Weighty Matters

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Acknowledging the New Me

on July 21, 2013

I wonder how long it will be before I never think of myself as an obese woman but automatically remember that I’m much thinner and healthier now.  It’s odd how I sometimes need to reset my thoughts.  Things pop up out of the blue.  Like today, for example.  I was getting ready to take the boat out for a ride.  It’s hard to describe but I keep it on a lift on the sea wall.  I lower the boat enough to sit on the side, swing my legs in and stand up.  Then I put it down the rest of the way.

Today I’d lowered it almost all of the rest of the way when I saw that I’d forgotten my water bottle.  My first thought was, “Damn.  Have to raise the boat.”  Two years ago, that’s what I would have done.  Today,  I looked at the gunwale, remembered that my body is thinner and stronger, that my knees are steadier, and that my balance is greatly improved.  All I had to do was step up on to the gunwale,  hold onto the metal of the console for extra safety and then step down onto the lift platform.   It really was that easy.

I was incredibly overweight for so long, that it’s not natural yet for me to remember that I’m different.  Sometimes I still hesitate before sitting in a resin chair.  I hold my breath at turnstiles.   I do a lot of mentally measuring spaces with my eyes before I walk through.   I suck in my breath and turn my back to the wall if someone wants to pass me in the hall, even if it’s a wide hall.  Old, formerly necessary, habits, die hard.

These and other “size compensation” behaviors could stress me out like they used to, but I’m trying to remember to follow up the old thoughts with new, improved ones.  Even if all I do is catch myself and remember, “Nope.  Don’t have to do that anymore” or tell myself to go ahead and sit in that resin chair because it’s not going to break beneath me, it turns the experience more positive.

When I do something and it’s easier in my new body, or I engage in an activity that demonstrates my improved agility and balance, I do my best to mark the moment in my head.  I believe the acknowledgement is important.  I need to recognize these experiences, both minor and major.  Each of those experiences becomes a brick in a better, stronger foundation.

I’m pretty sure that, as time goes on, I’ll see the flashback reaction to the old obese body less often.  I don’t know if eventually I won’t think that way at all, and maybe I shouldn’t want it to.  Maybe it’s good for me to remember how uncomfortable, awkward, limiting, and often painful that body was and how often it prevented me from participating fully in activities I wanted to do.  Then I can remember how I’m not limited in the same way today.  That is another way to acknowledge the new me.




3 responses to “Acknowledging the New Me

  1. Hope says:

    All those mental calculations sound exhausting! It sounds like you’ll have a lot more mental energy for better things when your thought patterns change. 🙂

  2. I enjoy reading up your feelings and experiences on day to day basis…it is wonderful and I agree with you when you say that you shouldn’t stop remembering where you coming from. Keep the good work and continue being a blessing to other people.

  3. Skye says:

    You are completely fabulous, Mary. It’s wonderful to read about your epiphanies and realizations and successes and simply your thoughts and feelings about the new you.

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