"You look good"
I’m a very social, outgoing person — a social butterfly. As a morbidly obese woman my social prowess was stifled. At 388 pounds, I didn’t feel so good about myself and as a result I just didn’t have much to say out loud. I actually preferred not to be in social settings and shied away from speaking in crowds.
Today, 170 odd pounds lighter, I feel good. Real good. Inside and out. So, I’m always chatting it up, striking up conversation with folks. Anyone willing to listen — or not, hears my weight loss story. Doesn’t matter where I am, I’m talking: The grocery store, bank, post office — everywhere. When I speak at local venues and have a captive audience all the more fun.
When I tell folks I used to weigh nearly 400 pounds, I tend to get the same reactions, the same responses “Oh, really. Good for you for losing the weight,” “Wow. What an inspiration,” and the awkward compliment “You look good.” That one always gets me. I’m not really sure what to make of that statement. Do I look good because I look good ? Or do I look good because I lost so much weight? Those are rhetorical questions of course. Perhaps my questioning the compliment is part of the negative inner battle that I often blog about. I guess, it’s about time, I take the response, “You look good” at face value.
I am a product – and now a survivor – of childhood obesity. As a child, my family always told me that my extra weight was merely baby fat and I’d eventually grow out of it. I never did. Instead, my childhood is filled with memories of not being able to ride a bike, flattening its training wheels from being over the recommended weight, and avoiding P.E. classes by any means necessary. For years, I wore my fatness like a wounded soldier wears a Purple Heart - with pride. I owned the look. I dressed it up. I worked the room. There wasn't a skinny girl who intimidated me. I made sure my hair was laid just right. Nails polished. Outfits coordinated to the tee. Accessories to compliment every outfit. But everyone has a breaking point, and mine came in the spring of 2004 when I tipped the scale at nearly 400 pounds 388 to be exact. I was MISERABLE trapped inside of that body. I no longer wore my Purple Heart with pride. Rather, I was ashamed and frightened. Ashamed that I had allowed food to become my everything – frightened I would die because of it. Drastic times called for drastic measures...
Today, I’m bound and determined to live a better, healthier, active lifestyle. I realize I’m no longer a passenger in my life, I’m the driver. I’m overcoming my inhibitions and I’m slowly but surely saying farewell to my old childhood nemesis, obesity. For once and for all, Farewell Fatso!