In my last post, I spoke of Reset and Resolution sex as being possible outcomes of having The Talk™, neither of which help a marriage bed to get back on track. In the case of Reset Sex, any uptick in sexual activity is illusory, as it is merely a ploy to tamp down any threatened mutinies to the sacred status quo.
In the case of Resolution Sex, there is intention to improve, to change things for the better, but there is a serious problem with Resolution Sex. While there is intent, there is no intentionality.
Intentionality is the purposeful determination and planning to work through a problem toward a solution. As I said in my last post, this isn’t solely a marriage function; instead, it is a determination that helps us to achieve our goals, no matter what sphere of our lives we are working on.
In my previous post, I contrasted intentionality with the common practice of making New Year’s resolutions. We all know the drill: make a resolution to improve some aspect of your life on Jan 1, and by Jan. 3, it’s history. One of the most common resolutions in America is dieting, to lose weight.
And here is where I have to drop another fig leaf. As you might guess from a picture or two that has surfaced of me on other blogs, I cannot be described as anything close to svelte. I have always had a problem with weight (in fact, I joined the Navy in ‘68 weighing 276 lb. – hey, during that part of the Viet Nam war the Navy took anything breathing.)
Like half of America, I have been on and off different diets and weight-loss plans over the years; you name it, I’ve probably done it: Metrical, Slim Fast, Richard Simmons’ Sweating to the Oldies, Overeaters Victorious, Adkins Diet, etc. I would go with a plan, lose weight, get tired of the diet and go back up. And up. And up.
“Gonna Change My Way of Livin’”
I’m pulling up my Bob Dylan paraphrase from my last post, but this is just what happened. This past year, I have changed many things about my food and nutrition, with the result that I have lost 80 lbs. in a year’s time. Mind you, as I said above, I have been on diets before and have lost weight with varying degrees of success. But this past year, there have also been changes in mindset and intentions that were not present before.
The fact that I saw myself on diets is one major mindset. After all, a diet is a regimen of restricted eating for a period of time in order to achieve a goal. The unspoken thought behind that is that once the goal is achieved, the diet is over, and regular eating can be restored. Instead of reset sex, I replaced it with reset eating.
The change this year? After being “pre-diabetic” for several years, finally being diagnosed with full-blown type 2 diabetes and the doctor putting me on insulin last year prompted many changes.
Wife and I had to confront an ugly truth, one that we could no longer ignore, and so we began to look for help and assistance with this situation. There is a great number of resources for people with diabetes, quite bewildering and overwhelming at times, even. But one thing that helped to turn us around was that Wife and I began attending workshops conducted by a nutritionist that provided us with knowledge and resources we had no idea existed (Well, if I’m going to be honest, resources and stuff I couldn’t have cared less about before the diagnosis.)
Attending the nutritionist’s workshops, I was initially skeptical that anything she would have to say was something I would like, and I did exhibit some of my customary curmudgeonly grumpiness (albeit in a constrained form) during early sessions. But I did learn about just how much certain foods were damaging to me, and over the course of time, I learned of replacements that, surprise!, I actually came to enjoy!
As a result, my eating habits have undergone a complete makeover. Potatoes, rice, and corn are a very rare occurrence in my nutritional lineup, along with the rich gravies and sauces that Wife is so adept at creating. As well, pies, cakes and ice cream aren’t making appearances, at least in forms that previous gave me a blood sugar average of 178, back in March 2017.
Gonna Change My Way of Eatin’
Other foods made their appearances, much to my initial consternation and skepticism. Things like riced cauliflower and veggie tots, protein drinks and greek yogurt became regular staples. All beef is gone, but I have found that turkey is a protein-packed, lo-cal alternative, and so am enjoying many different turkey meals.
Two great electronic finds also made a huge difference in this year’s changes. The first was an app for recording my blood sugar readings, and I was able to see quantifiable information about my diabetes, not just guesstimates. When I started recording my readings, I was shocked at what I was seeing. As I said above, my sugar readings for March 2017 was 178. That doesn’t report the day in which my daily average of three reading was 250+. That’s downright unhealthy, and it was a true wakeup call.
The second app that was recommended to my by the nutritionist was MyFitnessPal, an app for tracking eating and exercise. Given my arthritis, my age, and my sedentary lifestyle, I was skeptical (what else is new?) of this app’s ability to help me.
However, using this app helped me to get a handle on what I was eating, and just how bad my food choices were. Using MyFitnessPal, I track/log everything I eat, and get an instant report on the calories, carbs, fat and protein I am consuming at each meal. As a result, I can make decisions on the foods that I will eat and what I will avoid.
But here’s the thing–having the app would be useless to me if I didn’t have the intention to use it and abide by the strictures of the good choices that would help me.
Making the Right Choice
I realize that, in this post, I am taking a big detour away from the purpose of the CSL blog, which is dealing with marriage and marital problems. But the whole process of what Wife and I did this year, for me to lose weight, can be applied to addressing marriage problems. We were forced to comprehend the actual magnitude of my problem, and then to be intentional in finding and implementing real knowledge and practices that tuned everything around for me. I believe that the same intentionality brought to a sexless marriage can help to heal that marriage.
In my next post, I want to share about three possible root causes for sexlessness in a marriage, and suggest solutions for these root causes. Stay tuned…
ps – For those of you concerned over the health info I shared, here’s the good news: The result is that I have lost 80 lbs., my A1C score has dropped from 9.0 in March ’17 to 5.2 in March ’18. And I no longer have to use insulin.
Intentional change works.