Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Caught up in a whirlwind...

Gosh, I’ve wanted to post for a few weeks but time just seems to slip away…

First and foremost…as I mentioned in my last post, my first goal was to lose 60lbs by Nov. 10thth and as of Nov. 8th I've lost 61.6lbs! I knew I could do it and now I’m looking forward to my next goal… 80lbs lost by the end of December. I can do it. I will do it! Thanks again to my nutritionist friend for giving me goals! It helps me to see the light at the end of the tunnel for sure...

I’m typing this blog post as a sit waiting for blood work to be done. It’s a 2 hour deal (glucose test) so I figured this was as good a time as any. I’m looking forward to my blood results as I have PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) w/Insulin Resistance (a pre-diabetic condition but can be reversed with proper diet and exercise) and am hoping that my life changes over the past 4 months will have changed how my body deals with this. I would love to come back and post that I no longer have it, but we’ll see. *Fingers crossed*

Life is moving along in this journey of mine and I’ve learned a great deal over the last month especially. I’ve been given something that I didn’t bargain for or was ever prepared for and that’s the overwhelming emotional journey and changes of losing 60+ lbs thus far. I’m not sure how comfortable I feel getting personal out here in cyberspace but I’ll say what I feel I can and I hope it’ll be of some help to someone. If anything, it’ll be therapeutic for me to get it out, so thanks in advance for sticking with me.

I have learned without a shadow of a doubt that society absolutely judges a person that is morbidly obese (or obese or overweight or whatever you want to call it. That just happened to be me 4 months ago). It happens. It’s sad. It’s wrong. It’s unfair. It’s judgmental. It’s just not right. It’s happened to me and although before my weight loss, I’m not sure I realized it was happening to me. Over the past month, I’ve had numerous run-ins with people from my life that treated me different when I was obese than how they treated me when I saw them recently.

I was shopping a month or so ago and I saw a lady who I’ve known for many years. There was this part of me that wanted to approach her and say hi (thanks to my new-found confidence!) and the other part of me wanted to hide within the clothes on the rack because I had always felt like she looked down on me. She always had a way of making me feel beneath her. She made me feel like I was less than her. I had seen her out and about many times before only to have her look away and continue on as if she didn’t see me. She made me feel like nothing and I hated that feeling. It’s a feeling of despair. I would instantly feel so stupid when she was around. This time was different and I didn’t know how to handle it. She saw me and I was instantly enveloped with a tight hug from her. She told me she had heard that I was losing weight and was working hard at it. She told me how happy she was for me. She told me she thought it was wonderful. She told me I looked fantastic. She started to cry. Tears. Real tears. For me. I didn’t know what to do with it. She told me that I must feel amazing. I told her I did feel amazing. She told me how proud of me she was. I thanked her for her kind words and thanked her for her happiness for me and she hugged me again. When I walked away, I felt numb. I felt confused. I found myself thinking, “She likes me now”. “She likes me now because I’m thinner”. “She likes me because I look more normal”. “She didn’t like me before because I was obese”. “I’m good enough for her now”. “She stopped and talked to me because it wasn’t embarrassing for her this time”. This experience turned out to be very overwhelming for me. I’ve thought about it a lot since then. I've dissected it and analyzed it. Probably too much.

I also had another experience at a local business that I go to once every month or two. There are a few girls that work there and it’s always been uncomfortable. I dreaded going in there. I dreaded the looks I would get when I walked in. I dreaded the fact that sometimes I had to draw attention to myself (or at least it felt like that) when I had to ring the bell to get service. I dreaded that I had to go back to pick up what I had dropped off a few days later. This time was different. I walked in and saw their eyes grazing my body from top to bottom. I saw smiles. One of them called back to the other one “to come and see” me. They were so happy to see me. They made me feel welcome. They told me that I looked great. They said they hardly recognized me. They treated me like a fairly normal-sized person (or at least what I feel like fairly normal-sized is). Again, overwhelming and confusing. I wasn’t ever fully accepted before this.

On the other hand, I’ve had the opposite happen and again, I didn’t expect it. This time, someone close to me. Someone that’s been in my life for many years. This person does not feel comfortable being around me nor will this person acknowledge my weight loss. It is a strange thing. It hurts and yet, I understand it. Let’s just clear the air and point out that this person is not my hubby, lol!

