Monday, 20 August 2012

The Skinny On Getting Skinny (What's Not So Great About Losing Weight)



Don't get me wrong, I am so grateful and happy that I have lost much of the weight that I have needed to lose, and that I've overcome so many personal hurdles to get here. I earned every one of those 70+ pounds I've shed in the past year. There are just certain unexpected things about losing weight that people don't really tell you about because the focus is always on how amazing it is.

39" is what the tape measure that I wrapped around my hips this morning read. I don't remember when my hip measurement was 39" last. My waist, 28". Another inch off of my hips in two weeks, a half inch off of my waist. When I started measuring, my waist was 36" and my hips were 47". I now have two pairs of jeans left that actually fit me. Almost none of my dress clothes fit me. And I'm unemployed. I'm seriously considering heading to Goodwill just to find a few things that actually fit me in the meantime, because I really don't know where that tape measure is going to stop. I haven't even hit a full marathon distance yet. No one is sympathetic. They just laugh at me and say, "Oh, what a TERRIBLE problem to have!" No, really, it's not cool.

And then there are the advances. Advances, from men, of course, wanted and unwanted. I can't just go out somewhere with a girlfriend and hang out anonymously anymore without guys peacocking over. Sure, looking better has its perks when you're out: cute bartenders giving you their FULL attention and your having the luxury of the full effects of flirtation at your fingertips, but, most of the time it's annoying. In this town, I've learned, men are really aggressive. For example, I was waiting for a date (the guy was really late and he even lived nearby--bad, bad) in a chic Hollywood hot spot. A guy working on his laptop started chatting me up and invited me to come sit at his table while I waited for my date. Within a few minutes some of his friends showed up, and began flirting and vying for my attention. By the time my date got there, I was sitting at a table, surrounded by men. The laptop guy even had the nerve to hand me his business card in front of my date. The look on my date's face WAS priceless, however. Maybe he'll think twice about being so late to a date!

Anyway, while it's nice to have men interested in me, it does make me sad. I feel like I'm still the same me I've always been, maybe with a bit more wisdom, but it's only the outside that is different. I guess it's biology talking for most people, and it takes a lot of mental evolution to be able to look beyond basic appearances to what's inside of a person. In a way, I feel like my fat was kind of a way of weeding out the superficial and finding people who liked me the way I've always wanted to be liked: "Just as I am."

It's hard not to feel like the fat girl when you're so used to being one. I still look at clothing and think, "That's way small, I'm never going to fit into that," and then I do fit into it. Sometimes I look at other women, and I think, "She's so much thinner than me," and then we stand in front of a mirror or take a picture together and I realize that we're the same size. It's a total head trip.

I guess it takes time to get used to a new body, and these are the "shrinking pains" associated with it. Like I said, I wouldn't trade all of this in for the old me, but still, no victory comes without a little bit of bitterness.