Recognizing myself in the mirror
I’ve been fascinated by weight loss marketing lately, for….obvious reasons, probably. Everyone focuses on the quick fix, the successes, the positive upsides. This makes a LOT of sense. It’s not sexy to sell the two a day work outs, the occasional crippling hunger and complete exhaustion you can experience at various points.
The one part I was completely unprepared for is the mental change that happens when you look in the mirror. At some point in the weightloss process of losing 100+ lbs, you realize that you AREN’T the same person. I lost 1/3 my body weight. I’m 20lbs from losing a full HALF of myself. 54inch waist to a 34. There’s an entirely different and smaller person, and for all the good and health parts of that, there’s a pretty dark physiological side.
I find myself feeling guilty about missing that old person. I obviously miss not going to the gym daily, diets, etc., because life was easier, if less healthy. I miss cooking terribly awful foods like triple layer pizzas and lasagna cakes (seriously, half my life was trying to be an Epic Meal Time host). I miss having so much time to keep up with TV shows and books, because I would sit on my couch for 5 hours a night. And I miss the person who used to look back at me in the mirror.
This is not to say I am not just super happy with the new face and reflection looking back at me, it just doesn’t feel like it’s ME yet. I used to lie in bed and imagine what life would be like if I had abs, or a chiseled jaw, or whatever, and this just feels like an extended dream sequence, now that I’m so close to some of them.
I find it hard taking compliments normally, because I never know how to respond, but certainly now, when I feel like they’re complimenting a different person. I think I always pictured just WAKING UP with a six pack, and I never put the time into thinking about how jarring that would be. I didn’t realize I’d set new goals or have more things I’d want to work on.
I even find myself looking at the wrong section for shirts, just, all the time. I was a 3XL last year at this time, and certainly wouldn’t buy a medium unless it was a gag gift. I find myself in the big and tall section wondering why nothing fits. It’s weird, you’d think that’d be something I should be excited about, and certainly be able to remember, but it slips my mind.
When I started setting my initial goals, I told myself I couldn’t drop below 220, that it’d be terribly impossible. I literally couldn’t picture myself at the weight I’m currently at, which is much lower than that 220 number.
I guess the point is there’s a few downsides to weight loss people don’t talk about, and if you’re serious about it, you’ll need to prepare yourself.