Thursday, April 06, 2006

Body Ish-ues

so tell me.

what kind of guy dates a fat chick?

also, if you are a fat chick, do you want your partner to prefer heavier women? or to just be "okay" with them? or do you want yourself to be the exception? or, if you're like me and are not okay with your size, do you also want your partner to not be okay with your size, but somehow still be attracted to you?

yeah, hi.

for those of you who are just joining* our program...

[crickets chirp. chirp, chirp.]

...i am currently dating this man, who goes by "Ish" in the blogosphere. so as you can already see by the title of this post, i am a very witty and clever woman.

well, okay sure. a witty and clever woman with lots and lots of issues. but still.

anyway, since we were on the subject of weight and all, i thought i'd just keep the ball rolling because, gosh, weren't we having fun down there? i know i sure was.

and so those questions up there? those are hard ones for me. ones i haven't quite been able to work out exactly.

(and i should state right here that i'm not writing this in the hopes that you will help me work it out, i'm just opening up the conversation because i know you all have some thoughts on the subject and your own personal stuff to work out, too. wheeee.)

* * * *

FIRST of all, let's start with the fact that i am not really a big fan of fat. in fact, i tend to find fat unattractive. uh, and insomuch as i am not a fan of fat, i find it somewhat problematic that I SEEM TO HAVE A WHOLE BUNCH OF IT HANGING AROUND ME.

right. suffice it to say, i am not happy with my size. which is why i am doing my best to rid myself of the fat. for good reasons, in good ways, in good time.

but if i am not happy with or comfortable with my size, is it reasonable for me to expect Ish to be?

i don't think it is.

but do i want my partner to be attracted to me? well, duh. of course i do.

so what does that actually mean? what does that actually translate to? well, i realized that, essentially, i am saying that i want Ish to be more attracted to me than...well, than i am.

how weird is that?

* * * *

on the other hand, i DON'T want Ish (or any partner) to be so okay with me as-is that it doesn't matter to him if i do or don't lose weight.

i want him to be somewhat un-okay with my weight now. i want him to WANT someone who is the best they can be (and the best they can look). i want him to feel like he deserves the best version of me.

and because i don't think this is it -- why should he?

AND. here's the super fucked-up thing.

not only do i want my partner to be un-okay with me now, but i go so far as to feel like guys who ARE totally okay with me at my current weight have lower standards than i do. and that is unattractive to me.

so yes. i am effectively saying that i am not attracted to men who are attracted to me.



okay, but seriously. after many years, i realize what this boils down to is this: i do not want to date men who -- as a rule -- like big girls.

i AM just fine with guys who DON'T tend to like bigger girls, but who just happen to like me. you know, the ones who think that i rock, and that i'm pretty damn hot just because i am. AND if/when i lose weight, i'll be even hotter.

which is where Ish falls on the acceptance continuum.

yay! so all's well, right?




* * * * * *
it is perhaps sad, but i know what it feels like to be thin. i know how different it is than being un-thin. when i am thin, i am treated entirely differently everywhere i go. i am perceived as being more attractive, more sought-after, more healthy, more viable, more confident, more in control. oh, and happier. because -- right, MeJane? -- it means i'm "taking care of myself."


now, i don't make excuses for the way i look today. i carry myself with every bit as much confidence as the thin-me (or at least i try). and i don't behave differently, either. (i used to.) i have grown up enough that i do, say, go, act, try, be who i want to be, all the time, even if i somehow have less credibility insodoing because of my size.

but i wonder if it's as easy for Ish. you know, i've been fending off biases and prejudices and all that stuff my whole life. but he hasn't. far as i can tell, he has only been with beautiful, thin (or at least certainly thinner) women. and he himself -- save for a stint in adolescence -- has also always been thin and in good shape.

so i repeat, what kind of guy dates a fat chick? why is Ish dating a heavy girl? i KNOW he's okay with it and i KNOW he doesn't give a shit about the following, but i do. because i have deep-seated insecurities and a dislike of being heavy so ingrained in me.

i wonder if his friends wonder... mostly i assume that once they've met me, they get it. they get that i'm plenty attractive as-is and that Ish isn't somehow compromising by being with me. we're not in high school anymore. but i get high-schoolish doubts. plus there is NO way that at least one of his acquaintances (or mine!) doesn't fall into the "she's a great girl, if only..." line of thinking.

i wonder if people on the street wonder... i wonder how strangers perceive him when he is by himself and if that's different when he's with me and if it'd be different still if he were with a thinner, attractive woman. i have certainly been guilty of seeing a couple and thinking "why is HE with HER?" (for any of a million reasons). i just wonder if someone's ever seen us and wondered that, too.

[please note: i do not obsess about this. these are thoughts that cross my mind sometimes and i'm just finally writing them down.]

i wonder if his family wonders... well, actually, i know they do. i don't know to what extent, but i know that my weight has come up as a non-positive, as i suspect it would be in/among any family that emphasizes fitness. i don't blame them. i -- obviously -- expect it.

i wonder if my family wonders... i don't know, really, what or how every member of my family thinks of my weight. i do know that when i told my father that i'd started seeing someone, he asked, "oh? and does he like bigger girls?" which of course made me wince. but it's a totally legitimate question, isn't it?

* * * * *

in sum -- hello. i did not put anything out there very neatly, but these are the sorts of things that have been sitting all jumbly in my head and frankly, i'd rather they be all jumbly out here. thanks.

*i have no idea why i think new people are reading this blog.


  1. I'm guessing, based on what I know, that Ish thinks you're pretty damned spectacular, and that he wants you to be happy with yourself.

    That said, I think this entry is fantastic, and a good analysis of what goes through everyone's head surrounding their own body issues.

  2. thanks, Whinge. i'm glad you like the post. it's always SO WEIRD to post the "real" stuff. (i.e., "hmmm. i wonder if THIS will be the post that tips everyone off to how completely crazy i am.")

    and i should say as early as possible (comment #2 for example) to ward off any suggestions that i use my blog to passive-aggressively address Ish-ues -- because that has been suggested before -- Ish and i have discussed all this stuff in great detail.

