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Mighty morphing me

I’m still getting used to my new face. After my LASIK surgery I can now look in my bathroom mirror without my glasses on and see my features without my nostrils fogging up the glass. Which is good because I never liked getting that close of a look at my pores. It’s strange not having those almost-oval outlines around my eyes. I find myself staring at the reflection for 10 -20 seconds thinking, “Oh, so that’s what my face looks like beneath the frames.”

The feeling itself isn’t that new though, because it’s how I’ve felt about my body for the last couple years. After the first nine months I found myself startled whenever I put my hand on my hip and realized I could feel the edge of my pelvic bone. A couple months after I started weight-lifting I reached behind my neck to rub my shoulders and was surprised when I felt the hard mass of muscle beneath my skin. And lately when I’m standing in the kitchen stirring my oatmeal with one hand, the other is usually pressed hard against the side of my chest where I can actually count my ribs with my thumb. Don’t worry, you can’t actually see my ribs beneath my skin, but the layer of fat between my epidermis and those curvy bones is finally thin enough that I can detect their presence with a little pressure.

It never ceases to amaze me how malleable the human body is. There are so many different ways I could look, fat or thin, toned or flabby, wearing glasses or de-spectacle-ed. The possibilities grow wider when I think of the rainbow array of hair dyes available, the thousands of make-up counters across the country, the millions of possible tattoo designs from Tweety Bird to a bed of roses on someone’s back, and all the different places the human body can be safely (and unsafely) pierced. You really could completely reshape your visual identity if you wanted to.

I was searching for old high school friends recently on one of the many social networks available today and it was strange to see photos of people almost 10 years since I last saw them. One guy looked exactly the same in his red flannel shirt hugging his dog. I was glad another had her name posted with her picture because I barely recognized her beneath her dark-red-dyed hair and thick cranberry lipstick. I have no idea if people will recognize my picture or not. I’m about 80-60 pounds lighter than I was in high school, so I’m definitely thinner, but my college professors would consider it even more shockingly thinner. Either way, it’s nice to know that we can change if we want to, but if we want to stay the same that’s a perfectly reasonable option too. I doubt the make-up salesmen trying to sell me 10 shades of lipgloss would agree on the latter though.

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15 Comments

Kate H • June 28, 2007 at 9:10 am

Am I first? Cool :) I agree about not recognizing people from high school. My 10 yr reunion is in October, and sadly, I look worse now than I did back then. I’m not sure if I’m going…. We’ll see…

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melsky • June 28, 2007 at 9:17 am

I’ve been really enjoying seeing my body change.

When I first started losing a lot of fat I developed these indents on the sides of my nose and I got kind of worried about them, like what is going on with my nose? Do I have some sort of weird growth in my nose that’s causing the sides of it to dimple?

But then I realized that it was just the natural shape of my nose coming back as the fat disappeared.

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Erin • June 28, 2007 at 10:08 am

Isn’t lasik fantastic! I can wear all kinds of make up now that I don’t have to wear contacts. It bothered my eyes before. I’ve been lense free for about 3 years now. The only thing different now is that I need more light when I’m reading.

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Kimberly • June 28, 2007 at 12:46 pm

I still remember the feeling the first time I wore my contacts and could look at my face up close.

I started taking better care of my skin after that. =)

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Patty • June 28, 2007 at 2:04 pm

I’m excited for you about all the body/face changes you’ve had over the last few years. It’s awesome.

I’m on the other side though. Was thin in high school and went back for my 20 year reunion all blimped up. I was really self conscious as what people were thinking of me or even be able to recognize my as my fatter self. But, when you get there, friends are still friends, and I was a real social person with lots of friends so I am still the same inside. Now, I’m working on the outside and hope to be a whole lot differnt looking at my next reunion. ha!

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Rick • June 28, 2007 at 2:33 pm

Way to go! Your spinning pics page is wicked cool.

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Lyn • June 28, 2007 at 3:28 pm

Very cool post … it’s great to notice the little changes in our bodies. Sometimes I didn’t even notice the bad parts until they were gone. My latest change is not feeling skin touch skin on my back (i.e. the roll has morphed to just a bump)

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MizAngie • June 28, 2007 at 9:59 pm

Just stumbled across your site. Awesome! You’re quickly becoming my hero…

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bananapants • June 29, 2007 at 2:00 am

I would love a special lasik edition photo in the progress archive. It would be a good foil the “fancy dress edition”.

A quick note about the last entry – it’s amazing how separated we’ve become from our food. I certainly know that I couldn’t kill or dress my beef or chicken. How many folk could recognize a baby broccoli or pre-flower artichoke? The local farmer’s market could baffle many folk. Keep up the adventures in produce land!

As always a pleasure, and encouragement, to read what you have to say.

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K • June 29, 2007 at 3:38 pm

Ah. I’ve just been to my 10-year reunion and everyone said “You haven’t changed at all!” And compared to almost everyone else, I hadn’t.

Which gave me mixed feelings, because if you’re still as geeky at 27 as you were at 17…

But I had a good time. It’s just so interesting seeing how people have developed. I was nervous about going, but I’m glad I did.

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Jenny • June 29, 2007 at 5:41 pm

Delurking (finally) to say how much I love your blog and admire your hard work.

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kathyj333 • June 30, 2007 at 9:22 pm

I can’t wait for the moment when Ill be able to feel my bones again. Congratulations. You’ve worked very hard, and now you supply inspiration to the rest of us.

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My Minivan Is Faster Than Yours • July 2, 2007 at 12:24 am

LOVE the line about great to change or stay the way we are. I’m glad I stumbled upon your blog :)

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laurie • July 3, 2007 at 6:10 pm

I think it’s very possible you may have addressed this in the past and I missed it in your archives, but do you think you’ve found it a little easier to accept your “new” look and size and shape because you’ve taken it slow and steady and worked so hard for it… even now, every ounce?

I was thinking how so many gastric bypass websites mention the shock of the new body emerging and I think how unprepared I was back when I was on Atkins and lost something like 70 pounds in 7 months… it was like my body and my head were in different places!

Sorry if this is way personal, I’m just curious. You seem incredibly connected and well-balanced and I was wondering if the slower pace has helped with that. Or maybe you have always been this way, lucky dog :)

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PastaQueen • July 3, 2007 at 8:14 pm

laurie – I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it in my archives either, but yes, definitely, I’m really glad I went slowly. It’s funny because one of the selling points of gastric surgery is that you get to lose the weight quickly, but honestly I think that is a negative. If someone had asked me at the beginning if I’d like to lose the weight in 1 year or 3, I would have chosen 1 year, but I’m glad it’s taken as long as it has because it has given me time to adjust. I should also mention that people who have lap-band surgery tend to lose weight more slowly than the DS or RNY surgery patients. So people who chose that surgery have more time to adjust too.

I also think exercising has kept me very in touch with my body. I know what it’s capable of and feel very comfortable in it because I use it so much. I’ve read some blogs by surgery patients who only grudgingly do exercise, which I would guess contributes to the alien feelings about their bodies.

I also find that I am more patient in general now. I stop at yellow lights. I’m calmer waiting in long lines. It’s funny how all the things I’ve learned by losing weight have bled over into other aspects of my life.

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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.

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