Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Nobody fancies me now that I have put on weight...or is because of something else?

(138 Posts)
mumlon2013 Thu 21-Nov-13 02:26:23

For the past year I have been going through a bitter divorce and my ex-husband showed NO affection whatsoever for the past 3 years. So technically, I have been "single" for years.

Before I had my children, I considered myself attractive and had a lot of guys wanting to date me. Obviously, I didn't take up any offers because I was married. With kids, I put on a few stones and that is why nobody now asks me on a date and no man even looks at me. I am a size 20 desperately trying to lose weight to go back to a 12 but just keep comfort eating.

I reason with myself that it is all in my head and all my friends keep telling me I am still very attractive even with the extra pounds. But hey they are my friends, they cannot tell me I am too ugly!

I tried a bit of online dating but nothing came out of it. One guy really liked me and kept telling me I looked beautiful but I could not imagine that somebody could fancy me.

I want to believe that personality is what really matters but why is nobody interested in me if people generally like me and like being in my presence?

Will I not be asked out until I lose some weight? That sounds crazy.

EBearhug Thu 21-Nov-13 02:41:17

I think s lot of it is confidence. I've had men interested at size 22, and it's a case of it never rains but it pours. None for years, then 4 interested all at the same time.

I've never been particularly popular, whatever my size. While it does matter to some people, others will notice your smile and eyes rather than size.

Also, it does change with age. It's just not as easy when you're past your 20s, because so many are coupled up or have children or a career and can't just pop down the pub. I used to know a whole group of people who would go out on a Friday night. There are two of us left, and we're not in the same town any more.

But going through divorce and so on, it's pretty normal if your confidence isn't at its peak.

OldBagWantsNewBag Thu 21-Nov-13 02:47:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MiniMonty Thu 21-Nov-13 03:05:43

There's no such thing as "comfort eating".
There's only "I don't care" eating.
You choose.
It's not all in your head, it's all on your plate.
Stop the "I don't care" eating and start to care.

If you don't care about you why should anyone else ?

payhisdebt Thu 21-Nov-13 03:10:18

yes , it is likely due to your weight

trufflesnuffler Thu 21-Nov-13 03:12:21

Mumlon23 some practical advice here. Try 5:2 but do it proper. Search forums on here for the do's abd dont's. Obviously that's only if the weight is making you unhappy.

Otherwise, keep going on dates. Build your confidence up and treat yourself to some gclothes that make you feel sexy.

MrRected Thu 21-Nov-13 03:48:15

I agree with MiniMonty. This is not about what other people think. It's about what you think, what action you take and what you actually want.

If you were happy with your current size, you would not be second guessing yourself or the reasons why you aren't being asked out on dates. It's more than likely that you are giving off subtle vibes to prospective dates and it's putting them off. To sound super cheesy - if you don't love yourself - you can bet your bottom dollar nobody else will.

Personally - I think a size 20 is unhealthy. It's not about size or societal expectation, it's about what all that visceral fat is doing to your organs. It's about the increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

For me - and I have just spent the past 2 months losing 12lbs, it took a long time for me to make that mental shift. To take responsibility for my choices and to accept that if I eat too much I'll be overweight. My suggestion to you would be to try to focus your attention on something positive. For me that was joining and fastidiously recording every morsel I was eating. I soon recognised patterns, learned to identify where I could make smarter choices and have changed the way I approach eating. I still drink wine, eat chocolate, go out with friends and have the odd blow out, but I know how to keep a balance.

Taking care of yourself, should be your number one priority. It's easy to make excuses (I did for years), but ultimately, as adults we are the only ones who can make the decision to be healthy and stick to it.

MrRected Thu 21-Nov-13 03:54:52

PS: I can't reiterate the importance of keeping an honest food diary. Record every mouthful - every time you scrape a bit of the children's plate, every time you nick a crisp out of the bowl as you put it on the table. You will be ASTOUNDED at the findings. I know I was - and not in a a good way.

A healthy calorific intake for somebody of my height is around 2000 calories a day. I was eating 4000-6000 a day! All those small bits, the beer, the fried food, the cheese, the processed food and refined carbs were adding up to a huge amount.

SugarMouse1 Thu 21-Nov-13 04:05:35

I doubt it

There are some really fat, disgusting pigs who are also boring and stupid and still seemed to have got decent men!?

Maybe you are now less good at picking up on signs

Many men don't have the guts to outright ask you out, so are more subtle in showing they like you

Are you interested in just any men or are you quite fussy?

Also, looks matter a lot for ONS, but I presume you aren't after sleeping around so, for relationships, meh, looks fade.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 21-Nov-13 06:53:04

What I think is that on-line dating, like picking people up in bars, is a meat market. Everyone's making snap judgements on the strength of not very much, mostly appearance. Anyone not classically good-looking & selling themselves on personality I think has to try other routes to meet people. Shared interests & activities that kind of thing are a better place to showcase personality. If you want to lose weight, good luck, it's not easy. smile

RevengeWiggle Thu 21-Nov-13 07:02:37

Sounds like a confidence issue to me, if someone is telling you you're beautiful and you're unable to accept it. I wouldn't normally tell someone to change rather than learning to love who they are but it sounds like you are unhappy with your weight so maybe a sensible diet will help your confidence? Or a new outfit, haircut, massage or something like that.

