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Old 09-21-2014, 12:06 PM   #1  
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Default How Has The Obesity Epidemic Disrupted Romance?

Here's an interview with the author of the book, "XL Love: How the Obesity Crisis Is Complicating America's Love Life". The author has collected a lot of information from onset of puberty, attraction, marriage, health and so on.


Sounds interesting and I plan on reading the book.
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Old 09-22-2014, 12:03 AM   #2  
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I think weight can cause complications but not always in the ways that people think. Although I have noticed that obese teens are less likely to date. My husband and I started dating as teens. He was obese and I was healthy weight. Our arguments weren't about sexual attraction but differences in lifestyle. He wanted to sit around home all the time, eat junkfood and watch movies and TV. I wanted to leave the house more and do more active things. For a while, he got his way and I ended up being obese because of it. But he got health problems and has to fix it because basically it's a matter of life and death. As a result, he is now eating a lot better and doing exercise. Now that we're being healthier it seems to be strengthening our relationship more and I'm a lot happier about our new lifestyle. But the arguments weren't about sexual attraction related to weight. So I don't think that article is entirely correct. When I was in my early teens I had a relationship that lasted more than a year with a guy that was also healthy weight. For most of the relationship we did nothing but argue and it was about how he was attracted to anorexic women. So relationships with both being healthy weight aren't necessarily better.
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:15 PM   #3  
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Nope. Rubbish.

True love doesn't see the weight.

I'm living proof.

Met my wife fat.

Lost her thin.

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Old 10-06-2014, 11:37 PM   #4  
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I can only speak for myself, but I can definitely say that my sex life/romantic life was dormant when I was obese. But it was mainly because I was too depressed and ashamed of myself to want any guy to see my naked. I only started to date again a few years ago when I lost most of my weight (that I've recently gained back ugh).

Though now, like VioletDolphin, my bf is kind of lazy and doesn't like to be active. I think that I fell into that habit with him at first. He's a bit pudgy but I still love him and find him attractive. It's weird, I accept him for his weight, but I didn't accept myself enough to date when I was overweight. But he accepts me now that I've gained weight, he still finds me sexy...

So in my case, it did affect my love life completely, both ways!

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Old 10-06-2014, 11:51 PM   #5  
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Personally speaking, self confidence has had far more to do with romance (for me) than my weight. I've been obese for a while now.. have yo-yo dieted but have not been below 215lbs in about 7-8 years. During the 2-8 year period I've dated 2 guys long term, and a few short term.

I did use to blame loss of romance on my weight with the first long term guy (that relationship lasted about 2 years). Really though, I didn't have any self-confidence. When I really think back we were very romantically involved at the beginning of the relationship, but as my confidence level dropped (he was emotionally abusive, and just kinda a jerk overall) so did romance.

My current boyfriend of over two years (three years coming up at the end of Feb) that has never been an issue. He loves me for who I am and actually helped me gain a lot of the confidence back that the previous guy had destroyed. He is supporting me in my weight loss journey, but only because it's something I really wanted/want to do, not because it's something he requires to find me attractive.

Now if you're talking just one night stands and brief romantic flings, or if you happen to be dating someone who is focused completely on looks, then I'm sure weight is going to have much more of a negative effect.

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Old 10-08-2014, 10:16 AM   #6  
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If anything being fat is a plus because you weed out all the people just looking for a one night stand. My grandmother always said women who are overweight will end up the happiest. They get the good men who see a woman's soul over her butt. Kind of true in my opinion!
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Old 10-11-2014, 08:29 PM   #7  
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You are going to lose out on a whole swath of people who are fitness/sports/active lifestyle oriented. And depending on the woman, she may be less sexually adventurous obese (some positions are literally not possible when heavy, plus the confidence issue.)

But many, many people find love while overweight. This is just one aspect.
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Old 10-15-2014, 12:53 AM   #8  
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Science is a good thing. And I have an appreciation for it. Research is a good thing.

However, there is a big, "but" in all of this.

In the animal kingdom, survival of the fittest, drives, who gets to get who.

In the human kingdom, with it's capability of abstract thinking, and sometimes skewed thinking and emotions, we make choices, that are not always in our best interest.

That being said, why does the fat guy, marry the skinny girl? Why does the fat girl end up with the skinny guy? Whey does the ugly, short, squatty person end up with a tall hottie?

Why do some people, decide, to forgo the whole intimate relationship thing, like their job, and get a dog?

Why do some, like my boss, at 72, and need Viagra, still insist on chasing women? Good night, he's had 3 wives and numerous significant others!

They have all liked his money!

Why do 2 of the heaviest people I know, who have a son who is 17, and were told they would never conceive again, because of their weight, now have 2 little kids, at 40+? They are great parents!
Why does a girl from a reasonably good home, with a high school education, decide it's a good plan to get pregnant, and the daddy is now in jail, and there to stay for a good while. And has 4 other kids he does not support?