  3. My take on it is, I'd like the person I'm with to prefer my body type. I'd feel kind of sad if my partner thought that I wasn't "the best I can be"-- maybe because that word "best" seems so judgmental to me. It's ok if he thinks that I'm not the thinnest I can be, or the fittest I can be-- all that is certainly true. I just don't want him to think I'd be better some other way, even if I think that. Unreasonable? Maybe.

    That's just how I feel, not saying that everyone should agree.

  4. I saw your photo at the weird plantarium party that you don't look THAT fat. So your post begs the question (for those of us who have never met you) - how fat are you?

  5. *hugs*

    I agree with Whinger re: Ish just wanting you to be happy with who you are (hi Ish, sorry I'm speaking for ya!). That's how I feel about you, too. I love you because you are Kristy, and I want you to be the best Kristy you can be, and I don't have a preconceived notion of who that is. I think that's up to you to decide. Because ultimately, what I'd like is for you just to be happy in your own skin --- however padded or not that may be. I thought you were amazing and hot in so many ways when we first met, and I still feel that way 2 years later (and many pounds lighter).

    All that said, I used to (when I let myself) have many of these thoughts when I was with J. When I finally got it into my head that I wanted to do something about my weight, and that I *could*, effectively ... he started out being supportive in that wanting me to be the best me I could be way, or so I thought. Eventually he made some comments to me that made me realize he was one of those guys that was with me because of my weight, because he thought it somehow made me more dependent on him, because fewer people would find me attracitve and therefore create less competition for him. That was not a happy realization for me.

    I'm not sure what my point is, other than your post just made me feel like sharing that. I don't mean to suggest I think Ish is anyway like J. Quite the contrary!

  6. Holy crap I could have written that post, as I have felt a lot of those same things myself... for whatever reason, even though I know I'm cool and attractive and all, I still find myself questioning my boyfriend's standards. Sigh... it's a messy thing, but sounds like you and I both have good guys who can deal with the messiness and still want to stick around.

  7. mj,

    i hear you. i didn't make a distinction between "body type" and "big girls" in my entry, but do in my head. i can't imagine EVER dating someone who, as a rule, prefers very skinny women. i expect always to be with someone who prefers curvy women. just not FAT women.

    and isn't that a bitch? "I just don't want him to think I'd be better some other way, even if I think that." i totally get it. but i think i've discovered that i DO. even though i am inherently insecure because of it.

  8. hi serre,

    i appreciate your kind words and hugs. and i'm glad you shared that bit about J, too. it's funny, i haven't really had many conversations with people (other than my partners) about this sort of thing, you know?

  9. Dude, da! (had to say it, sorry) How fat are you? That’s a loaded question if I ever heard one, not to mention entirely subjective. How fat according to what standard?

    BTW, while I’m sure you are totally bodacious K, I know that you know that your appearance is not the only reason Ish is with you and probably not even most of the reason. Who would you want to be with, a 10 in the looks department that you can’t stand or someone with a less than “perfect” (by whatever standards) appearance who you enjoy spending time with and find engaging in many different ways. Easy choice for me.

  10. Oh, you totally nailed it.

    Took the non-formed words right out of my brain.

  11. I literally menat how tall and how much do you weigh. K is being so very honest and I don't know what you look like, but from the few photos you've posted, I would say "wow she's fat"

  12. da:

    Were you born without the filter in your brain that tells you that some things are just too assholish to be said aloud? Much less thought out and intentionally posted? It's not like you can say it just "slipped out"

    Christ on a cracker.

  13. Did your father really say of Ish, "and does he like bigger girls"??? If so, my guess is that that wasn't the first time your dad has made negative references to your weight. I won't go all psychobabble on you, but suffice to say that a father's relationship with his daughter has a *major* impact on her interactions with other males and on her self-image. If you can't trust that your father loves you AS YOU ARE, how can you trust that another man will?

    You probably realize how much emotional baggage you're lugging around, but have you thought seriously about getting some therapy? I think it could really help you address the root causes of your body ish-ues.

  14. um. dearest da,

    if from the few photos i've posted you have already declared "wow she's fat" then i see no need to fuel the fire with specific numbers. in fact, i do not even KNOW what i weigh, as i prefer to go by size anyway. and also, i have always been heavy for my size:
    a. because i have a lot of muscle, and
    b. because i have a lot of T&A

    i am 5'4". when i was at my thinnest, i had a waist that was a size 5. (5 in skirts, but 6 in jeans because of the aforementioned asstasticness) (totally a word) i was still a 10 or 12 up top. i was 38-26-38. and i weighed then almost 140 lbs.

    i will never, ever be waify. i don't ever want to be. i love my curves and don't mind having SOME extra weight. so i am aiming to be somewhere in the size 8 to 10 range and weigh around 150, give or take.

    and i will just say that i'm nowhere near there now. but i'm a lot closer than i was.

  15. Thanks for a great post. Very generous of you to share all these thoughts with the rest of us. I've been reading for a few months and never commented. I think you are hilarious and smart and fantastic. So much to say in response to this post but I am lazy and new to blog commenting so I will just start with telling you I think you rule.

  16. anon,

    yes, i have explored this in therapy. i would say i'm awfully well versed in the root causes of my issues. and i've pretty much come to terms with where i am, post-individuation. both my dad and my mom had a HUUUUUUGE influence on my thoughts about weight and self-perception (of course) and, well. yeah.

  17. And here I thought I was the only one in my head--turns out, you're in there too!! I TOTALLY understand how you feel. I am forever looking around, trying to figure out which body style most resembles mine, to gauge just how far off the mark I am. I have never had a good sense of self image. What I wouldn't give today to wear my fat jeans of ten years ago.

    My husband always thinks I look beautiful, and he tells me often--which has led me to wonder all of the things you have wondered here.

    Anyhow, thanks for sharing!

