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Ask E. Jean For DearSugar: What Have I Done?

Dear E. Jean,
I haven’t dated in a while and have put on a little weight. I’ve tried everything to take it off — nothing works. So to get myself motivated, I decided to look on just to see what was out there. When I signed up, my roommates (and their digital camera) were out of town. I did not have any pictures of the slightly larger, current me, so I used older, slimmer pictures. (I know, it’s a lame excuse, and I can say nothing in my own defense.)

To my horror, guys are in a race to get my number and talk to me! I have four guys very interested! Help! Do I tell them the pictures are not current? Or do I meet them anyway and hold my breath? And finally, do you have any secret to losing weight? — Dateless in Manhattan

To see E. Jean's answer

Dateless, You Doofbrain: Oh please. Tell the lads you’re as “plump as a porpoise” and meet them for coffee. Who knows, they may find you twice as alluring. Or you can say you’ll meet them next month and lose the weight.

Either way, stop plaguing yourself.

Who cares what men you’ve never met think of you? (Well, OK, OK, you do care, but you don’t desperately care.) The moment you start actually paying attention to what the buggers think — if they like you curvy or slim, smart or supersmart, white or black, young or younger, blonde or brunette — you’re doomed. It’s when you don’t give a big flying figdoodle what they think — that’s when they can’t get enough of you.

P.S. Balls. Trust me. Giant Balls. Balls you sit on. Get rid of your chair at work and sit on a big ball. It’s terrific for your back and posture And you burn tons more calories per hour because you are bouncing and rolling. Hell, just trying to sit on the damn things — and not fall on your rump — will work your core.

Auntie Eeee sits on a big (blue) ball to watch TV and another ball (also big and blue) to work at my desk. Yes. I have blue balls all over my house. This is my secret to losing weight.

