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Thighs Matters

Last year, I had a one-night stand with a guy Iíd gotten to know online. I was very attracted to him, mentally and physically. Apparently, he didnít return my feelings, because he blew me off totally -- probably because of my significant weight problem, and my deep insecurity about it, which made our encounter extremely awkward. (I wouldnít have dated me either.) Well, that night was part of a big wakeup call that my weight was getting in the way of who I really am. Iíve since lost 85 pounds, and revamped other areas of my life. Iím happier and more confident than Iíve ever been. I recently saw the guy at a club. Although he didnít recognize me immediately, he did remember me, and asked for my number. Heís called several times, and I donít answer even though I want to. Is it okay to want to give him another chance? The vast majority of my friends say no way, while 25 percent are in the yes camp. I look, feel, and act like a totally new person, but the catch is, Iím not.

--Less Is More

Guys are not standing around at parties, whispering to each other, ďWow, get a load of the personality on the girl across the room with the butt zoned for two-family housing.Ē The exception, of course, is in that dating Disneyland where the vast majority of your friends reside. In their world, nice men donít even blink when they see a woman whose scale suggests she has a Shetland pony strapped to her back. There, Sports Illustrated swimsuit models run into the hundreds of pounds, and get hoisted onto the beach with heavy-duty cranes. Victoriaís Secret girls are chosen by how closely they resemble Drew Carey when the lights are dimmed.

Back here in the real world, fat girlfriends don’t go over so big -- and, no, not because men have been brainwashed into wanting thin ones, but because they were hard-wired that way back in the cave. According to anthropologist Donald Symons, cross-cultural data says men seem to partner up with whatever-sized woman will make them look like Joe Alpha. The ideal amount of body padding appears to go up and down with the food supply. Here, where there’s a 7-11 next to every 7-11, guys go for girls who are slim-to-fading. Where food is harder to come by, like in Eskimo country, blubber is beautiful.

No, you don’t have to look like a breadstick to have a boyfriend, but 85 extra pounds and all the heavy thoughts that went with them were enough of a barrier to make you un-dateworthy even to yourself. But do remember, four score and five pounds ago, this guy did think enough of the you buried under all that flesh to want to meet. Now, after viewing the impressive results of your recent excavation, he’s hot for the whole package. This is a problem?

Your real problem is your method of decision-making: a mini Gallup Poll. Extend this to other areas of your life, and it should make even the simplest errands exceptionally slow: “Paper or plastic?” -- “Um, hold on...lemme phone a few friends.” Chances are, you still see yourself as the fat girl, and you’re looking to your friends to tell you how thin girls are supposed to think. Well, the happiest ones think for themselves. The question isn’t what’s the right thing to do, but what’s the right thing for you? Just a guess, but: answering the ringing phone, going out with a guy you like, who also likes you -- now that he can find you.


Copyright ©2004, Amy Alkon, from her syndicated column, "The Advice Goddess," which appears in over 100 papers across the U.S. and Canada. All rights reserved.