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by wendy beth cohen

The First Kiss

1992: 161 lbs -- 2005: 261 lbs

Perhaps my life was spoiled by falling in love with the romance between Johnny Castle and Baby in the movie Dirty Dancing.  After watching it a gazillion billion times over the course of nearly 20 years, I know every nuance -- every sway of the hips -- every tantilizing touch -- and I know that I want the same tingling sensations that they shared.

I wonder incessantly how my life would have been different if I had kept my weight off at age 13.  Would I have met my Johnny Castle?  While I try not to, as if that were possible, I measure my life in pounds and in how many looks I get (and don’t get) from men. My weight has ballooned and deflated since I was 5 yrs old, from 90 lbs to a whopping 283 lbs at age 26. Despite the help trainers and various weight loss programs (including fat camp), I haven’t been able to keep the weight off permanently.  My romantic life, or at many times lack of one, has contributed to my not staying slim. 

I can still hear the taunts of childhood bullies making fun of my weight in my young formative years.  I don’t think those voices ever go away.  The mean girls in school loved to shatter my dreams by telling me that no guy would ever find me attractive, want to touch me or have sex with me.  I believed them.  Since then, every birthday since I was 10 years old (I developed early) I secretly wished I could lose my virginity to prove them wrong.  My wishes didn’t come true until this year, my 26th year of life.  I felt like the last virgin alive and very similar to the feeling in gym class when I was the last one called to a team.

Throughout middle school and high school, I had been comparing my curvy size 14 body to my size 2 waiflike peers. I formed a negative self-image over the years and convinced myself I was not worthy of love.


The summer before I went away to college, my romantic life took a drastic change, I actually had one!  When I first laid eyes on Joe, I thought a ray of light beamed down from the heavens.  His taut tan body with rippling muscles must have been hand–chiseled by Greek gods (the thought of which still make me shiver!) At the time I met him, I had fought my weigh down to 190 lbs., for me about a size 14.  I felt the way Baby did when seeing Johnny for the first time.  

One summer night I passed by his place of work with some friends and we just started talking.  He ended up wooing me -- he didn’t need to work that hard -- and we had a very hot two week summer romance.  We were never fully intimate however, but he was my first real kiss at age 17...

Stay tuned for the next installment!



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about wendy beth cohen

Wendy has worked as a Fashion Sales Executive for well-known women's apparel brands. While at Tahari, she turned a childhood dream into reality by managing and growing a plus size suit division. She majored in Entrepreneurship and Marketing at Babson College, MA. And in June 2000, Entrepreneur Magazine named her one of the "Leaders of the next generation of entrepreneurs." Wendy, a lover of good times, good friends and good company, as well as savory New York City meals lives in Manhattan.

wendy beth cohen


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