Phase 4: Wedding Bells 

There got to be a point where there was a lot of tension about our relationship. We had some major fights, some major make-ups. My weight came up a lot, my health did, and I deflected it. I was trying – I’d say – I was struggling. I wasn’t really, I was just frozen. I didn’t know how to eat better, to exercise, it all seemed so foreign. Like changing my life and my hobbies and my happiness for some idea that didn’t quite make sense to me. It just seemed like staring at the base of a mountain of change, and thinking, “I’d better not, it looks dangerous”.

I remember intellectualizing everything. Turning it into a philosophical debate, and browbeating Carrie into seeing my own misguided point-of-view. Working out was dangerous for me, all I could do was ‘walk’. I needed a trainer, a professional. This is just the way I am. Any excuse I could come up with to not drastically change my life – I provided. I actually tore my knee ligament one time while camping and after that I had a pretty solid excuse to not work out because it wasn’t ‘safe’ I hid behind everything.

Carrie could see deep down that I was afraid. I was afraid I would fail, I was afraid she wouldn’t love me if I did fail. I think she understood on a deeper level than I did what it was that motivated me at my core. That I desperately wanted to be loved as I was, even if I wasn’t perfect. I wanted to believe that I didn’t need to be any better than I was just now. In an effort to show me that and to give me the foundation that I could really trust. She proposed to me.

I was shocked, she asked me to meet her in the park where we first started seeing each other. Some horrible part of me actually thought she was going to dump me. But she did it. She was brave. She dropped to one knee, told me that she would stick with me through whatever I needed to go through, to be the kind of person I needed to be. I accepted whole-heartedly. Even though I wasn’t the person I wanted to be, I knew deeply and instantly that she was the person I wanted to be with. I told myself I would earn this. I would deserve a love like this and that I would reach the mountain-tops with her by my side.

That year flew by like a whirlwind, we planned the wedding, she was aching to fit into her wedding dress and she dieted and exercised and once again flew through the process that seemed so effortless to her and so insurmountable to me. By the time the date came around, I was heavier than ever.

She was radiant. She was so beautiful it hurt my heart. I felt that if I had done something to deserve this creature, then I must be a pretty great guy. But I remember looking at our wedding photos and being ashamed.

Each photo had an unflattering angle, showed some sign that I was not just overweight but obese. My hair was thinning and I was developing a bald spot. I couldn’t look at those photos and not feel a little bit disgusted with myself. Carrie looked like an angel and while I couldn’t have had a bigger smile on my face, it was a face surrounded by too much landscape to really see it.

Soon it was over and we had some talks and really tried to adapt to a LIFE together. To forever. I went through some changes, my mind and my point of view changed.

I had to wrap my head around what a marriage was. I always thought when I was young that people did it because they simply knew. Later in life and after I got to be a little more cynical, I thought that people did it because they wanted to have kids, or were afraid to be alone. I didn’t really know what marriage meant, to me, or anyone.

I started thinking about ’till death do us part’ and to be honest, it didn’t scare me. I knew I loved her with all my heart and that forever with her wouldn’t be so bad. I never flinched at growing old with her.

Some selfish part of me knew I might die young. That I would probably die when my Father did. Around mid-fifties. His crutch was booze and mine was food, and like peas in a pod we would both succumb to heart failure by 55. At times it was almost comforting. On some level I knew she would outlive me and then I would be gone and while she would suffer, and probably live a good long time afterward, that she was the strong one. She would pull it together like I never could. She would be OK.