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Revealing Weight History

December 24, 2013

Dating post-weight loss is a tricky endeavor for many reasons, but one particular challenge is the question of when to share that you didn’t always look this way.

 

I thought about this recently when watching the “History vs. Mystery” episode of How I Met Your Mother. In it, Ted’s friends started researching all his dates to warn him if they turned up something that was an instant deal-breaker. The very first one was when they found a picture of his date from six months before, when she was morbidly obese. Ted ran.

 

I know this is a sitcom, but still, it breaks my heart. It means that to the Teds of the world (and they do exist), nothing you do or say will ever matter: the simple fact of earlier obesity is damning, putting you past all reclamation.

 

This is the fear that we face, those of us with that history. I’ve gone through it many times, wondering when it’s right to tell a date about my past, feeling like a fraud if I don’t but terrified of the response.

 

Nor am I alone in this. Shauna Reid, who also lost half her weight as chronicled in The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl, waited until the night before her wedding to tell her now-husband that she had kept a blog about her weight loss. And it wasn’t until after they were married that she felt able to reveal exactly how much she had once weighed.

 

I tell myself that negative responses don’t matter, that anyone who would judge me like that isn’t worth my time. In my head, I know that’s true, and I’m even starting to believe it in my heart. And in truth, those fears have never been realized for me. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, or that the prospect of such rejection doesn’t hurt. Nor does it stop me wishing that I didn’t have to think this way in the first place, or know that reactions such as Ted’s are a real possibility. But since they are, I will simply keep reminding myself that who I am, and my worth as a person, is not all about my weight

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