One of the first thing that pet enthusiasts will say as to why they love their animals: The concept of “unconditional love”. Cats tend to be a bit more aloof in their shows of affection but dogs are an entirely story. Their “love” for us is not based on how much money we have in the bank, what kind of car we drive, how old we are or what our aesthetic look is like, including how much we weigh. We give them our hearts and they give us theirs.
Humans? Hmmm…perhaps a different scenario in a number of cases. I remember a story a patient told me awhile ago about her major motivation for losing weight: Her husband (now “ex”), as he was walking out the door leaving her for another woman told her: “Look at you…I didn’t marry you this way”. What he was referring to by “this way” was her weight. She had gained, due to a variety of reasons, about 50 pounds over their 10 years of marriage.
The patient was incredibly diligent in our program, lost over 50 pounds and then she told me a follow-up story months later. She had a court case involving the divorce and she had not physically seen her ex-husband in months. She purposefully dressed up with a very form fitting business suit, high heels and she had her hair and make-up done with great detail. When she arrived in the court room, her ex-husband, upon seeing her, let out loudly: “Oh my God, you look great…why didn’t you look like that when we were married?”. The patient told me that she fired back a two-word line to him that is not appropriate for this PG rated blog.
The point: Do we risk the “love” of the important people in our lives by not being at a healthy-appearing weight? In the overwhelming majority of cases, the answer is “NO”. (In the case of our dogs, it is 100% “NO”.) However, let me place a slightly different spin on this: The people we love would be devastated if bad things happened to us medically. Our unconditional love for them would perhaps motivate us to try to be there for them to celebrate good events, help them through bad events and not have them need to take custodial care of us if we faltered physically. Our loved ones would love for us to shed that weight because they know our health will be dependent on this success.
Love (and weight loss success) will keep us together. However, the song attached to this entry is not The Captain and Tennille’s Love Will Keep Us Together, but instead, Billy Joel’s I Love You Just The Way You Are. Enjoy!