August 24, 2016

The Lie the Mirror Tells You

Looking in the mirror after losing 145lbs, I see the same person. I don't think my brain got the message that I'm almost half the person I was. To be totally honest, I still see someone who is overweight. Big. Large. Fat. I've compared pictures. They look the same to me, minus a little weight in the face. Stepping on the scale to see a number under 200, I think the scale is out to screw with me.

I'm at a weight I haven't been since high school. When I go through my closest, I still expect all the big clothes to fit. It's strange to try them on to find they're too big on me now. I've finally accepted that the 2x and 3x clothes don't fit. They hang on me, resembling something a clown might wear to get a laugh. The extra room reminds me of a small child playing dress up in mommy's clothes. Over a few days, I ripped through the closet and tore out anything that I can fit another person in along with me. Bags and bags of clothes are sitting in my basement ready to be consigned. Some of those bags have clothes that, even at 3x or a 28, didn't fit me at my largest because they were too tight. Now, they fall off.

I go into the stores to replenish my emptied closet to find that anything in the plus-size section is too big. I can amble through the misses sizes, pull a large (sometimes a medium) off the rack, and have it fit nicely. Sometimes, I try on stacks of clothes simply because I can. It's like a natural high. I can look through those racks at clothes that will fit. Even in stores that don't even carry plus-sizes, I can find clothes. Jeans aren't a pipe dream, a wish of "maybe one day they'll fit." I can pull them on over my hips and butt and even button them after easily sliding up the zipper. Be comfortable wearing them. Not feel crammed into the largest size, fabric digging into my skin so much that I yank them off as fast as humanly possible so I can breathe again. 

People I haven't seen in months exclaim at how different I look when I see them next. I always feel awkward with compliments, along with not being able to see the difference myself. So brush off the kind, encouraging words with a, "Yes, about 27lbs. left to go, still!"

Physically, I can do an hour on the elliptical without much issue. I can take long walks and want to keep going, rather than getting winded and searching out the nearest place to sit. The hot summers don't feel quite so hot anymore. I actually go outdoors to enjoy the weather, rather than always hiding from the sun. I can even fit into chairs, though it's always in the back of my mind that maybe they'll break.

The evidence points to the fact that I do look different. I just can't see it in myself. 

Maybe the weight loss has been too gradual for me to be able to see the difference. Maybe I'm so used to being large that I can't believe it is actually true. Fear that I'll gain the weight back might be getting in the way. The weight loss has taken so long (I'm not even done yet at 20.5 months in) and has been so hard that I'm terrified to go back to what I was before. Maybe subconsciously, my brain figures if I still see the huge person, if the huge person comes back it won't be as devastating. Sorry, brain, you might as well let me see the smaller person. The weight gain wouldn't be handled well either way.

I wonder if, when I finally reach my goal weight, I'll see a smaller person. Or if I'll always going to see that big girl who tries on the largest size in the store, often finding it doesn't even fit because it's too small. A girl who can't walk around the block even once without getting winded. When will the inside catch up with the outside? When will I see the truth in the mirror instead of the lie?

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  1. I will keep reminding you, you look amazing!!! Maybe you can help me get motivated!

  2. A close friend of mine lost a lot of weight and she had the same issue. She KNEW she was slimmer and healthier based on her clothes, but she said she just couldnt "see" it. She still felt the same on the inside and it took awhile for her to get used to. Great post, I am sure a lot of women will relate to this!

  3. You have accomplished so much. You should be proud of yourself! Don't let the mirror and negative self-talk take away all the hard work you've done.

  4. Awwwww.... I think everyone goes through this when it comes to appearance. i wish we could all just see how great we really are.

  5. I had no idea you lost so much weight! That's so inspirational.

  6. This has been such a journey for you! You are an amazing inspiration!

  7. It's wonderful that you've dedicated yourself to the weight loss. You look great, and hurrah for being able to get out and enjoy the good weather!

  8. After reading this post my first reaction is wow, just wow. You deserve a huge congrats!

    At the same time I totally get you. I was fat as a kid, lost 50 pounds and gained that much with each pregnancy.

    I've got 35 pounds left to lose after my 3rd. It's hard to see changes when you live with yourself.


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