Not-So-Big Love: When Losing Weight Turns Into A Marriage Proposal

Not-So-Big Love: When Losing Weight Turns Into A Marriage Proposal

Back when I wrote Big Love: Dating While Losing Weight, y’all pretty much told me off.

I mean, let’s be real, here. Few issues are as thorny, on this blog, as ones involving dating and relationships. Let’s just say that y’all are very protective of your dating prospects and the ability to pursue them. I ain’t mad at it… I am confused by it.

I wrote the following:

How do you handle dating while losing weight? I’ve already admitted that after a break-up in the early part of my journey, I became abstinent and didn’t date. I was not only vulnerable, but working through insecurities that would’ve only made dating an embarrassing experience for myself. I valued having time that was mine and mine alone because, quite frankly, I’m dope and interesting when I actually pay attention to myself and learn about me.I mean, I can understand a desire to date – if for no other reason but the sake of company and being sociable – but I wonder if there’s a part of a woman’s journey (and I specify gender there for a reason) where, if it’s extensive enough, she’d benefit from not dating. My journey was like literally demolishing a building and rebuilding it from scratch. Would you let anyone set up their home in your building, knowing that it wasn’t completely solid, sturdy or even able to provide adequate shelter? If a house is still being actively rebuilt, I wouldn’t rest my head in it.

People kept assuming that by referring to “rebuilding,” I was referring to their bodies… but I wasn’t. I was referring to their minds. I was referring to the reality that in order to live a more fit lifestyle, you have to demolish everything that gets in the way of developing that in order to do what you have to do. And really, no shade, but I’m generally of the mind frame that most people need to take some time off to reassess themselves and what they want before they go out and date. Most people need to know what it feels like to put themselves first and treat themselves right before they dive head first into treating someone else “right.” Most people need to know what it means to love themselves before they commit to loving someone else.

When I write, I write with myself in mind. Everything I’ve ever written on this blog, I’ve written for myself. Writing in my moment of clarity gives me something to look back to and read when I may be struggling. I write a lot about compassion, because I find myself involved in an environment where there isn’t much compassion, and my writing serves as a reminder. I wrote a lot about getting over sabotage because I found myself encountering people who didn’t have my goals and best interests at heart. I write a lot about body image and learning to love myself because I struggled with the idea that I could simultaneously love myself while wanting to change myself.

That last sentence is important. I learned that a huge component of loving myself is accepting that I am not perfect, I am worthy of love even in spite of this nonperfection, and that I’m even worthy of love during this process of change because I’ll always be changing. I stopped chasing perfection, and instead decided to strive for excellence. At least with excellence, there’s an implied understanding that the goal isn’t “working so that I never have to work anymore.” There’s not some finite point that I should feel guilty about not reaching. The goal post is always moving when one strives for excellence, as you are constantly learning what’s possible as you progress forward.

Why am I saying all this? Because these are the things that I addressed that made me a different person. Addressing these things changed how I approach life. How I approach relationships. And while I understand that for the woman who only wants to lose 20-30lbs, the issue may be far more topical like food changes, a godawful soda habit, or learning to cook a little more… for the woman who’s in a strange place, like I was, who needed to lose upwards of 75lbs altogether? You might have a challenge that is as much emotional as it is physical.

For me, I dated during my weight loss journey. I dated a couple of men – some who’s intentions were more noble than others – but there were lots of time between them, because there were specific parts of my journey that all out demanded time for self-reflection. I advocate for that approach because as I reached new hurdles, I needed to allow myself to be vulnerable enough to jump over them… and that’s not something that can be done with everyone. However… there was one man who not only supported my self-reflection as a friend, but encouraged it. When I admitted my experiences with sexual assault and binge eating… when I snotted up his shirt sobbing about things that I was thinking and feeling… he was there, wanting to be trusted, wanting to be caring and wanting to help me grow. He saw how I was learning to love myself, and he contributed to that love by adding some of his own. He was just… always there, and always enjoying it. He wanted to be there.

And then, when he came to my house a week or so ago… when he knocked on the door… when I opened it, holding back two huskies who obviously smelled him on the other side of the door and were excited to see him… he was there. On one knee. With The Ring in his hand.

