Friday, May 04, 2007

I can't date like this

So ... I'm not in the best of spirits.

I got a nasty shock earlier this week. I ordered some pants online in a brand and size I normally wear. I excitedly pulled them on when they arrived.

And ... they were too tight. Not a "little" too tight, but "you-need-to-go-a-size-larger-because-your-gut-is-about-to-bust-the-zipper" too tight. I ordered the pants in the size I thought I was now, which is the largest size I have ever worn. So that means I am a size (or two?) larger than I've ever been in my life.

The next day I had to drag myself into work. I was discussing my predicament with a sympathetic co-worker when, without even thinking, I said:

I can't date like this.

I stopped, stunned, because I had encapsulated all my anxiety in that sentence.

Dating is about taking chances and putting yourself out there. You have to be comfortable enough with yourself to make yourself available to others. And if you don't feel your best, or you don't feel as though you are worthy of someone else's attention, you're gonna shut down. And let's face it, a big part of what makes us feel good about ourselves is how we look. How can we expect someone else to be attracted to us if we don't find ourselves attractive?

Also, a big part of romantic relationships is physical intimacy. And I'm not talking about sex, per se, but hugging, sitting close, the hand at the other's waist, the nuzzles and the playful, gentle touches. If you're always thinking, "Ooooh, I hope they didn't feel that fat roll," how can you relax and enjoy such gestures? How can you keep your body language from screaming, "DON'T TOUCH ME?"

And if you don't feel attractive, you'll do less to make yourself attractive. When I'm feeling good, I take extra care with my appearance. I wear my favorite outfits and I make sure my hair is cute. I'm not much for makeup, but I'll brush on powder and apply lip gloss. The past few weeks? It's been haphazard outfits, quick comb-throughs and ChapStick.

So the incident with the too-tight pants was, in fact, inevitable. I've known for months my weight has been creeping up, but I've done a great job of living in denial. Who wants to face that they've become a sloth? So I've put off trying on my summer clothes. Gone to bed early instead of going out on weekends. Felt the sludgy drag of my inactive body.

I'm just a ray of sunshine today, aren't I?

Well, I'm trying to change, but if you've ever struggled with your weight, you know the hardest part is the start. Last week I gave up candy. This week I cut back on cokes and paid attention to what I ate. Next week I (gulp!) go back to the gym.

I can't date like this. But hopefully, I won't be like this for much longer.


pearl said...

I think most women can relate to what you're saying. I've worked through the same issues. What I've found, though, is that losing weight isn't the answer, because if our self-esteem is mostly about how we look, how are you going to feel as you face inevitable aging?

My answer is to work out at least 2 times a week, so that I don't feel guilty about being a sloth. Getting exercise makes me feel proactive and helps me to know I'm doing something for my body, both physically *and* mentally.

Make your focus about treating your body like a temple and you can feel good about yourself no matter if you gain or lose weight. Building the health of your heart, lungs and muscle, sending more oxygen to your brain and skin for better memory and a glowing complexion, and lifting the spirits--these are so much more worthy than a number on a scale.

We women need to get past the clothing size, the scale number, and the "only our attractiveness makes us romantically worthwhile."

Anonymous said...

I completly understand how you feel. I got out of a long relationship (in which we both gained some weight) and I have not wanted to date since. I am so uncomfortable with how I look and don't feel attractive to myself right now. I am going to the gym everyday and my weight is going down, but it is really frustrating. I have tried to date and a guy will tell me how pretty I am and I just don't believe it right now. Good luck on your journey!

Anonymous said...

It's hard to feel good about yourself if you don't think you look good. I get depressed and snappish with everyone when I feel I look disgusting. My husband tells me I'm beautiful but I feel like a giant pig. My sympathies and understanding.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, I think your my twin. I'm 40 yrs old, never married (never asked), have men all the time tell me I'm beautiful. Yet other then the men that tell me that being trolls, I'm always thinking about my gut. Now, I'm only 5'5 and 123lbs but I have a little gut and when anyone touches my waist, I want to die. Maybe thats why I dont date much, people can tell I"m not 100% comfortable with myself. Who knew?

Anonymous said...

From a guys prespective we don't even care....If you're cute your're cute. I am attracted to any size woman as long as she is neat with it....Loosen those collars it aint that bad...:)

Anonymous said...

I am offended by this. It is thinking like this that is what is wrong with our society today.

I will not lie - I am 5'8 and of decent weight, not overweight but a little squishy in the middle. And I couldn't care less.

While I agree that it is mostly physical attraction that gets things going in a relationship, that alone will not go very far. It takes much more that a muscular body to maintain a longterm relationship.

This is why I eat what I want when I want and enjoy my life to the fullest by going out and doing things I love and being with the people that I love instead of slaving away on the treadmill or counting calories.

If a man doesn't want to date you for your what? To quote a very close frined of mine..."Men are like buses...another one will be along in a few minutes."

Ladies, please get some self-confidence!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last comment regarding this being a self-esteem issue. Women, if your man is happy with you the way you are--wants action and thinks you're cute--and you STILL feel unattractive? Time to see a therapist. This is all about superficial internal standards you're putting on yourself.

The sexiest thing in a man or woman is self-confidence (yes, studies show that men are drawn to women who are happy and comfortable in their skin no matter what they look like).

Anonymous said...

Look Diedre, you're a babe as I see it. It's your spirit not your waistline....


Anonymous said...

Yea Deidre, looks are there its just that you think too hard...When the right relationship comes it will flow nice and gentle .... Be yourself and relax...

Anonymous said...

Agree with all the other guys here. It ain't the belly, it's your head that would annoy us the most. The last thing anyone wants is a girl with no self-confidence, or who is too self-conscious. Eye candy only goes so far, eesh. Too bad so many women think so shallow of themselves, it gets annoying as hell and is often why so many relationships women like that are in quickly fade away.

Anonymous said...

Self esteem is one thing, but taking care of yourself is also VERY important. If you don't acquire and keep good habits, it gets worse and worse with each passing year until you ultimately have health related problems. When you look and feel good, it shows in your renewed confidence and that is what makes you attractive.

B.O.B. said...

Why would you abandon me to date other guys? You know I love you and will always work to make you happy. Just keep those AA's coming and I'll keep you doing the same.


Anonymous said...

I get the feeling Diedre likes the rich 20-something "pretty boys". You know those guys only date a certain type of girl and clearly it's not you. Not to be cruel but you know that or else you would not be complaining about your recent weight gain or the way you look. If you seriously want a guy like that then you need to get a drastic makeover to evoke the Naomi Campbell look.

I bet you had a nice middle-age guy who was decent looking yet you brushed him off. Diedreb be realistic with yourself and give regular guys a chance. Come down from the clouds.