Weighty Matters

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Pardon Me While I Rant

I was sitting at the salon this evening enjoying a very nice pedicure, catching up with my friend who also happens to be my nail tech/esthetician.  A flower salesman came in that we both know.  He’s slightly obnoxious anyway, kind of pushy in sales, but mostly harmless.  I haven’t seen him in a year.  When he walked into the salon, he exclaimed, loudly, “How are you?  There’s like half of you.  Half of you!”

On the surface, this is no different than a good friend coming to me and saying roughly the same thing, but the delivery and the attitude weren’t anything at all the same.  I was immediately grateful that the only other people in the salon at the time were two stylists who are also my friends and their customers.  The one customer couldn’t hear anything over the blow dryer and the other customer was farther away and out of sight.

The flower guy wouldn’t let it go.  “Really, you’ve lost a lot of weight.  You’re half your size.  How much did you lose?”

I smiled and said, “A lot.”

The answer didn’t satisfy him and he pushed.  “No really.  How much?  30?  40?”

Did he honestly think that, if I’d lost half my size, the total would be 40 pounds?  I repeated my answer, “A lot” and was positive that he’d get the hint and shut up.  No such luck.  He kept after me and finally, I smiled my biggest, most charming smile and said, “How much isn’t actually your business.”

He finally got it and switched to hawking his flowers to the other women in the shop.   He was only there for a few more minutes and I breathed a whole lot better when he left.

I enjoyed the rest of my pedicure and manicure appointment, chatting about the holidays with my friends, but every once in a while, an uncomfortable twinge hit me in my stomach and emotions.   Each time, I had a little flashback to old days when I felt like a big fat freak.  Months ago, you might remember that I struggled with the flood of positive attention I received from co-workers, particularly when it was voiced in front of other people who didn’t know me or my history.  I’ve worked really hard on this emotional issue and am happy to say that I’ve gotten to the point where I can smile and thank them for their compliments.

Today was different.  This guy didn’t have the sincere, warm caring for me that I experience from my family, friends, and work-family.  When they comment on my weight loss, the happiness for me shines in their eyes and glows in their smiles.  It’s wonderful.

With this man, the look in his eyes reminded me of every asshole kid who bullied or teased me when I was young.  I remember one high school class mate in particular.  Whenever he saw me, whether near or from a distance, his eyes would light up as he realized that his favorite target was in range.  That kid used to yell, “Thar she blows” when he saw me and couldn’t give a shit that he was hurting me by comparing me to a whale.

There is a logical part of me that realizes the guy tonight isn’t that high school kid and wasn’t trying to make me feel like a freak.  In his own way, he was probably happy for me, or at least pleasantly impressed.  I doubt he had bad intentions.  So, I’m most likely ranting about him unfairly.   I should probably feel bad about my reaction but I’m taking solace in the fact that I didn’t leap up out of the pedicure share, bitch-slap him, and suggest he shut the hell up.  Even when I told him the number of pounds I’d lost weren’t his business, I did it with a joking, convivial smile and attitude.

My hope is that by writing about it here and processing the situation I can let it go.   In the grand scheme of things, I need to not give this much power to a short conversation with a slightly obnoxious salesman.  I’m not the high school girl who wanted to avoid that beastly classmate and his cruel taunts, and felt like crying any time she couldn’t.  I’m not the same that I was a few months ago, so uncomfortable with even positive attention.   I’m stronger, more confident, and much further along in my emotional recovery.

I can accept the fact that I can’t change some people and have the courage to change my reactions.  Happily, I didn’t come home and eat inappropriately because of the upset.  I’m on track and doing great.

Thanks for letting me rant.


Off to a Great Start

It’s only January 2nd, but I am already having a great year.  My spirit is infused with an amazing optimism and enthusiasm.  Now that I was down and dispirited before, but there’s just something special about right now.

I was reminded of an 12 Step credo to live one day at a time.  This is so helpful when dealing with all of the normal, and not so normal, every day craziness of life.  No matter how calm, laid back, or even-keeled you might be, someday, some time, something’s going to happen that throws you off.  There have been times when I felt absolutely overwhelmed to the point that even thinking about needing to cope felt nearly impossible.  when that happened, remembering that I only had to deal one day at a time was a lifesaver.  I could tell myself that, just for today I needed to do x, y, or z.

I got into a mindset a while ago when I was really tired of my food plan.  I knew that I didn’t want to stop losing weight and switch to maintenance yet, but I had trouble getting over the tiredness, the boredom, the inner brat that didn’t want to do it any more, and so on.   While I don’t exactly know yet what to name as a goal weight, I know I’m not there yet.  I have a way to go so continuing to lose matters.  I geared myself up to be really rigorous about my food plan as soon as I got home from my holiday travels.  I was super-psyched to get home and see that I had successfully maintained my weight through the holiday eating.  I stuck to my commitment and have since lost three pounds!

I sort of have a number in mind for what I’d like to weigh when I go to Hawaii next month, but I’m not obsessing over it.  Instead, I wake up each morning and remind myself that I need to be rigorous about my food plan just for today.  Tomorrow isn’t under consideration.  Just today.   I can string together a whole bunch of great days — one day at a time.  Doing so keeps me on a steady, successful journey.

Got anything you’re obsessing about, worried over, freaking out about and wondering how you’ll handle it in the long run?  Try breaking it down to today.  What can you do today to address the situation?  What can you do differently, perhaps, that will make you feel better today.  You don’t need to worry how long we can keep it up, or if we can continue.  We only have to promise it to ourselves just for today.