The struggle to love one's self

I am imperfect. Maybe it’s a newsflash to you, but it’s something I’ve been far too aware of for my entire life.
As a kid, I was plagued with health problems. It wasn’t until my early teens that my epilepsy went away and we discovered that the causes of my endless troubles ultimately stemmed from a rare kidney disorder.
Nearly two decades later, my health issues are things of my distant past, but I’m still a member of the bonus lover plan. I’m not some svelte sexy thing who’s able to squeeze into a size six, and some part of me doubts I ever will be. No, like my personality, my body’s larger than life, and it suits me fine.
I’d rather not ever be thin, despite struggling to lose nearly 20% of my body weight these past two years. During that journey to toneness, I’ve gained a better sense of self than I’ve ever known. Who I am, though, is larger than life, and that’ll never change. Presumably, my body will remain the first clue of my nature for others.
On that same journey, I’ve discovered something else. The “ideal” beauty is seldom our “real” beauty in the eyes of the everylover. While we all lust after our glossy magazine celebs, when it comes to having them as lovers, day in day out, we wouldn’t be interested. Why is that?
I’ve been trying to understand the seemingly incongruous nature between lust and desire. I’m more than able to lust after nearly any man I see, since sexuality for me isn’t a formula, but rather something almost impalpable. You have it or you don’t. When it comes to desire and attraction for the longterm, though, I find myself zeroing in on men who carry a little extra weight on their large frames, provided they dress well and groom well. What is it that makes me want them? I’ll never know, but I know they’re what’s in my mind when I touch myself in the dark.
The point is, we all have a certain make and model that drives our desire, and it may not be worthy of a glossy magazine spread, but they’ll spread just fine for us, thank you very much.
Until this past year, I was always aggressive in my interpersonal dealings, in an attempt to mask my everpresent insecurities. Somewhere along the way, probably when I escaped death last August in a scooter (think Vespa-ish) accident, I realized the insanity of not loving myself for who and what I was, since I had almost ceased to be and had another chance at this merry-go-round called Life. Loving myself then became my number one goal.
After all this time, all this work, I can say it’s true now. I’m a vixen in my own right, in my own way. I’ve also discovered something I’d forgotten: No man has ever complained about my body size to me. The contrary. Back in the day, though, I thought they were trying to make me feel better. I didn’t want to believe they could want me or love me for who I was… because what would that say about them, then?
Now, what it says about a man is evident to me: They understand passion, desire, and they know it when they see it. They see me for all of what I offer — intelligence, wit, charm, stylings, deviousness, sensitivity, romance, dominance, submissiveness, all wrapped into one package that’s just the right size to hold the dynamism of what I bring to the bed and to life as a whole.
A few years ago, I read a study that revealed those who were carrying a little extra weight generally had better sex lives. The scientists were at first stymied by this discovery, until they realized a very simple truth: Food, when done the way food ought to be, is as erotic and sensual as anything we can experience. Those who were overweight were in touch with their sensual selves and sought to enjoy all the delectable goodness offered by life, in whatever form they came, be it bed-bound, baked, or otherwise.
I have found myself besieged by young women of late, all of them emailing me about their inabilities to orgasm. I find myself having to keep explain to them that they got to love themselves — physically and emotionally — before they can handle the Big O. The odds are against them, though, and it’s largely why we sexually peak in our 30s. As young women, we suffer through the most inexplicable expectations from society and the hang-ups we develop are legion. There was a good mainstream example last year in the form of a short-lived TV show called Life as We Know It, with Kelly Osborne in it. A guy fell for her, but admitted he couldn’t handle having her as a girlfriend, because what would his buddies think if he was slapping thighs with a tubby girl?
We live in a society that’s so hung up on appearances that we’ve forgotten the beauty that comes from within. We’ve forgotten how incredibly hot and sexy it can be when someone simply digs themselves for who they are, regardless of their appearance, and can bring that passion and goodness into play in every thing they do every day.
I recall once being asked why I wanted to lose weight. I bit my lip, looked at the ground, thought about it, and responded “Because I want my inside beauty to match my outsides.”
These days, on a good day, I know I already match. In the last decade of my life, I have overcome enormous obstacles — the death of a parent, massive debt, illnesses, a couple near-death experiences, and writer’s block that hounded me for half a decade. But my greatest accomplishment is this: Loving myself.
One of my all-time favourite quotes is Oscar Wilde’s. “To love one’s self is the beginning of a life-long romance.” What can I say? I’m a romantic at heart, and now it shows.

