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Inside, Outside. Upside down?

Posted Oct 18 2008 1:22pm

I had a long phone conversation with a friend last night. We’ve known each other for 20 years, weathering fluctuating body weights, jobs, relationships and careers together. We’ve literally known each other at our best and at our worst.

During my weight loss this last (and final) go-round, I’ve visited my friend four times. She’s seen the transition. And she’s seen my website, so she knows I do not look like my former self. Yet, she told me last night that when we are on the phone, she still has the “old” me in her mind’s eye.

And that got me thinking…or realizing. In my mind’s eye, I see the current version of myself. When I close my eyes and think about who I am and what I look like, I see the person I am today.

That’s a huge shift in perception for me. Not more than six months ago, I still saw Fat Jen. I’d only catch glimpses of Skinny Jen as I walked past mirrors or windows. Even when I looked at pictures of Thinning Jen, I saw Fat Jen. Now, I look at pictures of Thinking Jen and realize that she’s heavier than Skinny Jen.

I think what has facilitated this change in perception has been the stabilization of my weight. As I posted earlier, I have weighed roughly the same since August. Seeing the same exterior day in and day out has given my head a chance to catch up with body.

No wonder people who don’t see me on a daily basis have a hard time of it. I remember about six months out from surgery how Rose would tell me that she would lose me in stores, even though I was standing just a few feet away. She was looking for someone that wasn’t there.

Recognizing internal change is harder than recognizing external change. But I wonder now if accepting internal change is easier than accepting external change. Maybe appearance really is everything…or a bigger part than many of us are willing to admit.

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