I Lost a Lot of Weight But Resent All the Men Who Now Find Me Attractive

woman cross-armed, her man in the background

Dear Evan,

I lost 60 pounds (hooray!) and physically I am a completely different person. Before the dramatic weight loss, I didn’t really go out to try to find dates. I’m 23 and have never even “talked” to a male let alone go out with one. Being overweight made me very self-conscious physically and since no males ever showed interest in me, I never gave the effort to pursue.

Now, I’ve been fairly OK with never dating: I have career/education goals and I’ve always been independent and very able to take care of myself. Having someone romantically in my life just seemed like another thing to put on my plate. But seeing as 77% of my friends (I did the math!) are married and the other 23% are in serious relationships, I thought maybe I should think about doing the whole “dating” thing. In the past, I would go out to social events with my friends but never had any males approach me. Of course I assumed it was because of my physical appearance, but I always thought “oh well, their loss.” Now I go out with friends and I get bombarded by men, especially since I’m the only one in the group unattached.

I feel cocky to say this, but I know I have a great personality. I have goals, I’m ambitious, educated, really sweet and caring, very funny (I think everyone I know can attest to that,) patient, and just all around pretty easy going. I want to start dating, but I can’t get past the thought, “You know, this guy wouldn’t even give me the time of day if I were still fat.” What can I do to get rid of this or work past it? I know you say that physical attraction really does matter to men, but I have a pretty awesome personality and I want that to be, if not of most, of high importance. Please give me some insight! I’m pretty sure asking every guy that approaches me, “would you talk to me if I were fat?” is not the best way to go about things.


Dear Sandra,

There’s an intelligent, successful, charming bachelor in his 40’s. Let’s call him George Clooney.

So George, sick of women throwing themselves at him because his rich and famous, decides to go undercover. He grows out his beard, he gains weight, he starts wearing ripped sweatpants wherever he goes. He’s the exact same guy underneath, but it’s really important that a woman want him for HIM – not just for the dashing image he projects and the life he can provide.

We can’t separate looks from the package. It’s PART of the package, whether we like it or not.

Now, George looks like a homeless man and goes to bars to talk to women. He still has great knowledge of Darfur, Edward R. Murrow, and the politics behind oil. He can still turn a phrase and crack a joke. He still has an amazing smile. He just can’t talk about being an Academy Award winner, lest anyone value him for something superficial. It would probably not surprise you that George would struggle in his quest for love. He may blame women for not valuing him as a homeless man as much they did as an actor – but he’d be the one losing out.

And that’s where you’re boxing yourself in, Sandra. See, we can’t separate looks from the package. It’s PART of the package, whether we like it or not. A store might have amazing and classy merchandise, but if there’s a misspelled sign outside, flyers on the window, and graffiti on the door, you might not go in to find out. Is that YOUR fault for judging the book by its cover? No, it’s the store’s fault for not realizing that looks matter.

Simply put, when a man finds you attractive, he will take the time to learn about your amazing personality. If he doesn’t find you attractive, he won’t. Which way would you rather have it?

The people who do best… are not the ones who try to rewrite the rules of society, but rather, figure out how to navigate them successfully.

On a personal note, I have dated three women who lost over 50 lbs and had the same exact issues that you did. One girlfriend used to complain to me that the men in the gym were looking at her – and remark that they never looked at her before. As if the men were to blame for buying into conventional societal standards of beauty.

Would the world be a better place if being 60lbs overweight didn’t matter? Sure. Would the world be a better place if 5’4″ men fared as well as 6′ tall men? Absolutely. Wouldn’t it be great if a male second grade teacher had as much status and appeal as the C.E.O. of a Fortune 500 company? Yep.

But that’s not the world we live in. And the people who do best in the world we live in, Sandra, are not the ones who try to rewrite the rules of society, but rather, figure out how to navigate them successfully.

It sounds like you have a great sense of self-esteem to back up your efforts to lose weight. If I were you, I’d literally DROP the idea that the “right” guy doesn’t care about looks and embrace the incredible opportunity you created for yourself. You deserve it.

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  1. 1

    Oh gee here I go being first again. Yes, I literally do carry a notebook computer with me for school work. But I digress.

