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Sex Love and Obesity Part 7

In the last episode of Sex Love and Obesity (Part 6 – Finding the “u” in weight loss) – I introduced you to the man I loved before my husband. I think we need to give him a name. In the spirit of protecting the innocent (and the guilty) I’m going to call him Clark. Why Clark? Because to this day, he is still my Superman.

Let’s pick up where the story left off. He dumped me when I admitted what I looked like. He said it wasn’t about my weight. I didn’t believe him. I got depressed. Really depressed. I used food to comfort me; to numb the pain. It was the only thing I had that made me feel better. NOBODY in my life knew what was going on. Why I was so depressed. Nobody knew that my heart had been that broken. I was too ashamed of what I had done, lying to him for over five years to share it. How was I going to tell my husband, my friends and my family that I was in love with this man who broke my heart and I didn’t know how to deal with the pain?

A few months later, my best friend in the entire world decided to have lap band surgery. When she made this decision and started to lose weight, for the first time in my life I thought “Maybe there is hope. Maybe there is a cure to my obesity. Maybe I can have weight loss surgery too.”

At this point, Superman believed I was the girl in the photos again.

He regretted losing me. Maybe, if I could lose the weight, go back to him with real photos of the skinny me, he would love me. Motivated by my desire to try to be the woman in the photos that I knew he was capable of loving, I investigated weight loss surgery. My insurance wouldn’t cover it. The $35,000 price tag on a gastric bypass was a financial impossibility. The $9,000 lap band was out of my reach as well. Remember my career was tanking and I was married to someone who made a full-time career out of not working.

I went to my Godfather and asked for the money. In a rare instance of not providing what I asked for, he said no, largely because he didn’t feel weight loss surgery was a safe alternative. My husband, who remember controlled me as the Dominant party of our BDSM relationship, refused to allow it even if we could afford it. He too felt it was an unsafe answer and that the risk of my dying on the table or having complications was too high.

I kept turning to food to make me feel better. I lived in this space for the next two years. I gained back another 95 pounds. Putting my scale back at the 420 pounds I weighed when I first met my husband. Superman remained a friend. An internet pen pal. Someone I spoke with here and there and I continued to love a man I knew I could never have.

Now let’s fast forward. If you’ve read the previous blogs in this series, you know what happened next. My marriage went into epic failure mode. My depression and my health plummeted. I was suffering from a plethora of co-morbidities due to my struggle with obesity. My father came to me and voiced his concerns. Championed by my love of my Father, the only man in my life that unconditionally loved me, rather than by seeking the love of men that didn’t ever really love me at all, I started trying to lose weight. My insurance company changed their policy. I had weight loss surgery.

Now, there was a chance that I could be the woman Superman loved.

When I made the decision to have the weight loss surgery I started talking to him more. Confiding in him the way I had when we were much closer. That door was there, I just needed him to walk through it. He still had no idea he was dealing with fake photos, he didn’t know about my weight or my surgery. But at the time, other than my best friend, he was the only person in the world I felt knew me. Knew who I really was on the inside. When the weight started coming off and our conversations led us back to a place where he told me he loved me, had always loved me, for the first time in a long time, I was hopeful again. Hopeful that I could lose the weight, and we could have the life I wanted for us.

Me in California in 2011 – at 260-280 pounds dealing trying to smile through losing my Father.

He was one of my heroes when my Father passed away.

I didn’t have many people in my life at this point. None of my friends could come and physically be with me to help me through the loss I was experiencing. My husband was working, a rarity in our marriage, and though a part of me was still wavering about whether that marriage could be fixed, the part of me that couldn’t forgive him, that resented him, and that loved another man more, made me not want him there anyway.

My best friend had an 11-month-old baby to take care of. She couldn’t come. I was alone and I was faced with going back to the house, the mother I never got along with and the dysfunctional and generally abusive family that came with her, to say good-bye and watch my father die.

My best friend, her mother, my husband, my Godfather, and Superman were the heroes that got me through. Phone call after phone call, me gasping for air through the tears and ugly cries, with a pain inside me that I had no clue how to begin to heal, their voices where what got me through. My world was caving in. But there was one voice, that no matter how bad things ever got, calmed me, grounded me, helped me catch my breath and figure out how to move on. His.

You might be asking yourself, why I didn’t tell him the truth. Why I didn’t tell him how I felt and give him a chance to love me. I asked myself the same question at that point.

It was July of 2011 I weighed about 260-280 pounds. I had lost 150 pounds and I was confident that I was going to be able to lose the rest of my weight. But. Because there is always a but…

I was starting to see all the loose skin on my body.

If I lost another 100 pounds, which is about what I needed to lose, it was only going to get worse. If he couldn’t love the 420 lb. version of me, how the hell was he going to love the shrunk down, wrinkled, hanging skin, I looked like I went from Stay puff the Marshmallow Man to E.T. version of me? I still wasn’t going to look like the woman in the photos. The woman he loved.

So even though I knew I loved him. I couldn’t tell him the truth and risk the rejection again. I didn’t have it in me. I had just lost my Father. I couldn’t lose him again too. Even though I didn’t really have him to begin with. He was an integral part of my life. Our telephone and internet-based relationship was the only thing even closes to love that I had left.

I continued letting him believe that I was the girl in the photos. I continued living my everyday life, staying in an unhappy marriage and continued telling myself that although I would always love him, this was the only way I could ever be with him. Letting him love the version of me I had created with all my lies.

My father passed away. I went back to my unhappy marriage. We added a third person to our relationship. Superman continued to be an online-telephone relationship I could use as an escape from unhappy life I was leading, and life went on.

Stay tuned next week for Sex Love and Obesity Part 8 – Ten years of lying to the man I loved.

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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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