Who’s That Girl?

Yesterday was a very strange day for me.  I saw several people whom I have not seen in a while.  Their reaction to my 75 pound weight loss was surprising to me.  I know that I have lost a lot of weight, but sometimes, when I look in the mirror or step on the scale, I can only see how far I have to go.

Last night I went to my weekly writer’s group.  I forgot to take my water with me to the meeting, so as I was running out to my car, I decided to stop in the little market that is in my building.  Pre-surgery Colleen went to this market all of the time.  I bought junk food, frozen foods, drinks, etc.  Post-surgery Colleen does not go there at  all.  I think I went there once to buy some water one time shortly after I returned home from the surgery.  Needless to say, before the surgery, I got to know the guy who owns the store pretty well.

I walked into the store to buy a bottle of water, and he gasped when he saw me.  “You look so different!”  He asked me what I did, I told him that I lost weight and had my hair done.  He told me how good I look and to keep up the good work.

Then at my writer’s group, my friend Bobby was visiting who is visiting town was there.  Bobby is a long-time member of the writer’s group and has recently relocated to a Central American country.  I have not seen him since last summer when he moved.  He follows my blog pretty religiously.  In fact, he was my #1 reader for 2012.  However, he has not seen me in person in a while.  Bobby is very excited about my weight loss and everything I am doing.  He always offers me such wonderfully supportive and encouraging words.  I really love his comments.

Bobby came to the meeting a few minutes late.  I was reading over my notes for one of the stories we were discussing, so I did not see him enter the room.  He apparently did not see me either because I received a text from Facebook from him saying, “Where are you?”  I looked up at him in surprise.  I could see this look of frustration on his face and I’m sure he was thinking, “Bitch. I told her I would be here.  I came here all the way from Central America and she does not even show up! Grrr!”

So, I messaged back.  “I’m right here, looking at you.”  I saw his eyebrows raise as he read the message.  Then he craned his neck looking around people to find me.  I can understand his not seeing me right away.  I am kind of short and we were sitting in rows with taller people in front of me.  When he did see me, he just smiled and waved and texted back to me, “OMFG!”  It was hilarious.

After the meeting, I walked over to where he was and he gave me a big hug and told me how great I look.

Also, another writer friend and writer’s group member, Michael Sullivan, attended our meeting.  I have not seen him in several months either, maybe even before the surgery.  He does not attend the meetings often, but I think he showed up to see Bobby.  Before I had a chance to even say hello to Bobby, Michael came up to me and said, “Excuse me, but are you related to Colleen?  You kind of look like her, but different somehow.”  Clearly he was joking about that, but he also told me how great I am looking.

Even the leader of our group, who I see nearly every week, commented on my weight loss last night.  He called me the amazing shrinking woman.  I find this funny because I saw him just last week and I have not really lost any more weight.

I have kind of hit a plateau.  I am not too worried about it.  That has happened two other times so far.  The surgeon says this is normal.  Your body needs time to adjust to the new lower weight and then the weight loss starts back up again.  I have found this to be true, so far.  Plus, it gives me a couple extra weeks before I have to go and buy new pants again.

I do know that I have changed a lot.  I do see it when I look in the mirror or when I look at some “before” pictures.  I also know when I put on some old clothes and pants fall off of me or blouses and t-shirts are ridiculously too big.  I can also feel it.  I am breathing much easier, my back does not hurt so much.  I can stand.  I can walk a good distance.  I can walk up steps comfortably.  I am sleeping better.  And I just feel better all around.  I do not feel that I have a huge mind/body disconnect as far s the weight loss that I have achieved.  But it sure does make me feel good about myself when I receive such positive reactions from people who know me.


13 responses to “Who’s That Girl?

  1. I feel this post should come with a song and I almost see you twirling down the street, or even skipping…!! Woo-hoo!! 🙂

  2. I was highly embarrassed about not recognizing you! Though, I guess it is a good thing. 😀 Body image is a fascinating subject, I have my own. I’m just so glad that you’re getting healthy and feeling better. Not only was it the weight, but I saw how you were able to go up and down the stairs, and you weren’t breathing heavy after walking. 😀

    Keep up the good work!

  3. You are a true inspiration cuz! I love you and I admire how you have made this journey. Somedays I am jealous, somedays I wish I was you, and sometimes I have to remember that everything happens for a reason, and I am where I am for a reason…I love you! Keep it up!

  4. I am always proud of you, but last week – end when you visited, I actually enjoyed watching you enjoy life again! You are our amazing Colleen!

  5. Thanks Margie! I really miss you and love you lots! You hang in there cuz. You can do it too, maybe not with drastic, crazy surgery, but it is possible. I am here if you need any kind of support! 🙂

  6. I too had a gastric bypass surgery. It was in September and since then I have lost over 80lbs. I know what you mean about the body image disconnect. I often look in the mirror and all I can see is the long way I still have to travel to get to the weight that I want to be. I look at the skin hanging under my arms and shake my head in disdain. I can also identify with the fact that plateaus suck but eventually we do bust through them and the weight loss continues. There is no greater feeling than seeing someone that has not seen you in a substantial amount of time and listening to them tell you how different you are in their eyes. It puts things into perspective and really gives you the motivation to continue on with your lifestyle changes because you are truly achieving great things. Good luck and much continued success!

  7. I have been following you and your walk to great health from your first blog and I have to tell you that this one hit home hard. As you know I have finally reached my goal and have lost 99 pounds. Yes, I am off of all medications, no longer a diabetic, no longer with cholesterol issues…. but in the mirror, what do I see? I see skin that doesn’t have the youthful elasticity it would have had 20 years ago, I see hours of Gold’s Gym ahead of me. I’m not saying that I won’t get there, but I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one that sees something different in the mirror. Colleen – you are amazing, you look great, you are doing well and I know that your brother and sister-in-law are sure proud of you as well. Great blog…

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