Yes, it's time for another update concerning my eternal singleness (singletude? I'm not sure of the correct word here). It's been on my mind all week anyway and sometimes the words just have to come out. It's scary to be vulnerable sharing some of the not-so-flattering or embarrassing stuff, but I think it's important to be real. Life doesn't magically become perfect when you lose weight, and my dating life is a prime example of that.
I've written before about how, even though I knew it wasn't realistic, part of me did expect things to be perfect or at least pretty close after I lost the weight. When you've been overweight your whole life, it just becomes natural to equate being happy and having everything work out right with being skinny (or at least pretty normal-sized). The ideal story would go something like this: girl loses half her body weight and magically comes through that with no loose skin or stretch marks, pens a best-selling book about her journey, joins eHarmony, has men immediately recognize her impressive wit, intelligence, and beauty and fall all over themselves wanting to date her, falls in love with one of aforesaid men, marries him, and rides off into the sunset on a white horse (horse being optional here; I mean, I'm not picky). Apparently my fantasy is disturbingly similar to a 10-year-old girl's (minus the weight loss and best-selling book).
I don't know who the girl in the above paragraph is, but I just know she's not me. I would like to meet her and get some advice though (and also ask why she rides on a horse as a means of transportation)! Seriously though, I'm not as unrealistic as the above paragraph is, but I definitely did have some expectations concerning my love life when I lost weight and joined eHarmony that have not been met. My one year membership is up next month and during that time, I have had exactly 1 date. And yes, that does make me feel like a loser and a freak. And yes, my first thought is that it's because of my weight, that it's because I'm not a size 2. It's like my automatic thought whenever I feel rejected. It's really kind of interesting because I may see of a picture of how I look now and think that I look normal, but in the way I relate to the world and the way I see myself in the mirror many days, I look more like this:
As you can see, I see myself as a good 75 lbs heavier than I actually am. When I shop for clothes, I even start out shopping for that bigger size because I will think my actual size is too small and couldn't possibly fit me. I see all the really sweet and positive comments on things like my 2 year pictures last week, and I just wish I could see myself the way other people do. I'm working on this though.
But what's even worse is maybe if my rejections are not related to my weight. The little thought worms its way into my mind that I am not only undatable, but also just generally unlovable. That there is just something fundamentally wrong with me that makes me unworthy of the opposite sex's attention, something wrong with me that I can't change or fix. That I am destined to become the crazy cat lady spinster (I mean, I do have 2 cats now, and everyone knows 3 cats is crazy cat lady territory). Those are the dark thoughts that enter my head at night before I go to sleep sometimes. The truth is that the world pairs off two by two, and some people get left out. A little desperate part of me that I kind of despise wants to be like Meredith Grey from Grey's Anatomy and scream, "Pick me! Choose me! Love me!" That little part of me wonders why I don't get to fall in love and have someone fall in love with me when it seems like everyone else on the planet seems to be able to have that happen for them. And I don't want to be that girl. She evokes pity, and pity is something I do not want people to have for me. Because truthfully, for the most part, I am okay being alone. Despite how it may appear in this post, it's not like I spend my days despairing over my lack of a boyfriend and crying in my bed or something. I am not one of those needy girls who has to have a boyfriend at all times (let's face it, I would be pretty screwed if that were the case). It's just every now and then, like this week, that I find myself having these dark and self-pitying thoughts. And even though I know it is so very much a cliche, part of it probably stems from the fact that I am turning 30 in two months.
But with the dark and cruel voice in the back of my head also comes the voice of reason (thank goodness for that!). The one that tells me that I am very much worthy of being loved. That just because it hasn't happened for me yet doesn't mean it won't. If I'm I'm honest and objective (which it can be hard to be about yourself), I know that part of my problem is that I haven't really put myself out there. Yes, I did join eHarmony, but in real life I don't place myself in situations where I can meet anyone really. I spent a long time trying to be invisible when I was heavy. Obviously, invisibility is the far better choice than risking having somebody make fun of you. That mindset doesn't magically go away when you lose weight. It's still somewhat of a foreign concept to me to try to get a guy to notice me or to put myself in situations where I would be noticed. And when I do attract attention, my automatic reaction is that it must be negative attention. A prime example would be a couple weeks ago when I was out for a run. Some guys in a car whistled at me, and my first thought was that they were making fun of me, the fat girl trying to run. I did redeem myself somewhat since my next thought was the rational one, that they thought I looked good, so I did smile at them like a normal person.
So I'm really trying to make more of an effort. I can't expect Prince Charming just to knock on my door one day (although if some guy in a crown did knock on my door, I would probably just be like "What the hell?!?). Scary though it may be, I have got to put myself out there. I need to make things happen for myself instead of just waiting for them to happen. And I think that to some extent, I just need to fake it till I make it as far as confidence goes. I know the whole thing about how confidence comes from within, but I think it would be really helpful to my confidence level if I could feel like even one guy found me attractive. But hey, act confident and maybe I will eventually feel confident.
This is life after losing weight. It's not all inspirational before and after pictures. Not all sunshine and roses. It can be painful and scary getting out of your comfort zone. But is it better than hiding away from the world and becoming a prisoner in my own body? Without a doubt.