About 40 pounds into my weight loss journey, I had a friend compliment my progress and ask me what my goal was.
I thought a moment and replied, “I want to be out of my league.”
She laughed, but it was true. I was polyamorous, in an open marriage in a rural area where such an arrangement was a rarity. It was an understatement to say that finding people to date was difficult.
With the odds of finding partners already stacked against me, I wanted to do all I could to maximize my chances, to rank higher on the cultural hierarchy governing such things.
There was undeniable practical benefit to being the right size, being “hot.”
I wanted to look like the kind of woman who would have ordinarily considered my past, heavier self “beneath” her, not attractive enough to date.
The months went by, and the months became years.
One morning, I woke up and saw her in the mirror. I was out of my league.
Losing 160 pounds had been more than kind to me. The transformation was astonishing. I was ecstatic.
As time wore on, she changed, warped. Her nose was awkward, her chin too large. She had flawed skin, wide hips, a pot belly. And those droopy arms and saggy boobs, features more commonly found in a body decades older.
The beauty I’d seen everywhere, surrounding me, had transmogrified. Models looked awkward and unseemly. Virtually everyone I ran across was hideous, disfigured.
So desperate to maintain my low self-image, I was viewing the world through a filter of ugliness.
I struggle with this still.