13 thoughts on “The struggle to love one's self

  1. papamamba

    awesome. never forget this. read it often.
    the day i woke up, shaved off the beard, cut the hair and liked what i saw was a great one…
    hello world.

  2. Anonymous

    But you ARE perfect! We all are. Imperfection is only a subjective notion that is, exists according to others’ expectations. And then if it be rammed enough into our brains we believe it too.

    Look at small children and babies – they don’t care about these petty preoccupations. If they don’t like you it’s usually because you frighten them one way or another but never because of your appearance.

    If you lived on a desert island all your life you wouldn’t have these worries either because you wouldn’t see yourself in the mirror of other people’s eyes.

    It’s all subjective. Thin girls are “eeeeewww!” in some parts of Africa. Apparently they aren’t tender and juicy enough!! 😀

    Take care

  3. 26 Nights

    What a wonderful, thoughtful, and oh-so-true article! I’m going to share it with everyone I can!

    Mr 26

  4. remittance girl

    Before the age of 30, I was thin. VERY thin. Hip bones protruding, ribs you could count, a non-existent ass, spindly thighs. I have to tell you – I looked GREAT in clothes. But, I had sex partners that were terribly hesitant in bed. I was small enough to be flung around, but they never did. They were far too worried about ‘hurting’ me.

    By 35, I’d gained 25 lbs. At first, this horrified me. I felt like I was being enveloped, cocooned in some alien sludge. Clothes looked much worse on me.

    But… suddenly, my sex life got WAY better. WAAAAYYYY better. For a start, more men wanted me. When they got me, they did things they’d never done before: they nuzzled my tits, rubbed their cock against my pubic bone without flinching, slid their erections between my closed thighs and groaned. Better still, they flung be around the bed and fucked me with abandon.

    I appreciated the change to my sex life – I was ecstatic about it. But I still looked at myself in the mirror and felt lumpy, plump and dowdy.

    Until one day, I was fooling around with a new digital camera and getting dressed to go out at the same time (because I’m wierd and easily distracted). I took a picture of myself in the bathroom mirror, with just my bra and panties on.

    I forgot about having taken the pic at all, until about a month later, I was downloading the memory onto my laptop and I saw it. REALLY SAW IT. Maybe because all the other pictures were of objects, or other people – I don’t know – but I looked at the pic (no face on it – the head was cut off) and realized it was me.

    That’s when I got it. Oh, fuck. I was… so damn sexy. I was generous and fleshy and very, very inviting. It was a magnificent epiphany. I didn’t look like a model. I looked like someone you want to fuck.


  5. Laurie

    well said!

    i am 5’6″ and a very curvy 160 pounds, and my man loves it. i’d like to be 20 pounds lighter, but i love to eat, and if he’s happy.. wtf, ya know?

    a wise friend asked me once, “how do you think the women who skipped dessert that night on the titanic felt?”

  6. Walking Wounded

    Sorry I have been such a lurker. Moving is not that bad but the unpacking is crazy!

    I read this article (as well as all the others I missed) and agree totally with it. You are hitting the nail right between the eyes! LOL

    But seriously, I used to have a love hate relationship with my body as well when I was growing up. But I have come to the conclusion that my body is my canvas and I will continue to tweak it over time. I do not mind that I have a little padding in some spots. I think it makes me more of a teddy bear than some dude who looks like a stump with arms. Being content with yourself definitely allows you to be a better lover.

    Case in point, the best sex I ever had PERIOD was with a girl that many guys would consider “average.” She does have one of the most beautiful faces I have ever seen, but body-wise she would not be considered svelte. But the sex was always great!

    On the contrary, I have slept with chicks who were more of the typical college wet dream and the sex was basically a good substitute for using my own hand. Nothing to write home about at all.

    I think people in general could serve to learn a few life lessons and learn to look at the person beyond their cover and to what they have between their ears. The most sexual organ we have is our minds!


  7. Stephanie

    I realize that this entry is from a long time ago but I just recently discovered your blog and am currently reading through the archives.

    I just wanted to let you know that this entry, as all of your entries seem to be, is one of the most worthwhile things I’ve ever read. I also love the pictures.

    I’m enjoying your blog so far and can’t wait to get caught up.

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