January 18, 2011

I love a fat girl

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.

holy smokes!
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.

and it's because she's smart and funny too, not just because of her smokin' bod


Jules said...

What an incredible post. You are SO insightful..It took me many years to learn that lesson...YES! I love a fat girl too....ME!

Life as a Caterpillar said...

Well done Mary. I love your phrase ' fat is not a personality trait' --- why shouldn't anyone else (friends, family, whatever) love you whatever size you are? Really, why?

The sad thing for me when reading the 'can a guy ever love a bigger girl' posts from people (they may be the same posts) is that many girls seem to be losing weight IN ORDER to find a man, which is just so heartbreaking.
And indeed, i think you summed it up for me, (although it may not have been your intention) in that last few lines. I see desperation when i see these kinds of posts on a larger gals blog. I truly want everyone to love themselves and understand themselves and not think that 'having a man will fix everything', because that, to me, is simply another way of saying 'being 120lbs will fix everything' and you and i both know that is not true.

In summation, if you can find a person who you want to be with, who also wants to be with you and it works, then great, i say. But dear goodness, don't make it your priority, and don't make it your goal, because it will only come across as desperation to a man,and that's where the smucks like Jon (sorry Jon) slide in the door and get what they want.

Essay over

All the best wishes to you Mary- you ARE strong and you ARE fabulous, and i sincerely hope the tone of my comment comes through without being condescending or offensive to anyone


Amy said...

It's totally true, and I dealt with these issues while I was in high school, while all my friends were having sex and hooking up and having boyfriend after boyfriend I was telling guys I liked them and they steered me right back into the friend zone. It was a painful time for me, but it all had to do with the fact that I hated myself for what I looked like on the outside. I knew I deserved a great guy so I wasn't going to settle, but I couldn't find the great guy until I loved myself.

I lost the weight at the end of high school and had this new found confidence and guys were hitting on me all over the place, quite inappropriately... including my brother's friends. I couldn't escape it. It was a new thing I hated because these guys I'd known for years were suddenly interested now that I had a nice body? That was not something I was expecting.

I dabbled in fooling around and making out with random guys in first year (without sleeping with them) that treated me like shit or were SOO not my type because I liked the attention.

And then somewhere over the summer after first year I just got it and truly became comfortable in my own skin, loved my body, accepted that it was my body and truly loved myself. I met Stewart in the Fall.

So I really can attest to the loving yourself first part...and completely relate to the thought of wanting a relationship so badly but not being ready for it. You're just going to attract the wrong guys until you're totally comfortable with yourself.

I'm not dealing with a whole different side of it, being in a committed relationship and dealing with my weight (on a bigger scale) all over again. It's tough to be 40 plus pounds heavier than when we met. It's tough that he now weighs 6-7 pounds less than me. Luckily he's super supportive and just kind of sitting back and letting me do my own thing and offering guidance when he can (and I let him). Now if only I could get it under control!

Jessica said...

I think you are doing an excellent job at learning life's lessons as you move along your weight loss journey. There is not a doubt in my mind that you will find the right person when the time is right. I think right now it is very important that you focus on you...everything else will fall in to place at the right time...and probably when you least expect it.

Unknown said...

Hi!! I am a new reader, I am so excited to be finding all these wonderful people who are on a journey similar to my own!! 100 lbs in 6 months is incredible!! That is so awesome... congrats!!

As for loving a "fat girl", you are so right! I have always been a "fat girl" and my husband has always looked past it. I honestly love how you asked if the girl in question understands that... it's so true! We need to love ourselves first!

Thanks for sharing :)

Win, Lose, or Blog said...

I am already married, and I wasn't heavy way back when. Even as a sadie/married lady the thoughts affect, um, things... MY thoughts~not the hubs. So yah, it must come first from within! And I'm not there yet.

FatAngryBlog said...

Awesome, awesome post! And good for you for coming to your own realization of how casual sex used to and now makes you feel. Knowing that helps you move forward in the way you want to. You are in control! :>

Maude said...

All I kept thinking as I read this was "Yay you, Mary! Yay!" Dorky, but I can't help it. This post made me so happy for you. 100lbs? Amazing!! Truthfully though, I actually think I might be even happier about everything else you wrote. I kind of think the mental stuff is harder than the physical. Great, great post!

Anonymous said...

A few days late, but glad I got to catch up on your blog and finally read your thoughts on this topic. I think you're in a really good place, and why wouldn't you be? You have achieved so much already. I'm not at that place of "self-love," obviously, and honestly I'm not sure how to get there. Maybe when I've proven to myself that I can work hard and get healthy? I'm not sure...

Anonymous said...

Hi, new follower. THis post is awesome; as some of the others I've been catching up on. Wow, you have come so far!