Let me tell you a story.
I met a guy and I fell head over heels in love with him. Or at least it felt like love at the time.
Do you know that feeling when you don’t know someone that well yet, but you feel such a deep connection and feel that your souls were connected in the past life or that there’s some magical and bigger plan at play?
He was incredibly charming. His smile made me feel like there’s an elevator in my stomach going up and down. It was hard to concentrate, I couldn’t sleep or eat. I was daydreaming all day long and listening to ‘Minnie Riperton – Loving you’ on repeat.
My friends probably got tired of hearing me talk about him. At some point I even started annoying myself. But I couldn’t help it.
This can happen at any age: whether you’re a teenager, or in your 20s or your 50s. Once in a while Cupid sneaks into your life and shoots his arrows at you, maybe even against your will. I’m sure you’ve experienced that at least once in your life.
So it was one of “those times”. And because I felt that magic and deep connection, I was convinced that it couldn’t be just from one side, could it? He must feel the same because it’s so electrifying that it must be destiny.
So I put on the rose-tinted glasses and looked at everything he did as a sign that he loved me too. Every word, every touch, every call, every text, every smile became a confirmation sign for me that he also feels the same. Delusion in its highest form.
The pain of rejection
Then one day the reality hit and it turned out that he also liked me but perhaps just as a friend. Or maybe even as a woman, but just a little bit. Nothing even close to repeating my name first thing in the morning or humming the Mendelssohn’s March when daydreaming about me.
In other words, he thought I was cute and fun but didn’t share the exact same feeling.
It was like a punch in the gut. My heart got shattered.
It’s not that he was a bad person. He didn’t really break my heart. It was me, or my expectations, stories in my head and my fantasies that broke my heart.
Blaming my body for romantic failures
I took the rejection so personally. What’s more, I blamed it on my body.
I was so sure that he didn’t love me because I was too fat. I wasn’t pretty enough.
If only I was skinnier…. If only I had those toned arms, flat belly, thin legs… Then clearly he would have fallen in love with me too.
And if he didn’t like something about my personality it’s only because I wasn’t fully confident and open with him – because my weight and insecurities were holding me back.
So I felt as if I were imprisoned within my body. I felt my body was holding me back and not allowing me to express myself and get what I wanted in life.
It’s not that I wanted him that much, as I understand now. It was my desire to feel loved, desired and seen. More than anything I wanted to feel connected and appreciated.
This story is just one example. I kept repeating the same pattern over and over again with different guys. I had a “special talent” to pick the men that were not into me. And now I know it wasn’t a coincidence. I needed to learn that lesson.
The uncomfortable lesson I needed to learn
Over seven years ago I met my current partner, and because I was already rediscovering my worth and learning to accept myself, he saw me differently than those other guys in the past. I was open and very honest with him. And so he accepted me for who I was and fell in love with me.
Then during our first two years together I gained a lot of fat and reached my all-time highest weight. He didn’t stop loving me because of this, he still loved me for who I was. In fact, he didn’t notice my weight gain. Only years later when we were looking at the old photographs, he got shocked by how much bigger I used to be!
The point is – when a man loves you for who you are, he might not even notice your flaws.
It was me, who was so in my head thinking about all my insecurities and acting not confident and not shining my light, that really repelled the guys. It wasn’t those extra five pounds. It was a lack of self-esteem and not recognizing how beautiful and powerful I was.
I got rejected because I was rejecting myself.
Eventually I lost the weight and achieved the body I was happy with and confident in. But that was a result of me accepting myself and loving myself for who I was.
Why losing weight in order to be loved doesn’t work
Losing weight so you can love yourself and get love from others doesn’t work.
As cliché as it sounds, you need to learn how to love yourself first. Only then you will be able to accept love from others. Only then you’ll be able to attract partners who will see in you your full potential and love you with all your flaws. Because our flaws is what makes us beautiful and unique.
And no, you don’t need to be a perfection of self-love to get this. In fact I’m yet to meet a person who totally loves and accepts herself and doesn’t have any doubts or moments of weakness.
You just need to step into the right direction. Acknowledge your strengths: sense of humor, kind heart, caring nature, depth of your soul, intelligence and your beautiful body, even though you might not see it as perfect yet.
Your self-respect and the way you treat yourself set the standard of how others will treat you. Know that your body doesn’t define you and no matter where you are right now, you have innate worth.
And ironically, when you set the high standard for yourself, you treat your body in the best possible way: feed it the right food, move it in a way that is healthy and take time to rest. And that’s when your body falls into the right weight and shape for itself.
So trying to lose weight so you can be loved doesn’t work. You might attract some extra attention but if you don’t truly change how you feel inside, that attention will not be what you’re actually looking for.
And when you put the time and effort to do the deep work: change your mindset, love yourself and raise your standards, you will not only attract the suitable partner but will eventually get the body that you want.
Good health, healthy relationships, satisfying career and meaningful friendships are usually just a by-product of knowing who you truly are and choosing to love that.