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Same Difference

I saw a little questionnaire over at A Smaller Target today and thought I’d tackle it since I’ve gotten some questions on this topic lately.

1) Do you feel that you (the person, soul, who you are) has changed since you have lost weight?

Yes. Which is funny because when I started this whole thing I was sure I would be telling people that I was still the same person, just thinner, and they were all jerkfaces for judging me because of my weight. People who discriminate against you because of your weight are still jerkfaces, but I’m not the same person I was 180 pounds ago. I’m more confident and willing to interact with the world. This is partly because I know I look better and know people will react more positively to me because of that, but partly because I feel a lot of pride and power from accomplishing such a huge task and taking control of my life. I feel like I’m driving now, not just sitting in the back seat of a stinky taxi cab with a questionable upholstery stain. I’m also happier and mellower because I’m eating better. Food = mood.

I was watching The Best of She-Ra – Princess of Power DVD I got for Christmas last week when one of the writers on the behind-the-scenes documentary mentioned something insightful (because truly all I need to know in life I learned from She-Ra). He said when She-Ra’s twin brother changed from Prince Adam to He-Man he went from being a bit of a coward to being a brave hero, and gay male fantasy. (Okay, he didn’t actually say the last part, but it’s true.) His sister Adora was already a take-charge, confident woman who was leading a rebellion. When she became She-Ra she simply became more of herself, complete with a flying horse and a sword that can change into a scuba helmet (for real!). So maybe I’m not actually a different person, I’m just more myself. I’ve turned the amp up to 11. I am She-Ra! Though you’ll never get me to wear an outfit like hers because I honestly don’t know how her top stays up. That must be another one of her powers.

Also, keeping a blog for the past two years has made me a better writer. That’s not a weight-loss thing, but I wouldn’t have kept up with the blog if I wasn’t losing weight. The weight loss was the catalyst to keep me writing, and all the practice improved my craft.

2) Have others said you have?

My aunt recently commented that I “glowed” at the Thanksgiving reunion and had never heard me laugh so much before. Several people at work have complimented me on the loss, though none of them have said I’m a different person. On Monday I was walking past the pub downstairs at work when the owner kept staring at me like I was a vision of the Virgin Mary in tennis shoes.

3) How do you feel about that?

The Virgin Mary seems more like a sandal girl. Oh, you mean other’s reactions? The attention is a bit odd, but I think people are just amazed at how much someone can physically transform themselves. I’m pretty amazed too. I’m more desensitized to it since I see myself everyday, but some of these people go weeks or months without seeing me, so it’s got to be shocking. Also, I have to agree with my Aunt, I am more glowy now. Hopefully it’s just my spirit shining through and I haven’t been contaminated with nuclear waste.

4) If you don’t feel that the person you are has changed, why do you think others are saying that you have?

Guess I don’t have to answer this since I said I’d changed. It’s possible I’m different in other ways that I don’t even realize. Sometimes we lack the perspective to realize how much we’ve changed. It’s not like you can unstick yourself from time and jump a year backwards in life like the main character in Slaughterhouse Five. Sometimes the people around us notice changes we ourselves don’t. When I hear my voice on an answering machine or when I would watch a video of myself when I was fat, I’d think “That cannot possibly be me. I do not sound or look like that.” But I did. Perhaps now the image I am projecting more closely matches the image I had of myself all along. Though my voice still sounds funny on the answering machine.

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14 Comments

Lise • January 11, 2007 at 11:51 am

She-Ra’s top stays up because there is stickum in the gold thingies on the side of the top, also boning under the gold thingie in the middle. Just like with ballroom dancers.

You absolutely rock with your amp at 11 — can’t wait to see you when it’s at 15.

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Charlotte • January 11, 2007 at 12:15 pm

This isn’t exactly related but I saw this over at stumptuous’ blog and thought you would love it: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-does-200-calories-look-like.htm

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Nina • January 11, 2007 at 12:55 pm

Double-sided tape, hidden elastic, and tugs when the camera’s not looking.

I love your blog. It’s been so helpful to me. I’m on day 10 of the new healthier me and it ain’t easy kid but it helps to know that people like you have done it successfully.

I know, I know, I’m just one of a very large chorus singing your praises. At least I could have come up with something original to say. Perhaps next time….

