Finding love is an accomplishment no matter who you are. But how much does weight affect our ability to find love?
The Cold, Hard Facts
Weight is a big topic these days. Statistics tell us that weight is becoming a serious crisis in America, with well over 50 percent of the population being moderate to severely overweight. We know that this affects our longevity and lifestyle, but research also suggests it might drastically affect our love lives as well, especially for women.
“Basically, we’re finding that you are what you weigh and you weigh what you are,” says Jeffery Sobal, a Cornell University Associate Professor of Nutritional Sciences. “Body weight is largely a reflection of one’s culture, [socioeconomic and] marital status, life stage, and ethnicity.” Early Cornell studies looked at the opinions of 786 high school students, finding that boys were the most intolerant of overweight girls. However, the girls were most hard on themselves, demanding ideal body types far beyond the expectations of boys.
Cornell University then looked at university students, finding that most eating afflictions (bulimia, anorexia, etc.) brought on the same negative connotation as being overweight. Specifically, 53 percent of men were turned off by anorexia, as compared to the 74 percent who were turned off by obesity. For the women, 59 percent would avoid dating a guy with anorexia, while 60 percent would avoid him if he was obese.
What this says to some researchers is that we may not only be brainwashed by stick figure magazine ads and models, but also be following the course of natural selection. In other words, dating anorexic/obese individuals actually increases the chance of potential hardships in a relationship, such as a short life expectancy, low quality lifestyle, high medical bills, low wages, and obese children. So it’s only natural that we’d choose to avoid this.
Divine (Weightless) Inspiration
The human spirit is neither body nor mass, but a radiant beauty that comes from within. With that said, much of how people are perceived is by their inner spirit. This is likely why some people believe their dating difficulties have to do with their appearance, when in fact it has more to do with their poor perception of themselves.
Our ability to find love has a lot to do with loving ourselves. If you honor and love who you are, studies show that others bask in your positive outlook and confidence, and enjoy being around you. Exercising and losing weight should be something you do for yourself out of love for yourself, and not something to impress somebody else.
We only find a couple true friends (and hopefully one soulmate) in a lifetime, and these are the people who will look past the vehicle of our soul. Some people drive a Ferrari, while others find themselves in a Volkswagen bus, but it shouldn’t really matter as long as it gets you where you’re going. Ask yourself, is it your body that’s weighing your love life down, or that chip on your shoulder?
Here’s some advice on gaining confidence in your soul-mobile:
Fake it until you make it. Pretend to love yourself (and your body) if at first you can’t do it in practice. Sometimes we have to trick our mind into doing what’s right. The mind is a powerful tool when used right!
Fall in love with yourself. When was the last time you stood in front of the mirror naked, and complimented (rather than punished) yourself? Becoming comfortable in your own shell means accepting every part of yourself. Your desire to lose weight should not be the result of a lack of loving yourself the way you are, but rather loving yourself enough to take better care.
Relax, it’s time to have fun. Resist the urge to be self destructive and critical of your body. It is this evil voice that is the root cause of many people’s unhappiness. Kick him or her to the curb, and don’t let them come back!
What are your favorite ways to begin accepting yourself?