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Sex Love and Obesity – Part 10

Previously in the Sex Love and Obesity series we talked about how someone else had come along and Superman had let me go without resistance to seek the greener grass in another relationship. In my last blog discussed Dissociative Identity Disorder and how after 15 years of managing this mental health issue my next relationship choice suddenly made it a prevalent issue in my life again.

Before we talk about the relationship itself, let’s talk about how it even came to exist. You see, I wasn’t really looking for a new relationship. I wasn’t really looking to fall in love with someone else. Superman and I had issues, but most of our issues centered around me, around my need for sexual attention and my inability to deal with a relationship that was void of passion and intimacy.

I wasn’t looking for love, I was looking for attention.

I was looking for intimacy. I was looking for someone to boost my self-confidence and my self-worth by making me feel wanted sexually. I was looking for someone to appreciate my new body, to look at me with want and desire. I was looking for validation of what I had accomplished. I was looking for someone to make me feel pretty.

I’m going to be talking about this next relationship for a while, so I feel I need to give this gentleman a name as well. I’m going to call him Peter.

The first time I met him was at a weight loss surgery-oriented convention. He was barely beginning his journey. We met in passing and he told me that he read my blog and appreciated the motivation and inspiration I provided. A year later, when I couldn’t afford to go to that convention, he stepped up and started a community fundraiser to pay for me to attend. I was appreciative. Nobody had ever done anything like that for me before.

We hung out quite a bit at that convention. We had a lot in common. Like myself he had lost an impressive amount of weight after weight loss surgery. He wasn’t where he wanted to be yet. But he was less than a year post op, so he still had a little way to go. We became friends, got to know each other. We talked about our current relationship statuses. We discussed the frayed strands of relationships I had dangling in my life. The boyfriend that didn’t want to be sexual with me. We discussed his unhappiness in his marriage that was generated by many of the same issues.

He spent most of the convention upset at a girl that he was smitten with. Her lack of reciprocation of his attention and the mixed messages he felt she was sending had him twisted and confused.

I spent most of the convention jealous of her.

I wasn’t jealous that he was smitten with her mind you. To be honest, I wasn’t really attracted to him at the time. I had just returned from a weekend trip at another weight loss-oriented event where I was having a fling with a man who I was ridiculously physically attracted to.

I was jealous that she drew that sort of attention to her in a way that I didn’t. I watched her, flirting, sitting in the laps of men that were so obviously drawn to her, and ask myself what was wrong with me that I didn’t receive this sort of attention. As I admitted earlier, I was seeking that kind of attention. I was envious of her. But, it wasn’t a green-eyed monster sort of jealousy. It was an ugly duckling syndrome type of jealousy.

I listened as he confided in me that she was his ideal of a perfect woman. That her appearance, attitude and personality were exactly what he would create for himself in some Weird Science, create the perfect woman sort of scenario.

It was August of 2015, and something had changed for me during the two weeks that I had been gone attending these events. I came back with the distinct mindset, that I didn’t want to settle anymore. I didn’t want to have all these relationships that lacked closure because I was afraid to stand up and say I was unhappy.

I wanted a chance at the Happily Ever After fairy tale that I was seeking.

I didn’t think I had found Prince Charming at either of these events, but the weekend had opened my eyes up to the fact that he might be out there and that all my lingering relationship ties might be keeping him from finding me. I came home from that convention and all be it very slowly, started severing ties.

I was scheduled to give a motivational speech at another weight loss-oriented event a couple of months out. I put a call out on social media looking for someone who was willing to listen to my presentation and help me practice. Peter volunteered. This led to us spending a large amount of time talking on the phone together. Day after day I would call, practice my presentation, he would listen, and we’d chat a little bit after. As the month went on, the after chats got longer and longer.  We’d vent to each other. Me about the boyfriend that didn’t pay attention to me. Him about the wife that didn’t pay attention to him.

By October, our friendship had progressed into something unique and special. I really considered him one of my best friends at that point. He had made it into a small inner circle of people I let close to me, people who I consider my “Ride or Die” friends.

Somewhere between August and October I had decided I was going to go to Disneyland World and run the Star Wars half marathon. I had invited a couple of my Disney loving girlfriends to go with me. Being a Disney fanatic and Star Wars nerd himself, he decided he wanted to go too. I was impressed that he wanted to try to run a half marathon, motivating people to take on their first finish line is a passion of mine.

In September he decided that he wanted to be present when I gave my first motivational speech. He’d been a big part of helping me get prepared for it. I was excited, it was my first big motivational speaking gig. A whole hour of me talking to a room full of people about how I had used exercise as a weapon against emotional eating in my weight loss journey.

