I didn't have my first real relationship until I was 23 years old, and now that I’m marrying that same man I've been thinking a lot about relationships, love and how I overcame my insecurities regarding weight and dating.
For years, I allowed myself to believe that no one would fall for a bigger girl. It held me back from opening up and letting others in. Now that I'm happily engaged and confident about my body and myself, I wanted to reflect back on my four most detrimental thought patterns — and how I changed my attitude. You may find you relate to my struggles, no matter what you weigh.
1. No one will want to date me if I look this way:
It's totally understandable to feel like weight is a huge factor to men finding you attractive. After all, when you look around, what passes for sex appeal in today's culture is rarely a plus-sized girl. I used to repeat the same prayer before bed every night: "God, when I wake up tomorrow please let me be thin so I get asked out." And that middle-school prayer lasted all throughout college! I desperately wanted to look differently so that guys would look my way. I failed to see the evidence stacked in my body-image favor: that we are surrounded by plus-size women are in loving, devoted and caring relationships. I chose not to see that because, in my mind, something was fundamentally wrong with how I looked. And if I thought that if I looked wrong, others must think so too.
2. When I lose weight, I’ll be ready to date:
Like many overweight women, dieting and weight loss are reasonable courses of action to fix what we believe to be broken. In college I lost 50 pounds in seven months. I looked amazing, and men started to treat me differently. They noticed. They asked me out. They got touchy. But I got scared. I got scared because I realized that my weight actually wasn’t the issue: I was terrified they might really like me and I would mess it up. Despite losing all that weight, I still felt alone in my own skin — like a foreigner in a strange land. Wasn't I supposed to be "cured" now? Wasn't losing 50 pounds enough to make me happier and feel more attractive? It was such a painful pill to swallow the moment I realized losing weight hadn't fixed my insecurities — it exaggerated them. And when I began to gain the weight back, I knew something deeper would finally need to come to the surface. It was time to put to rest the idea that I was incapable of loving at all. Keep Reading..
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