Call it a rant. Call it me opening up. Venting. Just sharing what it feels like to have a dramatic weight loss. I can only hope by me being completely 100% open, it helps one person today. Because you are all beautiful. And we, each one of us, struggles with something. I recognize that there are those of you struggling right now with a diet. I know. It is hard. And I have been there. Will always be there. Each and every day. Struggling.
I know there are people out there that see past the scale when it comes to measuring a person’s worth. My husband is one of those individuals. And for that, I love him. And for so much more, I love him.
If you are one of those rare individuals who do not see a number when looking at a person, I thank you.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.
Here it is. The unedited me:
After years of being heavy, I was quite used to being ignored by people. It sucks. It’s sad that weight matters to so many people. But it does. I can tell you from experience that it does. And some people are not nice about it either.
There were good things about being heavy. I learned to blend in. I could quietly observe. Quietly judge (this being my own flawed characteristic and obviously not a characteristic of all heavy people. Thank God).
And, oh, was I good at judging.
The very best, you see. Bad habit. The worst. Trying to quit. Is there a patch for that?
But, I digress.
I could go to the supermarket and no one would speak to me. I would walk down the street and not one head would turn and not one eye would blink. Let alone wink.
And it was peaceful.
And I never even noticed it was happening. Or not happening.
But then I lost weight. And I was exactly the same person. But for some odd reason, people treated me as an entirely new one.
And it sucked.
Nobody warns you this will happen. The crappy part of weight loss.
The inevitable conversations. The putting down of the old you.
The, “You look SOOOOOO much better.”
“Wow! I didn’t even recognize you!”
“I wish I had your discipline. I’m so fat.” And I want to shake them. And hug them. And tell them I think they are beautiful. Because I do. Because weight is not important to me. And I don’t know what to say. Because all I did was lose weight. That’s it, folks. It did not make me Leader Of The Skinny Body Crusade.
I want them to realize that it’s me. It’s still me. The girl without the discipline. The same flawed girl. Who struggles every single day. Who has the same damn problems as them. Who absolutely does not have all of the answers. Sometimes. None. At. All. Who might judge. But who would never judge someone’s weight. Or what they eat. And I hate that looking at my new body makes some people question their own. And feel bad. And feel like they have to explain their bodies to me. I have a conversation like this one at least once a week. And it makes me want to track down the true Leader Of The Skinny Body Crusade…and do some serious judging on that misguided soul.
“What does your husband think?”
The askers of this question are my favorite, because they almost always answer their own question with, “I bet he thinks he got a whole new wife!”
And then they stand there waiting for an answer to the answer they have just given themselves.
Men are obsessed with this question and answer game. I just stand there blinking. And I imagine they are the Leader Of The Skinny Body Crusade if they also add, “Lucky him!” Or in one case when a man actually said to my husband, in front of me, “I guess you’ll keep her now.” Oh, that poor leader. The things I do to him in my head. “Lucky” would not be quite the word I use to describe those things.
The crazy part is, I was happy being heavy. This seems to be such a foreign concept to people that I mostly keep it to myself.
Okay. Not happy. There are a lot of bad things that go along with being heavy. And I suffered all of them. And I was not happy about it. In fact, I was pretty miserable.
I hated not being able to wear the clothes I wanted to wear.
I hated the unhealthy aspects that went along with the extra weight.
I hated that I did not fit into society’s box of “beautiful.” And then I wondered who built that damn box? Was it that leader again? Boy has he been busy. Or was it all of us?
I hated the way people treated me. That is what depressed me. And made me doubt myself. And become the judgier judgiest judge of others.
But the way I looked? Nope. Never bothered me. Or more correctly put would be to say, I was comfortable in my own skin. I always have been. No matter how much skin I have at the time.
So, I lost the weight. I get to share all of the fun new clothes I get to wear. It is fun. And it is exciting. And I love it. And I am happy. And I am comfortable in my own skin.
What makes me uncomfortable is not knowing how to behave as a “skinny” person.
Not understanding why this body gets more attention than the old one.
Why people are nicer. It boggles my mind. But it is true.
I hate that.
I do not know how to react to people. There is a whole new language to learn. A different social understanding to reach. And skinny people? They have been in the club for years. There is no room for a rookie. Or time to teach the dialect and actions of the average waist. I have always been a terrible learner. Especially when the material is the width of your belly and the textbooks are the mere letter on the tag of your shirt.
I find myself lost in translation.
Not knowing where I fit in.
It’s just a body. We all have one. I have just taken on many forms with mine.
I guess I am a real-life shapeshifter.
I have been able to sneak my way into scenarios that only half of the world ever gets to experience at one time. And I have lived both halves. In both scenarios. In this world. In one life.
And I can report skinny is not always better.
Of course, being heavy isn’t either.
Why does it have to be such a strong division? Why does one way of life have to be different from the other? Who decided that our girth would be our worth?
I yearn to take a backseat. To not have random men try to hug me. Or randomly strike up conversations with me. Then I wouldn’t misinterpret what they’re saying. I sometimes feel like an alien that has landed on this planet. Everything is so different on the side of skinny.
And it shouldn’t be.
I feel like I don’t belong anywhere.
There are no words to describe the puzzlement I feel at each encounter where I am treated differently because my pants’ size shrank.
No measurement to equate the mass of my soul.
I know I will never comprehend the language of the folks who speak with weighted tongues. Who seem to view the form of your body as a misguided representation of the form of your soul. Who place so much value on how little there is of you that they don’t see how much bigger they could be. In their hearts.
So I might be lighter.
But I’m heavier, too.
What body language do you speak?
“All of them.
And none at all.”