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Advice from women who are both plus-sized and popular

Updated: July 19, 2013 3:26PM

Last week we heard from Roberta. She’s been fat all her life. At her heaviest, she was clinically obese at 465 pounds. Through a gastric bypass, she got down to 180 pounds. She’s now about 250.

But no matter her weight, Roberta always had plenty of dates. She had one live-in boyfriend, several other long-term relationships, and has been married since 2005.

It turns out that despite all the emphasis on being thin, she’s not the only popular plus-sized woman.

WINONA: I’m heavy, but I never had trouble finding dates. I used regular dating sites and I was honest about my weight and posted a realistic photo. I have larger friends who’ve also been very successful romantically.

There may be a “sub-culture” of chubby-chasers as described by Roberta, but I think the best-kept secret is that some men just like larger women and others simply don’t care and like women of all shapes and sizes. Personality counts for more when you’re looking for a serious relationship.

I’ve been with a wonderful man for three years, and he’s in the latter group. He loves me for me. Confidence, good grooming and a warm smile go a long way toward making anyone attractive.

I don’t know if we Canadians up here are just nicer or less judgmental, but I can honestly say I’ve never experienced the attitudes or snide comments about the overweight that I’ve heard about. But I think if I ever did, my reply would be, “I could lose weight, but you’ll never gain IQ points.”

JERRI: I’m not in the 200 club, but I am heavier than I should be.

I’m currently trying to diet, but I haven’t made much progress. My body is stubborn, and the diet I’m trying is very different and difficult, so I’ve fallen off the wagon a few times. I also have dental problems I can’t begin to afford to fix, even here in Canada.

I wouldn’t say I’ve had scores of men beating down my door, but I’ve always had people to date. I’ve found that what helped me immensely was letting go of the “we’re all beautiful” crap and just accepting that I ain’t a looker.

My current boyfriend still assures me that he finds me beautiful, which is awesome. But I finally just figured I was ugly and got on with things. I try to dress well, wear jewelry, etc.

Women are so afraid of being ugly because we’re basically led to believe that no one will ever love us if we aren’t thin or beautiful. And some men’s behavior can reinforce that. But when I stopped being afraid of being ugly, when I just accepted that I wasn’t a beautiful woman and realized that people loved me and I lived a full life anyway, I became far happier.

Oh, and the most important thing that took me way too long to learn: Wear clothes that fit! So often I tried to cram myself into ill-fitting clothes due to denial, buying an item that was on sale, etc. I cringe at some pictures of me, not because of my size, but because I looked plain awful in what I was wearing.

Would you date a fat man or woman? Are you upset because your partner has gained a lot of weight? Send your tale to

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