These days, when a conversation begins with “You are looking good,” I never expect it to be followed by “Everyone was talking about you yesterday!”
But I suppose that when folks don’t see you in a while and you’ve lost nearly 150 pounds, it shouldn’t be a surprise.
This is also why a school is the worst place to keep anything on the down low.
This morning I ran into a colleague who I see with some regularity. She commented on my weight loss and complimented me on how good I was looking. I was on my way into the office she happens to work out of to discuss a truancy issue with the attendance clerk when she exclaimed to the secretary, “Look at how good she looks,” which was then followed by the requisite “how do you feel/how much have you lost” conversation.
I know how to navigate these types of conversations now. And to be honest, they never really bothered me before because from the beginning, I have been very open about the fact that I’ve had bariatric surgery. Because I wanted to be the one controlling what information was out there about how I was losing the weight, I decided it best to be open and frank rather than secretive about it and run the risk of rumors being spread that possibly later I would have to dispel.
All that being said, I don’t mind being asked how much I have lost. I’m actually quite proud of what I have been able to accomplish in such a short period of time. I also believe that in talking about my experience, I might possibly be educating someone about what my particular flavor of bariatric surgery really is all about rather than letting them have misconceptions about the whole process/idea.
So I finished the chat and went on my way as class was going to start soon. Once class started, another colleague of mine popped his head in the doorway to my classroom. I thought at first he might be there to talk with one of my students, as we have many in common. I greeted him and asked him if he needed anything or if he was just peeking in. He looked around, said he was just popping his head in, and left.
After he left, I knew exactly what had happened. You see, the teacher who’d peeked in is the husband of the secretary whose office I was in earlier. My guess is that after I left, she emailed him to tell him to come by so he could see me too.
I don’t mind answering questions about how I lost weight–I’ll be the first person to tell you how I did it and how much I’ve lost. Hell, I have a ticker on this blog that tells you how much I have lost.
I do mind being made to feel like I am being put on display. And that’s how I felt after both of those exchanges.
When I weighed 440 pounds, I felt like a freak show. And now that I’m approaching a smaller, more normal size, I’m starting to feel that way again. And I don’t like it. It is uncomfortable.
I realize that the me everyone else sees is drastically different from what I see every day. But that doesn’t change how I feel about others’ reactions to my weight loss.
I don’t want attention drawn to me from folks I never got attention or the time of day from simply because I’ve dropped a lot of weight, but I know it’s going to happen. So I’ve got to figure out how to deal with that, and quickly. It dawned on me that I am now unrecognizable to a lot of people, and that this is going to take some getting used to. And as I still have a hair over 75 pounds more to go to get to my goal, I look at myself and wonder, where are they going to come off? How much more different am I going to look? Will I be able to recognize myself?
I guess I’ll find out when I get there.
Today’s eating was pretty okay. I was a protein beast, getting in 106 grams of protein, 53 grams of carbs and 35 grams of fat, with 943 calories.