    Evan, I can sympathize with this young lady. I just put myself on Weight Watchers as I have a significant amount of weight I want to loose. I also am very mindful of the position you present as well and I think both sides have valid points. I guess the best we can do is realize that men aren’t attracted to women exactly the same way women are attracted to men.

    I think for those of us who struggle with weight and are successful/in the process of being successful at losing it, it stings our pride. Just because we were/are heavy doesn’t make us any less as people. We are still intelligent, erudite, busy, and contributing members of society. We have a lot to offer. But men are attracted to what they are attracted to, whether cosumerism has taught them to be that way or whatever. This is something I’m struggling with. Our pride makes us want to say, “If I wasn’t good enough for you as a heavy person, then I’m not going to be good enough for you now as the only difference is, I’m thin”. Yet we would shoot ourselves in the foot by doing that.

    One more thought. I wonder if the OP may have used the weight as a means to keep male attention away from her. I have done that. It’s easy to hide behind. If I am heavy, men won’t be attracted to me, ergo I do not risk rejection. If I’m thin and men pursue me, then there’s greater chance of being hurt. I understand where this girl is coming from and like her, I know it’s a defeatist way of looking at things so like her, I’m working on the root issue. I wish her the best of luck and I’d love to know what plan she followed!

  2. 2

    I would wonder if she used weight as an excuse to hide behind, as well. I knew a girl in college who gained a bunch of weight on purpose so that men wouldn’t hit on her.

    And there are plenty of guys out there who either don’t mind, or are extremely attracted to, heavy women. So I don’t buy the idea that it prevented her from having relationships altogether. She could have found a “chubby chaser” or dated a fellow who was everything she was personality/career/education-wise, but a little heavy as well. Since she didn’t, I have to wonder if she holds a little double standard here?

    But I agree that she should be proud of and enjoy the new body she worked so hard for – and realize that most people with great bodies do work hard for them as well, even if there was never a point when they were heavy.

    Honey´s last blog post…What Flattery Will Get You

    1. 2.1

      I agree with you, Honey-my husband of 10 years met me when I weighed 215 and even though he is fit (and a dreamboat!) didn’t seem to mind the fact that I was so out of shape- but influenced my attitude and confidence with his acceptance instead. Today at 135 he looks at me and treats me like I haven’t changed- proof that there are amazing people out there who don’t let extra weight influence them in love!

      1. 2.1.1

        Your story is very encouraging. I am make but I hope not only women but men understand how important personality can be to someone.   Appearance can change but person just won’t change even with some effort.   I can tell how happy you guys are.   Wish you all the best for many years to come together!

      2. 2.1.2

        You got the last one of those guys!

  3. 3

    Wow, is this is a real letter?? She’s now hot and doesn’t want to date? I’m just going to throw this out there, but if she has ZERO dating experience and never even talked to guys previously, she won’t be that great of a catch. She needs the experience, and the dating/relating skills that come with it. My suggestion would be to jump in feet first and date as much as possible.

    IMO, women should get over the fact that men are hardwired for looks. It’s not an intellectual choice. It’s a biological imperative. It happens, it’s instantaneous, it’s part of being a dude. There are pros and cons to that, but ultimately it’s part of being human and male.

    Lance´s last blog post…Interview with Dream, Founder of the 21 Convention

    1. 3.1

      I can’t wait to prove to you how wrong you are :3 Then again, I can’t cause I have to meet you. I used to be fat and now that I lost the weight, I still have the mentality when I was a fat dude. To this day I’m still wondering why people are nice to me comparing when I was fat like, where was this kindness before?!

      Yes, it’s biological for us men to be attracted to beautiful women but since I’ve learned a lot when I was fat, I know to myself that looks will never impress me.

    2. 3.2
      Mrs S

      I wonder how many men actually believe that men are the only ones who are visually oriented?? Magic Mike movies wouldn’t have done very well at the theatre if there was much truth to that…

    3. 3.3

      Women are hard wired to finds a man who can provide but you dicks get intimidated by that and call her a gold digger even if just being into a woman’s looks is just as materialistic!
      Girl: he only makes 16 an hour…..
      Friend: don’t be a gold digger! Love him for him!

