My dear friend Blake challenged me to write this post... so here goes:
I quoted the other day from Crystal Renn's book, Hungry, about the "underlying promise of dieting" being that life won't start until we reach our goal weight, goal size, or just goals in general.
I have to admit that what I'm about to say is very personal, and kinda revealing, but again, it's that whole journalistic integrity thing.... I haven't had sex in 1277 days; 3 years and 128 days, roughly. I broke up with my last actual boyfriend in August 2002. I had a paramour for a few years, but that didn't end well. I dabbled here and there, but nothing serious.
I think there are many reasons why I'm single/celibate:
1. a fear of loving someone and losing them (i.e. my mom)
2. the fear of being hurt (and not wanting to resort to emotional eating)
3. omg, have you read the STD statistics? (especially 1 in 4 women and 1 in 5 men have HSV-2)
4. people in DC my age don't date, they have casual, no-strings-attached, friends-with-benefits relationships which are not relationships at all
5. I didn't think I had anything to give
6. I am wary when guys find me attractive (i.e. what do they want from me?) so i come off as hard to get, oblivious, or cold
7. guys seem to have a thing against women who live with cats (though Spike and Jack are awesome)
8. I love answering only to myself
9. change is fucking scary
10. I tend to go for men that are "out of my league"
11. guys love to put me in the "just a friend" or "one of the guys" friendzone categories and it's impossible to escape
Part of me sees all the pretty girls and there's a pang of jealousy--that it's not that hard for them to find men who are attracted to them and who treat them kindly. The more and more I talk to my friends, that's not the case. Just because you're pretty doesn't preclude you from a world of hurt. The pretty girls have boy issues, they're just a bit different.
But still there's the thought (and I know you've all had it too) that if I weren't fat, or if I didn't look this way, guys would like me or at least they would want to be in a relationship with me, not just want to have lights-off, don't-tell-anyone sex. I think the real statement behind all of those layers is that if I weren't fat, or if I didn't look this way, I would like myself. I would think enough of myself to feel sexy and believe it, not just strut my stuff, full of bravado. So I just don't put myself out there. I don't allow men to get close to me in a way that they could hurt me or even know me.
And that leads to more pathetic observations/conclusions/realizations/epiphanies: the other day I was having a session with my dietician and I offhandedly said that my refrigerator is my boyfriend. And then she said something that made me get really emotional, "I know you don't like it when I say this, but you go to the refrigerator to soothe, to seek comfort." (I have this weird habit of looking in the fridge even when I'm not hungry. It's partially boredom, but sometimes I really do think (despite knowing the entire contents of my fridge at any given moment) that a birthday cake, or a watermelon will suddenly appear in there). But in thinking back through my life, I would often go to the refrigerator when I was not just bored, but lonely (a word my dear Shakespeare coined). The thing I was looking for that was never in the fridge or the freezer was someone to ask me how I was doing, to give me a hug, to pull me close.
My dear readers, please do not think for a second that I think this is rational thought. I am an emotional eater. The source of my satisfaction has been what comes from the refrigerator. It makes absolutely no sense to feel emotional relief just by opening the refrigerator door. I know that. I truly and sincerely do. But well, my subconscious lags a little behind.
I know I have something to give at this very moment. And more importantly, I know there's someone out there that wants to receive what I have to give and his name is not Maytag.
As a guy, just let me say I'd jump at the chance to leave the lights on and tell everyone I know. The honesty and integrity you're showing in this blog is so much sexier than an impossible body type ever could be.Reply
as I am fond of lists...Reply
1. It's awesome to have a guy reading my blog
2. that replies!
3. and that has totally body-positive things to say.
First of all, YOU are a pretty girl...are you kidding me with the whole "pang of jealousy at a pretty girl" thing? Sweet pickles - you're a hottie!Reply
Second of all, I completely believe that guys (like Scott from the first comment) think that women who are happy with who they are are sexier than those that are pencil thin and completely self absorbed.
Third, you will totally get there...sometimes it just takes time.
I'm so glad I found your blog - I'll be following it for sure! :)
Aww i love the term of endearment "sweet pickles." I'm your gherkin.Reply
I think everyone has periods when they feel like they're the bee's knees and nothing can stop them, and moments when a feather could knock them over. I have moments when I feel pretty, and I know there are times when all the pretty girls feel desperately icky.
You know, Scott and I were chatting a little (off blog) and I said that that it's all nice to be Rawr! Empowered! But it kinda has the feeling of "I feel X in spite of Y." I don't want to be like "I'm an empowered fat chick." All I want is to match how I see myself and have people see recognize the harmony, not the dissonance.
I think no matter your size that's the goal. I said to my girlfriends last night (on a related but different topic) that there was all of this women's liberation and then there was 80s power suits, Sex and the City 90s. I think it's kinda like "we get it, you can have sex, talk about sex, and now have sex like men." I'd rather own my sexuality--to not have to have or use a man (or woman, if that's your thing) to feel sexually potent.
The same as for the weight loss. I know about health, nutrition, and exercise. I just feel like I'm competing against my body sometimes. I just want to own it in a meaningful way. I want it to cooperate with me. I want the validation from myself so that I don't have to be Rawr! Empowered!, but so that i can be rawr! vulnerable as well and not feel like the dam could break.
It has been about 900 days for me. And I have found great peace with my body during that time. *I* find myself more attractive and desirable than I ever did in the past when I with someone.Reply
There is something to be said for long periods of abstinence. Self definition and self awareness is an easier pursuit when you are not embroiled in a sexual relationship.
Will I live the rest of my life this way? I don't think so. But things will change in their time.
I think there's being self-aware and then there's self-deprivation. At this point, I'm a little muddled as to what i'm doing right now.Reply
I totally relate to this post. Before I was married, I would constantly think, "If I wasn't fat, guys would like me." But at the same time, I wasn't confident - at all. And that shows. I have a friend who is plus size - curvy in all the right places - but still plus size. And she is completely 100% comfortable and confident in her skin. She always has been. Guys have always been drawn to her and I think it's because she has always been so confident and comfortable in her skin.Reply
I've always been an emotional eater and I think most people who have struggled with their weight turn to food to deal with a plethora of emotions. I always open the pantry, take a look, and then close the door. I'm much better at saying no to mindless eating, but I still give in occasionally. It's always a challenge!
Lindsay -- I think guys sense the wall i have up. I'm confident, I'm saucy, but I'm also wary. I've had enough guys dick me around that I'm "once bitten, twice shy"Reply
As for emotional eating, I think I nicked that one in the bud. My dietitian told me i was dating my refrigerator (I had the same routine, but with the addition of a little light). She said that I have a relationship with my kitchen and the food to the exclusion of other people.
After reading about people who have relationships with inanimate objects and how bonkers they are, I was like "I don't want to be confused for someone like that."
My fridge and I broke up. I know everything in the fridge even without looking. There will be no surprises in there no matter how many times I check it.
dearest Robby, it's been 6 years 3 months and 8 days for me....I love your blog!Reply
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