Drink The Wild Air | I Am Woman
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I Am Woman

I Am Woman

Enrichment Lesson
The most attractive quality of all is being comfortable with who I am.

After my bi-lateral mastectomy, I thought I was no longer a woman. My sexuality disappeared in the operating theatre along with my breasts.

I decided that it was a “good” thing that I could no longer rely on my sexuality to attract men. They would have to admire me for my sterling (albeit not quite so obvious) qualities and this would form the basis of healthier interactions.

After my return to full-time work, I gained a lot of weight. I was sort of ok with that. After all this would force a man to love me for who I was, right? However, a sexual encounter with an extremely hot guy, (one of my girlfriends nicknamed him The God Warrior) gave me some valuable insight. He was 51 (as much as he was loathe to admit it) but he had a better body than most 28 year olds.

We met on the internet and as per my usual form had several weeks of protracted flirting and sexting. Although I have to admit this one took it to a whole new level, he was articulate and funny, compellingly honest, and at times even audacious. He challenged and intrigued me.

As our first rendezvous approached my angst soared. I wanted to cancel almost as much as I wanted to meet him. I couldn’t bear to see the look of disappointment on his face when he saw a woman who was 30 kgs heavier than the photos on the internet.

I knew he was a “fatist” and that’s ok because at heart I am too. We had talked extensively about his ex-wife (who was obese) and how unattractive he found that. I was so certain that he would reject me because of my size. However my weight didn’t appear to bother him as much as it bothered me. When he kissed and touched me I felt like a sexy girl again but I couldn’t bear the embarrassment of him seeing me naked. I wanted to be the girl who would stride around provocatively in her sexy lingerie, a tantalising flash of thigh, a glimpse of cleavage. The girl who could tease and tempt, with a hint of promise in her smile.

In my usual unsubtle and over analytical approach (guaranteed to make a man think you are a nut job), I said to him, “I know you are a fatist, I’ve heard the way you talk about your ex..how can my weight not bother you?”

Well maybe I’m not as judgemental as you….you’ve been through a lot..maybe you should give yourself a break.”

“Yeah I know I’ve been through a lot and I can trot out all the excuses …but at the end of the day it’s up to me to get off my ass and do something about it.”

Reflecting on this I realised being fat had little to do with how any potential partner might see me and everything to do with how I felt about myself. It made me awkward, uncomfortable and embarrassed; none of these being particularly attractive qualities.I thought the weight gain was about acceptance. Me, accepting the flaws and limitations of my body, but I now think it was about denial, I was smothering my inner sexy girl.

My sexuality and sensuality is an important part of me and I hope it still will be 30 years from now. I want men to find me physically desirable and I want the confidence to be with a man who I find appealing and arresting. Being fat does not make me unsexy, but being so uncomfortable with my body makes passion frightening and the only person who loses out is me.

The fat stops me doing things I love. It makes exercise harder and more uncomfortable (I never knew what chafing was before). I sleep less well and have less energy. In the summer I usually spend a lot of time at the beach, However once I gained the weight even after a long walk, I no longer stripped off for a swim, or lay on the beach in my bikini, relaxing as I let my mind wander and my batteries recharge. Instead I headed off for a cool shower in the privacy of my home.

I have a choice. I can change this. The only one I am harming is me. I don’t have to be fat to find someone who really loves me.

Sexy girl is still an important part of me, maybe she had been too dominant in the past but I don’t need (or want) to suffocate her under layers of fat. I don’t see the fat me as the ‘real me’, just an imposter who temporarily stole my life.

Eighteen months on from my encounter I have lost 17 kilos. I am determined that I will lose another 12. I want to be at a weight where I can feel good about myself and my body. Ultimately it’s not about being skinny or fat but it is about being comfortable with the way I look and feel, and the things I can do.

I had packed away all my sexy lingerie and have never worn it since the surgery but I got it out today. I rubbed the silk against my cheek, it felt luxurious and decadent. Of course it no longer fits but I want to wear it again, not for a man, but for the pleasure it gives me. Sexy girl is still alive but she is struggling for air and its my choice, and mine alone, as to whether or not I allow her to breathe.

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