  18. Long time lurker, first time poster. K - I feel your pain and totally identify. I'm 5'6", 28 years old, and was a size 10 when I met my boyfriend, the smallest I'd ever been in my life. (The first time I joined Weight Watchers I was 13 and already wearing women's sizes.) In the four years he and I have been dating, I'm steadily progressed back up to an 18. He knew I was on WW when we met, and I've been on and off at least a half dozen times since we've been together. He def. falls into that "not attracted to big girls" category, and I love him even more for being able to see past my expanding waist line and still love me for me. But, I know he would be happier if I could drop a few pounds, not just b/c he appreciates that body type, but because he knows I'm happier that way, too (despite the constant struggle). Sigh. So, no earth-shattering advice for you, just another IIF who's enjoying your journey and living vicariously! btw, I know we all have our own idea in our head of what we look like, and it's often quite different from how others perceive us, but again based on the pics I've seen on here, I think you're a lovely girl, and it doesn't look like you're going to be buried in a piano box anytime soon! Thanks for the great writing and amusing anecdotes!

  19. I Totally get it.

    I grew up overweight, and was never a thinner version of myself. Consequently, I didn't date until almost a year after college when I took the some of weight off, because I didn't want a guy who liked "fat chicks."

    I guess we all have our issues.

  20. Isn't it about just liking (loving) ourselves the way we are right now, just the way we are? There is a LOT to be said for a daughter's relationship with her father too. Affirmation, unconditional love from him makes me walk around "stomach in, tits up" and really capable of doing anything i set my mind to. We either marry our fathers or become them. Isnt' that amazing????

  21. I think it's great that you share things directly from the heart here. It really is affirming for all of us to see those sneaky little things we think in our own heads come out of someone else's!

    On the "I don't want to be a part of any club that would have me as a member" issue: I do think you make an important distinction in your comment, k, when you note that this is a feeling that arises for you only when your weight has crossed your own line.

    Because I realized when I examined my own feelings, that I have this little "maybe-his-standards-aren't-high-enough" voice whenever I'm falling down in any way in my life. (Yeah. Issues.) It comes up when my finances are in disarray or when I'm feeling like a bad mom. I think it's just some sort of weird transference of our own insecurities.

    On the "he should like me better than I like me" issue: Actually, thinking about this issue helped me go a long way to accepting my bootilicious body type. When I was in my late twenties I realized that I wouldn't want to date a guy who thought less of me because I wasn't skinny. So why was I accepting it from myself? Really, I meditated on this for a long time and learned to appreciate myself and my bod much more.

    But this discussion raises an issue that the infamous MIM (low self esteem = less attractive)discussion also raised; this crazy notion that has made it's way into our culture that "you have to love yourself before anyone else can love you."

    Bullshit. I love all kinds of people who aren't very good at loving themselves. And I have been pulled out of the blackest holes by people who loved me when I couldn't love me.

    I think this idea that there has to be some parity between the way you feel about you and the way your partner feels about you is off the mark. I mean, isn't that one of the reasons that trust is so important? You have to trust that they love you when you can't find your way to loving you.

    Ok, k, can you please stop making me think so much? How about a little Breezy Elegance?

  22. (deep breath)

    Okay, here goes.

    I admit that, at first, I was a little surprised at how attracted I was to k, since superficially, she is not my "type." The "type" I've gone for in the past.

    Heh. "Type." I guess my type is thinner. But my type also lowers my self-esteem. My type doesn't have many interests in common with me, and doesn't have the same sense of humor I have. My type doesn't make me believe that it is not only possible, but absolutely imperative, that I chase my dreams and live my life to the absolute height of my potential. My type doesn't make me a better person.

    I am so lucky that k is not my type.

    I don't date "fat chicks" and I don't date "skinny bitches." I don't date labels.

    I date a beautiful, smart, funny, hella-sexy woman. Complicated? Yes, but so am I.

    k is a beautiful woman, a beautiful person, and physical attributes can't even begin to capture that.

  23. Wow, Ish. Hear that Kristy?! Aint that just for sure?

    Mothers and Fathers need to be forgiven too. I hope my daughter will forgive me, God knows... I keep thinking we all are just doing the best we can and we screw up and then fix it once we realize where we've made the human mistakes...

    Thank you, Ish! :)

  24. I loved that you wrote this down :)

    Maybe because I'm turning 35 soon, I do not know, but I've somehow reached the "F* It" Phase. I sat in Paris with three very skinny ladies, all beauties, who complained for half an hour about their "fat" thighs. It dawned on me then that no matter how big my ass is, I better damn well like it, because life is short and this is my ass. And as you say, Kristy, I have to walk around with it. Like it or not. I wanted to yell, "Ladies! It's Paris! F* the size of your thighs!"

    That is when I realized I had reached the F*-It Phase of life.

    Thank the good lord!

    It doesn't mean I have given up on losing a few pounds or being healthier. But I refuse to think poorly of myself for a moment longer because of my thighs. I refuse. If someone doesn't like the juicy booty they can look away. I'm doing the best I can with what I've got.

    I swear, with Scarlett O'Haraness and ya'll as my witness, I will not ever again sit through a half hour conversation in which women bash their own bodies ... never ever again. (and in Paris no less! Travesty!)

    I'm just exhausted from it, you know? I'm just tired of feeling bad about the size of my ass, no matter what size it is. So. Ya'll know. I quit.

  25. Ericha2@comcast.net2:28 PM, April 07, 2006

    Ok made me cry. At work. Damn you for being so sweet!

    K...Get outta my freakin' head! As so many others have already said, I could have (and should have) written this on my blog. It's something I've been feeling a lot lately. I'm in a long term relationship with a wonderful man who has always dated waifs before me. I'm about 3 of his ex-waifs put together. I don't know why he loves me and sometimes I'm afraid that it's because he's just comfortable because I take care of him. All I know is that I'm glad he loves me and I hope and pray that we will betogether for a very long time. That being said, there are definitely issues. With his family, with my family, sometimes between us. It's hard and heartwrenching because I am trying very had to lose weight. Not because I want to be one of his waifs but because I want to be healthier and happier in my own skin. I've never been thin and I'll never be waif-ish but I can be a smaller, healthier, happier me.

