A while back I wrote a post about being invisible. I talked about the many different types of social invisibility that I have experienced. And I also talked about a friend of mine who had the bariatric surgery who talked about how it felt to no longer be invisible after losing her weight.
To me, she seemed sort of unsettled by it. She was not used to being recognized as a person, let alone receive attention from men. I remember thinking how wonderful it would be to no longer be invisible. To have people see me as a person and not some nonentity or worse would be a wonderful change of pace. To have the opportunity to be seen for who you are and not what you are sounded like a dream. And to receive attention from men? There are no words.
Well, ninety pounds later, I find that I am experiencing some of what she was talking about. I have been receiving a lot of positive attention because of my weight loss. Granted, part of that attention is due to the fact that I have been very public in the way I have handled my weight loss. I have been blogging the whole thing even before the surgery. A lot of the attention I receive from friends and family has to do with this blog and what I am doing. But some of the attention I know is because of my physical transformation. I feel very different and I know that I look different.
I know that I am not skinny by any stretch of the imagination. I have lost 90 pounds, but I still weigh over 200 pounds. I have 83 pounds to go if I stick to my ridiculously low goal weight of 125. Nonetheless, I do recognize how different I look to people who knew me pre-surgery.
The amount of attention I have received at this mid-point, particularly attention from men has really surprised me. Do not misunderstand me. I have not received any kind of romantic overture or sexual attention from men. Don’t worry guys, I have not misconstrued any words of kindness or support or your behavior to be anything other than just that, kindness and support. I just noticed that I have been receiving a lot of attention from you guys recently. I’m sorry if this topic makes you feel uncomfortable and embarrasses you, but I am a girl after all, so I feel the need to talk about you for a bit. Just bear with me.
Men are usually the first people to comment on how much thinner I look, how pretty I am or will be when I’m done losing weight. In some cases, they are my biggest cheerleaders. They talk to me a lot about my blog and how surprised they are by some of the subjects I write about.
Then there is the whole touching thing. As a woman who spent most of her adult life obese, physical contact with men has been very limited. I see the way men act with thinner, pretty women. There is a lot of casual touching. There is hugging, a touch on the arm, a pat on the back, etc. As an obese woman, I never really received much of that kind of casual contact.
Recently, however, I noticed that I have been receiving some of that and it has really surprised me. On one level, I absolutely love it. I know that it is nothing more than just a friendly interaction, but it is one that I have lived almost my entire adult life without. There have been a few exceptions of course, but not enough in my opinion. On another level, I have to admit it kind of freaks me out. Because I’m not used to it, I do not always know how to respond properly. I’m too busy thinking, “OMG he just hugged me! He’s never done that before. Why did he hug me? That was kind of nice. Nobody ever hugs me out of the blue like that. I like being hugged.”
I know, I’m a freak and over analyze everything to the nth degree. I need to get over it, I know that. I’m just saying that I have noticed how differently men act towards me and that has affected how I see myself. I feel more confident, and sometimes more attractive. And I’m a little more comfortable talking to men. Sometimes. Maybe thanks to all of this preliminary attention, if I do one day actually receive romantic attention, I won’t pass out cold from the shock of it.
Oh and btw…this is post 100 on this blog! OMG!