These are just a few that I feel I can share here. I think I’ll keep the rest to myself for now.

It just seems like someone should tell you when you start a life-changing journey like this that you should be prepared for the emotional toll, both positive and negative? Over the past month or so, the emotional changes in my life have been extremely difficult to sort out and make sense of. I’ve literally lost sleep about it. I wake up thinking about it. I fall asleep thinking about it. When I’m driving, I think about it. It’s funny…when I was thinking of a title for my blog, I thought about it for weeks. I had a list of ten or so titles and finally settled on “Getting to Know the Real Nicole” without knowing then that I’d truly be doing just that through this journey. I could feel that I was changing and something was going on with me at that time, but not to the capacity that I’m feeling now. Sometimes, I truly do not know who I am. Really, I don’t.

I'm finding that is seems like I’m quickly scooping out the past 15 years and tossing it all aside in a big heap. But with all that grunge that’s being tossed, there’s also bits of goodness that need to be sorted out and figured out. There’s 12 years of marriage with someone who’s been nothing but perfect, there’s family who has loved me no matter my size, there’s life lessons I’ve learned, there’s memories that can’t ever be replaced etc. But it’s hard when I was the old Nicole for so long. I knew her but the old Nicole had settled. She existed. She got by day by day, barely. She covered up her emotions. She hid it all away so no one could see…so she wouldn’t be vulnerable. She ran from uncomfortable situations. She had zero confidence. Zero self-esteem. She pretended. She put up a good front. She thrived on no one seeing her. Her thoughts were kept down deep. She felt worthless. She began to wonder what her purpose truly was.

And then...all of the sudden this new person emerges with a brand new outlook on life and living. She has fresh thoughts, new feelings, different wants, different desires, changes and emotions and it’s all packed tight within this new Nicole who I’m trying to get to know. All of those fresh thoughts, feelings etc, are bursting at the seams to be free. They want out. They want to experience life and newness. She wants to always be doing something. She wants to be with people. She wants to be active and healthy. She wants to make clean, healthy choices. She wants to get to know new people. She wants to share her life with others as well as learn about theirs. She is always thinking. She is constantly observing. She wants to feel life and all it has to offer. She is confident. She feels good about herself. She is almost always soaking up happiness and joy. She wants to be involved in life. She is full of energy. She feels young and alive. She is now thriving on what it feels like to truly live. This is the new Nicole and I like her. For once, I like me.

It feels like I have a new world in front of me that is filled with opportunity and second chances. I’ve been given a fresh start. I just have to seek out what I want to take with me and what to leave behind. I need to learn what I expect of myself and others. I need to take time to introduce my new self to me as well as others and to understand that not only is this a major life adjustment for me but for those close to me as well. It’s proving to be a difficult path to walk. Sometimes scary. It’s the unknown and the unseen that makes me edgy. I just need to take it one day at a time and lean on those that I'm close to and that I can trust and depend on. I need that in my life.

It's a very complicated experience to express in words. As I type this, my words are seeming so simple but I hope this is making sense to someone who is reading this...


Marjorie said...

WOW...I don't know if I'll be able to take this all in. You hid it all so well my dear friend. Embrace the new Nicole...

Maryfrances said...

I am sure it is overwhelming for you Nicole. But, each day you become a stronger person...a stronger Women. I am so happy that your confidence has grown as it should.

I thinks folks do have a tough time dealing with people when they have some life altering transformation happen. I think it shows our own insecurities in ourselves and the world around us.

You have to always think of yourself first. This is your journey and your life. You call the shots and make the plans as you want them to be.

You are a fabulous and wonderful person, no matter what size or shape you are. Unfortunately there are folks out there that just can't handle things like that.

I love following along on your journey...keep it up!

Rachel said...

Hi Nicole.
I'm so sorry that you received that treatment in the past and that you are just now realizing it existed. I'm sure that must be emotionally overwhelming. I just wanted to tell you that maybe things are different on the Internet. I have always thought you were beautiful and intelligent and sweet and kind and fun. I know that Internet friends are not the same as real life friends because we don't see you physically everyday but we do "see" you. I am so excited for you and the changes you have made in your life because I can see how much better they are making your life and I want you to have the best life possible. You have made me think about my interactions in the physical world with the people that I run into daily and I'm going to be more careful that I don't exhibit any biases toward students or friends or strangers based on how they look. I don't think I did it but it is a good reminder anyway. Thank you so much for sharing all of yourself with us here in Internet Land. I hope the people you encounter in your life are just happy for you and that you will find some comfort in their happiness. hugs!