    I started in January and have lost about 1/8th what I want to lose. It's going to take a long time and I'm just glad he's there to suppport and love me through the process. You can entertain your issues from time to time but make sure you focus the majority of your time loving and appreciating Ish as he loves and appreciates you.

    Just my $.02

  26. Wow Kristy, I REALLY admire you for even attempting to get all of that out in a somewhat rational manner... I can relate, but I never ever would have been able to actually express it.
    I guess you just take it one day at a time, yes?
    :) Good reading,

  27. New reader here ::waves:: Actually I have been reading for a while, but My god do I totally get this post. I thought (seriously) that I was the only one that felt this way. I DO NOT want to be with someone who wants to date heavy girls. I cringe every time I hear my boyfriend comment on somone (usually celebrities) being "too skinny" FOR HIM. And we are not talking about Nicole Richie girls that he is saying this about. He says this about girls like Angelina Jolie (who I would give my right arm to look like). This leads me to believe that he likes bigger women, which is fine EXCEPT I do not want to be this way, therefore I will not be what he likes. Anybody confused yet??
    I also totally get your statments about what his friends and family thinks, in fact I have posted on that same thing before. I mean do they think "She is making him gain weight!" If he has put on a few pounds? We already get weirdness because we are in essence a biracial couple (hispanic and white), so this just applifies it for me!

    Seriously, I SO get what you are saying, and it was an excellent post!

  28. Ish rocks.

    But so do you.

    Overall, fantastic people and couple.

    Loved Laurie's take on it. F* it.

  29. Did you ever wonder if Ish thinks, "Why does this attractive, perky, bright, talented, clever, witty, thoughtful, insightful, supportive single woman want to spend her time with a bald, married, wanna-be comedian?" It all depends upon your perspective, K.

  30. whinger - thanks again. takes one to no one (or somesuch).

    laurie - Yay! the FuckIt Phase! i'm not there, but i'm a LOT closer to it than i've ever been.

    lori - it's so crazy, isn't it?

    and anon: 2:47, yes. he asks me that all the time. :)

  31. *I* wonder that ALL THE TIME.

    Get OUT of my head, anon 2:47!

  32. Haha! K and Ish are, ya'll are so funny and sweet together. Match made in heaven I tell yaw! It makes me feel all warm and gooey inside to know that good people can find each other and happiness in this world (I’m such a sentimental freak). Hugs to you all.

  33. *Please ignore my apparent lack of ability to proof read.* Is it 5 yet?

  34. This is a great post, K! I think you've captured thoughts that so many women are having.

  35. What do YOU think about dating a "bald" guy? (who's not Michael Jordan or Captain Picard)

  36. Ok, I have been watching everyone comment all day and have been wanting to get in on it but not knowing where to start. But lori said something that finally gave me something to add.
    {clears throat}
    I don't often worry about my size compared to my (current) partner's size, but that is mostly because I am the more fit one, and because we have a much more glaring difference, noteably a 17 year age gap. I have always assumed that people would make much more hay about the age than about our weight. Enter his 94 year old grandmother. She has never mentioned our age difference, but at her birthday party she loudly, over dinner in front our him and his entire family, told me to stop feeding him so much, because I am making him fat.
    I kind of laughed it off at the time because it isn't what *I* feed him that had led to his weight gain, its what *he* feeds himself.
    And then he joined a gym. And started a restricted (no sugar, nothing processed) diet. And basically decided that he is no longer attractive and am I really really really sure I still like him? Am I still attracted to him etc?
    I haven't ever really noticed him gaining or loosing weight, he has always looked good to me. So I guess I am on the other side of this equation.
    I am not a woman who likes big guys, I am woman who likes the guy I've got, I don't happen to care very much that he isn't the same size he was when he was a Tai Chi instructer.

    btw: Laurie and K, I love you both and seriously CAN NOT make it through my work day without you.

  37. But - you are the best you that you can be, regardless of your weight.

    Here's the thing - dIsh (which is what you should start calling him BTW) - or any man that wants to date you ate your current weight - is obviously attracted to you as you are, because otherwise he wouldn't date you. I would think ideal wouldn't be "She's okay this way, I guess, but I'm only dating her like this with the understanding that she's trying to lose the weight"; but rather, "She is super-hot like this! YES! I get to hit that? YESSSSSSSS! Wait, you're trying to lose weight? Well, if it is what you want, I will support it. You'd be gorgeous either way"

  38. um. That should say, "...any man that wants to date you AT your current weight..."

  39. Oh fuck - I made the typo of all times! Way up there I asked K her weight and height and said " but from the few photos you've posted, I would say "wow she's fat" "

    I MEANT to SAY - I would NOT say wow she's fat! K, I meant that I did not think you looked very fat and wondered what all the fuss was...then I saw Serre yelling at me. I was like WTF?, UNTIL I saw my typo!!! Sorry...trying too hard to multi task earlier today...

  40. ..and I thought your original post was very brave. If I intended to make a rude comment, I would stand by it, but it really was a typo!

  41. K, I loved your post.
    Not that I have anything insightful to say that hasn't been said, but I can definitely relate.
    When I met my now-husband, I realized he was one of those men who liked big girls. In fact, it seems I'm not-so-big in comparison to some of his past girlfriends. (I'm not going to complain about being the "skinny" girl in the crowd. How often does *that* happen?)
    He loves my curves, but he also knows I would be happier if there were less of me to love. When it's all said and done, he just wants me to be happy. Period.
    Although I'm much more secure now than I was in my 20s, thoughts like yours still rear their ugly heads.
    And although I have never met you (just in my crazy daydreams), it just seems to me that you and Ish are great complements to one another. He's mature--he sees the whole package. Yay, Ish!

  42. Thank you for posting this.

    Everything that I could say about it has been said about it, so I won't even go there.

    Just thank you.

