I’ve shared a lot of bad embarrassing moments with you over the two years I’ve been blogging, and believe me, I have plenty more stories where they came from. But, today, I thought I’d share an embarrassing moment that turned out to be a good one. Well, at least for me.
My morbidly obese years were spent in Florida. That’s where I grew up, went to college, and married John. We had a history there. Because of that history, we had a large circle of friends and acquaintances. It was nice to walk into a store and run into someone you knew. However, as I got fatter and fatter, I became more and more uncomfortable running into people I hadn’t seen in a long time. I was embarrassed at the change in my appearance, and worried about what they would think of me. In my head I imagined them calling up their friends and saying, “I ran into Diane today, and boy has she gotten big.”
As I started my weight loss journey, it took a long time and a lot of pounds before anyone noticed that I had lost an ounce. In fact, it wasn’t until I had lost about 50 pounds before the first person tentatively said, “Diane, are you losing weight?” I wanted to jump up and down, but I was afraid I might scare her, so I just said, “Yes, a bit.”
In my head I was screaming – “A bit! I’ve lost 50 pounds. Ten bags of sugar, 50 boxes of butter. 50 pounds!” But I just calmly finished my discussion with her, hoping she didn’t see the elation on my face! Someone had finally noticed.
As the weight came off, more and more people started commenting on my weight loss. I disliked the attention, and always brushed off the compliments. Over the 14 months that it took to lose my weight, I had the opportunity to see most of the people I knew. So it became the rare occasion when someone I hadn’t seen in a while saw me, and didn’t recognize me.
One particularly embarrassing moment was while I was shopping for groceries at my favorite grocery store in Florida, Publix. While at Publix, I was rolling the cart down the cereal aisle, and saw my husband’s cousin. As I approached her, she looked right at me. “Uh-oh,” I thought. “She doesn’t know who I am.”
Sure enough, when I said, “Hi!” She just looked at me like I had lost my mind. I quickly re-introduced myself to this family member that I had known for 14 years. She stumbled all over herself, embarrassed that she didn’t know who I was. I reassured her that it happened all the time, and not to worry about it. We parted ways, and I was struck by the irony of it all.
You see, when I got fat, the same thing happened. People I had known for years didn’t recognize me. Then when I got un-fat, it happened again. Only this time, it was happy, and life-affirming, instead of embarrassing and defeating.
I offer this story as an encouragement to you. Change is possible, and it’s not always embarrassing.
Have you had people recognize your weight loss? Diane