Dear Tony,

I have been reading your blog for a while now. I do not read as much (I have a full-time job and I am a  full-time mom) but I try to read what you write on Facebook.

I have a question to ask or if you could direct me to a post you wrote. My husband lost a lot of weight a few years ago, but he has recently gained some back. I know that it bothers him although he does not talk about it. I love him with all of my heart, so I do worry…mostly I want him to be happy because he has a lot to offer the world.

How do you help a loved one who has gained weight and maybe get them back on track? What should I say or do?

Thanks,

Are

Dear Are,

I avoid this subject because I do not know if there is truly anything you can say. I think in the past for me, saying something might put me in a darker place. I have not written about this subject before. But let me ask you because I am curious about your husband. Was his weight gain recent? Tell me a little about it.

Thanks,

Tony

Dear Tony,

It is hard to tell because I see him every day. I love him no matter what but I can see that he is getting frustrated. Keep in mind that he is a strong-minded person. At least I think so. Everything he puts 100% into he gets back in return.

But the situation that concerned me the most was last August. Our daughter turned one, and we had a watermelon themed party for her. We all dressed up in lime green shirts. I did not want to ask his size, so I got him one that he used to wear.

The day of the party, he showed up in a different shirt. It was bigger than the one I got him. He felt uncomfortable. This is not like him. He felt out of place. I felt horrible because he is the love of my life.

So any advice you have would be great.

Thanks,

R

Dear R,

I wish I could tell you what to say. I wish I could help you get him back on track. I wish I had the answers, but I do not. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for you to see your husband every day not being himself. I know that gaining weight happens, but there also has to be some accountability to it as well. You never said how much weight he lost or what is going on now. If I am asking too many questions, please stop me.

Thanks,

Tony

Dear Tony,

I met my husband years ago. He was not overweight when we met. Once we were together, he gained a lot of weight. He was like you, over 400 pounds. Then one day he decided to lose weight. I wish I could explain how determined my husband is. It is crazy. When he wants something, he will do whatever it takes to get it. He lost an insane amount of weight without any help from a trainer. We had two kids. He wanted to be a great father, so he fights to do it every day. He works about 60 hours a week, but I have always told him that he sells himself short. But I sometimes think he turns to food instead of his talents. I wish he realized there is more to life that food…because he has it.

Sorry to ramble. So do you have any ideas for me?

Thanks,

Bec,

Dear Bec,

Let me think on it. By chance, do you have a picture of him?

Thanks,

Tony

Dear Tony,

Here you go. I got it off your phone.

IMG_2349

Love,

Your wife, Rebecca

To my beautiful wife, Rebecca,

How do you help someone who has gained weight? I think you did everything you could. You were there for me when I was down. You did not make me feel worse than I did. You supported me in other areas just like an excellent wife should.

I did gain weight over the last year. I was down. There was nothing you could have said to help. Oh how I wish there were something you could have said. Every single day I wanted to get back on track. I made excuses. I derailed. I worked out and used that as a crutch for my excessive eating.

The truth is I am not a single man. I have a family. I have to realize that our kids look up to us and being unhappy because I cannot control eating is unfair. You have shown me that being funny, kind, and a good writer is what I am. Not a mid-level manager.

How do you help someone who has gained weight? You did. You were always there for me. You showed me so much about myself. In fact, I cannot imagine the person I would be without you in my life.

But I am not apologizing for gaining weight. I am not going to sit in a corner and cry. That does nothing. I am going to do something about it… for life. I have always said that I would never be over 400 pounds, which is true. In fact, I even said I would never be over 300 pounds, which is true.

I am now promising you that I will stick at my goal weight once I get there for the rest of my life. I have too much to offer the world than to let my demons take over. You made that happen for me.

So how do you help someone? Just be there.

I started back in January of this year. I woke up. I feel better. I care more about the world around me than to selfishly eat to oblivion. I have lost a considerable amount of weight, but not only that. I have found talents in myself that you have seen in me before.

I have been waiting over two months to write this to share some news with you.

I kept that shirt that did not fit last year on our daughter’s birthday.

IMG_2808

It fits now. In fact, it will be loose pretty soon.

But you have helped me more in my life than anyone could have. So thank you.

And that is exactly how you help a loved one get back on track

Love,

Your husband, Tony

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