    It has been a hard day, week, month in my head, and your words just clarified things so much for me that I feel like I could laugh and cry at the same time. I am learning to appreciate myself, and you were the tool used today.

    Thank you for your honesty. You are truly awesome!

  43. I gotta give a little support to da right now, because I was reading the comments and noticed that they contradicted themselves. Why is it that people are so quick to judge these days?* It was clear to me that it was a typo. Especially since da had already said they didn't think K was fat by the pictures shown...

    *Having said that... hi... I'm a hypocrite.

  44. K-

    I imagine Ish feels about you much as my last bf felt about me:

    (i know, not the same exactly, but hear me out)

    I am curvy, voluptuous, feminine dresser, big naturally curly blond hair, and I have a huge chest.

    My last bf seemed wildly attracted to me. It was obvious, often mentioned and I never questioned it. My weight fluctuated by about 15 pounds (like 130-145, I'm 5'5")

    He told me he had never dated a woman with large breasts before. Totally not his type and had "never seen the appeal." His type had always been pale, skinny, Gothy, short hair, get the picture.

    Now I understand that as I've described myself above, my body doesn't seem to come with any social stigma like "fat" does, however, it is an example of falling for someone against type. Even as he told me about his old type, it was obvious that he loved me and my body.

    And on the friends, family topic, he hung with a very punk, arty, dark crowd. I experienced some eye rolling-- I was definitely not what his friends expected or approved of...way too square and clean cut.

    And it's happened to me as well. Tall and lanky was my type in college. Then I fell for a guy who was bulky with a belly and now that seems an essential male thing to me.

    So even if you are nothing like his former type, I propose he loves you for all of you, truly loves your body as is AND wants you to be comfortable in it whether that means losing weight or not.

    All too often, my friends and I seem to see ourselves as disjointed parts, inside vs. outside, face vs. body. But to others, especially newish others, we are as we are, whole and lovable.

    (Oh, and i too saw your planetarium photo. Thin, no, but most definitely within the realm of attractive and sexy.)

  45. I just read your post, and as I am currently on the fast track to GBS, I have been dealing with the "Fat" issue for a long time,and most recently every day with total strangers often in a state of "dressed only in a kleenex" and from my point of you, why should my weight have anything to do with who is attracted to me. I am having GBS primarily to be healthier, and to get my life back from the comorbid conditions that seem to go hand in hand with my fat, in fact they are best friends and I am sure when I evict them it will be a mighty battle. As a side effect of the GBS getting me to a healthier me, it will also help me get to a smaller me, and that isn't an unappealing process. But why should my size influence whether my husband loves and is attracted to me. His feelings are because of who I am, not the vessel in which I currently exist. Yeah, I know there is the whole discussion zooming around the internet about size, and relationships, and "false advertising." But I am just not one to hop on that happy little bandwagon. Love me because I am, or don't. Fat or thin I am still the same person. Tall or short wouldn't change my personality.

    I don't know if any of this has any bearing whatsoever on how you look at the situation, but for me, I am happy being me, and if I can have a more active healthy package to carry me around in, then I am all for that. But I am not in this for the need to be more attractive to my sweetie by being thinner, I am attractive to him regardless he would just like me to be healthier so he can keep me around as long as possible.

    Just my 2 cents at 7 am before caffiene and on a Saturday when sweetie has to work and it's just me and the kiddos alone all day.

  46. (whinger, that would be "takes one to KNOW one," obviously.)

    and i had hoped that DA had mis-typed, which is why i answered as i did. i didn't want to fuel the fires in case it WASN'T a typo, but my answer (re: my height, size, etc.) would have been the same regardless.

    everyone, thank you so much for the positive feedback. it makes it a lot more comfortable to post about the hard stuff when i realize that i'm not The Only One. thank you, again.

  47. K,

    I'm going to add to what everyone else has said: OMG I just had that conversation. In my case, last night, with my flatmate. Who is a really great guy but only digs thin girls. So it was interesting to hear his opinion, which was 'okay, you're slightly overweight, but if you had more confidence it would more than make up for it'.


  48. da-

    Sorry I snapped - I understand the typo thing. When I read that, I was just a little shocked, you know? Like WTF?

  49. "I did not put anything out there very neatly..". On the contrary, I think your ideas are very well arranged here (the good old fashioned practice of rhetoric goes on:)).
    Family comment/reaction made my heart sink. I would like to be able to say something supportive. Keep doing what you do is all I can come up with at the moment.

  50. K, seen your photo, read this post. Totally get why Ish digs you so much.

  51. This really hit seems as though you took the words right out of my head. Here's the thing: I definitely need to lose weight and have been doing so for the past 2 years. Yet despite the fact that I was and am overweight (about 15lbs), for the most part I am still comfortable in my own skin. I have been dating a guy for the past year and as we have gotten more serious, for instance, talking about marriage, how he feels about my weight has come to light. So, while I want someone to love me for me...I also understand where he is coming from...I know if my friend told me this I would tell her to breakup with him. But, as I said, I understand how he feels. The thing is, it's starting to affect things with us and I don't know how to keep it from ruining things.

  52. Halfway through the third paragraph, I checked your profile picture. You are freaking gorgeous.

    I have the same fears and very similar issues. I was skinny once, but I hated myself far more than I do 50 pounds heavier. I have much more confidence and a lot less stress now.

    But yeah, I often wonder if people think my husband is into fat chicks. He thinks I'm super hot and comments on it all the time, so I really shouldn't worry a lot about it. But still.

  53. Love, Love, Love. I just read 90% of the post out loud to my husband, trying to explain to him what I was feeling when we first started dating.

    If a guy didn't ask me out, he was an idiot because I'm so fun/smart/low-drama/interesting/etc. However, if a guy actually seemed to really, truly *like* me, he was suddenly waaaaay less attractive. Only when I got past that was I able to realize that my fun/smart/low-drama/interesting future husband wasn't a loser just because he liked someone like me. Only when I read this post was I able to explain that to him in words why I was so hot/cold and gunshy at first.

    Thank you, K!

