Sunday, April 28, 2013

Where I've Been

This is, by far, the longest stretch I've gone without blogging.  I do miss writing, but life has been happening lately.

"Life" is a four-letter word, you know.

Aside from losing time to Pinterest, I've been managing a ridiculous situation at work.  Enough time has passed that I feel like I can think/talk about everything that happened without feeling overcome with anger or sadness.  I'm fine and my job is fine, but relationships with co-workers that I've known for a long time have been damaged.  The short of it is that someone started a rumor that I was having an affair with a new staff member.  Untrue, obviously.  But a rumor like that spreads like wild fire and does a tremendous amount of damage.  What makes me sad is that someone I was close to, a trusted confidant, was part of it.  I felt like such a fool when all was said and done, because as I tried to manage the stress I was feeling as a result of that gossip, I would talk to her and process through things, the whole time not knowing she was part of it.  I spent months feeling humiliated and wondering what I did wrong. 

And what exactly did I do wrong?

Funny thing. 

I lost weight.  And apparently, losing weight means I was having an affair.  Yep.  That logic is clear.  Clear as mud.

It is what it is.  There's nothing I can do about it, nothing I'd want to be bothered to do anyway.  I can think of plenty of things I'd like to say, but I won't. 

So...I'll talk about my weight loss instead.  In a nutshell, it turns out that these years of battling my weight were the result of a combination of factors, most of which have been resolved.  A few very minor changes to my diet and before I knew it, I was 40 pounds lighter!  We hear so much about healthy eating, diet and exercise, but less about how certain foods can impact things like blood sugar and the pancreas.  For me, getting my pancreas to calm down was a key factor.  I had no idea that some of my favorite vegetables and other healthy foods were actually bad for me--bad for me in the sense that I have a metabolic disorder and my pancreas was misbehaving as a result.

I should be happy with that kind of weight loss, but I have to admit, it's been pretty overwhelming.  I was in a dressing room at Kohl's a few weeks ago trying on pants.  It's been exciting to piece together a new wardrobe, but I rarely check myself in a mirror.  Other than a quick glance to make sure my hair and makeup are okay, I barely give myself a second glance.  Standing in that dressing room, though, surrounded by mirrors, I saw myself--really saw myself--for the first time in a long time. 

My body felt so foreign and so strange that I started to cry.  I felt like I didn't look like me anymore.  It's not that I look bad.  It's just that I hadn't seen myself full-length in clothes that actually fit. 

I don't know how other people manage drastic weight loss.  I mean, mine wasn't that drastic and occurred over 6-ish months.  I've had friends who've had gastric bypass or other weight loss surgeries and they lose incredible amounts of weight in less time than I did.  Psychologically, I don't know how they cope.

I did learn something really important in all of this.  No matter how much weight I've lost, it doesn't change who I am at my core.  I still get anxious about little things (and big things).  I still feel insecure.  I still have the same obnoxious sense of humor.  I still struggle with self-esteem. 

I am living proof that weight loss is not a cure-all for all that ails us.  I'm still me.  Just me.  A slightly smaller version of me, but still the same.

Beautifully flawed.