I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m kinda fat. I’m not obese. Technically speaking, I’m smaller than average. But, average these days is generally no better than fat because most of us (in the US) are on that cusp. I’m also short and pear-shaped so I look dumpy. While I’m often dressed in heels and any type of bottoms that make me look longer and leaner, it’s just not practical everyday wear, especially in a town where people buy the bulk of their clothes at REI or Lucy. So, I can’t pull it off every day, or more importantly (for the sake of this blog), for every date.
I’m in a weird place and I’m never sure where I belong as far as body descriptions go. I’m really an average/athletic woman in a chubby woman’s body. I’m slowly but surely losing the extra weight and toning up after my four-year hiatus from any type of exercise. All I did for those four miserable years with the Ex was work (a lot), try to get some sleep (never did), take care of his kids and stress out (on a daily basis, if not more). Top that with cooking (and eating) several large meals each week, and here I am. Despite the extra weight, I’m no lazy slug and I don’t sit around eating gallons of ice cream and bags of chips in front of the television. I live the lifestyle of a thinner person – my fat just hasn’t gotten with the program and scrammed yet. I gained 25 lbs and I have 15 left to lose. It doesn’t seem like much, but when you’re short and pear-shaped, it can be quite a bit, plus it comes off really slow and I lost all of my muscle tone.
This makes online dating difficult.
Am I supposed to base my body type on what I think it is, what I think most men will think, what my doctor tells me or by media standards? If a guy sees that I’m not ‘slender’ or ‘athletic and toned’ in my description, it’s highly likely that he will not read my profile to see that I’m active and working really hard to get back in shape, and that I’m really not a ‘BBW’ in denial. I’m attracted to men who live a similar lifestyle to mine, so they are in good or decent shape. I’m not talking gym-rats or Abercrombie models, just regular guys who are healthy, athletic and active. I would be OK with a man who has ‘a few extra lbs’ but those guys are generally at least 30 lbs overweight (in my experience) or, if they are working on it (and truly just a few extra lbs over) they date thinner women because women in general are not as particular about body style. Basically, that leaves me with fat guys and active men who like chubby girls (ha!).
So, what am I then?
After thinking about it way too much, I decided to describe my body type as ‘curvy’. I felt that it was an OK way to communicate that I have some meat on my bones in a feminine way. That would be ‘curvy’, right? Maybe, but not so much and it depends on who you ask. Upon further research, I have found that ‘curvy’ really means slender with a big ass and large boobs. I’ve got the ass part down . . . but I think I need a new body description.
My options via Match are:
- Slender: This is not me, and probably never will be. This, to me, is skinny. It could even be skinny-fat.
- Big and Beautiful: When I hear BBW, I think of fairly large women who spend a lot of time and money on clothes, hair and make-up. Like an overweight beauty queen. Not me.
- Curvy: We covered this one.
- About Average: Like ‘a little big pregnant’? WTF? Also, average is a size 14 and most men call that fat.
- Athletic and Toned: I think this one is self-explanatory. And, it’s not me either.
- Full-figured: Wouldn’t this also be ‘curvy’? What’s the difference? You have a figure, and it’s full.
- Heavyset: What’s the difference between this and ‘full-figured’ or ‘curvy’? Does it mean you’re overweight, but without womanly curves? Is this the biggest of the bunch?
- A few extra lbs: I am wondering if this might be me? But, a few is 3 . . . so perhaps not quite accurate either?
- Stocky: Hmmm . . . does this mean a manly build?
Why bring this up now, three months into my online dating adventure?
When I was first dating, after my recent break-up, and was heavier, I didn’t really care what anyone thought or whether or not I was successful. I hadn’t put any effort into my body over the past four years, so why should it bother me if someone regarded me as too heavy? Plus, I just wanted to get out. I was transitioning from a full-time family to just me and didn’t have a lot going on. It gave me something to do, something to focus on besides the shit-storm which was my life at the time. There was a part of me that felt confident. I’d just started working out again, which felt good, and I’d left my Ex which made me feel great in many ways, too. Ironically, I had more success in this stage of dating.
Now that I’m working out and losing weight, it bothers me quite a bit to have someone judge me based on my body. I’m getting up at 4:30AM three days per week to work out. In addition to that, I have a long run every Saturday morning at 8AM with my running group. And, don’t forget my 20 – 30 minute evening runs at least four nights per week, too. No booze and I’m counting calories. So, yeah, I’m kinda sensitive about my weight right now because I’m working my ass off (literally!). I feel good, but I am not where I once was, so unlike someone losing weight and getting into shape for the first time, I know I have a ways to go before I’m going to be happy with myself, and my confidence won’t kick in again until I fit into the size 4/6 clothes gathering dust in my closet.
It’s like this . . . If you slap together a peanut butter sandwich for someone and they don’t like it, it’s no biggie. But, if you slave over a hot stove all fucking day long, and this person turns their nose up at it, you’re going to be pissed and highly offended. Am I right?
So, where does this leave me?
My gut says to put myself in a category that is worst-case scenario. That way, if someone meets me they could say, “I wouldn’t consider you ‘a few lbs extra’, you look ‘about average’ to me”. But then, there is the issue of never being asked out by the type of man I’d like to spend some time with. It’s a double-edged sword, and perhaps this is where contacting men instead of waiting for them to contact me would be a smart move.
Online dating is hard.
In conclusion, online dating is just plain hard, especially if you’re imperfect, unphotogenic or human.