Getting the fat off and the freak on

I laughed when reading Tracy’s blog and her account of her increased interest in pleasures of the flesh since she lost weight. I was also proud of her and was nodding away as I read how she felt embarrassed to blog about it as I’ve wanted to mention the same thing myself and worried it could be TMI for my readers, so if you are of a delicate disposition you can stop reading now before I shock your pants off with my revelations… really it’s all sensitively handled and nothing is going to be smouldering away and melting your screen so don’t worry.

0b57de178cd984f2e0322f986a47645dI thought how we who are on this transitional path from obese to ‘normal’ (whatever that is) are going through so many changes and experiencing so many new things or re-experiencing things we’ve not felt or done for years and how we are excited to blog about many of them yet we rarely brave the topic of how we change as sexual beings. I know some people never lose their sexual being but I think it safe to say that many of us after weight loss or even when we are just feeling healthier and happier through lifestyle changes do notice an upswing in interest in carnal satisfaction.

I thought about it and decided to write about it as for some knowing that life after obesity can revive a flagging libido even in middle age could be something they’d like to happen which could spur them on to do something about their weight and health and I’m all about spurring people on to make that change.

I know for myself I was always a very sexual being and more so when I felt confident in my body and that could be because I was thinner or because I was with a guy who made me feel confident no matter my size but this last time I just felt my sexual self slip away, month by month and year by year until it became so long since I’d even thought about sex let alone had any action that I honestly don’t know how long it was, but it was a very long time. In my last relationship I could only have sex if I had had a few drinks and I knew that wasn’t right and so it ended.

I thought my disinterest over recent years was a satisfaction in being on my own (I’ve never really been bothered by singledom and feel it has its definite benefits), or that it was my age and my libido had gone when the grey hairs started to move in, or I had no body confidence (which was true in part) but Tracey’s post told me something I didn’t know, that when you are obese (as a woman) you produce and store more oestrogen (I knew that bit and the associated cancer risks) but that makes you produce less testosterone (male hormone) which is felt to be linked to libido, yes even in women. So as your weight goes down your hormones stabilise nearer normal and your libido would or should increase (of course there can be other factors at play so it’s not as simple as that but that will suffice for this post).

Nick and I had been young lovers and we’d had a very pleasant physical relationship which we both remembered well but years lay in between the last time we were intimate and our coming together as a couple again in mid-life. Lots of pounds in my case had also attached themselves to my body and I know that when I was with Nick as a young thing I was perhaps at my prime and it bothered me that I was far from it ‘now’. Even though Nick had seen the various transitions through the years as a dear friend it was still rather different when things stepped up from friends to lovers again. I was very unsure, I think the weight had dropped and the feelings were there sufficient enough for me to have the pangs but the confidence in my body was not there. I recall feeling very sad about it and at one point rejecting him as more than a friend because I just felt I couldn’t sleep with him and I knew that would have to happen sooner or later.

Eventually we talked, he realised there was something stopping us from moving on with our relationship and in the moment he created to make me feel safe and confident enough to admit my fears we agreed that we could have a relationship without that kind of intimacy, I didn’t need to rip my clothes off and jump on a pole for him… not right then anyway haha. Seriously we agreed that would happen in time if the time was ever right but he wouldn’t push the time. I guess I was already hooked into the relationship idea and I trusted him implicitly because I never felt that there was a rush or a hurry or he was waiting or getting frustrated. We slept in the same bed and kissed but nothing beyond and it wasn’t difficult or awkward at all.

Eventually things happened naturally and although I was perhaps more confident given that by then I’d lost a lot more weight I do believe that Nick’s attitude helped, he helped to make me feel beautiful and confident about myself no matter what size I was. He also confided in me that he worried that he wasn’t exactly the young guy I’d known all of those years ago either and he’d worried if he would be expected to or be able to live up to my memory of him as a hormone raging, fit young guy. So we all have our insecurities and he helped me see that with his confession although it did come later down the line.

I told him that those things had never crossed my mind,  I just saw in him the same guy I’d seen then, interesting, funny, sweet, loving, caring, intelligent, slightly quirky and beautiful and he said that’s what he saw in me yet I wouldn’t believe it even when I thought the same. I don’t think all overweight people it easy to believe though, that someone can love you and find you attractive just as you are, I think it takes a very special someone to help you really believe that because we often don’t believe it ourselves and I envy those people who can just believe it and don’t need reassurance and I’m slowly becoming one of them but it takes a lot of unravelling of strangling ties of history, but I’m working on it and I am there when it comes to feeling super body confident and sexy with Nick.

You know, I should say here that we’ve talked about it and it’s kind of strange but when we were both married to other people and were friends for all those years it’s like a switch flicked and we didn’t harbour feelings for one another, we kind of turned off the intimate memories and we were just two people who were in a group of friends who hung out and had fun as couples and with the kids. Even when we were both single it took a while for us to reach a point where that switch flicked back again and a conversation which led us to finally understand what had gone wrong between us (we were kids, third party involvement, gossip, rumours and stubborness.. on his part which he’d never given me a chance to explain and I’d grown tired of trying) it was only after that conversation about why we had not stayed together that we both started to wonder what if we could try again now, it was like only then that we allowed ourselves to remember how much we’d enjoyed our time together until the misunderstanding burst our bubble. I guess we’d both kind of accepted that we were not meant to be but we still got along as friends eventually. I guess sometimes for some people being out of bounds kind of closes your mind and heart… thankfully.

