It is not unusual to want some degree of separation to sort out your thoughts and feelings. Best facilitated by a therapist or counselor, together you and your partner agree to a separation for a specific amount of time. Then you will come back together to renegotiate the terms of the relationship at the end of that time. Significant to this process is that each of you has a specific plan about what you will be addressing during this separation period. For example, you commit to work with a therapist on childhood issues once a week, you agree to read specific articles related to partner betrayal, he agrees to go to a treatment program, or he agrees to end certain relationships. You will also make decisions as to what type and amount of contact you will have during this time and what specific financial and parenting responsibilities are maintained. The following couple decided to take a therapeutic separation very soon after the initial disclosure. Being together was simply not an option for them. This is called vanity sizing. Retailers have gotten smarter. As people gained weight, they didn't fit into their usual sizes and needed bigger clothing. But people didn't want to buy larger sizes, so they didn't buy as many clothes. As a result, clothing manufacturers have adjusted their sizes to allow consumers to buy smaller-sized garments and feel skinnier. We heard a great story on Hidden Brain, Shankar Vedantam's show on National Public Radio, stating that a size six in 1970 would be comparable to a size two in 1996 and a size zero in 2012. As we have gotten larger, we have changed our concept of what is normal. We are changing the sizes of our clothes to reflect that change, so we don't feel we are bigger. But we know that we are. Many environmental factors contribute to obesity. Take the effort to find great people to teach us. Change your environment.

Change your life. Let's take a quick timeout. There's some merit to be said for people's uncontrollable circumstances. I did not start life from the pits of hell. I had a great advantage. I mean, come on, I'm a white dude in the United States who got his college paid for. The fact that I'm writing a article on apathy could be insulting for some of you. I need to take a pause here and say something important. By the time my husband went to treatment for his sex addiction, I wanted a divorce. Nonetheless I agreed to participate in the therapy process they had for family members. Our relationship was so antagonistic and acrimonious that we both agreed to an immediate separation. I really thought we would divorce. But I followed the therapist's advice and made no legal decisions. I used this time to focus on myself and try to figure out what I wanted and more of who I was. I had so much anger long before this marriage. Overall, I liked our separation; I found a freedom. It felt better than being together. Large portion sizes, high-sugar drinks, fast food, decreased physical activity, and watching more television are all linked to obesity. Television has been shown to directly influence our risk of obesity, and these trends are likely to follow into adulthood.

Back in the old days, when people lived off the land, we were not an overweight population. We worked in the fields all day, picked our food for supper from the garden, and ate it while it was fresh. We ate more vegetables, fruits, and nuts. We lived off the land and only killed what we needed to feed our families. Nothing was wasted. Over time, we have left our farms. We go to fast-food restaurants to get a quick meal as we drive to work. We sit for eight to ten hours per day and get up only to refill our sodas and eat meals. Nothing is insurmountable. Just trust me on this. This isn't just some motivational phrase people throw around. If you dig deep enough into the many started from the bottom, now we're here stories, you will find people are capable of amazing feats. While I blame my life transformation on a higher power (my faith in Jesus Christ), tons of men and women around the world have simply decided something important for their lives. They decided to take ownership and no longer be a victim. Nothing I have written (or will continue to write) is revolutionary. There's no secret or one trick to turn your life around. For the rest of this article, we will dive into the practical steps that you can implement TODAY to create positive traction on your life. I will continue to describe real examples of how this works. While we thought it would be a three-month separation, it was actually a year. We both attended twelve-step programs, and both of us did a lot of therapy.

It took a lot of discussion for me to have ownership of myself and some independence of him. After a year we got back together, but I still wasn't convinced it would work. Well, here we are twelve years later. I never would have imagined we would be the people we are today. We committed ourselves individually to our respective therapy processes and by doing so came together as a family. The next example of therapeutic separation is less acrimonious. This couple believes therapeutic separation allowed them to learn more of what they needed individually, separate from each other, to allow them a healthier relationship down the road. My husband and I have been in recovery for many years, he regarding pornography and myself for betrayal trauma and codependency. Often we are so busy that food is brought into meetings, so we don't have to break for a meal. We eat what is there and often much more than we need. We eat snacks and desserts because they are readily available. We then drive home and are usually too tired to exercise. We might eat a quick frozen dinner in front of the television and fall asleep. We snack until the late hours of the night. The sizes of our plates have gotten larger, so we eat more food. We drink less water and supplement with sodas and coffee to keep us awake because we are often tired. We eat pasta and simple sugars all day, so we have constant dips and plateaus in our energy levels. We then get a jolt of caffeine to keep us awake during the post-eating dips. In my life or in other lives, it still works the same. No matter how long it takes, it still works.

Your environment may be terrible. You may not currently care about anything. You may not have any obsessive drive at all. Your goals and obstacles could look monsterous to you. You may have been screwed a hundred times and trust no one. Nothing is insurmountable. Now, back to our feature presentation. I'm very new to the diligent doer, non-apathetic lifestyle. During this time he has had a few relapses. In our seventh year of recovery his acting out escalated. He was going to massage parlors and having physical contact. I requested that he sleep in a separate bedroom for a few nights. I was angry, scared, and confused, and I didn't feel I could honor him or myself by sharing the same bed. Due to his relapse behavior, our counselor recommended shifting the dynamics in our coupleship with a ninety-day therapeutic separation. The first thirty days, outside of counseling, we would have no contact unless there was a physical emergency. The next thirty days would be renegotiated. Immediately, I felt scared as to what this meant for our marriage. We had been married for twenty-six years; Over time, we have become overweight and sedentary. We have the ability to change this.