I am NOT a different person

Last weekend a dear friend came to visit. Though she had seen pictures of my weight-loss progress, she had not seen me in person for a few months and was quite pleased with my Weight Watchers success. At one point during our visit, she looked at some framed photographs I have in my living room. One photo was of the two of us before I started my weight loss journey. Her gaze moved back and forth between the photo and me several times and then she said, “You’re a different person.” I immediately and quite indignantly replied, “I am NOT a different person!” She seemed somewhat shocked by my response and I later felt badly for my harsh tone, but my reaction stemmed from the ways in which people who are obese get treated by others. Now I am not referring to people who show concern for another’s health and well-being. I am talking about judgments – judgments that are made about a person’s character, intelligence, work ethic or a seeming lack of self-control before (and sometimes without ever) getting to know the person. I recognize that people judge others all the time and the specifics mentioned here apply not only to obese people. However, as one who has struggled with my weight my whole life, I have personally been the object of those judgments. And they are not true. And they hurt. A lot.

Recently, I have been working through some of the emotional aspects of my weight loss journey. Now when I interact with total strangers or meet a new person for the first time, their perceptions of me and reactions to me are quite different than they were 60 pounds ago. And to be very honest, this angers me. While it is true that my 60-pound weight loss has altered my appearance and admittedly has boosted my level of confidence, at the very core of my being, I have not changed. My intelligence has not changed. My ability and think and reason has not changed. My gifts for writing and communicating have not changed. My logical and critical thinking skills have not changed. My care and concern for others has not changed. My wicked sense of humor has not changed. I am the same person – a beloved child of God whose value and worth remains constant and is not dependent on her dress size. I am NOT a different person. I am the same person – through and through – and that is as it should be.

Until next time, peace …

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2 Responses to I am NOT a different person

  1. No truer words have ever been written, Robin!

  2. Becky Jones says:

    I’m glad you are working through the emotions. I had a friend who lost a lot of weight and people would say to here, you are disappearing, or you are half the person you used to be, those are strong words that can work against everything you have been working towards. Keep up the great work.

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