The rest is history with us anyway and things are going well in that area of our lives and I am in the first flushes of my newly sexually liberated self to the point that Nick (who is half West African) jokes about using ancient African tribal foods meant to sustain a chief to keep him fit enough to service 6 wives and he wouldn’t thank me for this but he has been known to do a tribal virility dance and perform incantations to see him through one of our weekends away haha. I think it’s just a joke but who knows? He also reads up a lot on men’s blogs about health and fitness and spiritual well being to keep him … shall we say lively. So he has his own insecurities about these things that he really doesn’t need to have but in a strange way knowing I’m not the only one really does help me, seeing that sometimes we all worry that we’re not up to scratch just keeps things real for me and makes me see that none of us think we are perfect and I wouldn’t want someone who thought he was either. We all have things to learn and improvements to make and at our age the odd scar or two mental or physical.

I know some people who have lost a lot of weight who have had wonderfully supportive partners who have positively ravaged the life out of them as they’ve become more confident and sexy with it (I do think sexy has a lot more to do with confidence than size and I do think that just feeling healthier even without weight loss can help that confidence) but I also know people who have had partners who fear the changes, who liked having little demand on their own fitness and libido so they didn’t have to perform, who feel it threatening to suddenly have a confident sexy lady or man on their hands. I’ve seen people get jealous to the point that a relationship has broken down when one of the partners has made a lifestyle change which should have been for the better for everyone but instead was too threatening. Of course if you’ve slaved away losing tons of weight and getting in shape and feel amazing and you have a partner sitting in a recliner in front of the TV with a bucket of KFC who hasn’t even complimented you or encouraged you and who doesn’t even notice you still then you do notice when you turn other heads and attention can be difficult to ignore for the most loyal of people.

Losing weight and the way it makes you feel about yourself can impact hugely on your intimate relationships for better or worse. It’s an important subject when we share our weight loss journeys because we need to be aware of those shifts and changes and none of us want to emerge at the end of it, slim, healthy and with a divorce and custody battle on our hands. We’ve all heard stories about the lady who slimmed down then left her husband and ran off with a newer version and likewise men who have done the same, I’ve heard people who think that was the intent, that’s what made the person lose weight and for some that may be true but in the main I don’t think so, I think unforeseen changes occur within the dynamic of the relationship because of the weight loss or lifestyle change and often they can be related to sex, sexiness and intimacy.

It’s something we do need to consider, weight loss does change us in more ways than we realise and it changes those around us too and how they perceive us and not everyone will be happy to see us becoming thinner, healthier, sexier and more confident.

I’ve been there before, this time was different as I started my journey and was already building confidence when Nick and I got together and we were honest and open about our feelings on this almost from the beginning. Nick knew that he had to be supportive of this and embrace the change to help me but also to ensure our relationship developed and I don’t think he did that in a contrived way, he did it because he was in love with me and he wanted to be with me and that meant he wanted me to be happier and more confident and he knew he had a role to play in that. It was all fresh and exciting, we didn’t have a stale relationship to revive but we did have a new one to begin and I guess with honesty and communication stumbling blocks and divorce courts can be avoided as can rejection of a new chance at love because you don’t feel worthy.

I know people who have given up with their weight loss programme because it was causing too much friction at home, too many accusations when more care was taken with appearance, hair, make up, clothes and a new interest in fashion or a new hobby crept in. Some partners can see that as a sign that you are playing away or looking to be attractive to others when really all it is is a manifestation of your general sense of increased happiness and well being, your optimism and confidence and all of the knock on effects of your lifestyle changes, nothing more and nothing less. Often the person you want to look at you and notice and find you attractive and tell you you’re beautiful and sexy is the one who thinks you are looking for it somewhere else but they are too blinkered to see it.

We all deserve to be happy and we all deserve to have a healthy loving fun sex life if we are able and if we want one, it’s all part of living a normal life no matter how old you are or what stage of a relationship you’re in. Nick and I are both at a period in our lives where we have freedom, our children are all but grown up, we have financial freedom, we are both living healthy, we exercise together and if ever you were looking for an aphrodisiac exercising together is it. We feel that our love and contentment with life now is making us feel rejuvenated and alive inside, even more young and alive than we were when we were young because we don’t have the angst we had then. We’ve done it all, we’ve raised kids, developed businesses bought houses, grown and learned and now it’s our time to enjoy and a big part of that enjoyment is enjoying just honestly loving each other and being able to express that in every way we can.

It doesn’t matter that he has to eat the Kola nut and do a bit of a virility dance and offer up liquor and incantations to his ancestors for confidence and durability and I sometimes dash to the bathroom to haul myself out of a pair of spanx and throw on some sexy lingerie, dimming the lights so he can’t see the seam marks on my skin and sucking in my tummy and raiseg my hands above my head sexily so my boobs don’t end up in my arm pits. It’s all part of life and love and everything. Enjoy the changes losing weight brings they help keep you going. Be ready for them and keep communicating with your partner, don’t let such an amazing thing as getting healthy, slimmer and more confident destroy your marriage if you can help it.

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