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Carleen • January 11, 2007 at 1:27 pm

I’ve been lurking for a while, appreciating your comments and thoughts. I’ve lost 45 pounds (started at 282). My daughter, who has been away at college during most of the weight loss, commented that I seemed different now. More likely to engage with people, especially strangers. I’m also back to taking physical risks, just to show my kids that a person can try things even if they’re not sure they can do them….like roller skating….it’s been at least 10 years, and I think I was the oldest person on skates! I suppose that makes me different on the outside anyway. I like your observation that maybe I am projecting the image I had of myself all along.

Thanks for sharing your pictures and thoughts with all of us!

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Patty • January 11, 2007 at 1:40 pm

Glad to hear you are feeling great and like She-Ra, that’s awesome! I’ve noticed little changes in myself, willing to try new things a little better confidence, not caring what people think of me in my swimsuit when I do laps, who cares? I’m not even close to goal and it can only get better and better.

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Smissy • January 11, 2007 at 3:48 pm

I love how you said about becoming more of herself. I feel like that. I haven’t changed in that I still want the same things out of my life, but I feel more apt to go after what I want, show my personality more and really live my life with less fear of being judged. Also, as crazy as it sounds, I feel like I love my boyfriend and my family more. I think I’m happier with myself and I have more to give them now.

That was a great post – I was one of the people that asked about other’s reactions to you. I’m always interested to hear about other’s reactions. I find when I become the center of attention about my weight loss I get embarrassed, but when people don’t mention it I’m annoyed. Haha … I have to remember it’s not about other people, it’s about doing something for me.

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Sue • January 11, 2007 at 4:01 pm

Yes, I am a fan of your writing. Publish a book, PQ!

(Oh, and sorry this is late, but thanks a bunch for e-mailing me about my question about what you majored in…it was very helpful, and just the info I needed! Really, you rock :D )

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K • January 11, 2007 at 6:34 pm

You do seem more outgoing, but you always seemed confident through your writing – so I’d say your feeling of being the same person, only more so, sounds about right.

When I hear myself on the answering machine, it’s exactly my mother’s voice, which is a trifle spooky.

And I’ve often wondered the same about Wonder Woman’s top. How’re you supposed to fight crime in a bustier?

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mal • January 11, 2007 at 9:54 pm

I have been blogging for years and when I am blogging I also feel my writing skills improving day by day. However, I also think that any journaling regimen (online or no) helps me find clarity to my thoughts and explore things that I wouldn’t otherwise explore. Maybe the only difference between blogging and journal writing is the feedback you get, which is particularly important when you’re trying to make a big change in your life. Like, say, lose half of your body weight. Not that you or I would know anything about that.

Anyway, just wanted to say something other than “you rock,” which you so clearly do.

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Erin • January 11, 2007 at 10:21 pm

The She-Ra I had (I think she was a sister or maybe a second cousin of She-Ra and He-Man) had a ginormous plastic disk that spun on her back as some sort of weapon. I think she was green and purple. I never quite understood the purpose of the disk…was she supposed to use it to deflect her enemies? Dizzy them with the psychadelic glitter swirls on its surface? Bend forward and vivisect them with the dull plastic edge? I remain mystified to this day.

I think you tackled an incredibly hard subject today, because as much navel gazing goes on in online blogs, it’s extremely hard to accurately dissect aspects of one’s personality with both objectivity and perspective. That said, I have to agree wholeheartedly with your words. When you go through such a massive life change, taking into consideration all the social stigmas and emtional baggage that goes along with being obese, how could you NOT have changed now that you’re healthy and glowy? You have accomplished something astounding, and to not have also achieved some sort of internal transformation would’ve made the entire process a little bit futile in my opinion.

It’s only been twelve days since I was lucky enough to find your blog, but everything you’ve written has resonated with me and really made me think. Thank you for your wonderful words again tonight.

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dg • January 12, 2007 at 10:39 am

top post, PQ! your honesty is so refreshing – sometimes it always seems like some sort of crime to admit one has changed by losing a lot of weight, but it *does* change you so much. just doing such a huge and positive thing for your body can’t help but spill over into how you feel about yourself.

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Achates • January 22, 2007 at 2:43 am

http://movies.ij1dy.info/divx-movies-downloads.html ‘>divx movies downloads

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Cassandra • February 5, 2009 at 11:55 am

Hey Pasta Queen,

I’m a blog stalker of yours. I enjoy your witty sassy-ness.

And I am going to try the pilates videos your recommended.

Thanks Everso!

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Cassandra • February 5, 2009 at 11:57 am

Hey Pasta Queen,

I’m a blog stalker of yours. I enjoy your witty sassy-ness.

And I am going to try the pilates videos you recommended.

Thanks Everso!

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Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog JenFul.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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