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.