He booked a trip to Raleigh, NC where the event was at. We decided to share a room together. I was excited to have one of my dear friends along for the ride. He was in the middle of training for a half marathon we were going to do together the following April. I was already training for the Dopey Challenge event I was going to be doing the following January. We packed our running shoes and found a local event to participate in while we were there that would get us both the distance we needed to run that weekend.

We went through the entire event without me even realizing that he was looking at me as anything other than the friend I thought I was. In fact, the girl that he had been upset wasn’t paying attention to him the way he wanted her too just a few months ago was at that convention too.

I was under the impression his romantic interests still centered on her.

When we first arrived at the hotel he presented me with a ring that I had posted about wanting on social media. I thought it was a friendly gesture. It was a Tinker Bell ring that I had lusted after. I thought it was a “Thank you for being part of this Disney running journey with me” gift.

When I got back to the room after delivering my presentation there was a dozen yellow roses waiting for me. I took it as a “Congratulations, you rocked that presentation.” present. Yellow roses are after all a symbol of friendship. I correlated it with him knowing how much I missed my father, how much I wished he was there. The whole yellow rose of Texas thing.

It wasn’t until I was sitting in a room with a couple of my girlfriends the final night of the event getting ready for the evening festivities that I even realized I was being courted. He had confided his feelings to them privately before we had even arrived in Raleigh.

At first, I didn’t believe them. I was convinced his intentions, attention and romantic obsession was focused on another woman.

Next, I was angry. Angry that he was looking for more than a friendship. Angry that I was going to have to tell someone I cared about as a friend that I wasn’t attracted to them in that manner. Upset that he was trying to take our friendship to a different level. I’d never been in that position before. Having to be the one that says, “I’m sorry, I just don’t feel that way about you.” I was used to being on the other side of the equation.

We had that conversation. We got up the following morning and did our run. We had a great time. He went back to home to his wife, I went back to my boyfriend, we said our friendly good-byes and life should have gone back to normal.

But if there is one thing I will ever say about Peter, it’s that when he decides he wants something, he is relentless in his pursuit of it. He had decided that he wanted me, and even though I didn’t really want to be wanted by him at the time. I wanted to be wanted by someone more than I wanted anything else at that point in my life.

I had worked hard to get to where I was in my weight loss journey. Happily residing in Onederland. But I still had no self-confidence. I lacked self-esteem, I lacked self-worth. I wanted to be wanted because I wanted the way someone else looked at me to validate me. That desire to be wanted was about to take me down a very dark rabbit hole.

Stay tuned for Sex Love and Obesity Part 11 – Down The Rabbit Hole of Attention Seeking

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Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and Cooper Institute Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies. Her training and coaching services are offered exclusively through GoGirl Fitness Studio.

Sex Love and Obesity Part 6

Before we move on in this Sex Love and Obesity Series I need to roll back time a little bit and tell you about the guy before my husband.

Sometimes I think that how a relationship starts determines very much how it will finish. This relationship started before my husband and I had become anything more than friends. It started with him having a free trial to the phone sex service I was working for and a phone call that he made to a girl he thought looked exactly like I wished I looked in my head and exactly like the photo that was plastered all over my advertisement.

As we talked and got to know each other there was one prevailing thought in my mind the entire time. “He will never love me.” – because who would love me.

I weighed over 420 pounds. In my mind I was complete unlovable.

We continued to talk, a lot. Relationships that develop over the phone have an interesting dynamic – you don’t sit around watching TV and doing the mundane everyday life things together, you must talk to one another, converse the entire time. Which means there is a lot more communication; he knew absolutely everything there was to know about me.

He was out of my league. I knew that. He was a young attractive man with aspirations to be a movie star. I was a 420-pound phone sex operator allowing him to believe I was the woman in the photos I used for my new phone sex business.

I’d used fake photos to meet people online a dozen times before this. I always knew in the back of my mind when I did it that it would end badly. I knew when they found out who the real me was they would be angry that I lied to them, stop talking to me, and that my struggle with obesity made love an impossibility in my life.

But I loved him, and more than anything in the world, I wanted him to love me back the same way.

Our telephone conversations included lots of discussions about how amazing our sex life would be if we were together. He was the first man in my entire life that made me feel wanted. I’m not talking about wanted as in I want you around me, I’m talking I want to grab you, throw you down on the bed and screw your brains out kind of wanted. Something I had never, ever experienced in life because of my weight.

