Ironwoman Dreams

If I can do this, anyone can.


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If The Image Fits: A Body Image Story

I’ve lived in Los Angeles for almost five years now. For the majority of that time, I’ve been single, and in the 30-something dating pool, which, as it is, is a veritable Chex party mix of losers, overachievers, crazies, the emotionally damaged, and, then, people like me, who have happened to make a series of bad choices in their 20s that have left them in the category of “never marrieds.”

In this day and age, we all find ourselves converging in the same mixed bowl that is Internet dating, and we have to sift through hundreds, even thousands of completely wrong matches to find a few promising faces to talk with.

One day, as I was rooting through the thugs, goths, hippies, jocks, and closet s&m freaks, I came across a handsome smiling face. He seemed to have a lot in common with me: a similar taste in movies and music, a decent sense of humor, very into charity work, and athletic. He’d also lived in London, as had I. At the end of his profile, he mentioned that, as he was very athletic himself, that he wanted to date someone fit as well. Perfect, right?

I sent a little note, asking him where he’d lived in London, and mentioning that I fundraise and volunteer for various charities. He wrote back promptly, but, when I read his reply, he’d provided where he’d lived in London, as a polite answer to my question, but he added, “Good luck finding your man.”

Normally, I would have just let it go and not given this much of a second thought, but for some reason, I was curious to know why he had shut me down so immediately. So, I asked, politely, what about my profile was un-appealing to him,

It took him a full day to reply. Maybe he was hesitant to tell the truth, or maybe he was just busy. I got the reply after spending all day dancing and riding a spin bike at a charity event In Santa Monica.

“Well, for those who read my profile all the way to the bottom you can see that I prefer a certain physical type: fit.”

Be careful when you ask for the truth, folks. You just might get it. My blood boiled.

“I’M AN IRONWOMAN!” I wanted to scream at him. “Fit? Ha! Don’t you mean anorexic?”

I didn’t say those things, but only politely thanked him for his candor. Immediately I started to wonder if this is what most men wanted: “fit”, as in size zero slim, not as in 5’7″ and a size 10. It made me want to hate my body because it wasn’t “good enough.”

I’ve been here almost five years, like I said. While some of us find it easy to fit into that bowl of snack mix, others of us are just the odd pieces out. You wrestle all of the time with what kind of body that everyone tells you that you “should” have, versus the one that you do have. Maybe it’s normal to feel odd and awkward, and even low sometimes because you aren’t an acceptable shape or size, but it’s better to accept that you are who you are, and that, just like a sesame stick In a bowl of cereal, you’ll be picked from the bunch by someone who has different taste.

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