      Guy: she’s sweet but super big!
      Friend: just get someone you’re attracted to. You don’t want a whale. Other fish out there

      1. 3.3.1

        This is so true!!!! Men like beauty, women like stability. But men whine when a woman goes after her natural instincts. So if you ain’t got the dough ya better be ready to settle for a fatty. Just saying… if we’re playing by ‘get with the program’ rules here.

        1. Buck25

          Fae and Angie,
          Uh-huh. You know, there’s a term that describes those women who sell affection (and sex) for money. Here’s a hint; the correct term is NOT “gold digger ” (that’s a euphemism). I feel sure you know what the somewhat less polite (though far more accurate) term is. So, as they say, if the shoe fits , (and it sure ain’t Cinderella’s glass slipper., BTW!)…

      2. 3.3.2

        Um Buck whoever you are… that was a very ignorant statement. No one said anything about selling it for money. Women like men who are financially stable… men like slender women. It goes back to primal days where men looked for body types that could bear children but women looked for a provider/ alpha male with the best ability to care for the young.

  4. 4

    Use your body to get him, use your mind to keep him.

  5. 5

    There is a certain amount of emotional padding that comes with weight, whether intentional or not (even subconsciously). Sandra will have to go through the process of feeling how the loss of that padding changes her and how others perceive her. It is a big reason why people who undergo surgical weight loss procedures have mandatory psychological counseling before and after surgery.

    I commend her for losing the weight. She must be ready on some level to deal with the emotional issues related to the change or she would not have been so successful it. What it says to me is that she has enough self worth to feel she deserves to be healthy and attractive. That’s a good place to start. If she takes that heightened self-esteem into the dating world, she will eventually find someone who appreciates all of her.

    She will be able to discern superficial men from those who are more genuine. Not that looks aren’t a natural part of dating and attraction. But it is important, if she is looking for a more permanent mate, to find someone that values her inner beauty above all of her other assets. Otherwise, if she gains back some of the weight (possible if she has children, goes through a big life change, etc.), he will disappear because he was with her for the wrong reasons.

  6. 6
    Hadley Paige

    Hey Sandra,

    Congradulations on finding the dark lining in the silver cloud.

    Your letter is an excellent example of how women spend **WAY** too much time thinking about stuff. A guy loses 60pds and women start finding him attractive, he says to himself “Great. I’m thin. I look great, I’m getting more women. Thin is good, fat is not.” –end of analysis.

    I’l tell you something really important to men. Fat or thin–Women who think like this, namely finding the down side of a really good thing, are a turn off.

    1. 6.1

      I disagree with your thoughts on men. I’m a 33 year old man who has just lost a lot of weight. I was heavy all my life and I have been in a few long term relationships. I now find the same thing appalling as this letter writer. If they didn’t want me before then they shouldn’t want me now. I’m the same person just a lot lighter.

  7. 7

    Honey, I didn’t take away any sort of double standard from the OP; if we’re hiding behind our weight – and I know that I have done this – you are just hiding from men. You pretty much assume that none will give you the time of day anyway. She may not have been aware of the “niche” sites for BBW’s. But it’s a moot point. The weight is off and good for her! It’s a struggle.

  8. 8

    It’s likely that it’s not just the fact that you’ve lost weight that is making men respond to you now. Based on your letter it sounds like you are more open to dating and relationships than you were before and that you are interested in men now, so your attitude is playing a role in the increased interest you are receiving as well.

    Just as you may not be interested in pursuing a relationship with a guy who has some trait you find unattractive (bad teeth, short, no education, whatever) it doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a lot to offer and it doesn’t make you a bad person. It just makes you a poor match.

    If you can think of things that way rather than making the guys who didn’t want you before ‘bad’, it may help.

  9. 9

    Yes yes yes Lance and Hadley, we’re all aware that women should get over this and get over that, but rejection, real or perceived never feels good and sometimes people just have to take time and work through it.

    1. 9.1

      Rejection? Welcome to every waking hour of a single man’s life.

  10. 10

    You don’t have to be attracted to or even LIKE heavy people. But if you’ve never been heavy then you don’t know what it’s like from the perspective from someone who has. It’s just like when an African American person or a Hispanic person, or Asian person tell us that we don’t know what they go through with their issues. How about a little more compassion and a little less “get over it”.