Lazyjaney Thu 21-Nov-13 07:05:51

Online dating goes hugely on looks as no one sees the real you unless they decide to meet you.

I'd bet you are attractive if people get to know you, but weight is an instant turnoff to many, so people who may like you as a person will cross you off the list and never want to get to know you.

But don't go overboard about weight, just get out of the over-weight bracket - men like a fairly wide range of shapes.

Confidence also influences attractiveness, you say that you couldn't believe that one person liked you - seems like even if people do show you they find you attractive you push them away.

Loopyloulu Thu 21-Nov-13 08:29:47

Sorry but your weight is likely to be a turn off for some men. Size 20 is pretty big- sorry if this is not what you want to read. Some men like big women but some / most don't. Men are much more visual creatures and looks are important- maybe sounds shallow but most are hard wired that way.

If you were to meet a man in a non-dating scenario- work, hobby, etc- and he got to know you first and liked who you were, then he might ignore the extra weight - but the sad fact is the being obese is not attractive in either sex.

It potentially says a lot about you- namely that you don't care ( which you do.)

Having kids is no excuse for putting on weight, and it's now time to be positive about shifting it.

Take control- and think about your health as well as meeting men.

How about doing weight watchers online, or going along to a group for moral support? or joining one of the MN forums on weight loss? Your GP would probably offer you support too because you are at high risk for diabetes.

Halfacent Thu 21-Nov-13 09:03:12

I think, tbh, it's about the message you give off. I know women who are overweight ( their sizes are the same) BUT the ones who present 'attractive and sexy' dress differently, act confidently and just look like they'd be fun to be with. Confidence is a huge turn on actually, regardless of how much you weigh. If losing a little weight will help you regain this, then do it. Exercise, whilst painful initially, will help. It lifts your mood and makes you feel in control of your body as opposed to the other way around.

ToTheTeeth Thu 21-Nov-13 09:03:32

I agree with the straighter talking posters. I also think that what is going on here is that you're trying to transfer blame from yourself to some random men.

I had a friend who had always been very slim and went up to a size 12. This coincided with a dry spell and she worried men weren't attracted to her with curves. I was very happy to tell her this was ridiculous and the only problem was she'd lost confidence.

With you, however, the problem is that you have made yourself fat. You have done this to yourself, maybe deliberately or perhaps unwittingly, maybe you need therapy to work this out. But you did it. Going up to a size 20 isn't something that just happens after having kids. I don't know anyone with kids who is a size 20. You need to take responsibility for what you have done to your health and follow the good advice here and elsewhere to tackle it. If it's a full blown eating disorder you need support to tackle it. That is goal 1 and an absolute must, even if you take a vow of chastity.

As this size men probably are turned off. But this won't just be your weight per se. Being very overweight screams needy and vulnerable. We know that men won't be attracted to us if we go on dates and pour our hearts out about out exes, so why assume it will be any better if you wear your heart on your sleeve hips?

Sorcha1966 Thu 21-Nov-13 09:16:07

again to be very honest I wouldn't want to date a very overweight man. It says something about their self control, and values. If you were a size 14 I expect you would have more interest. Doesn't mean you have to BE a size 14, just that if attracting male attention is important to you this will probably help you

Anniegetyourgun Thu 21-Nov-13 09:26:58

There's no such thing as "comfort eating".

Bullshit! Of course there is. Maybe fatty foods don't have that effect on you, but they do on a lot of people. Scientific studies have shown that chocolate, for example, has an elevating effect on mood whilst alcohol, which many people mistakenly turn to for comfort, does the opposite. (Have a look at this page for example, though I admit that isn't particularly scientific but is a useful summary.) And I don't need a scientific study to tell me how I used to feel when I was depressed and ate chocolate. It really did help - though with diminishing returns, ie one square made a huge difference, one bar did not!

However I do agree that scoffing incontinently is not a good thing and that one can get into bad eating habits. I'm in terrible eating habits right now and I agree it's in the "I don't care" bracket rather than needing something fat and sweet to buck me up. But then I'm not trying to meet men anyway (or, for that matter, women). I think I'm probably trying to fend them off if anything.

Anyway, side issue. I agree with the posts that say projecting a confident image is the most important thing, and that losing weight in a healthy way for oneself will help and is a good idea anyway. Because you're worth it, even if you don't believe you are.

struggling100 Thu 21-Nov-13 09:37:31

I am sure you are not ugly! You sound lovely, fun, and bubbly. You're just having a really rough time right now.