  54. I'm with Jessica waaaay upthread who said she didn't want a guy who dated 'fat chicks'. In HS there was a guy who I realized must have had a thing for fat girls (me included) a turn-off after I found out.

    Basically, I don't like guys who see you as sort of a fetish. That's unsexy. But a guy who is really into you and likes you is cool, and if he doesn't mention your weight in some stupid comment like 'I usually never date heavy women...' you're safe.

    I liked your fear question of 'what does his friends think' and 'what do people on the street think' because I have that fear too. I have a fear of people looking and wondering 'he's with that fat girl?' or 'look, that guy likes that fat chick' or just the smirks that a fat girl is with a man like that could never happen.

    Then again, it all boils down to how the guy makes you feel. And I think Ish is making you feel pretty darn good. I don't post much, a big lurker though. ;)

  55. i always think it's cool to see an attractive looking man (well groomed, interesting, aware, relatively handsome, presumably financially secure, sober, physically strong/capable) with an attractive looking woman (well groomed, interesting, aware, relatively handsome, financially secure, sober, physically strong/capable) ... and if the she is a woman of substance, it makes me think wow what a dynamic couple... it's wonderful.

  56. JK Rowling continues by saying that she wrote the post because she didn't want her daughters, currently ages 1 and 12, to grow up in a thin-obsessed world. "I'd rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny – a thousand things, before 'thin,'" she said. (another good reason to like that Harry Potter!)

  57. I sent a link to this post to my husband. You rock.

  58. Kiki,
    I thought about just emailing you this response, because it's quite personal and obviously directed specifically at you, rather than the community... And I know that people don't always like to read posts that just "kiss ass." But then I thought, No. This is something everyone can see. So.

    I have told everyone - EVERYone - about this post and how amazing it was... Maybe it's time I told YOU!

    This is one of the most insightful, moving, thought-provoking, courageous, honest, incredible pieces of writing I've ever read. Not just from you... Ever. In the 30 years I've known you, I don't think we've ever had a discussion about this, not like this... and I find myself simultaneously sad, shocked, awe-struck, humbled, deeply inspired, and somehow, so very "proud."

    Is it strange or wrong of me to read your dad's comment, to not be at ALL surprised or shocked while still being sad... and yet, to "understand" and love him just as much as I always have? Hm.

    You have always been fantastic, regardless of your size. And, of course, I have always loved you... but maybe now... if it's possible... even more.


  59. WOW! You wrote out just about everything I have been thinking but had never taken the time to figure out for myself. I am at my heaviest and working on it. My own Ish didn't meet me at my lightest, but I was definitely smaller than I am now. Thank you so much for continuing to put your thoughts here for us to use and ponder.

  60. One thing you have to remember is that *everyone* has issues about something.

    Heavier women (and men) tend to fixate on the weight as The Thing that Keeps Them From Getting Dates, because hey- a lot of the time it is. Especially for you, and a lot of other women who are, as I like to put it, "Too fat to be thin, too thin to be fat," by which I mean that you (self-acknowledge) that you're heavier than you'd like to be, and heavier than many men like to date, but you're not comfortable being a "Big Girl" or dating men who like BBWs.

    I've struggled with weight my entire life, and though I'm currently thinner than I've been in a long time (Size 10-12), I'm still substantially larger than most of my Size 2-4 friends. They sit around and complain about their bird-chests, basketball heads, lack of ass, knobby knees and have just as many body issues as I do- more even.

    I think we forget that, sometimes, and make being thin the answer to everything. I'm not saying you do that, I'm just...saying. I know my perspective gets out of whack sometimes.

    I think it's great that you have an Ish who likes you for you, but understands and respects your wish to change. I've had a few Ishes in my day, and sometimes you need that support to stay confident and pro-active about your goals.

    One red flag I saw- his family. Do NOT let his family get between you guys on this issue. My ex's mother said horrible horrible things about my body at a time when I had recently lost some weight, and it destroyed me. I let it become important to me what she thought, and it caused a lot of consternation between my ex and I. Just watch the negativity there...

    -someone who has totally been there.

  61. "i do know that when i told my father that i'd started seeing someone, he asked, "oh? and does he like bigger girls?" which of course made me wince. but it's a totally legitimate question, isn't it?"

    Well, technically, yes; but in so many ways, absolutely not. While "based on logical reasoning; reasonable" is a definition of *legitimate* that, I suppose, could apply to the circumstances you mentioned, I think you cut your father way too much slack. To me, his response should more accurately be described as insensitive, inappropriate and cruel. I can't imagine how that kind of erosion of your self-esteem could be considered *legitimate* from anyone who, presumably, cares about you.

  62. i couldn't agree more with anon 4:32. i am not going to bash k's dad; i am sure he is a wonderful person who showers her with love and support most of the time. but his question made me sad for you, kristy. it seems to reveal *his* issues with your weight, which -- of course -- have contributed to your issues. because how could they not?

    i honestly can't imagine where that question comes from. "and does he like girls with brown eyes?" "and does he like blondes? "and does he like caucasian girls?"

    if you have started dating a guy, it is safe to assume that he is attracted to you. so why bring up the characteristic about which you are most insecure? it would be like if you had a zit on your nose and he asked, "oh? and does he like girls who have zits on their nose?" nobody does that!

    why not: "oh? and does he appreciate how awesome and fantastic and beautiful and wonderful you are?"

    to have your dad focus on your weight in that way... well, that would be a stumbling block to feeling like weight doesn't have to be an issue, wouldn't it?

    i know your dad is so important to you (which is part of why reading that question of his saddened me), and i am really not saying he is a bad guy. not at all. people are more complex than that.

    but i wanted to be another (albeit anonymous) voice letting you know that, no, the question was not quite "legitimate." i see it as hurtful, unnecessary, uncalled for, and undermining of your self-esteem.

    it's really hard for any of us (well, ok, me) not to internalize our parents' issues. but sometimes recognizing them and delegitimizing them can help.