  11. 11

    I think she should forget she ever was fat because it’s either holding her back or she lost weight for the wrong reasons. All the new men giving her attention just make her selection wider there is no reason to think any of them are more right than the men that would talk to her before she lost the weight. Move on and enjoy the new attention, don’t let the past you hold the present you back!

  12. 12
    Hadley Paige

    RE: starthrower68 post #9 “sometimes people just have to take time and work through it.”

    Sometimes?? How about seemingly all the time. And for hours and hours and hours– with all of your friends. And you discuss how you feel, and then you discuss how your friends feel, and then how you feel about how your friends feel, and then how your friends feel about how you feel about how your friends feel. Enough !! (OK, this was a little rant I had to get off my chest about talking sorry, I’m OK now)

    What’s to work through? This woman just did an extremely difficult thing which resulted in an excellent outcome. She deserves much credit. And she is being properly rewarded for her efforts by attention from men who now find her attractive.

    If she is spending this much time on a good thing, I dread to think how much time she is going to spend on a bad thing. For me>> RED FLAG.

  13. 13


    I was a sensitive kid. Things that would roll off of other boys sank in, deep, with me. I also grew up as a fat kid and a kid who was mocked in all of the hurtful ways fat people are.

    I got athletic when I was 14 and stayed in good shape until my early 30s when old sports injuries caught up with me and made me unable to exercise for a number of years. My weight went up to 260 lbs ( I’m 5 11 ).

    I stayed that way for many years until new surgical ( for my injuries ) and lifestyle options came way. For the past two years my weight has been around 180 lbs. I lost about 48 lbs. I updated my haircut and my wardrobe.

    I know where you are coming from.

    I had ( still slightly have ) the same resentments you do. I also felt bad about myself because I began looking toward more attractive women for dates — because I could. I felt like a hypocrite in the worst way.

    I wish I had a fast answer for you. The long slow answer is to work on 3 things over the long term:

    1. Accepting yourself unconditionally. The fact that you resent men who never met you and who never rejected you is a flag that while you deservedly like yourself you still have some unfinished business about how you judged yourself in the past.

    2. Accepting ( not liking, not endorsing )other people unconditionally for the flawed and unfair human beings that they are.

    3. Accepting that looks count. They count for men, that is natural and that is fine. Looks also count for women and they count for you. It is a fact of life. People who tell you otherwise are trying to sell you something or sell themselves something. Decide to draw the line at who is “shallow” if looks count first, if looks count the most, if ONLY looks count or if they count more than other things.

    Evan brought up a good point. In the end you will be the only person being punished with your current attitude.

    Aside from improved health and self esteem I’m sure having a better dating life as a result of weight loss was something you looked forward to. Your current ( justified ) attitude is going to cheat you out of those hard won opportunities for good times.

    At the end of their lives few people wish they spent more time at the office. The memories that comfort them are the ones they made in relationships with other people.

    You are insanely young with many opportunities to build wonderful memories. Don’t piss it away being angry. If you have to, find a professional to talk to.


    1. 13.1

      Wow. Typical “angry woman” response at the end. How refreshing.

    2. 13.2

      No one has to accept that looks count. Maybe for you and some other people, but that doesn’t speak for everyone. I totally sympathize what this woman went through, as another fellow fat girl. I get ignored by the guys that I liked and I realized that if I lost weight and they became interested in me, they are shallow.

      You are right that some people have to deal with shallowness or preferences – I know I do too. It is one of my faults.

      I hope for this woman’s sake that she finds TRUE friends who have her best interests at heart and help her avoid the men who are shallow pricks. She doesn’t need them. Unless a woman loves them, she shouldn’t be forced to “accept” them or “get over” herself.

      It is frankly quite rude of you to suggest that she “see a professional”. All she needs are real friends who will stand by her and, if she requests it of them, to help her avoid the unnecessary men who only care about appearance or first value appearance over character.

      Indeed, such men do exist. They are extremely rare, but I know they exist. Hopefully, for us girls who have struggled with weight, we may be lucky.

      1. 13.2.1

        The reality is looks matter and options for opportunities – dating or otherwise are much more limited for those that are overweight.   Denying it or refusing to accept it will not change this fact.   Sure it is unfair and societal beauty standards blah blah blah.   Can’t change something that just is.