I have had two bouts of anorexia in the past, and I think that there are in many ways a lot of similarities between eating too much and not eating at all. One thing I have learnt from recovering from this is to think of my body like a machine. The food is the fuel that goes it to make it run efficiently. It is nothing more than that. However, there is a vast corporate industry out there that tries to convince us that food is more - that it can substitute for self-care, that it can comfort us when we are sad, reassure us when we feel anxious, and make us better parents, wives, lovers (or, in my case, that not eating can do all those things). These companies try to make us think of food as a treat, a special 'time out' of everyday life. But when we act on their suggestions, we gain weight and another set of social expectations kicks in - we feel self-loathing and guilt and disgust, which is really unhealthy. And then we get locked into a cycle of needing to feel good, eating, then hating ourselves.

Breaking the connection between emotions and food is critical to escaping this dysfunctional loop. I realised that I can care for my body and my spirit by thinking carefully about what goes into my mouth. A huge part of this is feeling that I am 'good enough' to eat healthy, nutritious food. You are - in a million different ways - worth caring for.

Walkacrossthesand Thu 21-Nov-13 09:37:37

This is very interesting. I lost a lot of weight (ie too thin!) on the 'divorce diet' many years ago; gradually gained, a stone a year, until I was distinctly plump; then did weight watchers and, while down around my goal weight, met my first 'proper' boyfriend in 15 years. I don't think that was a coincidence! That lasted a few years, the weight was creeping back on (I gain a stone a year eating what I fancy, can maintain 'overweight' with a bit of restraint & exercise, need to try hard to lose weight) and I'm not attracting any interest now, at 'slightly plump' again. I'm pretty sure I've remained the same person throughout after getting over marriage breakup so I conclude that men are generally more attracted to non-plump women. Now the question is, am I bothered enough for that to be a motivator to eat much less than I fancy! I.e. Be hungry a lot of the time....the trouble is, there is such a lot of nice food available to us Westerners. Some people have a natural/conscious constant restraint around food, and stay lean. Those of us who find it harder, will gain weight.

CuChullain Thu 21-Nov-13 09:56:06

@ Annie

"There's no such thing as "comfort eating".

Bullshit! Of course there is. Maybe fatty foods don't have that effect on you, but they do on a lot of people. Scientific studies have shown that chocolate, for example, has an elevating effect on mood whilst alcohol, which many people mistakenly turn to for comfort, does the opposite. (Have a look at this page for example, though I admit that isn't particularly scientific but is a useful summary.) And I don't need a scientific study to tell me how I used to feel when I was depressed and ate chocolate. It really did help - though with diminishing returns, ie one square made a huge difference, one bar did not!"

Serious question, how hard is it to not buy the chocolate in the first place?

EirikurNoromaour Thu 21-Nov-13 09:58:50

Being big doesn't mean nobody will fancy you but your pool of potentials will be smaller. It's far more likely to be your confidence/attitude that's either making it seem like nobody fancies you or is giving a not interested vibe that puts people off.

Anniegetyourgun Thu 21-Nov-13 10:04:47

What does that question have to do with my post? confused

I bought chocolate because I wanted to eat it, because I liked it and because eating it felt comforting. My post was explaining that it felt comforting and why, not complaining that it leapt off the shelf into my basket and forced me to pay for it. I wasn't trying not to have any, because I didn't want not to have any. What is your point?

Loopyloulu Thu 21-Nov-13 10:05:23

That's all true Walk- something that annoys me is that I am a slim person and people I know who are overweight say things like 'oh it's ok for you, you don't need to worry or work at it' . This is bullshit. If I ate what I felt like eating ( I've a good appetite) I'd be huge. Every day I have to practise restraint and even eating slightly more than I need results in a 2-3 lb weight gain in a week unless I exercise like mad too. I've made the choice to stay slim because coronary heart disease runs in my family, very strongly on my mother's side. I was also fat as a young teen and never want to go there again.......

I'm not for one minute setting myself up as a goody two shoes- just trying to say that the world is not divided into fatties and skinnies where the skinnies can eat what they like with no weight gain.

It's a vicious circle- if you feel crap about yourself you overeat for comfort. That makes you feel more crap. If you like yourself and are confident it's easier to take pride in your appearance and live a healthier lifestyle.

The focus OP should be on reaching a healthy weight and not thinking it's all about attracting men as the goal.

I agree with another poster its about confidence
we can worry about our weight and worry about how we look but in the end people want to be around happy confident people.

CuChullain Thu 21-Nov-13 11:44:16


Well you gave a fairly curt rebuttal of someone above when they suggested that comfort eating does not exist and alluded to the fact that it is more to do with lack of self-control. You offered your view which was to suggest that some people are more prone to be drawn to fatty foods due to their wellbeing/mood enhancing qualities. That to me suggests some kind of psychological link which led me to question how hard it would be for someone who is prone to 'comfort eating' to walk past the confectionary aisle down the supermarket, is it like a smoker walking past the tobacco counter when they have the cravings!

No need to be so defensive, as someone who can go months without thinking about chocolate I am just curious that’s all.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now