One of the most challenging things about losing weight, for me, is my body image.  I’ve been overweight most of my life and literally all of my adult life.  Even when I’ve been what I would consider thin for me, I’ve been in the overweight category.  I distinctly remember photographs taken prior to the ugly picture taken in Cancun (you can view it in my progress pics page) which made me want to cry.  No, it wasn’t just about my weight, it was also about my perception of myself as ugly also.

I could get into a long monologue here about feeling happy, looking happy and being happy but I’ll save it for another day.  My issue today is simply this:  I feel fantastic.  As the weight comes off and I fit into smaller clothes which make me feel… dare I say it… attractive again, I’ve noticed a bit more spring in my step, a more confident smile on my face and perhaps even a bit more attitude in the clothing I pick out.  You see, for me (and certainly not for everyone), being smaller makes me feel more confident.

This feel good attitude is sometimes squashed when I see a picture of myself (there are more now than before) next to someone else.  Or, when I hear of what size someone wears.  Suddenly I see I am still quite large.  It’s not always the worst thing in the world.  I mean, I look better than I have in a very long time and possibly better than I have ever before simply because I”m working out, I eat healthier, feel healthier and definitely look healthier.  However, it’s sometimes a shock to the system to feel so great and then realize you don’t look quite as great as you feel.  Now trust me, I don’t let this get me down.  I had days where I felt great when I was 226 lbs, many of them in fact.

It’s just hard to realize that, while I see a thinner, healthier me…. others who don’t know me still just see someone who is overweight.

Not everyone judges me and surely fewer people judge me by my weight now than they did 30 lbs ago.  It’s just hard to remember that not everyone thinks I look fantastic.  And sometimes…. sometimes I am one of those people who thinks I don’t look fantastic.  Sometimes I still feel like the 226 lb girl.  Sometimes the clothes don’t fit properly.  Sometimes the weight doesn’t seem to be coming off quickly enough.  Sometimes I worry I’m not really making much of a dent in the excess fat I’ve got going on.  Actually, a lot of the time I don’t see much of a difference at all.  They always say the people who see you every day will notice less because the change is gradual for them.  Well heck, I look at myself in the mirror every day and I don’t see much of a difference most days.

Sometimes though… sometimes I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror.  It’s usually when I’m busy doing something else and my mind isn’t focused on how do I look? Sometimes, when I catch myself from the side in the mirror my mind goes OMG!  I love those moments.   And here’s the really geeky bit.  I have those moments when I walk towards a glass door.  Every week I go to the chiropractor and, when I weighed 226 lbs I used to hate my reflection in the glass.  My hips seemed to jut out at least a foot from my knees and I just hated how hip-heavy I was.  My outfit never seemed to fit properly and I always looked…. puffy.  Lately though I’ve been noticing something… My hips don’t seem nearly as colossal anymore.   Dare I say they almost look proportional?  And while my clothes still fit poorly, it’s now because they’re too large and I just haven’t bought anything new lately.

The people inside the office might wonder why I begin walking up the sidewalk and suddenly grin from ear to ear but I don’t care.  I’m seeing myself for who I am and right now, that person is a lot better off than she was in June.