I want to talk about dating and weight loss. I plan to do a Youtube video on the subject but for now I want to just share some observations with you.
I gained most of my weight in my early to mid 20s. Prior to gaining weight, I never had any issues dating. There were always guys interested in me. However once I gained weight, going from 150-200 pounds and eventually up to 255, I found my dating prospects dwindling rapidly.
I was constantly reassured by people around me that guys are “jerks” for not liking me as I am, and that they’re just “shallow” for not being able to see what an amazing person I am. How dare they not be attracted to me, excess weight and all?!
Well fast forward a year and a half after bariatric surgery – and I must say it’s been an eye-opening experience. As I put myself out there more and more, I have made the following observations (all based upon my OWN experience, yours may be different).
- My dating pool gets larger and larger the closer I get to my goal weight. Let’s be honest – when you’re heavy, like really heavy – the dating pool is smaller. Men are coming at me left and right these days. Old flames from years ago are suddenly popping up in my Facebook Messenger with comments like, “Hey, you look good, what have you been up to?” Random men open doors for me now, I see them checking me out from across the room, and I turn more heads. I am on a popular dating app called Tinder right now (as well as Bumble), and 95% of the time when I swipe YES (Right) on a man I find attractive they’ve already said YES to me. What does this mean? More options. I can be more selective, and in turn I can raise my standards a little higher.
- Guys don’t seem to care that I used to be big or that I had weight loss surgery (WLS). Generally speaking, I’ve been on a lot of dates in the past year, and whenever I’ve told a man I had weight loss surgery – they’re not even bothered one bit by it. In fact, they’re super impressed I’ve taken control of my body and health and actually DONE something to help myself. This was a surprise to me because I thought they’d be turned off or super judgmental about it, but not at all. And mind you, these are guys who are usually in great shape themselves.
- I have realized I can’t date an obese man. This sounds terrible, but allow me to explain. I will GLADLY date someone who was formerly obese, or is obese and just had bariatric surgery, or is ACTIVELY in the process of losing weight and has already made great strides. However, if a man is obese, and lives a certain lifestyle – I cannot date him. Why? Because I am still a food addict! I may always be. If you are a recovering drug addict – would you date someone currently suffering from drug addiction? No way! No matter how strong you are, you are way more likely to fall back into your old ways if you surround yourself with someone who has an addiction that you once battled with. I am not strong enough, or emotionally equipped to take on the burden of helping someone who doesn’t want to be helped. Now if I met a man who was ALSO a bariatric patient, or who lost a ton of weight on their own and were keeping it off – I would absolutely date them… because we would be in a position to empower each other. I haven’t met one yet (all the good ones seem taken – ahem Steve and Andre :), so the men who I have been dating after surgery have all been health and fitness oriented men.
- I had some hangups after surgery about my skin and body. Loose skin is a FACT when you’re losing a good amount of weight. I have loose skin on my arms, belly, hips, legs, and my breasts were T R A G I C. Fortunately there is this wonderful thing called PLASTIC SURGERY, and my breasts were still heavy enough to be covered by insurance for a reduction – so I recently had those puppies done and it has made a WORLD of difference in my confidence. I still have some issues with my belly, but the men I date know how far I have come and they seem accepting of me as-is. If it continues to bother me once I hit goal though I will likely go for a tummy tuck.
- Sometimes I find myself still in that mindset of “you’re not worthy” around men that I date. When I was big, I was invisible to most guys. Sometimes, even though I know I look different, my mind hasn’t caught up with my body. I often wonder “why does he like me? I’m not pretty or skinny enough. OMG his ex was thin! He won’t like me”. I have fat brain. But then I’ll catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror when I am running out of the door to a date and think ‘Wow girl you are BEAUTIFUL!!’ He’s lucky to date you!!! I think this will slowly change as I get more accustomed to this new body.
- When I reflect back on some of the relationships I had when I was at my heaviest weight, I cringe. I honestly envy those big girls out there who found themselves a loving and accepting man, who even if they lost weight would stand by their side. I never did have that. I had a couple of situationships when I was at my heaviest – and looking back they weren’t healthy. I once dated a personal trainer/physical therapist (he was lean and totally ripped) – I met him on a BBW dating website. In hindsight I realized the reason he liked BBW women was because he wanted control over someone who had low self-esteem. Yes, he was sexually attracted to larger women – and that’s great – but he was an emotional and mental abuser. Fortunately for me, I learned early on that he had a need for CONTROL, and I ran from that relationship and never looked back. Just before I had bariatric surgery, I was involved with a man who looking back had sooo many red flags of compulsive lying behavior, but I was so starved for love and affection that I ignored the signs. I devaluated myself in so many ways, because having felt invisible to men for so long I took whatever I could get. It makes me really sad, but those experiences helped to mold me. Throughout this process I’ve learned so much about being a high value woman with standards – regardless of the size of my body. I’m easy to lose now, and men like the ones I dated when I was at my heaviest fall to the wayside because my confidence and standards repel them.
- Don’t make the mistake I did, of trying to date early on in your weight loss journey. It’s a distraction. You know when you meet someone new, and you’re talking to each other ALL THE TIME? You’re maybe even seeing them all the time, going on dinner dates, or getting drinks. Keep sight of your goals, please. Learn to take care of yourself FIRST. Say NO to a date if you need to go to the gym. Go to dinner with a man but don’t let him persuade you to order dessert or cocktails when you’re close to meeting your calorie goal for the day. Stay firm on your journey. And if possible, wait until you’re closer to your goal weight before you start dating aggressively. I lost a bit of weight in the beginning and I was really starting to feel myself – and I put so much focus into dating that my weight loss ended up suffering. I would’ve been further along in my journey now if it weren’t for the fact that I was still lonely and trying to fill that void with male attention. These days, I’ve learned to set boundaries and I will politely decline a date if it means I need to stay home and meal prep, or go for a walk, or get some sleep. Don’t let a man or budding relationship derail you from your routine.
Thanks for reading