The star of My Big Fat Fabulous Life brought it up during one of their first dates to show that she’s “comfortable” having that conversation
Through “many years” of trial and error, Whitney Way Thore has learned how to be open and honest in her relationships.
At the start of her relationship with Chase Severino, her now-fiancé, he suggested that the two of them get in a hammock. But she was unsure if they would both be able to fit. Rather than ignore the situation, the star of My Big Fat Fabulous Life, 35, decided to ask Severino outright how much he weighs, and share to her own weight.
Thore tells PEOPLE that the conversation is something she would have avoided in the past.
“For many years in relationships, I believed that a man could only be interested in spite of my weight, so I tried very hard to not acknowledge it to the man or even to myself,” she says.
And if faced with a weight-related situation like this, Thore says she would have made excuses.
“I certainly don’t believe it’s important for a potential date to know my exact weight, but in an awkward-ish situation like Chase and I were in, it was more important for me to know that HE knows I’m comfortable acknowledging and even discussing my weight,” she says. “Instead of making an excuse to not get in the hammock, I decided to just be truthful and let him know I was concerned about the weight limit.”
Thore says that while it wasn’t intended as such, the conversation was a good test to see how Severino felt about her size.
“During our weight-guessing conversation, Chase wasn’t phased of course, but had he been — or if he had given me the all too common, ‘BUT you’re beautiful!’ platitude — that would have given me a lot of information about how Chase may feel about my fatness, and in turn, it could have influenced how I proceeded with him,” she says.
The advocate for body positivity says that anyone in a similar situation should be open about their feelings.
“I encourage all women to be as honest and authentic as possible with themselves and any potential partner and know that the right person will value their outside, their inside, and everything that comes along with it,” she says.
The moment — which was part of the season 6 premiere of My Big Fat Fabulous Life on Tuesday — was “nice and unexpected” for Thore.
“I kind of just have to come out with what I’m working with,” she said in a side interview on the show. “Like, yes, I’m 330 lbs., yes I had to check weight limits, because I need a man to know what he’s getting into, and Chase seems pretty unfazed, so…”
My Big Fat Fabulous Life airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on TLC.