Usually I am feel incredibly proud to have lost around 185 pounds. I mean it took a lot of work. Thousands of fitness minutes were spent burning calories and shaping muscles. There were walks, runs, hikes, bike rides, yoga classes, spin classes, aerobic videos, weight training, hula hooping, and other various activities that were built into my life... and so much sweat and hard work went into losing weight. My diet was changed completely. Food that was killing me was swapped out for food that nourishes me and keeps me feeling good. It took some determination to make those changes at first. It took a fair amount of work to put myself back on track every time I swayed from the path. I changed the way I eat, and my whole relationship with food has been shaped into a more healthier relationship. I have looked for ways to burn calories like parking far from where I am going, taking my bike, jumping around with kids at work, and things like volunteering to be the one to walk all the way to the office to make copies. I worked hard and I should be proud... but sometimes I am not.
I am getting divorced, my choice because it's been bad a long time... and I've been going out more. Guys often show interest. I am sure if I sat in a room full of people, most people would have no clue that I was ever overweight. In fact, I think I look fairly healthy currently with some nice curves, a fairly flat stomach, and some muscle definition. So many people looked at me with an expression of disbelief, that I started to carry around pictures, so I can say "here this was me." Sometimes, when I talk to guys, I tell them about my big accomplishment, and often they seem impressed by it. One friend, told me that he loves that I made these changes and he finds me more attractive because of it. He knows I don't take things for granted, and that I have a new lease on life. He realizes I am full of energy, and that I worked hard. He knows that I am a determined person. This makes me more attractive. This feels good to hear. Yet, sometimes I feel shame that I was ever that big in the first place. Sometimes, when I am talking to someone, I will keep the information to myself as if it's some dark secret. As if, they will not like me because I was so heavy, or they will know that I wasn't in control of my life at one time, and that it will make me look less attractive or flawed. I need to get over that. I shouldn't feel ashamed of my journey because it does make up a lot of who I am. If someone doesn't like me because of it, then maybe they just don't like me for the right reasons. I was the fat girl, but that never defined me. I've always been so much more. My eating was a bit out of control at one time, but I am very much in control things now... and I am stronger because of it. I need to drop the shame because it has no place in life. Yes, I don't have to tell everyone everything, but I should be very proud of what I accomplished.
I am sure the woman on the left would be more preferable to date, than the one on the right, by most men's standards. They're both me. It's not just an outwardly change. The woman on the left is more energetic and more adventurous. She likes to dance, bike ride, hike...and smiles more than the the one on the right. But, if you found out that girl on the left, had the determination to shape herself into the person that she is today from the woman on the right... how does it change how she is viewed? This is where my mixed feelings are coming from. I am proud, but I know that there are judgements and biases in our society about weight, even after weight loss. I know the right people will see it as a positive thing, a strength in character, but others will see it as a weakness. So, sometimes I choose to keep it to myself, but I need to remind myself that I worked darn hard and I should be proud.