One of my favorite things about blog awards is finding so many new blogs to follow - even if I might not comment on them all, I read every single post. I find so much strength in knowing that the things that I feel are understood by someone else, that I'm not alone in my struggles.
With my recent increase in reading, I have found quite a few blog posts lately that have dealt with the topics of dating, relationships, and sex. My first reaction was that it seems logical - it's a tough time of year to be single ... no date to the holiday parties, no kiss at midnight on New Years, and a feeling of impending loneliness brought on by store shelves already stocked with gifts and cards for Valentines Day. I'm very guilty of these thoughts myself. But to be honest, there's always an event, a party, and a dozen reasons to feel down about not being in a couple, no matter what the season.
I can't speak for everyone, but I think part of the reason why weight loss tends to make me dwell on the fact that I'm single is because all my hard work is resulting in some well-deserved self-esteem. At 345 pounds, I didn't want a relationship - loneliness was the least of my problems. I barely wanted to be with myself, let alone have someone else around. But now, I'm taking care of myself, and for the first time in a very long time, I feel totally gorgeous. Yes, I have some bad days. Yes, I still have a lot of work to do for my long term goal. But for the most part, I feel like I am accomplishing something wonderful, and that feels completely amazing. No longer do I sit on my couch all day, binge eating and feeling bad about myself - I go out and do things around the city and enjoy the life I've avoided living for so long. So naturally, I would like to find someone to share this joy and these adventures with.
Unfortunately (and again, I speak of my own experience) my body and my mind still seem to be in two different places. I realized the other day that if I lose five pounds in the next two weeks, my total weight loss will be exactly 100 pounds in exactly six months.
It's such a wonderful success, and I have so many reasons to smile and things to be thankful for, but it truly is an awful lot to process emotionally. I think about wanting to go out on dates and possibly be in a relationship, but as tempting as it seems, I cannot make it my top priority right now. I've only recently made myself a priority of mine, and I cannot lose focus of that - it might sound a little selfish, but I need to really focus on Mary. I haven't been a 250 pound version of myself in over a decade - I need to get to know her a bit before I try and introduce her to someone else.
In the past, I've sought out the company of men who were absolutely not right for me and who were not actually interested in a relationship, simply because they were the only ones who seemed interested in my body. I thought that was the kind of attention that I wanted - I hated my body, but here was a man who claimed otherwise. Casual sex gave me a feeling of power - despite being morbidly obese, I had the power to cause that sort of reaction in a man's body. It made me feel strong and gave me a feeling of validation - there was hope for me yet. What I did not realize was that it was, in fact, the opposite. These behaviors wore me thin, broke me down, and stripped me of what little value I had assigned myself to begin with.
I commit myself to total honesty in this blog, so I need you to know that even before last week's Toon Tuesday blog got posted, I saw Jon again. And it was just more of the same. Perhaps he's at a different stage in the recovery process than I am and he feels okay with this kind of thing ... or maybe he's a jerk. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. What I *can* say with certainty is upon that leaving his apartment last Sunday, I crossed "sex" of the mental list of things I'm looking for in my life right now, and highlighted "stability" and "strength." Being with Jon didn't give me the rush of power that hookups used to - to be honest, it felt dissatisfying, like what I assume a binge would feel like to me these days. These days, running races and meeting goals fill me with pride and self-worth; after shifting my focus for so long, overeating and casual sex seem to have lost their control over me and their ability to give me a false sense of power.
I've read several blog posts in the past few months where ladies find themselves wondering if it's possible for someone to fall in love with a bigger girl - I've written on the subject myself. The comments people leave speak for themselves - of course it's possible. Fat is not a personality trait, and any guy who is worth getting close to will understand that. But hey, single girl in question - do you understand that? A strongly recurring message in the blog comments is that we need to look inward and love ourselves before seeking love from others. If you love a fat girl, someone else will too.