Last week I received a comment from a reader that made me think. Is it wrong if you are not attracted to someone after they gain or lose weight? I add loss because I have seen this on both sides of the spectrum. The reader writes:
This is a little OT and I’m sure I’ll be called petty, but here it is. My girlfriend had lap band surgery about 3 years ago and was down 80 pounds when we started dating 2 years ago. She often had to run to the bathroom choking because of the restriction of the band, and it was painful to see her that way. I suggested she go back to her doctor for an adjustment, and within a year, she gained back 100 pounds and is still gaining. She does not eat great amounts at meals, but she is a Twizzlers addict! They are about 70 calories a piece and she eats 10-20 in a sitting after dinner. I have begged her to deny her sweet tooth, or choose sugarless candy, but she won’t budge. She is a nurse and sees people everyday losing limbs to diabetes and needing new knees from morbid obesity, and says if I love her (which I do), her size shouldn’t matter. I do still love her, but have lost all desire for her physically, which she constantly complains about. What can I tell her? That we’ll be intimate again when she loses weight? There is nothing I can say that won’t hurt her, so maybe walking away so she can meet someone that her weight won’t matter to (or will even thrive on it). Advice, anyone? “Shallow Bill”
Dear Shallow Bill,
I first want to say that it does sound like you care a great deal about this girl. I want to say that I don’t find you personally shallow at all. I thought long and hard about this before writing you because I had to really think long and hard how I thought I would feel If I heard this from my soon to be husband.
My first reaction was I would be hurt. We have grown use to hearing phrases like “love me for who I am”. While, I do believe we should love people for who they are and not what they look like. I know that realistically I think we all have a line somewhere. I think if we all were real with ourselves we all have something that is just a deal breaker with us. Shallow or not it’s who we are.
I don’t think it was wrong for you to offer an alternative to her choices in foods, but I have to say that this is her issues. She is the one who has an issue with food. One of the biggest misconceptions with weight loss surgery is it’s the “easy way out”. That’s because you are only solving the physical appearance but not the mental.
The facts are most people who are overweight are so because they ate themselves there. There are many reasons WHY people eat. Even though your girlfriend may not be eating a lot of food obviously, she is still abusing food as she did before her surgery.
You are right, there isn’t anything you can say that won’t hurt her in the moment. I will be blunt here… The truth sometimes HURTS! Who wants to watch there love ones hurt themselves over and over again day by day. And yet, I feel this is what you feel you are witnessing.
It’s no different if your spouse was a cutter and asked you to take them as they are. That would be hard. But for some reason with weight we see this differently. We do because I think deep down we ALL want to be accepted for the people we are. But apart of that is being TRUE to who you are.
I think you want to be with her for a long time, and it’s scary for you to see what she is choosing to do with her body. In the end this is HER choice. You can decide to say OR go. I value that you are willing to let her seek happiness.
While, it hurts I can understand why you also may not be attracted to her. I think her attitude may also play a role. When we don’t feel confident in ourselves others feel it to. It affects things like how you are in bed. Maybe now she wants the lights off more, she doesn’t wear the sex panties or lingerie she use to wear.
Or maybe, her body really has changed and this is new to you. You are not sure how to accept it because it’s change. I am sure many men and women go through this even after things like child-birth. At least with that you exchanged your body for another life so I guess there is a trade-off somewhere lol.
You have to decide what you want out of this relationship. Maybe, there is something YOU can improve on. Have you physically changed over the years? Maybe put on some weight? Got a bit of a gut? Hair is thinning? Sometimes others changes provokes change. Ask her to walk with you, make her a lovely healthy meal.
Maybe, lets not focus on her weight but more so on you two just being healthy together. Tell her she is beautiful because I know you still can see beauty in her. (or I hope you can) You can’t stop her from eating the candy. You just can’t. You can tell her that you want her to be healthy and the way she is eating scares you. You don’t want to lose her. You want a long life and you don’t understand why she is doing this to herself.
Be loving, be gentle but be understanding. It’s an addiction. But like any addiction they have to WANT it. Only they can take the steps to improve their lives. So no, Bill I don’t think you are shallow. I think it’s hard to be in a relationship with someone who changes and you are faced if you can accept the change or not.
I will say that I am so thankful my spouse has stayed by my side. You see Bill, I have gained over a 100lbs since he met me. And he still is turned on by me. While, I honestly can’t figure HOW because my body does not seem pleasing to me one bit. He does. It’s because he LOVES ME. Honestly inside and out.
But let me tell you, it wasn’t until he started changing his life that he started to see how much he too wanted ME to be healthy with him. It wasn’t about me looking like some gorgeous model. He just wanted to have his wife for years to come. I am sure he has noticed my weight. I know he has. I know that it’s different. He too had changed.
We both are making changes in our lives, because we both love and respect each other. We are both adults who know the dangers of being over weight. It’s not about being vain it’s about our health. I hope Bill you sit and think long and hard WHY you are with this person and what non physical things about her attract you to her.
I would suggest being open and honest. And Bill, if she honestly can’t accept that you want her to be healthy then you must do what you have to do. I wish you well. I hope that you two can be happy and come to an understanding.
I am not just a fat girl