The Other Side of Weight Loss: A Wife’s Story of Her Husband’s Journey to Shed 100 Pounds


It all started with a letter to Oprah…

The Oprah Winfrey Show was looking for people who had lost 100 pounds or more. So I sent a letter about my husband, Mike. Mike has lost 104 pounds, all naturally, and most of it since my youngest son was born, who is now nearly 2 years old.

This an excerpt from that letter:

As happy as I am for him…I fell in love with him when he was fat. He expects me to shower him in praise and attention, and I just can’t do it. He became ‘addicted’ to the gym, and left me at home a lot with a newborn and 2 other kids. He gets angry with me for not commenting on how great he looks all the time, and I just can’t do it.

How’s that for honesty?

Mike was chosen to be a guest on Oprah’s Weight Loss Finale show that taped in late April – thanks in part to this letter, and I had to do a lot of soul searching personally. Here I was, his wife, who couldn’t give him more than the occasional “Good Job” comment, and he was about to be honored by Oprah Winfrey!

What was wrong with me?!

A lot of women say they understand when I tell them this part of the story. They couldn’t imagine being left at home to do everything while their husband was off ‘bettering himself’, but that wasn’t an issue for me at all. In addition to working three jobs and working out at the gym at least 4 times a week, Mike does ALL the grocery shopping, helps me put the kids to bed, makes our oldest child’s lunch every day, and take the kids on bike rides, to the park or skating every chance he can. He likes to cook and does his own laundry.

And I still resented him.

It comes down to this: Jealousy. It’s an ugly word. I looked it up in the dictionary and read this definition: Jealousy: Fearful or wary of being displaced and substituted for another; apprehensive of losing affection or position. And there you have it. Right there in the dictionary was the reason for my weird reactions. I was worried of becoming substituted for another.

Here comes more honesty.

When I fell in love with Mike – when he was fat – I was at my prime. I was skinny – about 120 pounds soaking wet. His friends made comments like, “how did YOU get a girl like THAT?” and I loved it. Even after we got married and I gained a few pounds, I always looked awesome – next to him.

But, when he started really seeing results at the gym, I had just given birth to a nine pound baby. My third baby. I was now about 40 pounds heavier than when we met, I was nursing, so my breasts no longer belonged to me, and I had no time to even get my roots done. Not because of him going to the gym (although I made sure he thought that was the reason), but because I fed on demand, and couldn’t leave the baby for longer than an hour.

Any woman who has had a baby, knows what the first few months are like, or even the first year. You can’t do whatever you want, when you want to do it, you feel like crap and are tired. Very, VERY tired. And those are my excuses. That and hormones.

I have had the opportunity to meet a lot of the people who were on the Oprah Weight Loss finale show, and recently the topic of relationships after weight loss came up.

It is a very common issue. A lot of the people have lost friends since losing a lot of weight, and the common theme is definitely jealousy. Many people (mostly women) spoke of their husband’s insecurity with the ‘new them’, and many friends not liking their new found confidence and happiness.

Although it’s only been a short while since we taped the show, I can tell you that just coming to terms with my jealousy has really helped our marriage. Hearing the comments from Oprah herself, and random strangers on the Oprah website and all over the Internet, has really helped me put everything Mike has accomplished into perspective. He’s hot. And he’s mine.

That realization, and the fact that he keeps reminding me that his feelings haven’t changed for me at all, has helped. I also realize that I will probably never be 120 pounds again. And that’s okay.

I am married to an incredible man. He works very hard, is an amazing father, and spoils me rotten. He is still the same amazing guy he was when we met, just in a better package. I fell in love with him fat, and he transformed himself into a hottie. It’s like winning the lottery.


About Author

Shannon Hilton is a 34 year old Entrepreneur and Mom to 3 young children. She owns 'Shannon Hilton Photography', 'Tenacious Media' (A Social Media Management Company), and helps her husband with his business 'Continuing Care Transportation'. Her claim to fame is recently getting her husband on the Oprah Winfrey Show, by writing a letter about his 104lb weight loss. She enjoys staying at home with her kids and still being able to follow her dreams and aspirations, mostly from her iPad. Follow her on Twitter @ShannonHilton


  1. Lisa Frederick on

    That is an incredible story. Although I’m not one to watch Oprah (not for any particular reason, mind you…), but it showed an incredible amount of courage and facing your own jealousy to even write that letter. You BROUGHT the spotlight to him, and that was your own way of giving him kudos. You are wonderful to admit it, face it, and accept it. This is my KUDOS to you!

  2. ARG! Let’s try that again….

    This was wonderfully written & full of amazing honesty. I’m proud of your husband, but I’m really proud of you for putting this out there. There are many, many people who feel the same way you do.

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