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"I didn't even recognize you!"

Thursday, June 20, 2013

My job requires occasional travel. This past week, I had to travel to Phoenix, where I know quite a few people but haven't seen them since the end of February.

It was at the end of February that I REALLY started to note that I was losing weight. My size 18 pants were constantly falling off my butt. XL shirts were loose and diaphanous; I had more energy and my knees and feet didn't hurt. I could see past the rolls of belly fat to see my lap and lower abdomen (seriously, that STILL throws me for a loop!!).

It is no wonder then when I arrived in Phoenix that I got quite the reaction from several people I knew! One lady gaped at me, grasping for a way to politely mention my new body. THREE TIMES, people have told me that they didn't recognize me. One gentleman walked past me and ignored me - when I met up with him later in the day, he apologized and said he didn't recognize, so big was my change! Another said he was like, "No, that can't be Carolyn...no, wait, I think that is!" And yet another mistook me for another person until he did a double-take.

And then the best one - my own aunt, who sees me infrequently (busy schedules and all), saw a picture of me from February and asked, "Who is that?" I was very happy to report that was me. She may have been embarrassed not to recognize her niece, but I saw it as another sign that I had truly shed the Fat Girl and embraced the New Healthy Me.

Now, normally, I might be offended at these above instances, but I know the reason that they didn't recognize me - and that makes me HAPPY. I am insanely happy to be healthy and active and comfortable in my skin. I love how I look and I love how I am able to do so many things that would have hampered me a year ago (namely, my job!).

And really, I don't want to be recognized as the Old Me, the Fat Me, who was overweight, unhealthy, and hopeless, who had given up trying to get better, who was constantly succumbing to her food whims. I want to be the New Me, the New Me that embraces her wonderful body and loves it enough to treat it right with good food, plenty of water and rest, and exercise. THAT is the woman I want people to recognize.
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