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Obesity and Relationships

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.

Sex Love and Obesity Part 5

In Sex Love and Obesity Part 4 we discussed the emotional end of my marriage. How I was about to move on and how I confident that having lost all that weight I would have no problem finding happiness with someone else.

Losing weight isn’t a magic “life is great!” pill.

Shocking isn’t it? I’d spent the better part of my adult life suffering from obesity and I was 100% sure it was going to fix all my issues.

My marriage was pretty much over. Whether we were admitting it out loud of not yet, we were both exploring our options outside of the relationship on a regular basis. I guess you could say that we had decided to have an open marriage.

My father had passed away and I was struggling with dealing with the grief. In my mind I had lost the only man in the world that was ever going to unconditionally love me. Losing that unconditional love made me want romantic love even more. I wanted my happily ever after. I wanted that person in my life that I could count on to be there no matter what life brought next.

In the book about my life, the next few chapters would be called “Chasing November”

I have no idea why, but November seems to be a significant month for me regarding relationships.

In November of 2011 after a long talk with my husband, I decided to try to compensate for what I wasn’t getting out of the marriage, sex, attention, companionship, by adding a third person to our household.

So, in November of 2011 I invited an “online friend,” to come for a visit.

The first visit was wonderful. Everything about the relationship was new and exciting and perfect. We spent about 2 weeks together and I was certain that adding a second relationship to my life would make me happy. I’d get what I wanted and needed out of a relationship physically and emotionally and at the same time, my marriage could go on being what it had already been for the better part of the last 8 years. I’d continue being the submissive house slave that made sure the house was clean, the laundry was done, and all the bills were getting paid on time, and maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t resent it all so much if I had someone else that was making feel fulfilled.

I know it sounds crazy, but remember, I’d basically grown up in a BDSM related community. I’d seen these types of arrangements since I was 19 years old. To me, it made perfect sense.

In my mind adding a third person to the relationship would be a win/win situation all the way around. We’d be helping someone else get out of a living situation they wanted out of and putting a band-aid on our own problems at the same time.

All three of us were struggling financially. I was about to start a year-long process of reconstructive surgery to remove all the excess skin left after losing 260 lbs. We couldn’t afford for my husband to take time off work to be with me recovering from those surgeries. So, we decided to move someone to Oregon, put a roof over their head, and give them a chance to rebuild their life while helping me recover from my surgeries and see if there was any validity to the “Three’s Company” lifestyle.

My reconstructive surgeries happened in February, August, and then November. I blame a little of the failure of that relationship attempt on the fact that they were always taking care of me.

I blame some of it on the level of resentment that existed in the house. It created a level of tension in the house that just never faded.

I blame part of it on the fact that truthfully, it wasn’t what I wanted. I didn’t really want an open marriage or an open relationship. I didn’t want to be with people who were willing to share me, my affection or attention with each other, or anyone else for that matter. It wasn’t who I was or how I was built.

I was still making compromises. I still didn’t value myself enough to stand up and say, “Hey this isn’t what I want,” because I didn’t think I was worthy enough to have what I really wanted.

But I blame most of it on the fact that we argued constantly and that somehow a combination of all of that had me in another sexless relationship.

Basically that “November Magic” never appeared again.

We fought the way my family had fought with each other when I was growing up. We fought the way my mother and I had fought with each other for most of my life.

Our arguments turned into full-blown fights that escalated to the point that they became toxic and volatile. We said cruel things to each other.

Since that magic wasn’t there, neither was the attention, affection and in my mind, the love, that I was so desperately searching for. Which just lead me right back into a feeling that I obviously don’t handle very well – resentment.

A year into the situation, I was sitting there thinking, “We pay for everything for you. You haven’t had to work for a year. You have absolutely everything you could want. We moved you and your things here, we furnished your room, we pay for all your food,” and I resented that after doing all of that for someone else, I was repaid with an argumentative and unappreciative attitude. But even more I resented that the fulfillment aspect of the relationship, the love I was seeking through physicality and sexuality wasn’t there.

Don’t get me wrong, every situation has a silver lining. There were some good moments. Looking back on it 7 years later it’s hard for me to remember what they were. We I traveled a lot. We went to conventions, we visited friends and family together. But usually, no matter what we were doing we ended up in a fight and I hadn’t learned that constant conflict like that was an issue for me.

It’s not that I enjoy fighting. I don’t. But I don’t know how to disengage from an argument. I don’t know how to stop. Once it starts I’m instantly in that self-defensive mode I learned to constantly live in during my childhood and it brings out ugly parts of me.

I do better in relationships with people who are non-confrontational. People who can have very calm and rational discussions rather than arguments. People who help keep me cool and grounded with their tone and demeanor.

These are things I didn’t know about myself yet.

A dysfunctional family, a childhood of arguing, a history of emotional, physical, sexual and verbal abuse had all lead me to Obesity. I knew that. But I didn’t realize that I used food as a way of coping with feelings that were associated with them.

I was married to someone who was non-confrontational. He never raised his voice, we never argued. Even when things got heated, we had “discussions” not “disagreements.” We had been married for going on nine years and I could count the number of “fights” we’d had on one hand. Suddenly I was in a relationship were we fought constantly, and I’d hadn’t had to deal with the kinds of emotions that brought with it in any relationship before.

But when faced with them in a new relationship I quickly found that I was at a handicap. Because when I made the decision to have gastric bypass surgery and essentially ended the relationship I had with food and my ability to use it as a coping mechanism for emotions I didn’t know how to do deal with, I didn’t really have a coping mechanism left.

I had learned how to use exercise as an emotional outlet. But I was in the middle of the reconstructive surgery processes and each surgery would leave me unable to exercise for 6-12 weeks during the recovery time. So that outlet wasn’t available to me either.

Nobody had prepared me for this. Nobody had warned me how not having food as a coping mechanism might change my ability to deal with emotions and feelings. Nobody warned me that ending my relationship with food could dramatically change how I had relationships with other people.

Nobody had prepared me for the fact that once I lost all the weight I might still find myself in relationships with people who didn’t find sex as important as I did. In my mind, once I lost all the weight and had all the reconstructive surgery to remove the skin, I’d be super attractive for the first time in my life and finding someone who wanted to have an amazing and active sex life would be easy.

Nobody warned me losing weight wasn’t a magic “life is great” pill. I was learning that lesson very quickly though, I just had no idea what to do about it.

Stay tuned for Sex Love and Obesity Part 6 – Finding the “U” in Weight Loss

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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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