Though I had many warnings regarding the side effects of losing a significant amount of weight, there are some that I have had to experience myself to believe to be true. I was told that people would treat me differently. And they have. I was told that it would be difficult to see or accept myself as “thin” or “normal.” And it has been. I was told that my relationship with food would change. There is no questioning that.
Over a year out, there are some things that I expected, some that threw me for a loop. One of the reasons I am writing this is that I am freezing. I never thought about the effect a significant loss of body weight would have on my ability to keep warm. I have always run cold, actually quite cold. But now! I am like a whale without her blubber. I need a sweater. RIGHT NOW. Actually, I just bought three sweaters yesterday because I have been so cold at the office.
The other thing I never expected – the new and different adjectives people use to describe me. Now, no one called me fat to my face before, but I was described as curvy on numerous occasions. Apparently, I am now “tiny” and “adorable.” Tiny?? I still don’t feel tiny at all. Or adorable. I mean, I do feel smaller, significantly smaller. But not tiny. Just normal. Which is all I wanted.
Also, smaller clothes. Size small. Sometimes I still search for the size XL on the rack. Sometimes I think, I can’t wear that, it is much too small. All this is to say, sometimes it takes awhile for your head to catch up with your body. I can physically get on my scale and know that I am nowhere near overweight (or underweight as some have suggested, thankyouverymuch) but sometimes it is hard to know that in my head. But, then I realize, I feel healthy. I can walk up a flight of stairs. I can dance. My husband can lift me. All of this is real. All this work has been real.
The other thing that they tell you, that you really need to learn for yourself, is that the battle is never really over. I still struggle with overeating. I still eat the wrong things. I still love sugar. And butter. I still beat myself up for it. And the cycle continues.
I continue to fight to be healthy. Not to be adorable. Thought, I will admit, I enjoy the compliments. But I wanted to be healthy. And that is what I fight for. I think it is a constant uphill battle for many people. I used to think that there were people that were just naturally healthier than others. And while I understand that there are people that are just naturally thinner than others, I don’t think that anyone is naturally healthier anymore. Everyone has to practice self-care. Everyone needs to exercise. I don’t know why, but for some reason, that makes me feel better about it. No one gets a free pass.
So, here I am, feeling not very adorable, in my jeans that are too big and my hair pinned back, on a Sunday night. I have been researching for a paper for hours. I am anxiously awaiting my dinner so my eyes can take a break from my computer screen.
And, true to form, the battle is not over. I have been craving pasta for days. So I am having pasta.
Made of zucchini.