Last December my parents celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary. They were married when my mom was 21 and my dad was 23 and I came along 3 years after that. Naturally I thought my path would lead me in the same direction; married with 3.2 kids with a white picket fence and a golden retriever by the time I was 30. Fast-forward 33 years and that is Not.Even.Close.To.My.Life.
If you read my last post here, then you recall I grew up the “fat girl”. The photo on the left was from when I was 17, the summer going into my senior year of high school, and the photo on the right was at my lowest weight since grade school.
One of the consequences of growing up overweight is how it affected the way I relate to men and the types of relationships I have had with them. As most fat girls can attest to, there is not a lot of positive male attention being thrown our way, especially in the high school years. Because of that, my male interaction “education” was stunted. I also became a ‘people pleaser’ as a consequence of and to overcompensate for being fat...I have a really hard time saying ‘no’. Can you relate?
When I was in college and began to lose the weight I became friends with a male coworker who was about 10 years older than me. I will never, ever, ever, ever, until the day I die, forget the time he asked me: “are you prepared for all of the male attention you are about to get now that you are thinner?” The answer was ‘NO WAY’ and to this day it is still ‘NO WAY’. I was excited for the attention, it made me feel good and attractive, however I was was not equipped to mentally handle it nor experienced in how to be strong in making choices when it came to men. I didn’t have any experience in deciphering what a guy’s intentions were (and let’s be honest, the attention felt great and was addicting). EARTH TO KELLY…IT IS NOT THAT HARD TO FIGURE OUT!! Because of that, I have made a TON of mistakes in the guy department, as I am sure most of us have (regardless of our weight). A lot of those mistakes led to broken hearts (which in return led to some weight loss), and a lot of them led to life long regrets. I was too scared to say ‘no’ to losers (remember, this fat girl was a ‘people pleaser’) and I was too scared to say ‘yes’ to the good guys (feeling I didn’t deserve them)…I have let a lot of amazing men slip through my fingers in exchange for the thrill that a guy with an edge could give me.
The most serious and meaningful romantic relationship of my life ended disastrously, resulting in a heartbreak that was indescribably, physically painful (and included a 13lb weight loss in the span of 10 days). During the breakup I asked him “what wasn’t enough”. His response was “it was enough, it just wasn’t right”. 100% without a doubt, I know that it was my internal fat girl that asked that question because at the time, I honestly believed I wasn’t enough. Did I not give enough? Was I not pretty or skinny enough? Was I not smart enough?
After that breakup I took a year off from men and from dating. BEST DECISION EVER. I found out who I am again and what I want from a man and from a relationship. I discovered who I am as a ‘thinner girl’. I am not going to lie, now that I am skinnier, I get a lot of male attention and it is really fun and flattering. I date a lot but nothing substantial. Unless someone is going to be a compliment to my life, I don’t have time for the distractions. Taking that year off from men let me explore myself and get my confidence back. It also allowed me to have the confidence to say ‘no’ to the losers and to have the confidence to know that I need to please myself first before I can please anyone else. It allowed me to have the confidence to say “I am enough. Period”.
This photo of my ex and I was taken in the Philippines in 2011, and looking back on it, I think it is so appropriate that you can’t see our faces. Being 33, single, and definitely not on the path I had thought my life was going to take, especially when I was with him, I couldn’t be happier and more proud of where I am and where I have come. I am excited to find “the one” to bring a photo like this into focus, and even more excited because I know my worth.
For any of you struggling with the issues I did in having a hard time saying ‘no’ to the losers, I highly recommend reading the book Why Men Marry Bitches. It was definitely a life changer for me dealing with men and from the moment I finished the book I have been the bitch!! It is not a bad thing!
Kind Kelly on IG @klaaslane