In the past I lost a substantial amount of weight. I didn't keep it off because the new attention from the opposite sex made me feel quite uncomfortable. I was used to letting everyone else have that attention. For whatever reason, I let my fear take over and regained poundage lost.
For those of you that have lost weight, how did you cope and deal with this new unfamiliar attention from the opposite sex? I am shy--not used to the attention. Any suggestions?
I am not sure if I will answer your question properly. As I have lost the weight, I have gained a whole new circle of friends (both sexes). Regulars at the gym, co-workers, strangers, etc. My self-esteem was forced to do a complete turn-around. At first people would cheer me on (especially the muscle-heads at the gym), and I was bashful to answer back. Then people would ask me how I did it (Did you get "the surgery"). I slowly opened up more and more.
My personal trainer has told me that gym members are talking about me in a positive way, that they are encouraged by me. I've had a few come up to me and say the same. Just the other day at my 2nd job (working at a gas station on weekends for extra money), someone talked me up in front of his girlfriend. He was one of those muscle-heads at the 1st gym I worked out. He was telling her that he was always motivated by me when he saw me working out!
At 1st the attention was awkward for me because of my low self-esteem, but I learned to deal with it, and am now very open about everything. SO MANY people have told me their weight loss stories. Women, who will lie about their age/weight, have confided in me their starting weight, their loss, and their current weight, and their goals. This is so encouraging to me. Talking/listening, IMHO is a major tool to use in this journey.
If your question was sex related, let me tell you something. I "became" gay, because with my low self-esteem issues, I was only attracted to "chubby chasers". The pickings were rather slim (no pun intended). I could only get what was available. Now because of the weight loss, I have learned to accept myself. I am now particular, and shy-away from those chubby chasers. My sex-drive has increased ten-fold. In a weird sorta way a co-worker has made passes at me recently, and I have determined the next time she says something, I am gonna take her up on her offer (she knows I am gay, she is a friend of mine on MySpace)! I have been very curious. I am so damned horny!
Wheew...TMI! But by talking about all of this has helped me
14+ page MySpace blog ebook. Also, be sure to check my Pics page, as this is my transformation over the yrs. Videos on frontpage
I was talking about going from being ignored by a major portion of society(being invisible), to the opposite sex noticing you and checking you out, flirting, dating, in social situations etc. Is there anything to make it easier to cope with this if you are particularly shy?
Well, that isn't quite accurate. I, too, was very uncomfortable with attention, and had to adjust to getting quite a bit more of it. For me, this required a couple of steps. First, I had to admit to myself that it was uncomfortable, and that I had a right to be uncomfortable. A lot of people, when you lose a lot of weight, act like you have no reasons to be uncomfortable or unhappy anymore, and it just isn't the case! There are issues still to contend with. So give yourself permission to be uncomfortable. Trying to fight it just makes it worse.
Once you've done that, you try to address WHY you are uncomfortable. There are some underlying issues there, probably, that can be worked on during your weight loss process, so that when you get down to a lower weight, you'll be less uncomfortable. Whatever that issue is, you have it regardless of whether you are heavier or lighter, and it would probably be positive for you to explore it.
I agree with mandalinn82. What situation are you in that make you particularly uncomfortable? Can it be ignored? Can you smile and move on? Most importantly, do you HATE the attention so much that you cannot LOVE being in shape?
Before I gained weight I received a lot of unwanted attention and, like you, I am very shy. Most of the time I could ignore it or smile (or glare) and go on but occasionally I would have to seek help. Thankfully, help is never far away because for every obnoxious jerk out there is two or three nice, respectful men that will come to the aid of a beautiful, in shape, woman!
Best of luck to you!
All great achievements require time.
I find that a lot more doors are held for me, and men will come up and talk to me in stores (and I am married and out with DH!!!).
DH loves the attention I get, but it irritates me a bit - in that I wonder if 70 pounds ago these same people would have even looked me in the eye.
fiberlover, that's exactly what I was thinking reading this. I am not at the point of receiving unwelcome attention from the opposite sex. I am still an overweight, middle-aged, married woman. But I do receive more positive attention in general from people. And in a way, that's kind of insulting when you think about it. I AM still the same person I was 50 lbs. ago. Why would you act more positive to me now just because I've lost weight?
Thankfully, help is never far away because for every obnoxious jerk out there is two or three nice, respectful men that will come to the aid of a beautiful, in shape, woman!
Those same nice respectful men wouldn't think of coming to the aid of a plain, overweight woman? Or maybe it's me that acts differently towards people and they are responding to the change in my personality. It's true before there were lots of times I just felt kind of invisible, and maybe I preferred that. Even when I was younger, thinner, and cuter, I never really enjoyed being "checked out." It always made me uncomfortable to be the focus of attention. Sorry, I guess I am taking this a little OT from the original post, but it's an interesting issue.
Life's a journey, not a destination.
It's easier to stay on plan than to get back on plan.
I am fairly certain one of the "reasons" that I chose to overeat and become morbidly obese was to distract men from me, after going through a very traumatic experience at the age of 10.
I started my journey, 2 months shy of 43, after realizing that I am no longer that 10 year old or that 20 year old. The inexperienced, frightened one who could not deal with the attention. At least that was what I was hoping. And I can deal with it better. I actually find it quite flattering and enjoyable - to a point. I like the door being held open for me more often. I like people being friendlier to me, like on line in the supermarket, the bank and the post office. But there are certainly times where I AM uncomfortable with it. I've had a man I knew for years, who barely said a word to me, actually come up to me and grab my behind and whisper right in to my ear. Uggh. That freaked me out a bit.
There are times that I am actually frightened by it. Like when it's late and I'm walking and it's dark and desolote. I can't help but think I am more of a "target" now for crime. So, I can't help but think that fat me WAS safer in some ways. But in the end, I feel safer now. I felt terribly unsafe and worried all the time about my health. I no longer have those fears. And the fears about attention from men are waaaay easier to tolerate then the ones about the added risks I was putting myself at by being so heavy.
I totally and completely agree with you, Schmoodle. It should not matter what size you are. But that fact of the matter is, it does. Being overweight we lose out on more than we may think - jobs, for example. I do feel as though I have been let go from a job simply because of my weight. Just another reason to get the weight off!
All great achievements require time.
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