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Body Image and Issues after Weight Loss Including discussions about excess skin and reconstructive surgery

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Old 10-30-2007, 11:00 AM   #1
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Default Dating after a big weight loss

I was obese all my life. At age 30, I weigh less than I did when I was in 5th grade. I was never one of those people who was happy with me. So, I spent my teens and twenties being the "good friend" and hiding myself in the corner. Very recently, though, I've been able to come to terms with myself (a very good thing), and I'm working on building my self confidence. One result of this is that I'm (finally) starting to get attention from guys. But I feel like I should be in some sort of remedial dating class since I "missed out" on everything I should have learned in high school and college, and the "unknown" scares me to death!! Any advice on dealing with these feelings? Has anyone else found themselves in this situation?

Thanks! It's good to find a place like this...
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Old 10-30-2007, 11:10 AM   #2
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SC, I'm an old married lady (and was when I lost the weight) so I don't have a lot of insights for you. But I just had to post to say and a huge congratulations on your weight loss!!! Please check out the rest of the Maintainers forum and join in, if you'd like. We'd love to get to know you and hear more from you.
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Old 10-30-2007, 11:23 AM   #3
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I grew very quickly....height wise... and I was always the tallest girl in class. To boot, I had glasses and braces. Fun huh ? I never felt attractive nor did I feel confident. When I moved on my own , I noticed that I would get stares and people would talk and sometimes point in my direction (by this time I had contacts and no braces). It made me even more self conscious. I still had never been on a date and I was 18 years old...

One day I broke down and confided in my friend...I could not understand what was wrong with me....why would people stare at me? I didn not have glasses or braces and it is not my fault that I am 5 foot 11. He looked at me like I was nuts...He said : You do not get it, do you ? You are HOT! All my guy friends are nervous to approach you....I could not believe it...Me ? The blind-as-a-bat-brace-face? Hot ?

That was 15 years ago and I no longer see the blind-as-a-bat-brace-face. I have since then embraced my height as a blessing and not a curse. It takes a while to see youself in a new light , but it comes with time and a few ego boosting compliments
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Old 10-30-2007, 11:32 AM   #4
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I have to say I was very similar to you. I was 300 lbs at the age of 14 so I didn't date a lot when I was younger but I was interested in guys. When I attempted to date in college, it was difficult for me and I ended up pushing guys away. I freaked out when I was 20 and a guy tried to kiss me after a couple months of dating. I dated other guys and became somewhat comfortable with them but still I ended up pushing them away.

When I was in my late 20s and around 355 lbs, I started dating someone I had known for many years and I think both of us actually needed remedial dating courses but I tried to be open and realized that if I wanted a relationship, I had to give a little. It lasted nearly a year but in the end, I don't think we were right for eachother. I then started dating my husband at the age of 30 around 290 lbs. I tried to shed many of my insecurities and losing weight (down from 355) helped a lot. We were very open with eachother and it just felt right. It helped that we had been friends for many years and I was comfortable with him. He is very supportive of my weight loss and I had some loose skin when we started dating but now it is really starting to show and he says it doesn't bother him.

So I have a different experience, but my advice is just start doing it. I am very shy so I really needed someone to approach me and luckily it happened. Feel free to become friends with someone and explain to them your history, concerns, etc. If you go out with a guy and it doesn't work out, so what? Just enjoy yourself and relax. Some dates may not be the best but don't put a lot of expectations into them.

My other piece of advice for those in remedial dating is some guys (even in their 30s or older) are after one thing and if they can get it, they will. Those guys have limited patience and probably wouldn't last more than 2 dates. Other guys, if interested in you, will continue to see you for you not for what they can get from you.

