Weight Loss Support - Getting back to sexy
I haven't felt sexy for years. When I was thin, I was around and open to people who preyed on me, which was one of the factors in getting fat. I developed a real connection between sex and food. (I'd like a kiss from someone who loves be but can't have one so I'll have a Hershey's kiss, etc.)
I have worked on healing and taking care of myself and protecting myself in ways that make me feel safer about losing weight and opening up to my sexual side. I'm sure I'll have some more lessons along the way, but it's time to move forward even though I'm scared.
I need some advice on how to connect with my sexuality as I lose weight. I've been wondering things like, "How thin is thin enough to feel sexy?" and "At what point does it become OK to flirt and not assume I'm too fat?" and "What if I attract attention that makes me uncomfortable and I feel the desire to get fat again? How do I ward that off?" and "Once my belly is gone, my boobs will be more noticable. How will I handle that?" and "What if I open up to the sexual feelings and am completely overwhelmed by them?" My chosen boundaries for intercourse is to have it only with someone who demonstrates he cares about me as a whole person and who is in a monogamous relationship with me. I'm still developing boundaries for other sexual behavior, such as kissing and touching.
Tips? Skills? Things you've encountered, lessons you've learned? Ways to cope? Books? Exercises?
08-03-2008, 03:13 PM
I can't really give you any advice as I have never understood the thing about hiding behind one's obesity and sex. I am not judging anyone, I am just saying I have a hard time understanding this - perhaps with the exception of women who were sexually abused etc. I have always have had bigger than average boobs and although they are not ultra huge, they are were always noticeable no matter how much extra weight I piled on. Although I often wished they were smaller (because it would be easier to fit into mainstream clothes) or at least perkier, I have always worn my boobs proudly and it never bothered me if anybody looked at them. I mean, men are visual creatures and it would be hypocritical to dredge them through mud for it since I don't mind looking at a nice sexy guy myself. What's good for the goose should be good for the gander as well, no? (and vice versa).
"How thin is thin enough to feel sexy?"
"At what point does it become OK to flirt and not assume I'm too fat?"
In my opinion, feeling sexy has a lot less to do with a person's obesity than what it has to do with a person's self-esteem and self-confidence. It is not a crime to feel sexy even with some extra pounds; remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There are a number of women here on this forum who married while they were at their highest weight. I can't point you to that tread but I do recall seeing it somewhere and not too long ago. (Maybe in "General Chatter"? not sure). There is nothing wrong with chubbettes flirting - WHY NOT? If you like somebody and want to let him know you are interested, flirt. So you may have a few pounds extra, so what? What if he happens to be somebody who actually prefers voluptuous ladies to thin ones?
08-03-2008, 05:01 PM
I kind of agree w/ Tomato. You shouldn't put your life on hold until you lose weight. Of course it's easier to feel sexy and attractive when we are thinner, but the problem is with society. For many years, women who had a lot of weight on them were considered the most desirable, so I think it's a societal issue and we should try not to fall into the trappings (easier said then done). The point is: you need to find a way to love yourself and be comfortable in your skin now. That way, when you do reach your goal, you'll just be even more confident. Some of the questions you raise make me think that maybe you should see a therapist. I've seen them before, so please don't take this as an insult. I personally put on weight right after one of my boyfriends crossed some major boundaries. He was much older than I and I trusted him because I met him through some family members. I put on weight and I think it was my way of protecting myself in the future. Well, now I'm happily married and am mostly over this (which happened about 18 years ago! ), but I still yo-yo and struggle with body image, self confidence, etc. When people complement me, I feel grateful, but also feel extremely uncomfortable. I am trying to work on this and working out and lifting weights have made me feel much better about myself. Sorry to ramble on and on. I just want you to know that you're not alone. Many people struggle with body image, confidence and that tends to influence sexuality as well. You gotta find a way to love yourself for who you are and live life in the moment. Be in the present and not always looking toward or fearing the future. Hope some of this makes sense! ;)
08-03-2008, 05:02 PM
I can relate in a way. I was overweight most of my adult life. I lost weight a number of times and immediately men would be interested and I often was interested in return although never acted upon anything. I always had a terrible body image problem even when I was thin in my younger years. Two things were going on. First I was annoyed and resentful that men were more attracted when I lost weght and second, I was scared that I would act on my re-discovered feelings of sexuality even though I was married. the temptation to get involved with someone who found me sexually attractive was scary and almost irresistable. I was so afraid that I'd enjoy sexual freedom and enjoy the attention that I almost welcomed gaining back the weight. Over the years, I divorced twice. after a whole bunch of therapy, I have finally come to understand a lot of my issues. The bad body image, the fear of sexual attention, the need for that attention. I hid myself under layers of fat for so long. I have finally found a lifestyle that supports my health and a man who loved me and desired me even during the years I was heavy. He broke down a lot of my body image problems, and yes, I even came to take my clothes off with the lights on and he still was interested! I feel incredibly sexy with him. It isn't just that I've changed my thoughts, he is a good man who is attracted to me for many reasons and that helped me feel secure in my sexuality. My weight loss and my physical fitness has enhanced that even more.
I guess my point is two things. First, if you have sexuality issues you can work on them, no matter your weight. A professonal can help you understand yourself or do a lot of reading on the subject. Second, no matter your weight, a good man can come along desiring you as you are. There is no logic in sexual attraction, it just happens when the chemistry is right and is often not about looks. So, flirt (it feels good), act on what you want if you are safe and sure that you are being true to yourself. You already know your boundaries, but staying with in them can be exciting. Think of this as a journey to find yourself, including your sexual self. Be safe, and know that your sexual side is as important as other facets of your life. Do what feels right to you and understand it is a journey and an exploration of adult life.
08-03-2008, 05:22 PM
Hi there. I don't mean to sound like I'm bragging--but I've been sexy no matter what my size. My weight gain had nothing to do with trying to escape that attention. I just plain liked food! :drool:
I think you're brave to ask these questions and try to figure out how sexy works. I'd like to suggest that there is no such thing as a "proper size" for feeling sexy and/or flirting. If you're holding back, it may have less to do with your size, than with your past experiences.
Suzanne, I'd be interested in hearing more about how your relationship got started and how you dealt with those conflicting sexual feelings related to your weight.
I appreciate that people felt moved to respond to my post. For those who can't relate to my situation and issues, perhaps we will communicate in other threads, as you never know when we will have an experience overlap. I realize this may be too narrow of a focus to appeal to everyone, but the board does seem to be open to a wide range of restricted topics, such as by what diet plan people follow or how much they have to lose, so I hope this is acceptable. To those who have expressed concern, I assure you that I see this board as one tool, just as therapists and books are tools, and I have taken responsibility for my own mental health.
08-04-2008, 02:03 AM
As I read this, all that's in my head is Justin Timberlake's song, "SexyBack". ;)
I don't have any advice for you but I wish you luck in getting your "SexyBack". ;)
08-04-2008, 06:39 AM
I just want to remind you that you don't have to be sexual or have a sexuality at ANY weight. You can be asexual, bisexual, heterosexual, homosexual at any weight whatsoever. All society seems to blather on about is sex, but no one has to be bothered with it.