I’m a big girl: not thick, not plump, big. And it affects my dating life.
Being a bigger person doesn’t have to affect your dating life, and I’ve seen women my size or bigger who date often or have left the dating world behind for marriage. And on the flip-side, there are many slim, fit, toned ladies who are single and may have gone on fewer dates than I have. So what then is the problem?
Many will say that it’s all about confidence. I’m sure most single women have been told that they just need to be more confident and men will approach them because confidence is sexy. But before you can be confident you need to be comfortable with whatever causes you to lack confidence. For me, that’s my weight. My belief is that even if I don’t shed a single ounce, I am worthy of finding love and finding it with someone who adores my body in addition to my mind and soul. But there’s a voice that speaks louder than my beliefs most of the time, the voice that comes around when another friend announces their engagement or when I see new wedding pictures on facebook. This voice tells me that I’m fat and therefore ugly and no one would want to marry a girl with such jiggly arms or a flabby stomach. It tells me that even if I were to find someone to marry me, my pictures wouldn’t be half as nice as the ones I’m always checking out because I’d be so large in my dress. The sad thing is I actually believe this voice and allow myself to get down and hopeless about my future as regards marriage! It’s not a good place to be and that is why it’s so important to build your confidence and know your own self worth so that when that voice pipes up, you can quite literally tell it to shut up.
It’s strange that I can truly believe in my worth as a human being, but then also listen to a voice that’s focused on criticizing just one aspect of who I am, isn’t it?
Over the years, I have tried to lose weight, but only in a half-hearted way. I believe in lifestyle changes, not dieting, because very few people can maintain a diet for the rest of their lives successfully. I don’t want to be one of those people who loses a spectacular amount of weight and then gains it back once I return to my old eating habits. If I lose weight, I want it to to be permanent. I won’t mind gaining some back when I get pregnant (by God’s grace), but I don’t want to lose 50 pounds one year, only to 60 pounds heavier one or two years later.
I resent the fact that fat is associated with unattractiveness by some, and I resent the double standard that means that you’ll be more likely to see a fat man marrying a toned slender woman than the opposite. It’s important to be physically attracted to your mate, and I wouldn’t recommend that you marry someone whose outer package repulses you, but for those who are focused so much on weight (or any aspect of physical appearance for that matter), I wonder what will happen if God forbid one develops a condition that causes them to gain weight or have a difficult time losing weight. If they’ve built their relationship heavily on looks, it’s may not lead to a happy ending.
But despite my resentment, I have not become bitter. Instead, I’m working on building my confidence and remembering my worth and good points. I’m focussing on health as a goal rather than “looking like hot stuff so men fall at my feet” (tempting as that is). I have been so blessed to be in good health to date and I really don’t want things to start going downhill as I get older. And I figure if I’m blessed enough to marry and have children, I’ll have a headstart on making sure our family grows up healthy. I’ve started small but I’m going to build on these steps and hope that with time I’ll get where I need to be.
As I slim down, I know that God will send some good things my way. But will any new-found attention I receive be because I’m slimmer or because I’m more confident? I guess it’ll be a little of both.