That is all I have
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Old 10-30-2007, 12:12 PM   #5
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I can understand and relate to the "before weight loss" experience, I'm still in the boat. I like what Nelie said, that you just get started... put one foot before the other type of thing I guess

My question to everyone is... I am in school and fairly quiet. How do you meet people in the working world? When you are exposed to the same people from work, how do you get out there and meet new people?
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Old 10-30-2007, 12:44 PM   #6
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Beautifulone,

It is really hard because I had a large social network in college but afterwards, I really didn't. The only way is to work hard to create a social network. Do you have any hobbies? Do you have any interests? I am shy too and it is hard but you best bet is to try to put yourself out there.

Take community college "interest" courses (cooking? painting?)
Take exercise classes
Pets? Do pet related activities (dog park, training classes, etc)
Take home improvement classes at home depot
Take craft classes at Michaels
Volunteer for an organization
If your job has social events, attend them (I don't always)

If you are an introvert (like me), it is hard but it can also bring you some unexpected friendships.
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Old 10-30-2007, 04:01 PM   #7
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Beautifulone,

I moved to my current town four years ago, and didn't know a soul. Through a friend at work, I met another friend, who introduced me to a few others who are now my friends. The original work friend has long since moved away from town, but my social life still centers a lot around those people he introduced me to.

I've also made a number of new friends since I got a dog. You'd be amazed at the number of people who'll stop and talk to you when you've got a leash in your hand! And we've got a few dog parks around town that let my puppy and me socialize at the same time.
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Old 10-30-2007, 06:33 PM   #8
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Welcome to my world!!
I am 23 and have never been on a "real" date (well, i asked a guy out on a friendship type date-thing a couple weeks ago, but it wasn't truly a date). I just try to fake confidence, and tell myself that if people are looking at me it isn't because I am so huge and ugly-- probably the opposite! Also, I try to muster up courage to talk to guys and smile and thank them when they open up doors, etc-- (which by the by is happening alot to me lately, even when i am very far away from reaching the door yet!) I still don't know what any of anything means yet as I am a total newbie to everything (I was educated girls' school and women's college, so a total lack of guy exposure even!!). But, the signs seem good, everyone at my new grad school (coed) is really nice and guys help me out with silly things like that, and I'll never know if that is due to my weight loss & effort with my appearance and/or the newfound confidence that comes with it or whether they are just nice people all 'round. But, I'll take it.
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Old 10-30-2007, 09:43 PM   #9
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Thanks Nelie and Scgirl32 . I will definitely have to keep that in mind for the near future.
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Final goal: Reach 145lbs

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Old 10-31-2007, 02:23 AM   #10
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I have experience to share with you. I hadn't gone on a date in my life (I've always been heavy -- and morbidly obese by age 18) until age 23 -- when I had lost 135 pounds. I went out with 2 guys I knew from high school -- the second one lasted longer than the first. It was really nice being kissed and held and feeling attractive, BUT neither of them got to see any part of my body because I was incredibly self-conscious. I didn't even like boyfriend #2 touching my stomach. I was really anti-losing my virginity for a variety of reasons, and I left those relationships due to that pressure. And then, I met a guy who I really fell hard for and was very willing to give myself to him, but he was also a virgin and had different issues, and it never happened. It's a very long and sordid tale, so I won't go into details, but we ended it, I got my heart broken, and I'm never going to see him again. To try to get over the pain, I tried the internet dating, which was successful on paper -- I went out with a doctor, a lawyer and businessmen, who were all interested and all asked me out on second dates, but my heart wasn't in it, and I figured it wasn't right to try to use anyone to get over the ex. I was also using them as proof that I'm attractive and desirable to men which is another bad reason to serial date. I met another guy a little later, and we've been dating for 3 months now.

It's really nothing to be scared of -- the first date is always the most nerve racking -- but remember, the guy is nervous too. I don't make a list, but I try to keep in mind things to talk about -- sometimes conversation can lapse, and it can be awkward.

Good luck!!
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Old 11-22-2007, 03:42 PM   #11
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I get stares now and I'm always like, "Did you lose something in my face?" I used to assume it was because I'm a visible minority in a pretty homogenous place or the fact that I have many facial piercings in a rather backward town. I could never tell. My friend was like, "Um, people stare at you because you're a knockout and there's nobody else in this town like you. You're striking."

