It represents so much to so many.
It’s a time of:
- loathing and dread
- the perfect moment to profess your undying love
- a time to let your erotic side loose
- a time to decorate in hearts and flowers and wear your favorite colors
- a reason to dress up sexy (like we need a reason!)
- a time to show your loved one just how much they are loved
- or just a time to ignore
Before we get into what it’s like to be plus sized on Valentines Day let’s look at what Valentines Day is all about.
I’ve been plus sized all my life. A total of 32 years of anxiety, sadness, anticipation, stress and joy in regards to Valentines Day.
Childhood. As a child I hated it. My family didn’t have a lot of extra cash lying around so I sometimes didn’t have the money to participate in passing out Valentines Day cards. When I did get to bring them they were usually just the cheap ones without any cool things attached to it.
In the school that I went to every student was required to give a Valentine to each kid in the class. Since I was always the fattest girl in my class my Valentines Day cards were usually nameless (so the boys couldn’t be made fun of for giving a Valentines Day card to the fat girl) or I didn’t get one at all.
I had friends who would give them to me so I wasn’t completely left out.
If I was able to hand out Valentines Day cards, at the end of the day I would usually find a few of them in the trash. So I would always walk away from the experience feeling like I was less than, that I was something to be made fun of and ignored, that what I had to offer wasn’t good enough.
High school. By this point I had had a few “boyfriends” and I had a group of close girlfriends who always had my back. My confidence was better.
I didn’t listen to the haters as much or the family members who kept saying “You’d be so pretty if you just lost the weight.”
Valentines Day became a time to anticipate. At this point I knew I was not less than the others, I knew I was a great person, not someone to be ignored or made fun of. Yet, I still felt anxiety, like I had to prove I was worth loving by making sure I had a boyfriend or a “love interest” lined up each Valentines Day.
Because my self worth was wrapped up in whether or not someone loved me, how much they loved me and how openly they showed it.
Most of my family and other people outside of my group of friends still saw me as fat, as something negative, as someone who should not be loved.
Matter of fact most of my family thought my first boyfriend was the man I married. In their mind I had never dated or had a boyfriend before. I just let them assume that because it was pointless trying to make them understand that there were people who found my body type and personality desirable.
At this point in my life, I knew better but it was a constant struggle to remember that.
Valentines Day was filled with anxiety on what to wear (because I felt like since I was fat I could only respectably wear a few things, all of them being baggy), on where to go (because whenever I was out on a date or dressed up people always stared at me like I was pathetic or like they couldn’t believe I thought it was ok to be there) and on what to do (because whenever I was out in public with my current boyfriend I always felt like other people would stare at us and pity him for being seen out in public with a fatty).
Adulthood. Adulthood started a bit early for me. I met my husband my senior year of high school and as soon as I graduated we moved in together. The next year came our daughter followed by our wedding and boom, wild 20’s was just something I heard about from friends.
That’s ok though. I honestly loved it. My high school years had been wild enough to last me my whole life.
So, you’d think, “Ok, she’s married now so her Valentines Day must be better.” Think again.
Even though I knew my husband loved me, I was still extremely self conscience about my body. Not to mention the fact that I was the fattest I’d ever been after having my daughter and my body had changed so much.
I felt like one big pile of blubber that he had to love because he vowed to in front of our friends and family.
So, when Valentines Day would roll around I would struggle to find the extra cash (being young and being parents made spending cash a rare commodity) and then stress out over how to impress him.
It was always about impressing him. Not about enjoying each other.
I was plagued by questions like:
- How can I make my body look like the women on TV or the magazine?
- What sexy lingerie should I buy to make him desire me more?
- What elaborate plan should I come up with to blow his mind and not regret marrying me?
It was so stressful and by the end of the night I was usually frustrated and tired, feeling like I had failed in some way.
Because I was still wrapping my self worth up with how much my husband desired and lusted for me.
It took me a long long time to realize that
My self worth, my confidence could not and should not be bunched in with whether or not someone loved or lusted after me.
I had to figure out what I liked about myself and what I thought I contributed to society.
Then, I had to come to terms with what I hated about myself. I had to relearn why those negative thoughts were hindering me and not helping me.
I had to learn that though being loved by someone was amazing it was not the only thing in this world.
I am me.
I am great.
I have a lot to offer to myself, to someone I love and to society.
It doesn’t depend on whether or not I am skinny, sexy, or beautiful.
When I finally really understood this something unexpected happened.
I no longer cared what everyone else thought of my body.
I still had negative thoughts about parts of my body when I got dressed, tried on clothes or looked in a mirror but I didn’t let those thoughts weigh me down.
I no longer worried about if people felt I deserved to be happy or loved because I wasn’t the size society approved of.
As you can imagine I was much happier about myself and about my life.
Because of this my marriage soared to cloud 9.
My husband could not only see the change in me but he could feel it as well.
He had always loved me for me. My body, my mind, my personality. Everything.
But because I let my negative thoughts get between us he always felt like I didn’t believe him (which I didn’t), that I was always angry (and that made him angry because he couldn’t fix it) and that those things combined made him depressed right along with me.
When I finally broke through those barriers I had surrounded myself with he couldn’t stop starring at me. I kept catching him watching me out of the corner of his eyes, smiling at me, hovering around me, lusting after me.
I mean, the man worships me now!
He kisses every inch of me whenever he can including my fat stomach.
So what am I trying to get at?
Valentines Day can suck if you are fat or skinny, tall or short, beautiful or plain because if you have negative self esteem your only focus on Valentines Day is going to be “How can I impress such and such? How can I change they way I look to feel more beautiful and desirable?”
If you go into Valentines Day thinking and feeling this way you are setting yourself up for failure and regret.
Learn to love yourself, your body and your worth.
I promise you, you will radiate self confidence and it will excite and entice all those around you.
So how do you celebrate Valentines Day without all the drama and crazy expectations?
You focus on what is important to you and the one you love.
Think about the things you both enjoy. Think of something that is unique to your relationship.
Focus on being happy and spending time together instead of impressing and being someone you aren’t.
Here are some fun, loving ideas to try whether its for Valentines Day or any other day of the year. This has been one of my favorite go to Pinterest posts for years. There is something here for everyone!
Monday @ 9 am “How To Treat Your Writing as a Business”
Friday @ 9 am “The Pro’s and Con’s of Leaving Book Reviews”