No one told me that when I lost 175 lbs, my place in the world would change so drastically. Most of you probably have no idea what I am talking about. I will try to explain the strange and odd feeling to the best of my ability.
At 372 lbs, I was the “big girl” in a group of people. To be quite honest, usually, I was the biggest girl in the group. After a lifetime of being generally larger than everyone else surrounding you, you get used to that place. I have never been known for my body or anything related to healthy eating or fitness. I happily faded into the background of most groups. Happy to be a great listener and giving the rest of the group the spotlight.
Recently, I was in a group of people where I was, if not the smallest girl, definitely one of the smallest girls in the group. I was having a great time and not really paying much attention to myself. At one point, though, I noticed how I was sitting. I was subconsciously covering up my body.
I realized that I was sitting with my arms crossed and draped in front of me with my legs crossed, as well. Because of my large size, I was not able to cross my legs before and I have been noticing that I do it more often now. However, unless I am freezing (which also happens more often now) I do not usually sit with my arms covering up my body.
Once I noticed my posture and body language, I also began to look around the group and noticed someone else in my old “big girl” position. More than that, every time I looked at her, I saw myself. Every time I heard her labored breathing, I heard my own labored breathing from just 15 months ago. Every time I saw her searching for some place to sit after walking a couple of feet, I saw my old self searching for a seat and remembering the pain and agony that those couple of feet and standing still for a while would cause. When I saw her choice of food, I saw the choice that I would have made 15 months ago. It was the strangest feeling that I have ever had! Seeing my old self in the flesh… my old self standing right next to me.
I am finding now that, once a group of people find out what I have been up to over the last 15 months, I am thrust into the spotlight and a barrage of questions come my way. It still makes me uncomfortable, to an extent, to be the one that everyone wants to talk to. However, I love being able to share the knowledge that I have learned and I get excited at the prospect of helping someone else to be as happy and healthy as I am now.
Shopping for clothing is another area where my world is changing. For so long, Avenue and Lane Bryant were my best friends when it came to buying clothes. Now, I have sized myself out of those stores and I am having to discover other, more mainstream, clothing stores. I had become so comfortable with the plus size stores, knowing exactly where everything was located and what I could expect to find when I went there.
Now, I am like a fish out of water in a regular store. It is still very hard for me to realize my actual size until I try on the clothes. Shopping is taking so much longer because regular sized clothing doesn’t always fit the same based on the size. This is an issue I never had at a plus sized store. For the most part, a 26/28 fits the same no matter which product I was buying. However, a woman’s XL can be very large on me or tight on me depending on the style and make of the clothing.
Despite the strangeness and oddity of my new situation, I am happy to give up my “big girl” place in the world. I am working hard to define and become comfortable with my new place. It is very odd and very strange to be in this new position, but I wouldn’t give it up for the world!
If you are working on losing a significant amount of weight, keep up the great work! Just know that you will have a lot of mental adjustments to make along the way. The world is a very different place depending on which position you fill. Join me in enjoying the exploration of the new me and my new world! (Just don’t be surprised if you find me standing somewhere and observing or taking it all in…WHOA!)