I don't know how to "date" either. I am not good with flirting. I like making conversations with people but I never seem to take the next step. Last night at the gym this guy that I am just gaga over held the door open for me. Seriously. Like if he walks past my treadmill I speed the damn thing up and kick up the incline.

He held the door, and ended up on the treadmill one over from mine. My friend was on the other side of me and I was treading away at 3.2/5% incline reading Self and when we were done my friend pulled me aside and said, "Omg, that dude was staring at you through the mirror the entire time!"

Like what am I supposed to do with that?

Nevertheless, I don't have any useful advice as I'm still sorting this out for myself.
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Old 11-22-2007, 10:43 PM   #12
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Sharky--

Smile at him. Ask him how his workout is going. If he's interested, he'll give you an answer and lead-in. If not, he'll say something like, "oh, fine" and go back to what he was doing. Take the chance! Belive you're gorgeous, and other people will believe it, too.
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Old 07-23-2008, 05:03 PM   #13
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Just on one angle of this issue, as I could write a book on the topic, as I'm sure many can. I would urge you to date around before settling down. I think it can be easy to get overwhelmed with the first person that seems wonderful, but you may end up feeling trapped later. So, overall, I would date around and not take it too seriously until you really find the qualities you want!

Don't settle.
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Old 07-23-2008, 05:25 PM   #14
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First, congrats on the amazing weight loss!

Secondly, I too missed out on romantic/dating "practice" in high school and most of college bc of my weight, though I lost weight finally when I was 20. Anyways, I think the best thing to do, is to go out and expect it to be casual. Accept an invitation to dinner if you like the guy who asks, but just go and think of it as having dinner with a nice guy and just act as you would if you were having dinner with a friend. I think most people (well, speaking personally here) would rather see their date be themselves than be their "date selves" if you know what I mean.
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:19 AM   #15
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Hello Ladies

Can I join your club?! I was reading this thread last night and was so relieved that I'm not the only one experiencing this!

I'm 34 years old and have been overweight my entire life. I started getting teased and badly picked on at school around the 3rd or 4th grade so by the time High School came around I had no self esteem or self worth at all. So I missed out as well on the "practice" time of High School and college as well. At my highest I was 260lbs at 5'10" tall, I am now 170lbs, 90lbs lighter! By nature, I am a shy girl, so just chatting up some guy at the gym or wherever freaks me out. However, I have gained a lot of confidence and am much more open but I can do with a remedial dating class!LOL!

I did the online dating thing and while I didn't meet anyone(it turned out I wasn't ready a year ago) I did figure out what is a deal breaker(smoking and an unhealthy lifestyle. Call it what you want, but if I can change to a healthy active lifestyle then I want that in a potential mate. I don't want a bodybuilder or anything just not a sedantary, fast food eating all the time guy where one hike will kill him) This September though, I am returning to college after a 13 year hiatus. So this'll be a good test of the "new me". I aim to go in there confident and proud of what I have accomplished and see how people react not knowing I was once obese. I'll be attending Temple University in Philadelphia. They like a diversified student body so you never know, I may meet someone there.

My dream goal is another 20lbs my realistic goal is another 10lbs. From being so obese I do fear I have the extra skin "apron" thing going on slightly. That is now my big fear with dating. That I'll meet, connect with a guy then when it becomes intimate, he'll see the toll that weight loss has taken despite my weight training, run away screaming and never want to see me again. About 60% of me says if that is the case, A) you don't need him B) he never loved you for you C) a man that does love you for you will think you're beautiful the way you are. I've broken through so much, I can do this.

I am also working on seeing in the mirror what everyone else sees and being happy with what I have accomplished. I'll never have the body of a fitness model or gym rat, but I do want to see myself as "normal". I still see myself as fat.

Thank You for starting this thread SCgirl32!
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