About two years ago I was where you were..about 50lbs overweight. When I look at the pictures of myself I'm shocked. I thought at the time I was chubby but I was getting FAT. I was starting to look like one of those proverbial middle aged mamas. None of my old clothes fit. I was a size 14 approaching a size 16 and at 5'2" that's not good! I had taken to wearing Men's clothes (and people thought I was a Lesbian as a result!
) and my waist was 34". I gave my H my old shorts and they fit HIM and he's 200lbs and 6'5"!
Well, I went on a serious diet that I still maintain now. 1000-1200lbs a day and I work out for an hour each day Monday-Friday mornings. First half hour is exercises for my abs, back/buttocks and push ups (real push ups, not girlie ones). Last half hour is on my elliptical.
Result is that I'm in better shape then I was in college...and I can wear clothes I had back then too. I borrow my daughter's clothes! I'm a Size 3 with a 25" waist, have a six pack and all the aches and pains in my back are gone. I feel 20 years younger.
I got rid of all my old clothes and bought new ones. As I grew out of the clothes I had them taken in. I only keep a few "fat" clothes for hanging out in. I also started wearing make up and applying moisturizer on a regular basis. In other words, I started taking care of myself.
The result is that my self image and sex life vastly improved (until my H started having HIS issues but that's another looonnngg story). More importantly I felt good! The exercise alone helped me get few a very difficult period last year. When things go stressful I'd work out...and still do. It's VERY therapeutic. I think the exercise and diet regimen I was on helped me avoid spiraling down into a depression when things were at their worse for me.
Exercise has proven to be VERY helpful in reducing stress and maintaining a healthy life style. If you want to actually lose weight you HAVE to reduce caloric intake. There's NO WAY around that. When I have strayed off my "maintenance" diet (around 1200 calories a day) it shows. What exercise does is make me feel fit and toned up, helps my confidence and it's very healthy and a real stress reducer. I don't like being flabby. I love feeling my muscles working and the results of it. Plus I feel very sexy.
An example of just not eating without working out would be my husband. He didn't eat much during his alcoholic binge and is indeed thin as a result (one the bloating went away) but he's sadly out of shape. We spent a weekend doing physical activity recently and he was sore and complaining. I didn't feel a thing. I want to do a hike up Black Rock Mountain at Lake George with him in a few weeks but I have serious doubts about his ability to do so.
It also helps that my work keeps me active. I'm literally on my feet for 8 hours a day, 4-5 days a week.
I think my biggest vice is coffee and I do like my wine and beer but I try and limit that to weekends.
I think you were depressed. Exercise not only helps you deal with stress but it helps with depression too! By working out you are helping to alleviate these symptoms. I think this is a factor with my own husband.
I think you should make a "go" of it with your wife. Maybe it's too late but as they say, nothing ventured, nothing gained. I'd use the 180 as a guideline in that you want to be pleasant and friendly to her, not pressure her in any way about the relationship and give the impression that you have a life of your own and hope she comes around. Plus, it WILL help put things in perspective. Even if you do lose her, than you'll be that much healthier for yourself and the next person who comes along.