the sudden motivate her. It will most likely depress her more and she will find something to replace it with and possibly not something as positive as scrapbooking. It may also create anger, additional sadness and shame if she is unsuccessful at losing weight.
Even if she wants to lose weight, any of us who have been through this know it is not an easy journey and it has emotional ups and downs without the added outside pressure.
It could also lead to unhealthy measures to lose the weight if scrapbooking is so important she will do anything to not have it.
While the husband may truly care his approach to this is demeaning and damaging to her and the relationship.
There are so many ways a husband and wife can use this as an opportunity to become closer rather than create an uncomfortable relationship or set the husband up as "the parent" as this appears to.
How about offering to get some counseling with her?
If that is too big of a step, how about exploring a healthier lifestyle together. Start taking walks or join a gym together.
If one of them likes to cook explore and experiment with a healthier diet and recipes.
Focus on a healthier lifestyle together rather than just her weight. Health is much more important than weight.
Most importantly she needs to explore what is causing the depression and discover her true value over and above any physical appearance.
She may be depressed because she has a controlling husband. What id ea could she come up with that could take away his joy. He could have said I will do this diet with you and encourage her to do the scrapping. Instead he is the parent and she is playing the role of the child.
There are so many assumptions we can make here. One would be that the husband is a control freak and this is just another way he can control (dare I say abuse?) his wife. It makes one wonder if the "issues" got their foundation from this first assumption. Secondly, we may all be misjudging him in that he is NOT a professional and in his own mind, (although it is lame) he is coming to her aid and truly trying to help. How do we know he isn't?
Lastly, where is her own voice in this? Has the depression taken over and she feels unworthy? I would say that this lovely woman needs to address the truth of the depression, get to know herself again, maybe find a support group, and try to tackle (maybe with medications, maybe not) her needs and self esteem issues. It's been proven that people will open up to total strangers more often than they will their love ones, so maybe an online support group would help??? Just a thought. She could always be anon.
I could be soooo far off on this, but I keep wanting to know how SHE feels about it all.
Could it possibly be that the husband's efforts are to try and help her, not punish her? (Even though they are unacceptable!!!!) Is she giving over control to him because it is the easy thing to do in her depressive state of mind? Or…and I hope I am wrong on this, is he a mean, controlling, son-of-a-biscuit-eater and truly is setting her up to fail, once again, thereby keeping her under his thumb?
Notice I saved that for last?
I feel like the depression should be treated before anything else. This kind of motivation would only help me if I set these rules NOT my husband!
Thank you so much for your responses…although the situation is not exactly as I wrote it…I told you I disguised it…you have each helped me formulate an action plan for this situation.
I appreciate your input more than you will ever know!