So, yeah. I’m currently engaged. Squeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

Back to seriousness, though.

Suffice it to say, I think that there’s a genuine connection between where my head and heart were, how I treated the relationships I was in and how I understood care and love. And once I changed how I approached those, it became easier for me to find what I was looking for… or, rather, for it to find me.

It is not my intention to talk about this as if it is “the ultimate fairy tale.” It is my intention to talk about this wonderful addition to my life that I wouldn’t have been able to experience without reassessing my headspace. I know myself. The old Erika would’ve made a man like my current fiancé take off running in the opposite direction. I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate him for who he is if I were the old me.

I bring this up in conjunction with the Big Love post because so many women claimed that it was unnecessary to “assess their headspace” during their journey because that wasn’t a legitimate reason to not date. If anything, it made it easier for me. It made dating easier, for starters, because some men simply weren’t on my level. It made it more enjoyable, because I was more able to speak up for myself, felt less desperate and felt more capable. I didn’t have to struggle so much with being a people pleaser, and believing my desire to be a people pleaser would be the most important thing (or the only thing, for that matter) to make a man stay with me.

This won’t be the situation for every woman who embarks upon a weight loss journey, but this is how it was for me. And though every woman isn’t on a weight loss journey, I think that it should be a goal for everyone to be, at least, emotionally solvent… to be able to give as much as they get. My journey not only granted me that peace… it’s brought lots of joys along the way, one of those being the man I’m going to marry. If all it takes to bring a little light into your life, is to reassess oneself emotionally… there’s absolutely nothing to lose, and a lot

[of love] to gain. The changes I’ve embraced along the way have changed my life for the better, now, in more ways than one. And I couldn’t be happier.

Squeeeeeee!!!!! 🙂

By | 2017-06-10T11:24:25+00:00 May 2nd, 2014|My Journey|81 Comments

About the Author:

The proud leader of the #bgg2wlarmy, Erika Nicole Kendall writes food and fitness, body image and beauty, and more here at #bgg2wl. After losing over 150lbs, Kendall became a personal trainer certified in fitness nutrition, women's fitness, and weight loss by the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She is also certified in sports nutrition by Precision Nutrition. She now lives in New York with her husband and children, and is working on her 6th and 7th certifications because she likes having alphabet soup at the end of her name.


  1. Evelyn June 14, 2011 at 9:50 AM - Reply

    SOOOOO happy for you! Also, if you need a jazz singer at your wedding, HOLLA!!! LOL

  2. Arnita June 14, 2011 at 9:59 AM - Reply

    First off, congratulations Erika! I’m so happy for you!

    Secondly, I feel that your points are super valid. It is definitely an emotional journey, at least for me and I expressed this to a good friend of mine the other day. I definitely am doing some assessing and re-assessing, because its valuable and valid and needs to be done. I think that when people don’t take time out to look at themselves, they do a disservice (in my opinion). You definitely have to know you better and love yourself before you can expect someone else to love you. I appreciate this post and it lets me know that I am on the right path and keeps me encouraged.

  3. Rene June 14, 2011 at 10:01 AM - Reply

    Congratulations! You are so right that taking some time off from dating when making a life change is often a necessity. Its so important to know who you are and where you want to go. To love yourself as you are imperfections and all before you can enter into a mutually beneficial relationship. All men want a women they view as beautiful, when it comes to marriage my belief is that they also want a woman who is secure in who she is. A woman who because she is able to love herself, she is free to love him as well. I wish you two the best that love and life has to offer – Congrats again and thank you sharing so openly of yourself – you are truly a blessing to your readers!

