This is a touchy subject matter. I feel that I am able to tackle it because I have lived it fom both perspectives. I find it so interesting, it seriously angers me. What I am referring to is, the extreme diffence in how people interact with me now that I am fit.
There is certainly a dramatic difference in how I am received after losing 120 pounds. It is no doubt in part a function of my own projection and renewed confidence. However, there is no denying a huge shift, whatever the variables.
When you are overweight, you go out of your way to “blend in”. The last thing you want is to stand out or be noticed. You wear baggy, often self stretched clothes. As if it were going to conceal the obvious. Clothes shopping is an utter nightmare, that is another blog entirely!
When I was heavy I found confidence in my career achievements and worked very hard to be successful. Subsequently, I achieved credibility among colleagues and clients. If I couldn’t control my body, I was damn sure going to control something! I was treated well enough (so I thought), and respected in the industry.
What I have found, after losing 120 pounds is baffling. Yes, I had achieved success and a level of respect. However, when you couple it with a much improved physical appearance, it’s becomes something like success on steroids!
Women and men alike now go out of their way to smile and nod in passing. This is a much more desired response than the previous glances, looks of pity and disguist. There was always an absense of eye contact. It was as if, obesity were contagious!
Passersby will often start unsolicited conversations and are inquisitive about you and “what you do”, “are you a runner, do you do cross-fit?” “What is your diet like?” Some exhibit signs of disapproval but mostly, it is admiration. An altogether different experience than my previous fat girl interactions.
As much as we don’t want to admit it, society judges and discriminates for all sorts of reasons. Obesity, is certainly one of them. When you enter a room and are clearly fit, you are received differently. Don’t fool yourself, your weight battle is costing you opportunities, I assure you!
It is so maddening but an unfortunate reality. I become resentful and often wonder, “would you be treating me this way if I still weighed 252 pounds?” The answer is likely no. I have to keep myself from going to the “dark side” with such memories and live in the happiness of the present.
If your general health and well being aren’t enough to create a catalyst for change, I have just given you something else to seriously ponder. Take your life back, it is time.