And Now I Will Say Something that is Unpopular…

…as though that were any different than half the offensive shit I say here on a regular basis.

Before I start, I will hopefully quantify the statements following and reduce the amount of people who want to crucify me by saying this;

I am overweight. Far more than I should be, thanks to a medication I had no business taking, depression and emotional eating. The previous three things are not excuses by the way; much of my weight gain is my own fault for seeking unhealthy ways to deal with the things I don’t always wish to confront.

I wasn’t always overweight. I have been healthy-skinny (eating right, working out regularly, etc) and I have been what-probably-should-have-been-diagnosed-as-a-complex-eating-disorder-skinny (weird eating habits, 6 to 8 hours of exercise, a torrid love affair with diet pills that made me feel like I was dying). I admit all of those things to say, I have been on all sides of the weight issue.

Last night a friend called me, complaining about her love life or lack thereof. She whined for about 30 minutes (during which time I watched “HawthoRNe” on low and muttered, “Mmhmm,” during the commercial breaks) while she went on and on about how shallow men are and how all men are dogs (anyone who knows me knows that any gross generalization, especially of the “Men are dogs” variety will be met with a blank stare of epic proportions) and finally she came to her thesis…

“I think men just don’t like me because I am fat.”

*record screech*

In the interest of transparency, I will admit that my dating life has changed as I have gained weight, but it certainly isn’t nonexistent unless I choose it to be. Plenty of men still approach me; sometimes I even like them. I go out on dates and I have by NO means been celibate.

No means.

To be clear.

At this point I am torn; I know that no good will come of this situation if I tell her that it is not her waistline that is likely keeping men away or turning them off. Rather it is likely because she gives off twenty feet of Eau de Desperate to Have a Man and bathes regularly in Clinique Clingy.

But I guess in her world, those things are neither here nor there.

I tried, as delicately as I could, to say that maybe her assumption was incorrect, but I am pretty sure she got off the phone with the same singular thought as before. But really, I needed to catch the last 30 of HawthoRNe so I didn’t care to try to explain it.

I have heard it often among some of my friends who are overweight; somehow ALL their problems with work and men and friends and health must be tied to the number on the scale. (Maybe the health part is valid.) It somehow becomes a scapegoat for all their issues and cloaks all their destructive behaviors. That might be more dangerous to me than the weight they are carrying.

I mean, what if they lose the weight and the issues are still there? What if they haven’t channeled those bad habits into healthy things or natural growth and progression? What happens then?

For me, I recognize how I have contributed to the deterioration of my own health. I can look in the mirror and see how I have been, quite literally, carrying around the misery of the last few years. But I am also very clear about the fact that whether I was skinny or fat, it was hardly the source of any of my issues. Rather, it was usually just an outward indicator of what was going on inside. It was the symptom; not the sickness.

And now, I will say the thing I am not supposed to say because we live in a world of happy and rainbows and glitter…

Let’s be honest; there are some men that will immediately discount a woman based on her size. That doesn’t make them terrible, low down, shallow amoebae that live under moist rocks. It makes them human. Just like I have seen women turn down a perfectly handsome, funny man because he is a garden gnome who comes equipped with his own booster seat, both women AND men often dismiss a perfectly nice person because of their weight. Have I had less men approach me since I gained weight? Sure. But I also used to have an abundance of men cat call my sizeable rack before. I am not missing much. Come on; no one approaches someone across a bar because they seem like they have a sparkling wit and shining personality.

I understand the emotional, hot button nature of the conversation about being overweight, especially with America being the fattest country in the world. But I don’t think that any person, on either side of the scale, can afford to demonize someone else based on their ill informed assumptions about someone else’s motives.

My friend will go on thinking that men hate her for her size, not because she mentally moves into their place the first time she visits. That is her journey, I suppose. And there will be tons of overweight men and women who will sneer at the potential suitors they perceive have slighted them because of their weight and recite the mantra that anyone who loves them will love them for exactly who they are.

Which is true, to an extent.

But the only thing I know for sure is this; I want a life fit for myself to live. Not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well. And I know that I will never be perfect, but I believe I can be better. And that is the person I want people to fall in love with.

6 thoughts on “And Now I Will Say Something that is Unpopular…

  1. Okay… so you got me all hyped up foe something good and unpopular.

    Where is it? Still waiting!!!

    Here I am expecting to wonder if what I just read was offensive or not. And here you go telling the SIMPLE truth.

    I am not the handsomest dude around, yet manage to get a second look here and there. I am not “The Most Interesting Man in the World”, yet… well you get the idea. There are plenty people who prefer a keg over a six-pack!

    Damn… Now I want a beer…


  2. completely agree…i'm mad you didn't set her straight solely because you wanted to catch the last 30 minutes of HawthoRNe!! lololol


  3. Church, tabernacle, choir, deacon, priest, mosque, and kingdom freakin hall!
    I have been having this battle with a really close friend of mine for the last five years and I'm still not gaining any ground.
    She ALWAYS complains that the reason her dating life is non existent is because of her size.
    Forget the fact that she and I are roughly the same size, only with slightly different proportions and I always have male companionship when I choose.
    Hell, I WISH I was shaped like my friend.
    She has a chest that could feed ALL the underpriveleged children of the world for pennies a day and an ass that HAS stopped traffic. I always remind her of this to which she replies that I get more men because of my personality.
    I would love to print this out and send it to her, but I don't think she's ready to acknowledge that yet.
    Personally, I think she and I could both stand to lose a few pounds for health reasons and to fit into those thigh high boots we've been craving since freshman year.
    But dropping weight in order to increase my pool of dating prospects?
    I'm good with the stuff I'm getting in my shallow end.


  4. I wanted to give you a prop and even a cosign… then you said garden gnome and i absolutely positively completely lost my ever loving shit


  5. True, issues can still be there even after the weight is lost. Sometimes it's hard to identify which ones come from the weight gain and which ones are independent of it.
    Clinginess is a massive turn off, and the size only adds to that, you become the “desperate fat woman”. Whenever I put up with crap from men simply out of love, I know that's what many people thought, that I just can't afford to discard any man who is interested in me. Even if my thin friends did just as many stupid things for men, and even more.
    I don't mind being rejected for my weight, you can't fake sexual attraction. What I do mind is when the guy obviously loves spending time with me and obviously loves the sex, but prefers to hide me like a dirty little secret. Luckily, that approach hasn't worked with me in a few good years, which means we CAN learn :). I hate closeted chubby chasers!


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