  4. Nikita June 14, 2011 at 10:01 AM - Reply

    Congratulations on your engagement!!! I wish you and your future hubby much happiness. I too am losing weight, checking myself and getting myself “ready” for a great relationship. Sure, I could date while I am in the process, but THIS time when I get back out here in the dating world I want to really feel ready. In the past I have dated when I was desperate to please others, did not think I was good enough etc. – no more of that kind of dating. I was so insecure and wondered if I was enough …. I want to date when I feel comfy with my body again and confident in myself again – no that does not necessarily mean that I will be in a size 10 or 8, but it is a lot healthier than where I am NOW. Mentally, emotionally, physically etc. I want to be ready when I meet the right guy, I want to speak up about my wants, dislike, desires etc knowing that I am important enough to myself to do so. Taking time for me right now is essential in fulfilling that goal. Thanks for sharing your process with us.

  5. Keelah June 14, 2011 at 10:05 AM - Reply

    Erica!!! OMG!!! Congrats hun! Really. I fully understood everythign that you said on the original posts. There is a mind-set in place that keeps one bingeing, making unhealthy choices under the guise of pleasure/satisfaction, and putting others first and self last–and who would want that carrying over to the future? I’m so glad to see your transmutation–and now the evolution!! Yaaaaay!! congrats to the Mister as well!!

  6. Jade June 14, 2011 at 10:14 AM - Reply


  7. Danielle June 14, 2011 at 10:15 AM - Reply

    I need to read the initial post and comments to see what was going on.
    The way I see it,when one is overweight- and I’m not talking about the extra 15 lbs because you think juice is a healthy alternative to soda and the only walking you do is to the car in the morning, and to the bathroom during the day – it’s because you don’t know how to love and appreciate and take care of your body and your self.

    It’s the whole your body is a temple thing. If *iiiiii* can’t see/respect/appreciate my body/soul as a temple how in the haaaiiiil can I expect Mr Right to?

    So I totally get the whole non dating thing, while you are getting your spiritual/physical house in order.

    So does this mean the blog is going to change to cover your wedding stuff?!
    If it’s ok with Mr.BGGTWL, let us know what your menu will be!

    • Erika Nicole Kendall June 14, 2011 at 10:33 AM - Reply

      Nah, I’m not going to use BGG2WL for that – I don’t think that’s what people come here for, and I don’t want to abuse my audience.

      It DOES mean, though, that I’m going to be doing more meal plans and more publishing on Amazon and the like. We’ve got a wedding to help pay for, now. LOL

  8. Curlstar June 14, 2011 at 10:17 AM - Reply

    I’m doing my own teenage girl squeal over here and holding back tears and trying not to have church over here after reading this post! OMG! I was reading this and Be Blessed by Yolanda Adams was playing at the same time. Needless to say, I’m having a moment here. It’s gonna take me a minute to write this. WOW! CONGRATULATIONS!!! Seeing your journey has shown me the benefits of journaling. It’s coming full circle for me now. This is just WONDERFUL! I know that the other readers are just as giddy as I am. Taking the time to love yourself, to REALLY LOVE YOURSELF during the times when you didn’t feel love, didn’t feel compassion. Amazing! Awesome! No one can say that this journey was not emotional. Heck, I’m all emotional right now. The work it takes to get to that a-ha moment in restoring your health in your mind AND body is not easy, but you have done just that and shared it with thousands of others who are working on doing the same. The new path that you will take will be just as challenging. But Erika, you have been blessed and you have been a blessing for others who are going through their own journey. As long as you both continue to put in the work for each other, your efforts will be rewarded. May God bless you and your union! Congratulations!!!!!!

  9. Nadine June 14, 2011 at 10:21 AM - Reply

    Congrats, girl, on your recent engagement. 🙂 I too am on a journey of self-discovery. I’m trying to find me, trying to get myself together. Could I put myself out there and date? Sure, if I want to fall flat on my face and humiliate myself and my dignity. But I choose to save myself and my heart for a man that is worthy of it. I don’t want to be with a man with all of the baggage that I have. I want to be free from all of that. I love myself, true, but I still have other issues that I have to work out. About my weight. About just being me. So when my prince come, I’ll be ready for love, because by then I’ll be well equipped with enough love to love him back.

    • Danielle June 14, 2011 at 5:39 PM - Reply

      that’s a great post! you will find each other soon ! 🙂

  10. Xay June 14, 2011 at 10:33 AM - Reply

    Congrats and best wishes to you and your family.

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