Julie Ann Shahin said...


We all have our own particular issue if you ask around, if people are brave enough to share it, and I applaud you for writing and putting it into beautiful words. Your words could also speak to someone who has overcome depression, or minor addictions... the part about "And then...all of the sudden this new person emerges with a brand new outlook on life and living." She has fresh thoughts, new feelings, different wants, different desires, changes and emotions..."

I think the ones who all of a sudden embrace you when they were uncomfortable before want to celebrate this fresh Nicole, not that they may have been prejudiced against perhaps, they might have been conditioned by our culture and tv makeover programs that this is the proper response.

As for the others, whenever one undergoes a big change, it kind of forces the people around you to look at their own situation to see if they need to change, and if they are uncomfortable with it, then yes, they might shy away from you too.

My best advice is to welcome and even seek out the people who are on the same path as you.


p.s. i'm all of a sudden following blogs not because of your weight loss but because I discovered google reader and am blogging again after a looooong break! LOL

Cary Young (foot doc gal) said...

Nicole, I can't believe I found your blog! I am so happy for you. I hope you know that I have always thought that you were beautiful! I love when you stop by the office to visit because you always make me laugh (hysterically) & it makes the rest of my day bearable! You have ALWAYS been an awesome person!!! Stop by and see me sometime because I think it's time for a gab session! LOL Keep on truckin'! Actually you have inspired me to get my lazy butt back on the treadmill....I have been indifferent lately!

~Sasha Farina~ said...

sweetheart, I say.. do what makes you happy. the prople around you, they should adjust to the new you.. you do nothing else. let them decide whether to acknowledge, to accept or to ignore. its enough that YOU know what you're doing is good for you!

"The Captain" said...

Congrats on the weight loss!!!

Debi said...

Hi Nicole,

Thanks so much for reading my blog...I think your an inspiration and I love reading your blog...Keep's good for the soul. :)

Krystin said...

First of all, I want to say CONGRATULATIONS!!! on reaching your goal. I am so proud of you and I knew you could do it.
You are awesome.
Girl, I love you to are such an inspiration...I wish I had half your willpower.
I loved this real. It was beautiful to read.
I have heard before that such large weight loss can be overwhelming...and that a lot of people really struggle with the new "them". I am so glad that you love the new you...I am glad you have found more confidence. You deserve it. You have earned everything that you have become and are still to become.
You are awesome!!!

Denise Beverly said...

thanks for sharing nicole... i do know all the feelings of being hesitant to go in businesses, talk to people, the looks, the whispers. the incredulous looks when i am shopping for small sized they not realize it could be a gift, that i don't really think i could squeeze my huge hips into those jeans.

i see how people watch my husband when we are out to eat, like he is some horrendously offensive being because he is heavy. it breaks my heart, he is not really aware, thank goodness. it is his nature not to be too observant of those around him. but i am a people watcher, so i see.

when we lost the weight before, i saw the change in attitudes, the more welcoming smile, the lack of glaring as we walked by.

it is a sad commentary on humankind. a friend of mine used to say "people are so facial" meaning superficial... but then again.. your face says so much.

i pray you continue your journey of health and healing physically and emotionally. i pray we will be on that journey soon.

we are facing some stressful days in our household with my husbands job - our son is graduating - not a good time for upheaval...and we will stand strong together through it all but with stress comes emotional eating - lack of discipline. i pray we will do as you have and redirect those energies to getting healthy.

all the best to you and thank you for taking us along with you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your personal thoughts, experiences and values here Nicole.
We are priveleged to hear these.

I have quite a few friends with PCOS, I wonder if more people are getting diagnosed these days now we are more aware, or if there is more of it happenning.

I too hope you get an all clear!

You are such an important sista to us Nicole - don't ever forget that and truly it is because of who you are that we love you so much!

I look forward to this journey of you becoming the person you were destined to become! :)

Shell from Oz and SBO