amaze plus size magazine

by wendy beth cohen

My AmaZing Parisian Romance
Story continued from our Premiere Issue
Last installment

Current Weight 249
35 pounds lost since April 2005

My quest for love has gone from an abstract concept to a reality.  Putting myself in the New York City dating pool after years of mental self-torture was a true feat.  I’m not exactly a size 2 like Carrie Bradshaw – more like a size 18 in Old Navy.  For those who have been following my quest for love you’ll hopefully remember that we left off with me starting an email connection with a handsome Monsieur from Paris.  From my limited dating and sexual experience, I had realized that, for me, its quality over quantity.  Empty rendezvous with men you hardly know doesn’t fill the void inside.  Fortunately, quality found me and I knew what its worth was when it did.

I had never met a male who both cared for me as a best friend and as an object of extreme attraction; the only minor snag was that he just happened to live in Paris while I lived in New York.  At the time he first emailed me on, I thought it was a convenient relationship because I could be independent and able to lose weight before meeting him.  When he first came into my life, I had been in the midst of nursing a broken heart from the “runner” who never called me back but had changed my life dramatically.  The “runner” had lost 150 lbs in the prior year and through his physique proved to me I could do it too.  

It was because of the “runner” that I opened up my heart to my French love.  As much as I loathe that guys don’t look at me because I’m chubby, I had never really looked at ample men.  When I first saw the Parisian’s picture I saw a strikingly handsome face.  Then I saw his body shot and to my surprise he was a 6’1 robust 31 yr. old man.  A body shape I had never fully considered.  I felt like he was my equivalent.  My whole life, friends, family, eyebrow waxers and others told me I had a gorgeous face but I needed to lose weight.  After I started realizing how a broad tall man could envelop me I began to crave his body and couldn’t imagine how I could have ever overlooked guys of his large masculine size. 

Since April, Mikael’s conversations were loving, caring, supportive and many carnally erotic.  At first I had wanted to dismiss our relationship as one that was purely for animalistic purposes.  But he stopped me.  I was shocked.  He wanted to get to know me – he wanted to care about me on all levels.  I was ultimately scared of reality since I had lived in my safe fantasyland my whole life.  He single-handedly awakened my body and mind to the possibility of being in a mutual loving relationship.  I had always been the best friend or I had some minor lovers.  Never both.  What a concept – combine the two.

Not only did we share similar physiques, there were so many personality similarities between us that few others share.  He doesn’t drink.  He is extremely close to his family.  He had already spent his early adult years partying at clubs and cared more about going out to dinners with friends and having lengthy conversations about life.  He not only was an artist but he loved to discuss it, specifically, movies.  We both love movies and can talk about the actors as if we really know them.  We are both pop-culture aficionados and he can be as insightful about the history of Paris as he is about Paris Hilton’s boyfriends.  I was elated to find that he was a go-getter.  He became friendly with a famous director/actor who later employed him.  He is as passionate about drawing as I am about Fashion and turned his passion into a career – just like me.

His friendship meant increasingly more to me as my father went for open-heart surgery.  At the same time, I had been laid off from a small suit manufacturer and was looking for a new job for months.  To counteract uncertainties, I found solace engaging in the gym 5-6 times a week.  I worked very hard staying positive about the things I could change in my life.  He was always there to listen, offer advice, and make me feel sexy regardless of my weight.  We often dreamt of when we could hug and hold each other.

paris love

In August, we had planned his September trip to New York however 4 weeks prior to his departure his boss canceled his trip because of work obligations.  I was actually relieved.  As odd as it sounds, I wasn’t ready to meet him even though it was everything I wanted.  I didn’t feel I was physically ready.  I didn’t feel like I had lost enough weight or that New York would be the best place for our first visit.  I had been planning to go to Paris for New Years and he knew that, so that’s what we waited for. 

Within this time it’s important to know that there was some long stretches of time that would go by that I would not hear from him.  I would go slightly mad and hated how that affected me.  I would think of the worst things having gone wrong – like he finally realized I was fat and was turned off or found someone else or didn’t think I was beautiful anymore.  However, when I did finally speak to him he would assure me that nothing was wrong and he was just working really hard.  On one of these seemingly never-ending gaps of not hearing from him, I decided to test the waters and meet someone else just because I had feared he was dating someone else and didn’t know how to tell me.  My date was a disaster, I planned it to be a 2 minute meeting and I’m glad I did.  From my picture on the internet, this new guy had told me my eyes were intoxicating.  I had thought that was one of the nicest compliments I had ever received.  However, right after we met – he wrote me a twisted text message, “once you lose the weight you want to, you will be too hot for me.  How about we date until then and then u can dump me?”  He later called me to tell me that he thought a 110 lb woman wanted to emerge from my body since my ankles were so small.  He also asked me “how do bigger people do it?”  I was stunned – I told him the truth which was I had only been with guys his size, which was about 5’10 and 170 lbs and they never questioned it.  He then proceeded to tell me that he would consider dating me, IF, I made a commitment to him that I’d lose the weight.  I promptly dismissed him by saying, “the only person I’d ever lose weight for is myself and no one else” and then I said, “GOOD-BYE!”  I had forgotten that weight was an issue with most men since I had been blessed in the past year for guys telling me how beautiful I was but I secretly wondered if it was because of my weight that I never heard from them again. 

I was so grateful when I heard from my Parisian love again.  It confirmed that we were better suited for each other and that he cared for me genuinely and understood my battles cause he also lived them.  I knew I had to meet Frenchie because if it was too good to be true than I needed to know so I could continue to move on.

In the next issue, our meeting in Paris!


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. Currently, she works for DKNY Jean’s Men’s division as a sales analyst. 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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