One thing has remained constant throughout this journey. I am still struggling with the Amy on the outside versus the Amy on the inside.
In the name of full disclosure and honesty...which has always been one of my goals with this blog (along with trying to get you to laugh and spit things on your computer screen)...I am going to relay the following stories for you. I am not looking for compliments, or seeking validation. I just know that some of you can relate. And that's what you are here for. So here are a couple of separate events that form into one thought.
The other night we went out to a bar on the beach. I was wearing jeans, a tshirt, and flip flops. We walked in, and within 5 minutes, a lady walked up to me and touched my arm. She said, "I know you don't know me, but I just wanted to tell you that I think you are the most gorgeous woman I have ever met."
I hugged her of course, told her thank you, offered to be her new best friend, and secretly wondered just how drunk was she.
And it made me feel good. But...I just don't see it. Shrinking Mommy is going to yell at me for looking in the mirror, but when I look in the mirror...most of the times I see a girl with a bad complexion, straw hair, leather skin, bat wings, and bad feet. Yes. Sometimes I am cute. I have a big smile and usually look like a pretty happy girl. People like that. And admittedly, sometimes I feel hot and sassy. But...it just depends.
But that isn't the only compliment I have gotten that takes me aback. I have had several people ask me if I am a body builder. A new hire at work the other day was sitting in Orientation and I heard her whispering to another employee..."Wow...she must workout. I am going to ask her what she does".
I don't feel like when you look at me you can tell I work out.
I went into the shop I have my pants tailored at, and this man was standing at the counter and he was talking about how he was getting ready to have the lapband. I said "I've had the lapband"! And the man behind the counter came out, looked at my ass and said "You don't look like you've ever been fat. Even your tookus is nice". hahah...
But I do feel like you can tell that I was once fat. And not that there is anything wrong with that. But I don't feel like I look fit or "normal".
Yesterday as I was leaving work in my car, a large group of our male clients were walking across the road so I had to wait. As they passed my car, many of them stared. You know what my first thought was? That someone had drew a dirty figure in the dust on my hood. Like...a dust penis? And that's what they were staring at. Then I realized...they were looking at me.
And that brings me to the Biggest Loser. I am thinking that maybe I can't watch it anymore. I get so annoyed with it's message and with the false claims and hope that it spews. It makes it seem like all it takes to lose weight is working out and dieting. And that if you WANT it bad enough, and work hard enough...if you are DISCIPLINED enough and have enough WILLPOWER...then you can lose weight. And keep it off. It's that simple.
But it's not that simple. It's the rare person that it works for.
Heather is one of those rare ones. She is not one of those people that can eat whatever and never gain weight. She has worked very hard, for a very long time...to maintain her physique. It's not easy for her...yet she has done it (and might I say very well). So for her, it's hard to understand why people just can't do it too. And it's hard for me to put into words why we can't. I believe it is more than willpower and want. I think for some of us, its chemical, mental, emotional, genetic, environment...so many factors.
And for me I know...without a doubt...I would have never have lost this much weight and for sure...I would not have been able to keep it off...without the band.
Because I will tell you what. There are many times that I want to just go to McDonalds and order whatever I want and eat until I am sick. But I can't. Thanks to the band.
It's funny to me, because even at my biggest, people would say things about fat people while I was in their company...as if I wasn't fat. And to their credit, I think they forgot I was fat. But I can't tell you how many times I heard "I don't know why they just don't push away from the table"...or something along those lines. I wanted to say "YOO HOOOOO! I am here! I am one of those people".
And so last night when Heather said something about discipline, I wanted to say "Hey! I am that fat person. I am the person who "lacked discipline" and had to get weight loss surgery." But she doesn't see me as that unhealthy fat person. She sees me as beautiful and strong. But on the inside I am still the fat girl.
So who am I? Because I still feel weak on the inside. But I am not the same. It's the strangest place to be...in this limbo.
I told her that it's hard to live in a house with 3 other women, all thin. I am heavier than them by 40-60 pounds. I eat less and workout a lot...but I am still fat compared to them. And they didn't need surgery to be thin!
Oh what a dangerous place this land of comparison! I know it's not good.
So I will end on what I do know.
I know that I may not weigh 120 pounds. But I weigh 168.5. And that's a lot less than 19 months ago.
I know that I am happier and healthier than ever before. I workout. I am strong. My body does things for me that I didn't ever believe it could.
I know that I needed help. And it's okay. Because the lapband changed my life...in more ways than I could have ever imagined or hoped for.
I know that I am free. Perhaps not free of all my demons (the chubby ones who like cheetos and chocolate)...but I am free.
I know that I comparing myself with others usually does no good. And that I should focus on comparing myself with....MYSELF.