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Needling Issues

Even though I’ve lost an insane amount of weight, I feel weird bragging about it to anyone outside of the weight loss community. Heh, weight loss community. That makes it sound like we all live in some retirement village together and play water polo on the weekends.

For instance, yesterday I went shopping for a sewing machine with my mother since she’s the one who actually sews. I can’t tell a zig-zag foot from a buttonholer and wanted an expert with me to ensure I didn’t make a huge purchasing mistake. I’ve probably watched too much Project Runway because I now have fantasies of sewing fabulous clothing, which will probably dissolve as soon as I try to hem curtains for my new place and discover “Hey, this sewing thing is hard!”

After Steve the Sears salesman helped us pick out a machine, he mentioned that if I opened a Sears credit card account I could save an additional $15. I was game, so I had to hand over my driver’s license for the credit application. Then Steve asked a very funny question. “Has any information on your license changed?” Why did this question make Steve sound like a comedian at open mike night? Check it out yourself:

Why yes, Steve, some changes have taken place in the past 2 years since I got my license renewed! I got my ears pierced, can’t you tell? It makes my whole face look slimmer. Actually, I just told him my address had changed. Then after a pause I mentioned that I had lost some weight too since it felt weird ignoring such an obvious piece of information. I might as well have grown a second head and the change would have been less obvious. He said he’d noticed but didn’t want to say anything since people don’t always take it as a compliment. Smart sales technique, Steve.

My mom is still standing in the background and I can tell she really wants me to mention how much weight I’ve lost because she says, “If you’re nice maybe she’ll tell you how much weight she’s lost!” See the subtext hidden in there? Instead of listing numbers I just said I now weighed less than I said I had on my license, which I totally lied on anyway.

Personally, I don’t like to mention how much I’ve lost unless someone directly asks, which most people are too scared to do anyway. It feels like I’m fishing for compliments or I’m bragging about how fantastic I am. Maybe if it were only 20 pounds or so I’d be more comfortable about it, but 150 is a hell of a lot. My mom loves to tell people how much I’ve lost, which I understand is just because she’s proud of me. Plus, it’s a parent’s mission in life to let other people know how much better their children are in comparison to other people. The whole “My child is an honor student” bumper sticker industry thrives on this fact.

I did feel a little buzz of accomplishment and self-satisfaction over the fact that I look so noticeably different. I’m certainly proud of how far I’ve come. I just don’t feel the need to rub it in other people’s faces. You won’t be catching me wearing an “Ask me how much weight I’ve lost” T-shirt anytime in the future.

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LauraBora from Bufadora • July 5, 2006 at 3:26 pm

HA HA!! I totally want that t-shirt! I of course, can only answer “25 POUNDS” so far, but then I’d be compelled to add, “DON’T I RULE!?!”

That Steve — diplomatic! At a family picnic this past weekend my halfsister saw me and said, “Like, you look GREAT! You must have lost a TON!”

She would NOT make it at Sears!


Dee • July 5, 2006 at 7:09 pm

I’m the same way, actually since I’m only mid-wayish I refuse to tell (even some of my family) how much I weighed and what size I was, but that’s a totally other issue.

Do you find it hard to just accept compliments? maybe it’s just me lol but every time people would bring up my weight loss (esp. strangers) I would be like yea, but I still have a long way to go.

Anyways I’m totally going on a tangent, done any sewing yet?

and ps. you totally are fantastic!


Hilly • July 5, 2006 at 7:21 pm

Oh my goodness, I am just the opposite. I don’t tell your random Sears dude, but I will tell anyone who will listen because it is probably the best thing I have done for myself in my lifetime.

I wonder what the weight on my DL says…ha, I don’t even know.

Your mom is proud of you though…that is awesome!


Greta • July 6, 2006 at 1:37 am

My drivers license says 135 pounds and I haven’t weighed that in 30 years! ha ha ha! My friend and I were talking about that last night. Hers says 135 pounds also and she’s over 200 pounds! She says she feels justified because 135 is her GOAL weight. I laughed and said it’s not even my goal weight. I’d be happy at 159 pounds and thrilled to death at 145 pounds and don’t expect to see 135 lbs. unless I get a “wasting” illness, but I’ll be darned if I will change my drivers license!

Congratulations on losing 150 pounds. It’s SO awesome.


Marla • July 6, 2006 at 7:22 am

I noticed the last time I renewed my license that they are not asking for weight anymore. Which I think is only sensible, because I also lie like a dog on mine. They also don’t ASK what your hair color is, they just put down whatever they interpret it as.

Back in the olden days we all wore Levis jeans, there was no other alternative if you wanted to be cool. And they all had the waist and inseam on that little tag, where anyone could see it! I would always try to carefully scratch and buff off the waist measurement, without it LOOKING like I’d erased it, it had to look very casual as if I had just accidentally sort of rubbed up against a belt sander and Whoops! Gee it erased the number.


Debbi • July 6, 2006 at 7:44 am

Our weekend guests made a big deal out of the amount of weight I’ve lost, which was really embarrassing to me. (We only see them once a year.) I think I said, “You noticed!” when the wife got out of the car and shouted, “Wow, you’ve really lost some weight!” I tried to downplay it, but finally told her about eDiets. (eDiets should be paying me.)

And like Dee, I also haven’t said how much I weighed when I started. As she said: Another issue. Like we need any more of ’em!


Mark • July 6, 2006 at 7:56 am

As a sometimes sewer, I recommend that you buy an older used machine, one made before they became all electronic and LED festooned. All you need is a straight stitch and different widths of zig-zag, plus a buttonholing function.


dg • July 6, 2006 at 9:08 am

what a bloody brilliantly written entry. weight loss community… loved that :)

i hate, hate, HATE telling people how much i’ve lost. i always subtract anywhere between 50 – 100lb (depending on who i’m talking to) as i would be mortified to say i’d actually lost 175lb, because i’m paranoid they’d be thinking “Holy CRAP she must have been huge. How could anyone BE so huge to need to lose that much weight!? And she clearly has even MORE to lose!”


K • July 6, 2006 at 11:14 am

I am so glad UK driving licences don’t have weight on them.

I had a weird moment recently while taking out life insurance. The guy was taking us through the questions, and the one after “Weight?” was “Has this changed in the past year?”

I allowed that I’d lost 15lb, and was then totally embarrassed when he was all “Wow, good going!” (Even though I’m sure it was just something to say.) Because I don’t feel that’s very much… and as DG says, I clearly have some way to go.


smallnoise • July 6, 2006 at 9:22 pm

Do you really think the cashier is so ingrained into the Sears Way that he’d ask the obvious if it was only a job or he was just somewhat surprised (though, of course, still following the company policy)?

He liked you, PQ. Go back there and buy, like, an extension cord or something. Charge it or write a check; whatever. Make him ask for your license again. He’ll think he has to, though he’ll know he needn’t…

Smile at him (because you know he likes you) and say “129”- or whatever fake number you like- “down; 18 to go.” If he smiles, it’s because he thinks you’re within 18 pounds of perfect.

Find kindness where it stands, PQ; the guy might really have wanted to know how much weight you’ve lost for no other reason than that he’s seen you before and wants to be supportive. As a guy, I doubt this; I think he likes you.

Either way, know this: if he even hides a smile, he’s interested.


Sassy Flabby Jen • July 8, 2006 at 12:08 am

My whole identity this past year has been tied up in losing weight so now that I DO have a new license with the new me (www.hotfat4sale.com), I feel like I have to explain that the person on the new license isn’t the REAL me. Now how cranked is that?


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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 JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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