Would You Have Dated Me 135 Pounds Ago?
It's harder, now, to feel comfortable with the attention I get based on my looks knowing most of these people wouldn't look at me once, much less twice, when I was larger. They'd make fat jokes behind my back or even to my face. They'd use me as the "Fat Friend" who is invited along to make everyone else look better. They'd relegate me to being the maternal figure in the group who isn't expected to have any sexual desires or romantic longings. Or, if they are men, they'd likely just try to sneak and have sex with me without anyone knowing or "date" me in secret--only at night, never anyplace popular or crowded.
As I became smaller and fit, I admit I rejected a lot of advances from men because I watched them slander larger women and I know that they would have never treated me with respect when I was larger. A lot of the men who interact with me now have no idea I tipped the scales at 406lbs and can't even fathom it; their reactions tell me all I need to know. It's painful to experience certain privileges just because I've lost weight because it makes me realize just how poorly I'd been treated most of my life.
You have to become confident in who you are, now, and feel comfortable in your new body. That will shine more than anything and it will attract those who are drawn to confident people. Sure, there will be people who have certain physical preferences, but don't you? We're all entitled to some preferences, aren't we? Try not to dwell on it too much, but do take note of the comments people make about larger people; that's how you know where their hearts are. The last thing you want to do is become complicit in the shaming of people who still look like you used to, yanno?
Feminista Jones is the Love & Sex section editor at BlogHer. She blogs at FeministaJones.com.