To see more advice from E. Jean visit Elle magazine and

shelleybaby32 shelleybaby32 9 years
If i were you i would tell them before. Men are attracted with their eyes first. Personally, i would be pissed if i went on that website and saw this really attractive guy and then he showed up at our date-all 300lbs of him! Save yourself the embarrassment of these guys telling you they are not interested to your face. Think about how you would feel if you went to ther restroom and came back and your date hightailed it out of there.
Meike Meike 9 years
Nope, putting up misleading photos is taboo in my dictionary. This applies for guys as well. Just because other people do it doesn't mean you have to. You're being honest and dishonest at the same time and, come time to meet in person, your cover of the truth simply tells me that you lack character and self-esteem.
yaliyah yaliyah 9 years
I agree that putting up the most representative picture of yourself is the best way to go when doing the online dating thing. And the more you IM, exchange emails and chat before the actual meeting, the less the photograph that you posted will matter. But honesty is always the best policy.
nikodarling nikodarling 9 years
Oh Please, like everyone else isn't lying about their appearance or posting unrealistic pictures of themselves. First, if you need to lose weight please do it for yourself, for your health and well-being, not because you are scared of what some guy on the internet thinks of you. Second I think a sense of confidence goes along way, if you are confident in who you are any man who is worthwhile is going to pick up on that and appreciate you. If he's an @ss about you being heavier than he expected - you don't want him.
citizenkane citizenkane 9 years
I agree with most of the previous posts, but I want to add a couple of things: First, fad diets are crap. Losing weight is a combination of two things; working off less calories than you take in, and self motivation. Put down the diet drinks and mineral flavored water and drink good old fashioned WATER. At every meal, and all day. Work out and eat healthy. You can't go wrong. Second, if the guys on this dating site are so shallow that they do not like you for looking slightly different in your photo than you do in real life, then they aren't the ones you should be dating anyway. Third...take an updated photo. Were your room mates the only ones that could do this anyway?? Call another friend. Take a picture next time you go out and are wearing a cute outfit.
brown_eyed_grrl brown_eyed_grrl 9 years
If you are looking for a good workout plan, try the book 5-Factor Fitness. It helped me firm up, and all you need are some dumbells, a weight bench (I use a regular bench in my house), and maybe a jumprope if you don't have another way to do cardio. The eating principles are good, too, but I disliked how much the writer uses prepackaged food and artificial sweeteners, so I don't use his recipes. If you want to lose and don't know where to start...there you go. The rest is up to you.
brown_eyed_grrl brown_eyed_grrl 9 years
OMG how many times did the word "balls" appear in that post?! Too funny. I say, post some recent photos if you're that worried about it. As for weight loss, there are no secrets. You say you've tried everything, so I guess you mean fad diets? There is no "everything" to weight loss. All you need to do is eat the appropriate amount of calories and protein (there are lots of free calculators online for that) and workout. But really workout--weights and cardio--and workout hard. Those are the only things you need to do to lose weight. I struggled with losing 20 pounds for four years. I thought nothing worked. When I got serious about it, I lost the weight.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
If you really have tried everything, go see a doctor - something might be medically wrong with you. Most people without medical problems can lose weight if they try hard enough. And by the way, sometimes trying too hard isn't the right solution. Many people starve themselves at the same time they start an exercise routine. The end result is your body entering starvation mode and clinging desperately to every calorie you eat. Anyway, I'm not a dietician (although I apparently play one on DearSugar). But a real one will be able to give you sound advice on how to lose some pounds.
jillerin457 jillerin457 9 years
Thanks EJean! :) Just what I have to remind myself, too.
K-is-For-Kait K-is-For-Kait 9 years
Consistant exercise is key! I know it's not fun, but the results are worth it. As mentioned before, if these guys are going to reject you just because you have a few extra pounds on your frame, they're not the type of guy you want to date anyway.
AmyLyn AmyLyn 9 years
It's not the end of the world! As a online dating alumni I can say that a lot of guys use older pics too!! Honestly, a pic thats a few months or ever a year old isnt a totally "new" you! A few lbs should NOT matter, while looks are what draws 90% of the guys to your profile, it's your personality that gets them to actually talk to you. take a deep breath and go for it, I'm sure you're beautiful at any size!
EJean EJean 9 years
What a deliciously smart group of women we have here! I love the comments. Jillerin457----you are a genius!
carak carak 9 years
one rule about and other sites should be only current pictures and NO head shots! people should know who they're meeting. don't tell me you wouldn't be upset if a guy did the same thing. not that looks are everything, but you are LYING by putting an old picture up there. you might as well add on a few Master's degrees & missionary/volunteer work. oh, also bump up your salary by $20grand. the best thing to do on a dating site is be honest, and you are being completely dishonest. you're not going to meet a guy when you do things like this. they're going to meet you and know right off the bat that you're dishonest because you put up an old picture. btw i don't have anything against dating sites, i met my bf on
girlnone girlnone 9 years
Right on, MartiniLush. My mom does a lot of internet dating, and she figures most men add a few inches to their height and subtract a few years from their age as a rule. So she ends up going out with a lot of old, short dudes. I say don't mention the fact that your pictures aren't current, or take some pictures now and put them up. It's not like you photoshopped your head on a size six body or airbrushed out a third arm. As far as losing weight is concerned: it's math. Eat fewer calories and exercise more. If doing that doesn't help you reach your ideal weight, then maybe your ideal weight isn't actually healthy for you. If you're healthy, and mainting good eating habits and exercising regularly, then you ought to be happy. Screw being a size six.
skigurl skigurl 9 years
by the way, your face still looks the same, so just cuz you put on a few pounds doesn't make you any less beautiful
skigurl skigurl 9 years
chat with them beforehand and say, "i have a recent picture, if you want to see it before we meet so you know who i am!" and then if he doesn't talk to you again you know why, and it means he wasnt worth meeting anyway by the way, join Weight Watchers. that program rocks my world.
jillerin457 jillerin457 9 years
Eat less, move more! The old-fashioned way really is the best. Fad diets and weight loss pills are bad for you! And it's okay to indulge just a little bit, rather than depriving yourself until you go crazy and binge. I think a little bit of the real thing (one NON-diet soda or chocolate cupcake) is more satisfying than a gallon of Diet Coke and a box of Snackwells. Gag! I kind of disagree with the others about your pictures and the guys you meet. It's not really fair to mislead potential dates on a dating site, even if their criteria are somewhat shallow. Their photos may not be current, either, but if they're expecting someone slim, and you're not right now, then you're setting yourself up to be rejected and hurt. That's not fair to you, either! Your roommates are probably back by now. Borrow a camera, take some cute shots of the "real" you, and start eating healthy and exercising for your own sake!
MartiniLush MartiniLush 9 years
I agree - go meet them anyway, and stop obsessing! Besides, who says THEIR photos are current??? LOL!
lolababy575 lolababy575 9 years
I agree that you really shouldn't care too much about what they would think. You had the guts to put yourself on a dating site, so you can handle a little outing to meet up with these guys. Plus, the excitement is part of the fun of dating. And I hate to say it, but if it really is just "a little bit of weight" then they might not even notice the difference, much less care. If any of the guys meets up with you and then has the bad manners to bring up how "different" you look from your picture or makes any other comment toward it, they might not be someone you're interested in dating.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
sigh, the secret to losing weight. Eat a balanced diet, and move your behind. thats it, big secret. As for putting older slimmer pictures, you just say "hey dude, i look alot better now than i do in that picture" and love yourself.
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