Saturday, May 31, 2008

A New (Familiar) Face

Yesterday when I walked into the bathroom, I saw something amazing. (No, not a toilet clog from one of my 5 kids). I glanced in the mirror and saw there a woman I have not seen in over ten years. Now, I have noticed changes in myself before, but somehow this was different. I walked in there and saw a young, beautiful woman. She doesn't have triple chins and acne, and her cheeks are not puffed out like a chipmunk's from fat deposits. Her eyes are bright, her hair is shiny, her skin glows. I looked in her eyes and remembered. I remembered what it was like to be ME before I was morbidly obese.

When I was 27, I was full of hope and confidence. My life was hard, and I had lots of challenges I was facing, but I had the energy and hope to deal with them. I had freedom of movement; I was not yet confined by layers upon layers of fat and ruined knees. I was ATTRACTIVE. And I don't mean "model" attractive. I mean people were just drawn to me because I radiated something good... something happy. When I weighed 278 pounds, the only thing I radiated was despair. And maybe the smell of french fries. Something really drastic happened to me over the last decade. Not just to my body, although THOSE changes were surely noteworthy... but to my spirit. I was hindered. I was limited. I was sad. When food is your best friend, it makes for a very lonely existence. And now that my relationship with food has changed, and my body has changed, I finally noticed that my spirit has come out of hiding too. I looked in that mirror and was stopped in my tracks. I did a double and triple take. I stopped and stared. And then I said to myself, "Welcome back."

I am not the only one who has noticed this. I have started getting more interaction when I go out. Just the other day, I was in a hardware store with my toddler. The hardware guys in that store, they usually just ignored me. If I needed help, I always had to wait for an employee to get near me and then hobble after them saying, "excuse me, excuse me, can you help me?" and then deal with their rushed and annoyed looks. But the other day, I was just walking in the store and one of those hardware guys saw me coming. He did the obvious "check out" (looked me over), smiled, looked in my eyes and walked over and said, "Is there anything I can help you with?" Well, I didn't even NEED any help, but this is the first time in TEN YEARS that has happened. And then, not even an hour later, I went through the drive through at McDonald's (ha) for a sugar free vanilla iced coffee, and the guy who handed me the coffee actually stopped and smiled, looked into my eyes and asked how my day is going. He had a big grin and when he gave me my coffee, he said, "Here you go, m'lady!" It was just SUCH a stark contrast to how people have reacted to me all this time I have been fat. The only thing I ever got from a McDonald's guy when I was 278+, buying Big Mac meals at the drive through, were eye rolls. Yes, some of this is due to my changed appearance, but it's also how I carry myself. It's the smile on my face, the sparkle in my eyes. I am back... to stay.

I am not sure what possesses us to eat ourselves into such a sad state in the first place. I wish I knew the answer to that. I know that I will always have to be on guard against gaining it all back, because I still have those little voices in my head telling me to eat junk, or that it doesn't matter, or that this isn't worth it. But I shout back at those voices, "It DOES matter. It IS worth it." I just keep pluggin along.

I am off to the Farmer's Market. Eat your veggies today :)

10 comments:

MorenaTejana said...

I am delurking to say this is a beautiful and inspiring post. I needed this. Thank you.

Dinah Soar said...

I am so happy for you! And it's wonderful that you are on this new path while you are still young...you have your whole life ahead of you...so don't waste a minute. You've overcome so many difficult challenges in your short few years and you should be very proud of yourself. It's all part of the learning curve. Thankfully the old adage "too soon old, too late smart" won't apply to you.

Anonymous said...

This is an awesome milestone. And congratulations on the 2-teens.

WebRover

Arachne said...

Lyn, I love your blog. You are very inspirational. Thank you for writing today. So, when do we get to see a picture of your face :)

Anonymous said...

You don't know how much your posts mean to me and how much you are helping so many people. C.

Deb said...

Wow, great post. It left me feeling simultaneously sad and hopeful. Sad for how we do this to ourselves and how others treat us because it (be it because of our physical appearance or because of the way we carry ourselves) but at the same time hopeful in the knowledge it is something we have the power to change. Watching you blaze the trail before me is helpful beyond measure. Thanks for sharing your story.

I have linked you on my blog:

http://sheddingmyfatsuitforever.blogspot.com/

Fab Kate said...

:) it's such a great feeling, isn't it?

Congrats!

Heather said...

all great motivators to just keep on going! you are right, its just not worth it to miss out on life and all the positive interactions we can have just for food.

MB said...

Welcome back!

Ceres said...

Great post, I've started staring in the mirror as well :-) "When food is your best friend, it makes for a very lonely existence.": I think I will add this to my list of favorite quotes.
Keep up the great work :-)