Weighty Matters

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There’s More to Me than the Less of Me

on January 9, 2013

I think I’m quickly reaching the point where I don’t want the most prominent thing about my life to be my weight loss.  Maybe it’s just because I’ve come off of a couple of weeks where I’ve seen people for the first time since losing weight, but lately I feel like it’s all that a lot of people focus on.  There’s more to me than the fact that I’ve lost 135 pounds.

I don’t want to sound ungrateful, or unexcited.  This really is a big deal for me.  It just isn’t the only deal.   Does this make me sound like a brat?

I think I’m living up to the “quite contrary” part of the old nursery rhyme.  Last week I posted a photo of me from October.  I think it’s one that I posted here when I was all dressed up for a fundraising event.  To someone who hasn’t really seen a photo of me, or seen me in person, the weight loss is really obvious — right down to my noticeable collar bones.  The amount of praise and compliments this created was staggering and wonderful and made me feel really, really great.   Clearly, I liked the reaction and derived great positive reinforcement.  So, I’m not sure why other situations or circumstances make me sigh on the inside even while I smile and thank people.

I’m really fortunate that, to most of the people I work with, it’s become much more matter-of-fact.  They might bring it up occasionally but it’s no longer a daily thing.  I love that it feels much more normal.  They were very sweet for my birthday.  Usually we mark someone’s birthday by ordering in from a local restaurant and eating together — something we rarely get to do otherwise.  My boss was frank and respectful when she came right out and asked me what I wanted to do and if this practice would fit with my food plan.  I so appreciated that consideration.  We had a really nice time out on the porch sharing the meal.  One of my closest friends at work then surprised me with a thoughtful, and yummy, dessert.  Instead of a big, calorie laden birthday cake, she researched a healthy chocolate treat and then made it.  I need to get the recipe but basically it was fake fudge made with mashed bananas, cocoa powder and a peanut product called PB2.  (Dehydrated peanut powder.  You can reconstitute it with water to make it sort of peanut buttery.  It’s tasty but drastically reduced in fat.)  The fake fudge was delicious.  We still have it in the freezer at work so we can get a treat in the afternoon if we want.

So, my birthday lunch was great because it was totally normal — just like anyone else’s birthday.

Come to think of it, my fellow students at Tai Chi don’t constantly comment about my weight loss either.  When they hadn’t seen me for a couple of weeks, they noticed change but we pretty much moved right into practicing the  set.

Maybe that’s the difference.  People I see all of the time have adjusted to my new normal.   It’s no longer a main topic of interest so we can go about the other aspects of our lives.   To people who don’t see me as often, it stands to reason that the changes are going to be more drastic to them and spark more conversation.  You know what?  When all is said and done, I can deal with those times.  I think it’s possible I was being too sensitive.  In my heart I know that my friends and acquaintances know there’s more to me than my weight loss.

Does this read like I pulled a 180?  I guess I did, but that’s the benefit of working these things out on the blog.  Thanks for listening! 🙂


6 responses to “There’s More to Me than the Less of Me

  1. Hope says:

    I think what you say makes perfect sense. You’re more than just your weight loss. But, it’s also a big part of you.

  2. Skye says:

    I understand: you want to be seen as whole, not just a single part. And I think most writers work their thoughts out by writing; I know I do. There was a logical flow to the post. Yay for the realization!

  3. pinkpelican says:

    I have the same issues as you do … I love it that people notice the change and are supportive of it, but I also find myself frequently trying to find ways to divert conversation as soon as possible. I want to move the conversation away from just me & my weight loss. It is a huge thing in my life, but like you, it’s not the only thing in my life. In some ways it becomes uncomfortable that I and my weight loss are the sole focus. Acknowledgement is fine, support is wonderful, but I’m doing other things, I’m made up of lots of other components, and OH BY THE WAY, what’s going on with YOU?? I’m happy to have a bit of time in the spotlight, but I don’t need all of it. Really.

    Plus, there’s that aspect of weight loss that can be obsessive. I don’t want to obsess about food and weight all the time. That gets uncomfortable. I want food & weight & exercise to have their proportional places in my world, along with family & work & travel & the things that happened today, etc. etc. If everybody focuses on my weight loss all the time, things get out of proportion in my own world. Sometimes that’s why I divert conversations … so I can keep a handle on my internal “Wah”, as I call it. Keep my world as balanced as I can, as it were …

    I don’t think you are a brat, or that you are unappreciative. Having an illness or stay in the hospital, having a car accident, having a wedding … good things & bad things happen, & you talk about them to a lot of people, but as time moves on new things happen & you want to move forward. You incorporate those things into your life, but you stop wanting to talk about them constantly. I think the surgery & the weight loss is the same thing.

    • Mary Stella says:

      Pink, you gave me an insight that didn’t reveal itself to me when I was blogging. It’s the obsessing thing that I want to avoid. With an eating disorder, I have always obsessed about food. What would I eat? What did I eat? Why did I eat it? Would I have access to the food I needed/wanted? Did I gain weight? Did I lose weight? How much? How could I lose more?

      In the six months leading up to surgery, my life was consumed with preparing for the surgery and stressing about the future. Post-surgery, I was completely focused on recovery and changing my life.

      I think now I want balance so I’m trying to not obsess about food and eating all of the time. Thanks for pointing out this aspect to me.

  4. Well, at the beginning I had my comment all planned and by the end it was useless. Thanks for that, my smart friend. I love you – all of you – but will admit to being amazed when I see the progress you’ve made and so happy for you when I read the internal changes that have come along with the external. So I gush. Sorry. It is what it is and it ain’t gonna change! (great talk for an editor, right?!)
    And I’ll keep enjoying your blogs – even if you do steal my comments before I make them! 🙂

    • Mary Stella says:

      Debbie, don’t get me wrong. Gushing and excitement and enthusiasm are great from people who don’t see me all of the time. It’s just when this is all someone wants to talk about that I get peevish.

      I love you and can’t wait to see you in a few months!

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