  63. it's really hard for any of us (well, ok, me) not to internalize our parents' issues. but sometimes recognizing them and delegitimizing them can help.

    on behalf of many of us, thank you anon 1121pm. maybe K's stuff fits many of us, and you pointing this out so gently yet firmly is a gift. thank you. can you elaborate more on how recognizing and delegitimizing works?

  64. kristy - I could cry. I know EXACTLY how you feel. I've been feeling it all my life.

    In response to an earlier post, I do focus on my weight as THE THING THAT KEEPS ME FROM DATES - yet I still want to date all the time, just not guys who dig big girls.

    it's like I want to be their EXCEPTION. Like "look at me - I'm so wonderful, I made you FORGET you aren't attracted to big girls." And I made you dismiss what your friends and family say.

    Now I am crying. thank you for writing this.

  65. First of all, I'm glad that you can come to us and talk about these issues, because I've been thinking similar thoughts about my life lately. I'm not dating a thin guy, but he is such a lady charmer. I feel like somehow he is settling for chunky me.

    When we talk about "physical fitness" vs. being fat, it ends up confusing me a little bit. I know he likes me for who I am on the inside and outside, but what If I could be skinnier. Sometimes he jokes about what I'll look like when I'm old (he doesn't say it, but I imagine my self as a plump old granny, not a hot GILF (granny I'd like to fuck)).

    When I say I'm unhappy with how I look weight-wise, he tells me I'm beautiful and that he thinks I should only lose weight to be healthier.

    There are other "perseption" issues with our relationship too. I'm Jewish and he's Irish Catholic. I mean really Irish. He lives with his family just south of dublin (we're both only 23 years old). I think I might have been one of the first Jews his brothers have ever met. And I'm American. Which means somehow that I'm a whore (ok, I admit I had my fun in college, but I'm in a different phase in my life). So yeah. But of course I didn't make a great impression on his parents when they heard us having sex the first night I was in Ireland for Christmas. So yeah, add to that that the rest of his family is fit and rich and I'm... well I'm plump and living on my own in Chicago, trying desperetly to get out of my parents wallet.

    And I'm sick of being fat. Ugg.

    Your "biggest" fan,

  66. I have a question for the women who are overweight, but don't want to date someone who likes "big girls"--

    isn't it difficult to relax and enjoy sex with them, knowing that they don't like your kind of body? Personally, I know that I would feel totally self-conscious in that scenario and would probably be unable to get into it. How does that work? Are you able to turn off those issues during sex? Does it detract from the experience for you?

  67. Before I was in a secure, loving, long-term, etc., relationship I think I used to worry more about what guys would think when the clothes come off, because many of us who think of ourselves as “bigger than I’d like” believe we’re experts at hiding our fat in clothing. In my experience the vast majority of guys are just too happy in their good fortune at getting’ any at all to worry if the girl’s body is their “ultimate fantasy” or whatever. I can honestly say, as an overweight gal, the dressing room has always been more daunting to me than the bedroom.

  68. I can SOOOOOOO relate. I tend to end up with this tall, thin athletic guys and I get winded going up a flight of stairs and I'm like, do you LIKE fat chicks, or what because seriously, I am a FAT fat chick. There has only been one "chubby chaser" among them and quite frankly it ended up being a huge turn-off in the end. He was a whiny baby that wanted a mommy and I guess discovered that fat chicks are more available to him, or something. UGH!

  69. on behalf of many of us, thank you anon 1121pm. maybe K's stuff fits many of us, and you pointing this out so gently yet firmly is a gift. thank you. can you elaborate more on how recognizing and delegitimizing works?

    anon 6:10, to explain what i mean by "delegitimizing" our parents' issues is

    a) acknowledging that just because they have these issues does not mean we are responsible for them in any way. it is not our responsibility to lose weight, earn more money, get married, become heterosexual, call them 9 times a day, etc. if they are unhappy or disappointed because we do not do those things, that is THEIR problem to deal with. it is their responsibility to grow and develop as people. it is not our responsibility to manage their issues for them. it is sad for us, and maybe for them, if they continue (unconsciously) trying to give us their issues, but it is our responsibility to ourselves not to let them, not to take them in.

    b) acknowledging that their issues do not contain all-encompassing, objective truth to them. if your parents think that because you are not skinny, it will be hard to find a partner who will find you attractive, you do not have to accept that view. you can allow another view to enter your mind: there are ALWAYS people who will find me attractive, no matter what my weight is. my weight does not make it less likely that i will find a partner who is attracted to me. and you can look at your past experiences for confirmation: you have had partners, you have had people wildly attracted to you, you have rejected as many people as have rejected you, you do not see your skinny friends with happier love/sex lives based on their weight.

    c) separating their issues from their identity as your parents. if we look up to our parents, want them to love and appreciate and support us, we want their approval. but sometimes their issues get in the way of us being able to experience that approval and acceptance over certain things -- such as weight, sexuality, career choices, etc. but by needing their approval on those areas, we are making them the judge of what would make us worthy of approval. it can help to separate these things in our minds -- yes, i want my mom's approval, but she cannot give it to me on this. she has given me much approval on xyz issues, but cannot in this area. so i do not give her the role of judge on this issue. her approval/disapproval does not count here. sure, this is a mental trick, but it can work. [caveat: if the issue your dad or mom does not approve of involves something life-threatening such as drug/alcohol addiction, drunk-driving, putting up with abuse, etc., listen to your parent!]

    d) recognizing that even though they may be coming from a place of love and concern for you, the fact that what they are expressing does not feel loving and caring is REAL. if you feel demeaned or hurt, it does not matter if, from their perspective, it was not a big deal or it was just because they love you. validating your own feelings can be part of delegitimizing the hurtful messages coming at you.

    so that's the idea i was getting at. i'm sure there's more to the process than what i've written, and what works for me may not for someone else. personally, i find that much of it is practice -- recognizing when one of these bad moments is happening and then doing something about it (either saying something, or consciously changing the way i internalize the moment, redirecting my thoughts about it).

    i hope some of this made sense!

