Recently, I had two separate friends on two separate occasions pay me the best compliments.
Let me preface this by talking about something else for a minute. I have written the past about having friends, colleagues, etc who only know me as the “after” Colleen. When I show them pictures of the “before” Colleen, they are absolutely aghast.
“OMG! No, that’s not you!”
“Oh I can’t believe you ever looked like that!”
I expect that reaction from people who did not know me before the surgery and before the amazing 127 pound weight loss. What I never expected to hear, but secretly glad I did, are the following comments by people who knew me both pre and post surgery.
Recently, I took the metro to the writer’s group one night. I was approaching the escalators, which I routinely walk up and down, btw, when one of the other AWG members came up behind me.
Right after she greeted me with a, “Hi Colleen!” she smiled and told me, “I’m getting used to seeing you look so small!”
I’m not always used to seeing myself as small, so it really felt good to have someone else say it. I just smiled and said thank you, but really, on the inside I was doing one giant happy-dance which is probably more reminiscent of Pee-Wee Herman’s Big Shoe Dance than an actual happy dance because I’m a horrible dancer even in my own head, but still, I’ll take it.
The other compliment came from my friend who helped me pack and move my apartment. In typical white-trash fashion, I festoon my refrigerator with magnets and pictures. The magnets mostly hold the pictures of family members, (OK mostly pictures of my niece), in place, but some of the magnets are decorative in the loosest sense of the word.
On the refrigerator at my old apartment was a picture of me and my baby sister at her wedding. I weighed probably 300 pounds at the time. I have posted that picture of me and Jenny before. I was quite fat.
The friend who helped me move has known me since 2005 or 2006, which is to say she knew me when I weighed 300 pounds.
She grabbed the picture and loudly proclaimed, “OMG Colleen, I almost asked you who the other person in this picture is.”
I of course replied with, “The bride is my sister Jenny.”
“I know that! I almost asked who this person was!”
She was pointing at the 300 pound me.
“But you knew me when I looked like that!”
“Yes, but I don’t think of you like that anymore. It’s hard to believe you ever looked like this.”
We both laughed and packed the picture and magnets away for the move.
When I’m feeling down because I haven’t finished losing the weight, or feel that I haven’t made enough progress, I think of these two incidents. They are great reminders of how far I have actually come, not to mention great reminders of the fantastic friends I have.
Me at Shenandoah Mountains