“Pretty soon I won’t be able to see you,” said my husband when I told him the scales showed 26 pounds gone in seven months.
“Let me hug my disappearing friend,” said my friend when I stopped to pick up green and brown eggs for Sunday’s church-wide picnic.
And this, of course, is one of every fat person’s biggest fears. That if we get rid of the fat shield, people will ignore us, not notice us, find us invisible. (The other is that they will notice us and beam in on our vulnerabilities.) Because, very likely, from the time we controlled what we put in our mouths, that’s the only attention we got. It might have been negative, but it was attention.
Television’s “The Biggest Loser” does the contestants a great service in managing their weight loss and fitness, but I worry about anyone losing so much weight so fast. How can you possibly catch up with who you are after losing more than 100 pounds in five months?
Although, again, I think to be instantly transformed is a common fat fantasy — thus, the popularity of surgical methods — I know I need time to get used to the changing me and to the lifestyle I need to live forever: More exercise and less food, more sleep and more water.
I’m learning — slowly — that I can have a bite of something like the strawberry crisp I made for said husband, taste and savor that bite and go on. Eating more would do nothing for me except pack on extra calories. Learning that when a special occasion is coming, I can eat differently and drink more water during the day before. Learning if I want to eat more, I need to balance that with more exercise.
At my current weight Livestrong.com allows me 1651 calories a day to lose 1 pound a week. If I want more, it’s out to the garden to weed, onto the road to walk or bike. Rain or shine, although if it’s raining, I’m more likely to drive to WalMart to walk around the aisles. (Ask me where anything is in WalMart — I’ve located it.)
And even at my slow weight-loss pace, I’ve already got some identity issues (see above). But I have time to deal with them as I work on the next 22 pounds. After all, that 50th reunion isn’t for another 13 months!