No I haven’t changed…


It is often said that when you lose weight it takes time to make yours your new image, to see yourself as you’ve become. It’s not wrong, it took me one year to first try on size 12 trousers, And six more months not to take with me in the fitting room a size 14 and 16, “just in case”.

But what is less said, it’s that others look at us the same way we do. You don’t change easily in people’s mind.

Yesterday evening, I was invited to a rout by my former boss. The occasion to meet a few colleagues from my old life. Not so old, I left only six months ago.

Six months during which I didn’t lose one gram, I believe I’ve stabilized, fluctuating plus or minus two kilos around my set point.

But it is not the question.

I thus saw again some colleagues and they were numerous – I mean it was not an isolated remark – to exclaim that I had slimmed down. Even that I was truly blooming – there was even one who though never had a nice word for me during the five years I spent under his responsibility who said the word “stunning”.

I will not lie, it was very nice, compliments, you should always accept them without nitpicking.

But still I wondered.

How come they had this reaction, when my figure was the same as today long before I left? And this dress I was wearing, my relentless black wrap dress from Monop, 2006 crop more or less, they must have seen it on me dozens of times. I wasn’t wearing more make up than other days, it didn’t take me more time to get ready, and I had terrible migraine, one that shrinks your eyes and give you a grey complexion.

I mean, I was not especially looking bad, but no more no less the same than six months ago. Of course, you can object that this new life turns out well for me, that serenity within yourself shows outside. But although I’m now sure I’ve made the good choice – or in any case a choice I must live with – I’m not unfazed at all, in the grip of questionings and daily doubts. That’s how I am and I fear I’ll have to deal with it until I reach the grave.

In short, I wish I were ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ heroine, but left with my cigarettes, my beta blocker and my hassles.

All this to say that I think the only reason for their ‘surprise’ lies in the fact they didn’t see me for a long while. And thus, they had gotten rid of their retinal persistence (I’ve been looking for a way to use that expression for three days, I find it sounds very serious) which was making them see me like I was “before”. Maybe also very simply, they weren’t looking at me before, I was part of the furniture, a work place is not a catwalk anyway, right.

The fact remains that I think it explains also why yourself you can’t look differently at a body that might have changed. You see yourself a lot through the prism of what others send back to you.

I would add that if these compliments moved me, they also slightly called to mind. The link between my weight loss and my supposed “spiritual fullness” was visibly obvious. The “you’ve lost weight”, I was hearing it as a “You’re happy, it shows”.

I believe I’ve more than ever understood doctor Zermati, when he was talking about danger of over promoting weight loss. It is such pressure, I believe, this link between well being and a slim body. If I had arrived yesterday, smiling and gussied up, but with ten more kilos, would my formers colleagues have concluded that I had made a big mistake and I was a loser? If I were to put on weight again, would I have to bear, besides annoyances linked to weight gain – be it only my ward robe renewal – sorry looks from my kin, who would deduct I’m not feeling good, even that I’m outcast?

I’m not setting the world on fire by writing these words. But obesity is more and more and irreparably assimilated to a whole lot of negative trait of character: slackness, laziness, depression, etc. It’s all the more so unfair that I don’t know anybody more full of willpower than someone on a diet.

I went slightly in several directions, this article has been written at a late hour. Don’t be mistaken, I wasn’t angry at these persons who were full of good intentions. I even confess having enjoyed the moment, who doesn’t dream of being a hit when coming back on the crime scene? But at the end, what I keep in mind, it’s that I’m worth – and this ‘I’ must be taken as a ‘we’ – more than a few lost kilos. And what moved me the most, it’s A., with whom I didn’t often speak during those years working with her and who told me she reads me and laughs, often.

Have a nice day…

The picture? No, nothing to do with the subject, it’s just ‘our’ small restaurant to which we go systematically on the first evening of our holidays, And I confess I really wish I were there…

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