Turns out it really is what’s on the inside that matters most.
Four years ago I weighed 33 pounds less than I do now; I was a size 2. Today, however, I’m a confident and happy size 8.
You’d assume the major difference would be buying larger clothes, but I’ve actually found my dating life has had the biggest changes.
My weight has yo-yoed most of my life. I spent my teen years as a size 12, observing the waif-like popular girls at school and the male attention they received. Despite the fact confidence oozed out of their skin, I assumed guys liked them because of their petite size. So I grew up with the belief that being thin would make life easier, especially when it came to dealing with men.
Venturing into the land of dating coincided with my modeling career. I could slip into a size 2 with ease, so most people believed I was confident with who I was and would have it easy in life. If only they knew.
Working in an industry that makes you so body aware and obsessive about your appearance found me attracting the wrong kind of men into my life. Sometimes they were there because they wanted to show me off, other times I purely dated for male validation.
Going from dating as a size 2 to size 8 has made me aware that a certain dress size won’t bring you happiness or love. I’m the perfect example that gaining weight means more of the right kind of attention and, in turn, more confident interactions. Here’s what I learnt…
1. A different mindset attracts different people
When I was a size 2, I found I dated men who affirmed my need to be thin. If I wasn’t nitpicking my appearance that day, they’d find a fault with it. My relationships were based on my looks and them toting me around like a trophy.
2. Date nights don’t have to be so hard
Social situations were affected by my need to have an early night out for fasted cardio and the fact I only ate poached chicken salad (dressing on the side, thanks). If a new burger place opened to rave reviews, I would find every excuse for us not to go, causing endless fights. Spontaneity was off the table, and my anxiety went through the roof.
3. Sexual confidence can be achieved
I was always conscious of how certain positions during sex could create rolls or be unflattering. Rather than being in the moment and enjoying time with my partner, I was worried about being caught in a fat angle. Some say sex gets better with age; personally, I’ve found it gets better when you’re a bigger dress size.
4. I am a wonderful person
I used to think the only thing I had to offer was my looks. I felt the only reason men were attracted to me was because of appearance and nothing else. Since putting on weight and making life less about appearances, I’ve become aware of all the amazing things – apart from my looks – I have to offer.
5. People are attracted to confidence, not size
Now that I’m self-assured, men naturally gravitate towards my confident personality. I attract them because I’m outgoing and fun to be around. If you only take one thing from this story, let it be this: when you’re happy with yourself, you’ll attract similar people.
I feel a lot more confident and comfortable in myself now, at a size 8, than I ever did at a 2. The difference hasn’t just affected my dating life – it’s also crossed over to my friendships and the relationship I have with myself. When we’re confident, we’re happy, and it’s that mindset that attracts the right people into our lives.
We should never go looking for external validation, and we shouldn’t think being a particular size will bring us all the happiness in the world and an abundance of dates. It doesn’t matter what size you are, as long as you are completely comfortable with you. It sounds totally clichéd, but confidence should come from within.
GIFs via giphy.com and tumblr.com.
Comment: How has your weight affected your love life and confidence?
Peta Serras is a model and SHESAID’s dating expert who’s willing to go on as many bad Tinder dates as she needs to in order to find the perfect guy. In her spare time she loves drinking coffee, eating almond croissants and spending lots of money. Follow Peta on Twitter and Facebook.