"Guys will never like you unless you're skinny."
"The reason you don't have friends is because of your weight."
or, my personal favorite.
"Guys will only date you because you have big boobs."
It felt as if my weight was more than a health issue, more than fat covering me and trapping me in a body that felt uncomfortable beyond words.
People made me feel like it was the one thing stopping me from having a life. I'd never find friends, never discover love and I'd never be happy until I lost weight.
So, when I finally lost all of that weight, and had become so small and bony that everyone I knew was concerned about my well being, I finally thought:
"Now I'll have a boyfriend. Guys will want me now!"
"People will want to be my friend. They won't be ashamed to be seen in public with the fat girl anymore."
"I no longer have any boobs whatsoever, but I'm skinny, so who cares?"
What people didn't tell me is that skinniness isn't the key to happiness.
What people didn't tell me was that losing weight doesn't get rid of the problems you had before. Losing it just shoved those problems to the back of the closet, where no one could see and where you, yourself, didn't want to see. They collected dust, but they were still there. It was only a matter of time before someone went snooping around, uncovered the problems full of cobwebs, dusted them off and displayed them to the world.
Allow me to let you in on a little secret:
Guys didn't like me more. I've never actually had a boyfriend.
The same friends I had when I was obese are still around now. I don't have many more, but I do have fewer, due to other reasons.
What I did lose when I lost weight were things like my ability to menstruate. I lost that for about a year, and didn't think anything of it, instead thinking it was a godsend because I couldn't get pregnant and didn't have to deal with a woman's normal monthly routine.
What I realized (I recently had this epiphany) is that I didn't lose weight for myself. I didn't lose weight to be healthy.
I lost weight for other people.
I lost weight because I thought it would make me happy.
When it didn't, I stopped caring.
If I wasn't happy obese, and I wasn't happy skinny, who cares how much I weigh? I'd still be unhappy.
But why was I unhappy?
Stay tuned for part II.