  70. Mejane -

    yes. having sex almost always sucks when you are feeling this way. I am constantly self conscious. I guess its a force of habit to try and hide your body and manuever it into ways that will be more attractive (i.e. I will almost never be, ahem, astride? for lack of a better word)

    And, despite being a 28 yr old litigator dressed to the nines and super confident to the outside world, I don't think I've had sober sex in about 5 years because its just too hard. I need to turn off the voices in my head.

    damn~! here go the waterworks again.

  71. Well, I'm a pretty new reader. Methinks you think WAY too much. All around LOL. I love the fact that, to paraphrase the great Groucho Marx, you wouldn't want to belong to a club that would have you as a member.Good luck working on your issues. Lord knows I have my own (and a half).

  72. K-
    thanks for that! I've never been happy with "my size" mostly due to perceptions my family put in my head at way too early of an age. yet I've always been able to ignore it mostly because I was always incredibly active either in sports when I was younger or other activities as I got older. my car accident nearly two years ago changed the way I viewed myself significantly.

    I always thought, who cares if my thighs might not be as skinny as they once were, I can ski better now than ever before. who cares if I have a little flab on my arms, I can swim faster now. and I didn't care that I might weigh more than I "should" because I could always do everything I wanted to do, and damned be the people who didn't like me solely based on how I looked.

    then I was told I could no longer lift heavy things, could no longer run, needed to take it easy swimming and skiing, and I couldn't even vacuum.

    and now, despite the fact that my overall size hasn't changed, my ability to do all of the things that make me me has. the muscles that helped me to do all of those things are ghosts of their former selves. I now see myself differently. perhaps the same way everyone else always has.

    the worst is I never before questioned why guys liked me. I was fabulous in my own mind even if I was a few sizes from where I wanted to be. now it creeps in. if I meet a guy that likes me, I start to question is motivation.

    so I guess I'm agreeing with those that say that how you feel about yourself is more important (perhaps more attractive to others) than how you look. now if only I could fix the how I feel about myself part...

    anyway, sorry for the rambling, guess I'm making up for too long without commenting. thanks again for sharing and letting us know we're not alone in thinking these things.

    I'm so glad you have found Ish, who's with you because you're fabulous! may everyone be so lucky!

  73. Hey there,
    I've skimmed over some of the other comments, but I wanted to address that whole "overweight women who don't want to date guys who like big girls" thing.

    I'm a big girl. I don't like guys who like big girls. I find that entirely creepy. It's like someone liking black guys, exclusively, or someone like only asian girls.

    What I take issue with is choosing one "type" over all others, not taking into consideration individual differences. So while I wouldn't want to date a guy who is a chubby chaser, I also don't want to date a guy who is unhappy with my weight. I want him to be attracted to ME and the form and shape I take, or will take.

    Everyone has their thresholds for their various likes and dislikes. I might be reaching the upper scale of what a guy prefers in terms of weight, whereas for another guy, I'd be WAY over his limit.

    However, I don't want to be pursued only by guys who dig fat women. I find that attitude totally demeaning. And yes, you might be thinking "How can you tell the difference?" but you can. I can tell those guys a mile away because the first thing they are looking at is my ass, not my face. The first things they say to me have nothing to do with ME but some image they have of me as a fat woman.

    It's an interesting topic, and timely, K, because I was just putting up a personal ad again and in this one, I decided to be TOTALLY up front about my weight, even going so far as to point blankedly say I was overweight. It's hard to be that honest because I don't want to turn off guys by letting them think I'm insecure about it, or entirely secure and happy about it, or identifying myself too easily for the freaky fat lovers.

    This has turned into an essay, sorry. LOL

  74. I"ve loved you forever!

  75. Another Anon: Thanks for taking the seed of my thought and helping it grow so beautifully. I hope that your insightful posts will help others with their issues of self-worth.

  76. 1210 Anon... again, thank you. I'll bet you get about $150 an hour for that else where...

    thank you... wisest comments yet.

  77. actually, i've been paying about $150/week over the past few years to figure all that out! :)

    i think that parents should start a therapy fund, like a college fund, for their kids right when they're born!

  78. You know what I (and most men) find sexy? Confidence. Someone who projects a negative conception of self isn't very sexy. If you don't think you are attractive, why should I?

    If you want to lose weight, fine with me. While you are getting there, try to love yourself as you are. I'd bet you a half rack of ribs that at least part of the difference you notice in how you are treated when you are thin or fat is related to the subtle signals you send to others about how you feel about yourself.

    But don't lose too much weight, because it's nice when women have at least some curves. As Frank Zappa said, "who wants to ride on an ironing board, that ain't no fun, I tried me one".

  79. New people are reading this blog.

    Everything you said...word.

  80. I know it's much later of a date than this posting but I'm just getting caught back up on your blog (which I love by the way). I don't think I've ever realated to a posting as much as I do this one. My current SO (significant other) hasn't EVER been interested in bigger girls. He's always had the stick thin, gothy, no boobs kinda girlfriends. I'm NOTHING like this. I'm a rather large woman and hadn't ever had problems with it. Since I started dating my SO, my self esteem had taken a nose dive. I had started other blogs, and then deleted them because I stupidly had given links to too many people and then had to deal with the attached drama of expressing yourself and other people reading it but interpreting it differently than you had meant it. My SO said he hadn't read my other blogs, but when I deleted them he asked me why I wasn't blogging anymore. I finally started blogging again because I've just had too many negative thoughts lately to keep them in. he's never been mean to me directly about my weight. I mostly relate other incidences to the happenings in our lives and think too much, over analyze EVERYTHING and then I technically upset myself. For the longest time, I thought about ending it just because of how I made myself feel about my weight being with him, knowing he prefers much thinner mates. This is such a sensitive subject for anyone who's not "perfectly height/weight proportionate". Society has put standards on us of many unbelievable weights and measures and expected us to keep up and prove ourselves. I've recently discovered the only person's standards I have to live up to, or the only person I need to prove myself to is Me. I love your blog and wish you the greatest with everything in your life because you deserve it.