I'm a 32 yo woman who is 5'2" and formerly 250lbs. Despite an active lifestyle and healthy diet, I was constantly accused of being a lazy glutton. I spent most of my life unsuccessfully trying to lose weight to fit into what society finds ideal or at least acceptable. I was strong, I rarely got sick, and I was proud of my beautiful curves, fat or not. When I started having serious health problems, doctors all simply blamed my weight. I went through weight loss surgery, which nearly killed me, and lost almost half of my body weight. As you can imagine, I was simply overwhelmed with attention when I lost the weight. Men flocked to me, strangers were friendlier to me, and family told me how "proud" they were of me. What might surprise you is that those things actually made me angry. I was exactly the same person as before, just with a surgery that nearly killed me and made me smaller by starving me almost to death. When I was exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet, people didn't flock to me. Men on dating sites said I didn't "take care of myself" or "have self respect." Because of course no one could possibly be heavyset without making an effort to be that way, right? No one was proud of me when I was working hard, lifting more than football players in the gym, wrestling 200lb dogs at the shelter to train them to be adoptable when no one else could handle them... No, it took getting small to impress them all! I have to tell you that it also made me very uncomfortable dating. I couldn't help wondering every time I met a new man, would he have liked the fat me, the REAL me? What if I fell in love with him? What if we got married and then my metabolism let my natural body size return? Would he leave? Was this someone who cared WHO I was or just what size I was? I couldn't help getting the impression that most of them only cared about having someTHING to tote around town and show off because it's what everyone else was impressed with. When the weight loss only made my health condition worse, doctors finally took me seriously and I found out I have some serious HEREDITARY auto-immune issues that have nothing to do with being overweight. The starvation made it all much worse. I lost my job over the health issues in January of 2012. Since I'm sick and unemployed, I do a lot of sleeping and for quite a while, I did very little eating. A few months ago, thanks at least in part to someone I met who told me about this forum, I started eating like a normal human being again. No, not like a glutton, but like any other NORMAL adult. I've gained almost 40lbs since then. I'm actually happy about this. Odd right? Some of my muscle is coming back (when you starve yourself, your body eats your muscle). I am able to do things I haven't done in years. I'm still in a lot of pain and tired all the time from the health issues but my immune system seems to be a bit stronger and I don't catch every little thing in the air. My butt is back! Yes, I missed it! My hair is fuller again too. Starving makes your hair fall out. I think that we are all designed to be different sizes and thin is not for everyone. I've found that I'm much healthier when I eat what I crave and don't beat myself up over it. If I crave steak, I eat streak. If I crave cherries, I eat cherries. If I crave an apple dipped in caramel, coated with white chocolate, and then rolled in crushed toffee, damnit I'm going to get it! My body has shown me that I am not meant to be skinny and I am so thankful that I didn't lose my life trying to get that way... I have more energy to get out more, and I'm more confident that the men I meet will and do like the REAL me. I think that if you're abusing your body and you know it, you should do right by yourself to be more healthy. However, if you're not a skinny person, don't feel like you have to be! We are all different and our bodies know what is right for us. Be yourself, love yourself, and to hell with those who don't love you too!