Monday, December 23, 2013


I don't feel attractive most of the time and truth is I don't even think about it much. There is too much else going on in my life that getting through the day and maybe getting some sleep seems more important than anything else. And when I do think about it, it is more of guilt about not getting my hair done or keeping my feet hydrated...stuff like that. I don't beat myself up about my weight anymore.

Wasn't always this way. There was a time when no matter how good or competent I was at everything else, I let my weight and negativity about it define my identity. I felt crappy and inferior ALL the time. It's even more brutal when you're single, as I was many years ago. It gets in the way of trying to get to know another person and enjoying their company because all your headspace is occupied with crappy thoughts about yourself. And then you convince yourself that the other person is thinking crap about you as well, thereby demolishing any chances you might have had.

My parents set me up with a bunch of different guys before I met the one who would become my husband. I started the process feeling somewhat interested but it quickly turned into something I dreaded. I didn't enjoy the phone conversations, setting up meetings and then seeing the disappointment in their eyes and then not getting a call back and meanwhile getting berated by my parents for being fat. And I dieted. Oh I dieted and worked out like a maniac...which led to some pretty bad hormonal outcomes and compromised immunity. If you have never been fat, the above statement would make no sense to you. Isn't diet and exercise good for you? Yes and no. This is not a post about that though.

So the guy I met before my husband: I had no hopes, no interest. As instructed by my parents, I told him outright 'I am fat. If you still want to meet up, we can'. Never mind that I was creative, intelligent, well educated, good at my job...none of those things even seemed to matter. I wasn't prepared for his reply. 'So what? I am dark but I don't go telling people that as an introduction. I am more than one attribute of myself.'

We met in person a week or two later. I remember actually enjoying my conversation with his guy. There was no bated breath of 'will he like me?' I was actually interacting and finding out if we liked each other. A couple of hours into the conversation we realized it wouldn't be a good match. He was too driven and ambitious for my liking. He felt I was too dreamy and vague for his liking with all my plans of maybe writing a book 'someday'. So we didn't get any further with this.

And then came along my husband. I actually enjoyed talking with him on the phone and looked forward to meeting him. I actually found myself *flirting* when he visited. Flirting requires you to actually feel good about yourself. I could not have been in this state of mind even a couple of months before. This guy stayed on for more than a couple of hours and we ended up talking all day long. And then he reluctantly left and said he would be back again the next day. And of course he ended up staying in my life since then. :-)

I wish I could say that was the end of my self-image issues and I lived happily ever after. It took another 7 or 8 years to get past it. That was a turning point though, one that I am grateful for.