But she "LOVES" him.

I could go on and on with examples.

The thing is surveys, studies, and so on. No matter what you do, you will never do a total survey/study that will cover all of the human bases.

There are too many differences, in social structure, beliefs, environment and so on to ever label people!

Case in point, suicide bombers! Seriously, who does that? How do you train for that profession?

Just saying.
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Old 10-15-2014, 04:24 AM   #9  
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Default same situation

Originally Posted by IanG View Post
Nope. Rubbish.

True love doesn't see the weight.

I'm living proof.

Met my wife fat.

Lost her thin.
Me too...crazy world
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Old 10-15-2014, 10:07 AM   #10  
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Not going to apologize, not going to deny. But this is me. I am attracted to what my mind/body/being perceives as a healthy weight. That is usually at the high end of normal BMI for women, maybe slightly into overweight.

Those are often curvy women, but definitely not obese if we are just talking a physical attraction level, not overall attraction. I have never been attracted to obese women or skinny women. It isn't wrong for sure and not sure if it is right or not. But it is what it is. Might as well tell me not to like the color green (I do), and that it is 'wrong' not to like pink (I don't).

I think it is quite normal for people to link attraction to weight somewhat. In fact I would personally be surprised if this wasn't the case for someone. But more power to them. Certainly awesome if weight had no bearing on physical attractiveness but I am not wired this way and it is certainly not something to think is wrong in any way. As I said it is what it is. It isn't a matter of right or wrong, I think most humans are just wired this way. Weight can speak to genetic and overall fitness and our genes are hard wired to translate this to attractiveness for most humans.

Now where it goes wrong is all the manipulation by advertisers. But I think it is just evolutionary coding inherent in most humans to find some linkage to weight and attractiveness. It is just instinctual. But it has been mutated by modern media and ads.

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Old 10-24-2014, 03:33 PM   #11  
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Err... I think the person who wrote that book is disregarding the other side of the story.

By which I mean, what about the issues that caused people to be overweight in the first place?

I attribute a lot of my weight gain to my family life as a kid, and lack of education about healthy eating and exercise. Some people have undergone extreme trauma that has resulted in either extreme weight loss or gain. And all of those situations are also situations that can cause friction in relationships as we go through life.

The person writing that book seems to be only talking about the direct effect of weight on relationships, but I think they need to look at it the other way around. What made us gain weight to begin with? And how do THOSE issues affect our relationships?

I for one am in a happy and healthy relationship. My husband weighs about 50 lb less than I do, but we're supportive of each other and we talk about our issues in a healthy way. I think I'm really lucky that I've gained the tools throughout my life to have that kind of relationship, but a lot of people haven't, and have a lot of other issues they need to deal with first.

I certainly had a lot to deal with first. I was painfully shy (could not say hello to people, even people I knew, on the street). That wasn't a result of gaining weight - it was one of many causes, in my mind. I had issues to deal with from my parents' divorce, and from a boyfriend my mom had who was violent towards her. And from growing up thinking my mom was selfish and cared about herself more than my sister and I. Those are issues I've finally largely dealt with. But what if I hadn't? Would I be on a healthy path now and losing weight? No, I'd be obsessing over my issues, eating myself into a coma, and taking out my frustrations on everyone around me, including my spouse. And I doubt I'm the only one...

Last edited by faiora; 10-24-2014 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 11-06-2014, 07:36 AM   #12  
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I agree faiora, the book theme suggests that love is a life stage and obesity dilutes the likelihood of achieving this. Isnít it possible that it is a reciprocal? Obese people may have depression from experiences growing up or may come from lower economic families unable to emotionally and physically support a healthy balanced diet. Maybe itís the contribution of the increasing number of chemicals in ready to eat meals or angst around longer work days to survive in the tough economy which minimize the ability to prepare nutritious meals? There are so many psychological and economic factors that need to be investigated. Obesity is a result rather than a cause. Whilst the book may have concluding information on how overweight individuals are more likely to have a postponed love life, the significance needs to be directed at the reasons behind it. I find it self-righteous to point the finger at the statistics when the answer is to get to the root of the problem and find a solution to stop the reoccurrance.
Regardless of weight, I do believe there are people petite, average and overweight whoís love lives need tending to however, my feeling is this book represents a premature outlook on the obesity epidemic.
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Old 11-17-2014, 11:44 PM   #13  
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Students at the Wellspring Academy in Reedley, CA, pictured on Oct. 19, 2009. Wellspring Academy is a special school that offers academic courses while helping students with weight loss. Sarah Varney documents the effects the obesity epidemic has on romance in her new book. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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