        Yes, personality absolutely matters but you need to attract them with the outside so you have their attention to wow them with your inside.   You don’t get into a relationship on looks alone and you need the personality and common interests in order to have a relationship.    It’s a combination but if you don’t have the foundation to get their attention your personality won’t even have a chance.

        1. Yet Another Guy


          I know that this blog entry is more than likely very old, but your post is on the money. Appearance absolutely matters when attempting to attract a mate. Appearance opens the door, but it will not keep someone in you.

          What I find amusing is that the men and women who scream the loudest about people overlooking them because they are overweight tend to only be attracted to the top 20% of the population. Dating is an assortative process, like seeks like. Instead of being angry about guys who the LW found attractive finding her attractive now that she has lost weight, she should be embracing her new image. Any woman who does not believe that women objectify men is not in touch with reality. It is just that men are less likely to have a problem with being objectified. Women are much harsher on male appearance than vice versa. If you do not believe me, watch a group of women view male profiles on a dating site and then watch a group of men do the same thing. It is an eye-opening experience.

    3. 13.3

      Steve, this is the best reply.


      As a fat woman one thing I dread about losing weight is being objectified again.


      its something that haunts me… yet, I [know] were I to do it I would partake in the hypocritical pleasures of dating hot men in the open as fat women do get loads of dates too, men just have no plans to show us off to their friends or marry us.


      it’s really hard to respond because is she saying no man ever hit on her or no man she was attracted to did… and if it’s the latter doesn’t that also mean she’s being a hypocrite? And if it’s the former maybe find a guy with the most amazing personality and grace him with her affections regardless of his physical appearance…

    4. 13.4

      Wonderful response!

  14. 14

    @starthrower68 post #1

    I’m in IT for a living, but I am a luddite outside of work, so carrying around a laptop still impresses me. However, it is my understanding that all of the “cool kids” post to the internet now from hand held phones.

  15. 15

    @Steve #12- wonderful advice.

  16. 16

    Hadley, here’s a bit of enlightenment for you: there is NOTHING negative, mean-spirited, unkind, etc. that you could say to a heavy person that would make them feel any worse about themselves than the negative chatter going on in their heads. As far as women talking talking and talking, maybe it’s a “biological imperative” for women since we are relationship builders. I truly hope for your sake that you never need anybody’s compassion or mercy.

  17. 17

    Steve, I commend you for the kind encouragement that you have expressed toward Sandra. Just because some think what she feels is wrong or inappropriate, it doesn’t make her experience any less valid TO HER.

  18. 18
    Steve (a different one)

    You can’t negotiate with attraction: it’s there or it’s not.

  19. 19

    @ Steve post # 12- Great post-nailed it.

    @ Hadley post # 11 -“What’s to work through? This woman just did an extremely difficult thing which resulted in an excellent outcome. She deserves much credit. And she is being properly rewarded for her efforts by attention from men who now find her attractive.”

    It really isn’t all that easy. One of the reasons most of don’t make any sort of changes, whether it’s losing weight or anything else is that true change is hard. Not only that, it’s damn uncomfortable. I admire Sandra for making a commitment to herself, it must have been difficult, but there are still underlying issues that need to be dealt with. Sandra obviously has enough self worth to commit to being healthier, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that she is or will be comfortable with her new self image. She mentions a lot of positives about herself as a person, but again, it does not mean she real believes in herself, especially in this new social arena.
    I can use myself as an example. I am very confident and sure of myself in my professional life and in my relationships with family and friends. I’m not as sure of myself when it comes to dating. For various reasons I did not really date until I was several years ago after suffering some serious health issues. Sure, I had relationships, two of them serious, but for lack of a better term, I fell into those. As Lance (post # 6) advised I jumped into it feet first. I’ve learned a lot along the way and have survived various dents to the ego, some of which were self inflicted, if I’m honest about it. One thing that continues to come up (in my mind at least) is that thought what happens when I tell him? It’s something that I have to work on and get past. I know it & I’m doing it

  20. 20

    Sandra, congratulations and good for you! I mean this in the most sensitive and encouraging way possible, but get over it! The quicker you can let go of the “baggage”/issues you have around your weight and why guys are attracted to you, the better! Like someone else said, this may be a classic example of how a woman would tend to over-analyze the situation whereas a guy (in general, I know not EVER woman or guy would think this way) would just be like, sweet! 🙂 I wish you all the best!

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