Diabetic Emma Wilson, 32, found her marriage crumbling because of one big problem.
Wrapping my thick dressing gown round my pyjamas, I switched off the bedroom light and got into bed. My husband, Alistair, reached across and put his hand on my hip. “Not tonight, darling,” I said, my voice muffled under the duvet. It was September 2014 and the very last thing I felt like doing was having sex with my husband.
As Alistair rolled over with a sigh, our double bed seemed to buckle under our combined weight of 40st. Then, after an awkward silence, he started to snore loudly, while I lay there in the dark, eyes blurred with tears. This had been going on for a year now.
I’d never exactly been slim — I’d been nicknamed ‘Titanic’ at school but when Alistair and I had met in April 2007 through online dating, we couldn’t keep our hands off each other. On our honeymoon in St. Lucia in March 2010, we were like a couple of teenagers.
Only thanks to our love of Chinese takeaways and box sets, we’d both been piling on the pounds. By the time our daughter Sophie was born In April 2014. I hated Alistair seeing me naked.
At 5ft 8in, 18st and a size 24, I loathed my body. It didn’t matter that Alistair was big, too — he seemed to carry it better than me. So night after night I rejected his advances.
“I feel disgusting.” I explained to Alistair the next morning. He looked heartbroken. “Are you still in love with me?” he asked. I could see how rejected he felt and I tried to reassure him, promising that we’d get our love life back on track. But deep down, I knew the truth — I needed to lose weight for things to get any better. The problem was, with Alistair busy with his project manager’s job and me exhausted from raising a newborn, we were more in love with takeaways than each other.
It wasn’t just our sex life my weight was affecting. In October 2015, we took Sophie on her first family holiday to Rhodes. It was a nightmare all I could think about was how fat I looked.
I’d wear big dresses and long shirts on the beach, while other mums with their kids were walking round in bikinis. l couldn’t get rid of the feeling that I was less of a woman to Alistair because of my size.
So I kept on rejecting him in the bedroom. I thought it better if I turned him down because it would save him from what I considered the ordeal of having to make love to me. By the time Sophie was 18 months old, he’d had enough. “You obviously can’t love me,” he said finally and sloped off to the spare room. I tried to reassure him but, in truth, it was easier with him in another bed. So it became our routine. We had only been married six years and we were like housemates, not a couple.
By Sophie’s second birthday in April 2016, we were barely talking. There was so much tension. I’d planned a party for Sophie but when the time came for it, I was so worried about being seen by the other parents that I just stood in the corner, tugging my top down and desperately trying to hold back tears. I even let Alistair hold Sophie when she blew out her candles, I didn’t want anyone looking at me.
“I’m so sorry,” I wept that night to Alistair. I felt such a failure. I expected him to say he’d had enough, but he took my hand. “Let’s fix this then,” he said. I nodded. “If I can just lose a bit of weight, I know I’d feel so much better,” I replied. “Then let’s do it together”, he replied. He was now 21st and I was 18st 2lb. The next day, I signed up to a Weight Plan — a meal replacement diet.
I’d have a variety of low-fat porridges, shakes or bars for breakfast and lunch and then cook a healthy family meal in the evening, like chicken and vegetables.
Healthy Routine for a Sex Life
My weight started to drop. I made sure we had no crisps or chocolate in the house so we couldn’t snack. Alistair joined a gym and I started going to dance fitness classes.
Evenings and weekends were always when we were tempted to settle down in front of the TV with a pile of food. So instead, we’d put Sophie in her pram and go on long walks together.
By July 2016. I’d lost 3st and was down to a size 16. I invited some friends over for a barbecue and bought a new strappy top and denim shorts. “You look great,” grinned Alistair, wrapping his arms around my waist. A few months earlier I would have flinched at his touch but now, I leaned in to kiss him. That night, when he snuggled up next to me in bed, I didn’t push him away. Things between us had been bad for a long time but it had actually been nine months since we’d last had sex. As Alistair and I made love, it felt better than ever.
In September 2016, we went on holiday to Menorca. Posing in a new swimsuit, Alistair took a photo. “You look amazing.” he said. At night, once Sophie was asleep, we’d have a drink on the balcony of our hotel room and then head to the bedroom. These days, I didn’t even mind if the lights were on!
By February 2017, we’d lost 14st between us. Alistair had dropped down from 21st to 14st 7lb, while I was 11st 7lb.
Now I’m a size 12 and Alistair and I are closer than ever. We’ll never let our sizes come between us again.
My Diet Changed My Sex Life
Breakfast – Large bowl of cereal, glass of orange juice.
Lunch – Chicken mayonnaise sandwich, crisps, chocolate.
Snack – Tea and biscuits or a large slice of cake.
Dinner – Pizza, Chinese takeaway or a whole pack of filled pasta each with a jar of pasta sauce.
Drinks – Fizzy drinks or a few glasses of wine with dinner
Breakfast – Small bowl of cereal with skimmed milk and fresh berries.
Lunch – Small wholemeal wrap with tuna and salad dressed with balsamic vinegar.
Snack – Apple or berries.
Dinner – Homemade meatballs and tomato sauce, courgetti instead of spaghetti.
Drinks – Plenty of water, occasional glass of wine.
E276 – Help! Diabetic got too Fat for Sex – www.diabetic.today