In my early 20s, I wore size 24 jeans and my enormous boobs demanded an H-cup bra, a letter no woman should have to associate with lingerie sizing. I couldn't fit into restaurant booths or through the subway turnstile. I even once held up an entire roller coaster ride at Six Flags so I could get back onto the platform when the seat belt wouldn't buckle around me—a character-building experience to say the least. I'd dropped out of college, didn't have any job prospects and I was in a serious romantic relationship with a man who was actually gay (and a little nuts). It was a dark, lonely time in my life mired in lots of bong-hitting and double-cheeseburgering. The Frisky: My Mom Wants Me To Lose Weight
After surprising myself by punching said gay boyfriend in the mouth one night during a screaming match (to which he responded by pulling my hair for 20 minutes—so gay!), I met my own ugly rock bottom. What came next was a brief stint as a homeless, fat girl living out of her Honda. There was, as they say, nowhere else to go but up.
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Carried by the pity of a few good friends, I eventually found a job, a place to live and I went back to college. I spent a couple years losing 100+ pounds, had two breast reduction surgeries, and poured my guts out to a therapist twice a week. The fog was clearing.
Then, like something out of a fairytale, and much to my dismay, I starting falling for an amazing guy who was falling for me too. We'd been friends for years, but I still couldn't believe it was happening. He wasn't gay. He wasn't fat. He was hot. And wonderful. And he usually dated gorgeous girls. But he liked me. The Frisky: I'm So Envious Of My BFF
Yes, I was excited, but a nagging sense of self-doubt plagued me too. I didn't have a great track record for stable relationships and my personal history read like a rap sheet of stupid decisions and impulsive fast food binges. There's no way this is gonna work out, I thought. He'll realize I'm damaged goods any day now.
If I were a lottery winner, I would be the paranoid sort who thought a thief was about to grab my loot and leave me destitute, standing alone on the corner. Except in this case, the potential loss was my entire sense of self. So. No pressure.
I was terrified of getting hurt and I just couldn't see a relationship with this guy going anywhere—I had the impending disaster mapped out in my head: I'll end up the cute, funny, chubby best friend who locks herself in the bathroom when he finally calls to say he's engaged to an 87-pound socialite he met while waiting in line at a Parisian cafe. She likes her lattes with a lot of foam and he thinks that's super adorable and—too late, I don't wait to hear about the fabulous Manhattan wedding they're planning because I've already snapped and am halfway down the block serial-murdering everyone with a pair of scissors.