Most people lose weight and look forward to what their body will look like once they reach goal. They daydream about what they’ll wear and how they’ll look in summer clothes and swimsuits. I’m no different; I want my body to look good, too. The difference for me is that I’m also slightly terrified by the fact that my body will look good.

One of my biggest fears is being raped. When I was in high school I had a man grab me and try to rape me. Fortunately for me, I have a big mouth and I screamed and screamed and screamed. Someone turned on their porch light and he ran away. Terrified, I ran home and kept that a secret until I was an adult. So I am somewhat afraid of men. I volunteered at a rape crisis center. There was another volunteer, a girl who was morbidly obese and had been raped before. She said something once that I have never forgotten. She said that being fat was like her security blanket. It kept her safe from being wanted by men, and if they didn’t want her, they wouldn’t attack her. I was only overweight at the time (my life is separated into periods of healthy, overweight, obese, overweight, and currently obese) and just couldn’t wrap my mind around what she was saying. But today? I get it. I completely understand.

Now, this next part may sound vain and conceited, but I promised honesty with this blog, so it is what it is. I am pretty. It’s not that I think I’m pretty, I’m pretty. I know most other people think that I’m pretty. I am not saying most people think I’m fine as hell. I’m probably in the minority on that thought. I’m saying that most people can see beauty when they look at me. My eyes, my smile, my hair, something. Even when I’m looking my worst, I get compliments. Being pretty doesn’t seem problematic, does it? Well, it’s not – if you’re fat. If I’m fat and beautiful, I get just enough attention to validate my opinion of myself (not that I need it). But if I’m FIT and beautiful, well, I’m going to get more attention. And I don’t like to draw attention to myself. I especially don’t want to draw the attention of more men. Drawing more attention from men means an increased probability for more negative attention. And that makes me anxious when I think about it. I just feel like I’ll attract a completely different type of attention and honestly, I’d rather not attract any attention at all.

I have so many conflicting personality traits, and this is a prime example. I am shy. No one who knows me believes this, not even my son’s father, and he knows me better than anyone. It’s true. I’m very shy. I force myself to be outgoing because I feel like if I don’t, I’ll miss out on life. But know and understand that if you know me and you have ever seen me in any type of social environment, I am nervous as hell. I’m nervous before I leave, I’m nervous while I’m there, and I’m only able to exhale when I’m either by myself again or I’m with good friends and family. Otherwise, I’m a nervous wreck. I have perfected the art of wearing a mask. Even still, I’m very shy, anxious in social gatherings, and don’t like to attract attention. Honestly, I’d like to be a wallflower. I’d like to blend in with the wall and just watch what goes on around me.

The only exception is when music is involved. I love to dance. I can’t help it, my body loves to move to music. People think that because I’m quick to the dance floor that I couldn’t possibly be shy or a wallflower. It’s not true. I just can’t help but to dance. While I’m doing it, I’m hoping no one is watching me, but I’m having way too much fun to care enough to stop. I figure if they are looking they are saying, “oh, she is jammin! She can move for a big girl!” And I’m ok with that. I think that if I’m dancing and I’m not fat men are going to be looking at me sexually in a way that they didn’t before. That scares me. I don’t want to be the sexual object of some man’s desire.

Wait, what? See what I’m saying? About conflicting personality traits? What woman doesn’t want to be the object of a man’s desire (lesbians excluded, obviously)? Of course I want to be the sexual object of a man’s desire. But I am afraid that being an object of someone’s desire can bring me harm. I don’t know why I can’t think it will result in a whirlwind romance or (gasp) a marriage. No, in my mind, man sees woman, man wants woman, man takes woman – forcefully. Scares the shit out of me. And it should not be this way.

I have often wondered if this will ever create a mental block with my weight loss or if it had in the past. I know it’s been on my mind pretty heavy. I am liking more and more what I see in the mirror when I look at my body. I’m seeing it in a different light now. I’m actually starting to picture what I’m going to look like when I reach goal and scared or not? I’m letting the skinny girl out of this fat suit! I am letting her out and she can be fit and pretty and sexy as hell! Fear be damned!

I realized who the self-sabotaging bitch (Sabby) is in my head. She’s the fat girl! I started to blog all about her, but I felt like Sybil up in this piece! She’s only important enough for a short paragraph. She don’t deserve a whole entry! I really feel like she is resisting this change because she doesn’t want to go away. TOO BAD! There are plenty of skinny women walking around unafraid. Why the hell should I be scared? *sigh* But I am.

So I’m starting some new self-talk. I need to tell myself that I’m OK with who she is, even if she is skinny and fit. I’m OK with being fit and pretty. I’m OK knowing that I’ll get more attention. I’m OK with the fact that I may have to deal with more negative attention. I’m OK because I know that most of the attention will be positive. I recognize the voice of Sabby and am OK telling her to STFU. My first challenge will be to simply say thank you when I get compliments about the weight loss instead of saying, “but,” I have to lose so much more or tone up or whatever. Just say THANK YOU! I need to get used to the fact that people are going to notice my body. And if I want to be successful as a physical trainer, that’s what I want, right? Right. I will just keep telling myself that this is good for me. This is a by product of getting healthy. You want to like what you see in the mirror, why shouldn’t everyone else? It’s OK, Monique. You’re OK. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow!