I used to be incredibly embarrassed by how little I had sex with my very hot, loving, totally-jacked boyfriend. At 24 years old we were lucky if we did it every other week, and even luckier if we were sober. I was just so embarrassed by my body that I couldn't imagine letting go around him.
I had tried countless diets since my first Weight Watchers meeting when I was 10 years old, but I could only last three days on the South Beach or Atkins diets before I polished off an entire pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. I was the world's worst dieter.
But this time I was determined to make a change, so I gave up alcohol, sugar and gluten for a month. I lost 10 pounds and was psyched. But my life didn't change the way I thought it was going to.
I started getting cat calls on the street, hit on in bars and receiving unwanted attention from every angle. When I was overweight, I thought I wanted to be noticed, but I only felt on display, vulnerable and open to attack. So I became tense, stressed out and put up my walls because all of that attention felt dangerous. Back in the bedroom with my boyfriend, I was not the relaxed, sensual being I thought I'd be and my sex life stayed squarely in the gutter.
Sure, I was thinner, but scared to go outside or out to a bar and my sex life still sucked. The weight came right back on like a bat outta hell.
I finally decided after more than 15 years of dieting, that if it was going to work, it would've worked by now. Instead, I created the life I wanted now, not 20 pounds from now. I started with my sex life and sensuality.
When I used to get hit on at a bar, this is what would happen:
Man: "Hey, can I buy you a drink?"
Me: "Ahh... sure!"
In my head: F*ck, I should've said no, now I have to talk to him for at least an hour, and if I talk to him for an hour then I've wasted his night, and he's going to think that I'm going to go home with him, and if I went home with him, then I should probably sleep with him or else he's going to think I'm a prude.
Me: "Actually you know what? I'm flattered but I just realized how late it is and I should go home."
When I took a look at this situation I realized that I felt obligated to sleep with someone just because he buys me a drink! Because I grew up "un-cool" and incredibly self-conscious, I always felt honored and shocked when a man would want to talk to me. I believed that I was so lucky to have his attention, which translated to, "I owe him something, he's being so nice to me." This sense of obligation triggered a huge panic in me because every time someone wanted to buy me a drink or looked at me on the street, my body subconsciously felt like I was going to be forced to sleep with him. Talk about dangerous! I had to undo this pattern.
Here's what I did: I acted as if I was the hottest woman in the world, even though I looked exactly the same as I did a few days earlier when I believed myself to be the ugliest. When you act "as if," you need a concrete list of behaviors that you are going to embody, even if you feel like a lunatic. To me, the hottest woman in the world walks down the street with confidence, stands up straight, sticks out her chest, puts care into her outfits and appearance, is the first to the dance floor, is nice to strangers, goes to bed early, takes baths, says "yes," to a drink offer but knows that he is so lucky to just spend 10 minutes in her presence, she is not obligated to do anything.
After a week of acting like this fantasy to a T, I started to honor my body, feel confident around strangers, less stressed, more beautiful and safer. When a man doing construction on my street would yell "Hey honey, looking good." I'd think, "Of course he thinks that!" and would respond with a simple, "Thank you," and a smile. Usually he'd get so flustered by an actual response that he'd bow his head and tell me to, "Have a great day, Ma'am," like a total gentleman.
For the first time in years I started to love my curves and forgive my cellulite. What I used to see as flawed, I now saw as unique and feminine. I was finally ready to show my boyfriend all of me, all the time. And now, years later, happily married with a baby on they way, things are just as passionate as when we first met.
My body was the same, but I was a different being in it, and with that I was able to let down the physical barriers I created to protect myself by overeating, and I lost 30 pounds.
Now I teach women all over the world how to create romantic, meaningful and fun lives so they can finally be at their ideal weight in my Live More Weigh Less Mastery Program.
In the comments below I'd love to know: What are some ways that you can create the life you want NOW, not twenty pounds from now? I can't wait to hear from you.
Sarah Jenks helps women who've been struggling with weight for years, finally have a life and body they love, even if they've tried everything. She's been featured in ForbesWoman, The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, Martha Stewart Weddings and the Knot. Sarah has helped hundreds of women lose weight by helping them create a life that is a frickin' blast through her signature program, Live More Weigh Less.
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