Apr 142014
 

What a gorgeous weekend! The weather was absolutely beautiful and I brought out the shorts and t-shirts. Saturday afternoon Bella and I drove with the windows down to meet my friend Robyn at Mount Tabor Park for a sunny walk. Mount Tabor is a pretty park in SE Portland built on a volcanic cinder cone overlooking the entire city. There are tall trees, running/hiking trails through the forest, people skateboarding, biking, running and walking. There are places for kids to play on toys, picnic areas and it’s also the location for the annual Soap Box Derby race.

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I met Robyn at the entrance of the park with Bella and we started walking up to the top. Not only was this a nice afternoon walk with a friend, it was also a little training for Bella. I want her to get more socialized so we can take her places without her barking at strangers. She did so well! She barked at Robyn, then remembered who she was and she was fine. There was a ton of stimulation in the park, tons of people–kids and people on bikes and other dogs–and Bella didn’t bark at any of them. I was pretty proud of her showing restraint! Of course, lots of treats probably helped.

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Robyn and I walked for a little over an hour and did 2.87 miles! It was a great walk and it felt good to be outside in the sunshine!

On Sunday afternoon it was even nicer out. I had plans to meet my cousin Anna for a late lunch/early dinner. We met at Produce Row–a restaurant that used to be a dive but got cleaned up really, really nicely in the last few years and they have an outdoor patio which is CRUCIAL for a sunny weekend!

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Anna snagged a table on the patio, which was covered but the sunshine still shone through. The patio was packed–everyone had the same idea. Soak up as much sunshine as possible. I was on a quest for finding the best Bloody Mary in town and I decided to test out theirs.

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Anna got a Moscow Mule–vodka, ginger beer and lemon or lime juice. I had a taste and it was quite tasty! A very nice summery beverage. The Bloody Mary was very good–thick and spicy but not intolerable. It came with pickled green beans, onions, olives and celery. I liked it a lot–it wasn’t the best Bloody I’ve had but I liked it!

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We got the combo snack option–choose three appetizers for a discounted price. We chose the hummus–which came with fresh carrots, radishes and delicious spelt toast (I’ve never had spelt before, it was wonderful!). We also got the crostini topped with ricotta cheese, artichokes, walnut pesto and some garlic and onion. I loved the crostini. It messy but so tasty. Not only did they taste good, but they were little miniature works of art:

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Topped with fresh dill. Wonderful, huh? Lastly, we got the bacon wrapped dates that came atop some chevre cheese, topped with a balsamic reduction and some hazelnuts.

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The dates were tiny, which was good, and I was glad that they weren’t stingy with them. Sometimes restaurants bring out two dates on a plate! Two are not nearly enough.

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This was dinner! And it was enough food for the two of us. Anna ordered another Moscow Mule and I tried something different–the Jules Verne. It was dark spiced rum, coconut and lime. It was really good!!

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Loved loved loved the presentation of everything! Everything was so great and I loved the outdoor patio. I was indeed drunk on sunshine! It was a great end to the weekend and I only wished it could last just a little bit longer……

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Apr 012014
 

I’m a huge fan of Dan Savage. I listen to his podcasts (NSFW), I’ve read many of his books. He’s a sex/relationship “expert” and recently I was catching up on some older podcasts when I heard a woman’s call who really resonated with me.

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This woman’s question for Dan related to her weight. She had lost 180 pounds and was having some issues with relationships, men and dating. After she’d lost about 70 pounds, she started dating a man for two years who supporedt her weight loss but (her words) was disappointed when she lost another 100 pounds. Her struggle was that she was afraid to date new people because she was scared to tell them she used to be bigger.

“I feel unable to date men who like how I look now. I feel like lots of these men would be disgusted with how I used to look, and the idea of dating someone who couldn’t have loved me or been attracted to me through this whole journey…I find that disheartening and it makes me so sad.”

She wanted to know how she could get over this, and how does she accept how she looks now and accept that the men that she is dating wouldn’t hate her if she was huge.

Dan’s response was pretty right on. He said, “Tell them you used to be huge. Let them see pictures” on her facebook page, in her house, etc. Those guys will “go the f*ck away” if they aren’t interested. It would be a tool to sort out the shitty guys that would be a waste of time anyways. How they react to “I used to be obese” tells you everything about THEM.

I wanted to scream at my iPhone “YES!” because first, she had voiced the same feelings I had when I was losing 100 pounds and second, Dan was RIGHT. How they react to the old me tells me about their character, not my own.

Like this woman, I felt that way too. Even before I tried to lose weight I wondered, “Why would I want to date a guy that wasn’t interested in who I am as a person because I was overweight?” I rationalized my obesity as a way to weed guys out that weren’t willing to even try to get to know me. This was who I was, deal with it. In reality that was probably just a defense mechanism to make myself feel better.

Me at 250 Pounds:

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Me at 200 Pounds:

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Me at 150 Pounds:

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Many many times throughout my whole journey this thought came back to me. After I lost about 60 pounds, I started dating again. Sure I’d dated people when I was 250 and had several relationships that last longer than a few dates, but I probably wasn’t seeking out the quality of partner I deserved, instead settling for men that were most likely “chubby chasers.”

When I was getting closer to my goal weight, it was like the dating market exploded. All of a sudden I had TONS of attention from men. Sometimes complete strangers on the street. While I was flattered and definitely loved the POSITIVE attention I was getting, there was always that negative voice in my head that said They would never look at you if you were 250 pounds again!

When I met Michael, I was about 20 pounds away from my goal weight. For the first few months (and maybe even the first year) that we dated, I wondered often if he would love THE OLD ME. If we had seen each other in a bar 10 years ago, would he have given me a second look? Would he have approached me?

It wouldn’t be fair to say, probably not. But perhaps *I* wouldn’t have given him a second look either. We will never know, so why wonder about that? It’s ok to be attracted to people based on surface appearance, the outside, the “type” you usually date. Most dating is based on appearance first anyways. Physical attraction is most definitely part of it!

I would be lying if I said there are occasions even now that I feel insecure and those thoughts pop back into my head. As we are preparing for our wedding and planning our future together, the topic of kids has come up. While we talked about kids all along, the subject matter feels more like PLANNING now as opposed to FANTASY. We may not be marking  a day on the calender but I’d say it would be a real thing in the next few years. And this makes me think, What if I gain a bunch of weight when I get pregnant? What if I can’t lose it all after the baby? How will my body change? Will Michael still be attracted to me?

Why am I talking down to myself? Why am I focusing on the negative instead of celebrating the positive? Michael has made it very clear to me that he loves me the way I am and that I need to stop worrying about what the scale says. What I wanted to tell the woman who called Dan Savage’s show was advice *I* need to take myself: WORK ON YOURSELF. Find a way to make peace with your body the way it is; find a way to celebrate what your body can do and stop focusing on the negatives.

If the topic of weight loss and dating interests you, check out some of these older posts I wrote on the topic:

Is Your Partner Losing Weight? They May Be Planning To Dump You

Fitness and Finding Love

Gaining Weight in Relationships

I think it’s harder for people who have lost a huge amount of weight. There is always that fear of gaining it back and learning how to silence that voice takes really, really hard work.

I’d love to hear your input and hear any experiences you may have had!

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