I grew up with a mother who was a model before she met my dad. She has always kept her weight low, and she has a very ectomorphic body type, in addition to being 3-4 inches taller than me.
The pursuit of thinness has always been paramount to her, and got foisted onto me as I grew up. It didn’t matter that I’m built differently than she is (I’m shorter, and I put on muscle really easily, and my fat is distributed in a curvy hips-ass-boobs pattern), she was still as obsessed with my weight as she was with hers. She truly believes — and always told me so — that “the boys will line up to date you if you just lose some weight.”
Meaning, my weight makes me unlovable. And I’ve always believed that, partly because it seemed to be true — no one ever wanted to date me. (When I was a teenager, I didn’t understand the concept of the self-fulfilling prophecy, and how believing something can *make* it true.) So I’ve always considered my weight to be something much more than just excess fat and flesh; if it made me so damned unloveable, then it must be something horrible and disgusting.
I’ve been dating my boyfriend for over a year now, and we’ve been seriously considering moving in together. In fact, our recent vacation was somewhat of a test to see if we could tolerate each other in close quarters for an extended period of time.
I really can’t over-emphasize what a good relationship this is. He is truly the kindest, most gentle person I have ever known. He’s never careless with my feelings. I feel totally safe with him.
My boyfriend and I talked last night about the prospect of moving in together, now that the vacation “experiment” is over. We talked about still having some fears, but that for the most part we want to do it.
And then my boyfriend said, “Okay, here comes a major question….” And he paused, and then asked, “….are you going to get bigger?”
For a split second, I just wanted to die.
You know, people can’t help who they’re attracted to, or what physical attributes they find attractive/unattractive. But I had just been assuming that my weight wasn’t an issue with him, because he regularly demonstrates that he is *very* attracted to me. I mean, I *thought* so. You can’t fake sexual arousal; or, at least, I can’t fathom why anyone would fake it that frequently for such a long period of time.
So, if I go with the assumption that he *is* currently attracted to me, his question still makes me think only one thing: that there is a point — a weight — at which I would be unattractive and disgusting to him.
Just like my mom said.
I’m really thrown for such a loop right now. After he asked me that question, every old fear and old ugly belief came rushing back, and crushed any semblance of body acceptance I had developed. I cried and cried and cried and could hardly even talk, for at least an hour. Finally I calmed down a little, and we talked through it. I explained all the old shit with my mom, and my old ugly fears. He told me that he *is* attracted to me. However, he didn’t address the issue of whether or not he’d find me unattractive if I gained any more weight. And I certainly wasn’t going to press the issue.
He has always been so careful with my feelings, and I know that he didn’t ask that question to hurt me. But I also don’t know how he thought it would do anything *but* hurt.
I feel like shit right now. I feel disgusting and ugly and worthless. I woke up this morning with my head full of plans to exercise 7 days a week and go back to Weight Watchers. That’s not the answer, I realize that. Accepting my body is the answer, I guess. But all I can think at this particular moment is: does it matter if *I* accept my body, when the man I love *doesn’t*?