Sunday, October 31, 2010
There are groups of people in my life that I only see once a year - extended family and other members of my profession. In the last three months I saw those two groups for the first time after my 90-pound weight loss.
My family was great - telling me I looked great and congratulating me on the hard work. Many shared their own weight struggles, and we had fun discussing diet plans, exercise routines, and the best way to stay motivated. We had a great time, swapping stories. One cousin was motivated to join Spark, and we exchange e-mails about our progress.
My professional colleagues' reaction was similar, but in many cases they looked right past me and did not recognize me. I had to call out to them to say hello. The best reaction was someone I worked with for 9 years who I now see only once a year. She actually had to look at my name tag to figure out who I was! I loved her instinctive reaction "My god, you've lost a lot of weight!" I have indeed, and I'm glad that others have noticed.
I don't mind anyone telling me I look good as if I looked bad before - I know I was not looking my best with 90 extra pounds. I know I look better now, and I'm glad that other people notice.
When I am complimented, I say thanks, that I've been working hard, and I still have a ways to go. If people ask, I tell them I did it the old-fashioned way, with diet and exercise, and if they continue to ask, I tell them about Spark People and offer to share my nutrition plan.
I do notice that at work, my image overall has improved. My expertise seems to be more valuable, and while I haven't gained skills while I lost the weight, I know that subconsciously people are attributing more value to my contributions because my physical shape has improved. I knew that when I was heavier - that my abilities were overlooked or diminished because of my size.