Here I sit, trying to focus on writing, but I have something else pressing on my mind. This evening I have a second date with a man who is a singer/songwriter/poet, and what I call a “spiritual seeker.” During our first date, he serenaded me with his songs and guitar. But before we ever actually spoke (in voice) to each other, we exchanged a few online messages.
I was the one who sent him the first message. This was on a dating site that has a series of questions that are supposed to help determine compatibility. It was not a BBW dating site. The site sent me his name as a good match, so I wrote to him and said, “The numbers say we are a good match. Please take a look at my profile and see if you agree.”
He wrote back that he did not put much stock in the numbers, and he could see that we have quite a few things in common, but he could also see that we had some points of questionable compatibility. (Ex: I think air conditioning is essential, and he dislikes it.
Then there is the issue of my weight. He said, “First, I’ve had overweight girlfriends mostly, and while I don’t think looks matter as much as how our hearts and minds connect, looks do matter!”
We have exchanged a lot of words since then, in writing, on the phone, and in person, but those initial words of his still linger in my head, of course. He has said more on the subject, but it is really a bit too personal to share. I’ll just say that it seemed equally lukewarm, but I decided to go out on a date with him just the same, as I was still curious about him.
So my date went well. We went out for Thai food, which we both enjoyed, took a little drive to show him my part of town, then came back to my house, where he serenaded me with a great variety of songs, some he had written and some written by others.
I showed him some of my photos, since I had told him about my photography hobby. He told me some jokes that were quite funny. So, it was a fun evening, and I think he is paying more attention to what is in my heart and mind than to my appearance.
It would be nice if he was one of those men who thinks that fat women are sexier than thin women, but I guess that is a bit too much to wish for. On the other hand, sometimes the men who think fat is sexy just want sex. Ah, dating. Where is my Mr. Perfect? (I know, I know, there is no such man.)
In addition to my latest internet dating adventure, I have discovered a local Meetup group that is called “Confidently Curvy Chics.” Catchy name, isn’t it?
I have reconnected with a friend of mine who fits that title pretty well, even though she was constantly dieting when I met her several years ago. She and I went to a couple of water aerobics classes together. I haven’t been back since, as I was not all that impressed with the class, or the pool it was held in.
Speaking of exercise (hmmm….I hate the feelings the word conjures up, really), I have decided that this is going to be THE week when I start actually using those DVDs I have ordered to help guide me through some enjoyable movement.
This should also be the week that my dress arrives – the dress I have ordered to wear to my son’s wedding! I hope it fits well!
There is one more topic I want to cover this week, since Father’s Day is on my mind, and Dr. Deah gave some great advice to fathers last week.
I just want to say a little about my own father. He died in 2003, so I cannot celebrate with him on Father’s Day anymore. He was a loving father, and a good family man, but he did tend to be a little on the critical side.
He didn’t focus on weight too much, but rather was more focused on academic and moral expectations. He wanted us to get straight As,on our report cards, and nothing less was good enough. When my son was young, and my father critiqued one of his drawings, it reminded me of how hard it was for my father to just offer praise or a compliment of any kind. He was a smiling and cheerful man (unless you were disrespectful, dishonest, or didn’t make enough effort), but compliments just were not his thing.
I think I picked up that trait of perfectionism from my father in some ways, but I now realize the kind of impact it has on a young child. I believe it contributes to a feeling of being “not good enough” when we don’t measure up to a parent’s perfectionist standards. I believe it is a feeling that tends to follow us into adulthood.
So, the advice I offer to fathers, in addition to Dr. Deah’s wise advice, is to try not to be overly perfectionistic with your children, whether it is about weight or anything else.
Although high expectations do contribute to more achievement, it’s important to realize that nobody is perfect, and everyone needs praise, especially children.
My interest in nutrition developed from the weight issues I had in my youth. My sister and I always tended to be heavier than other kids, and we were teased about it, so naturally I wanted to "fix" myself by dieting. That worked pretty well in my teenage years, but adulthood was much more challenging. I started out as a dietitian who advocated dieting, but due to my own experience with my weight and dieting, as well as my extensive study of the subject of weight management, I have become an advocate of Health at Every Size. The first fellow professional who influenced my "conversion" was Ellyn Satter, who is also a dietitian. I got my Bachelor's Degree in Dietetics in 1975, (LSU) followed by a Master's in 1981(Univ of TN), and a PhD in 1997 (Univ of TN). I have worked in longterm care, public health, and one hospital. For the last 8 years, I have been teaching at the college level. I am the proud mother of a 24 year old son, and have been single since my divorce in 1993. That is when I moved to Atlanta from Cookeville, Tennessee. I moved around a lot in my childhood due to my father's job, but my parents grew up in Texas, and that is where my roots are. I lived in Brazil for 3 years as a teenager, and one of my sisters still lives there.