Although the rational side of my brain knew that this was all a façade based on the lies and misconceptions I was selling, as time went on, I grew to love him more and more.

But my husband came along, I found a relationship that was real, not just some telephone fantasy relationship I wished could be real, and I moved on to the life I could have instead of the life I wanted.

I never really let go though. Closure isn’t really my thing. For several years into my marriage, with my husband knowing about it, I continued to converse with him. He helped me build my business. He wrote blogs for my website, he did voice acting work for recordings I sold repeatedly, he tolerated the emotional roller coaster and yo-yo relationship I offered where I pulled him closer and then pushed him away. We’d make plans to meet, and I would come up with amazing excuses for why I couldn’t show up. Essentially, I catfished him. For the better part of 12 years.

There was a moment, where I tried to tell the truth.

About four years into my marriage, when things started going south, when I had gained back all my weight, found out that my husband was having online affairs he was lying to me about, I went to this man and told him the truth.

In my mind, at this moment, I thought, it’s been 5 years, he knows me. The real me, the person I am on the inside. Maybe, just maybe my weight won’t matter. My husband had taught me that was a possibility, in the beginning he didn’t want to be with me because of my weight. I had lost the weight, we had started a relationship, and when I gained all the weight back it didn’t become a deal breaker in the relationship.

I was unhappy in my marriage. For a million reasons I’ve already stated. But there was another issue at play too, I wasn’t sure if I had ever REALLY loved my husband. In the back of my head there was this haunting voice that constantly reminded me that perhaps I had settled for the man who would love me, instead of the man I loved.

So, after 5 years, I told him the truth.

I laid it all out there, I sent him my real photos and I explained that I had done everything I had done because I didn’t think he would love me if he knew what I really looked like.

He very kindly ended the relationship. He gave me a ton of reasons at the time. None of which were “You are overweight, and I am not attracted to you.” – but no matter what he said, THAT is what I heard.

I couldn’t take the rejection. I was devastated. I loved this man I had never met more than I had loved any man before. Not having him as a part of my life wasn’t an option. So, I back peddled. I told him that I had sent the photos to test him. To see how much he really loved me, to see if our relationship was just about what I looked like. I told him that he had failed my test and for the next couple of years, we hardly spoke. When we did speak, I would remind him how much he had hurt me. How he had let me slip through his fingertips, how he didn’t love me enough.

In some small way, his remorse over the situation comforted me.

It told me that I was worthy. He regretted his decision, he mourned losing me, and in my mind, I twisted this into, “he’s the bad guy, he didn’t love me because of my weight and he lost the wonderful person I am and a woman who loved him to ends of the earth because of it.” It was his loss.

It was somewhere around 2007 now – I had regained 100 pounds since I had gotten married. The man I loved didn’t love me back. The man I had settled on and learned to love was busy having online affairs when I was there in his home trying to be everything he wanted. Nothing was going right. I blamed EVERYTHING that was going wrong on the fact that I was overweight. Obesity was ruining my life. All I wanted was someone to love me the way I wanted to be loved and nobody did, all because I was fat.

But there was nothing I could do to fix it. I had tried and failed. I had lost weight and gained it all back. The only sex life I had was the one I had on the phone with my clients. I hated my job now. All it did was serve as a constant reminder of what I couldn’t have. I resented answering the phone. I resented the two men in my life for not loving me. I slipped into a deep dark depression.

There was nothing, absolutely nothing that made me feel better… other than food.

I’d binge eat to make myself feel better and then only end up more depressed because in the end I knew that it only made things worse. It was a vicious cycle. I wanted to die.

I accepted that this was the life I was destined to lead. I didn’t really understand why. What I had done so bad to deserve such a horrible fate? I resolved myself to the fact that I was going to die this way, overweight, unloved and never getting the chance to experience the love I had been dreaming about since I was a little girl.

I had thought that losing weight would fix everything. I believed that after I lost the weight I would suddenly be happy. I was looking for myself and thought I would find her on the other side of obesity. But what I quickly found is that there is no “u” in weight loss. If you are looking for you in life after weight loss, you’re not going to find it until you start looking within yourself and asking yourself what drove you to obesity to begin with. Losing the weight doesn’t fix you, and if you haven’t figured out what the actual issues are, the chances are, you will end up right back where you started.

My marriage was already over, even if I didn’t really know it yet, and my relationship with this man who had come before my husband, hadn’t even really begun.

Stay tuned for Sex Love and Obesity Part 7 – Meeting Superman

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Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and Cooper Institute Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies. Her training and coaching services are offered exclusively through GoGirl Fitness Studio.
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Author: Pandora Williams

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

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