I’ve shared a lot of bad embarrassing moments with you over the five+ 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. I rarely entered a store where I didn’t run into someone I knew. However, as I gained more and more weight, it stopped being nice to run into people I hadn’t seen in a while and began to feel uncomfortable. There were times that people I had known for years but had not seen for a long time did not recognize me. That was pretty embarrassing for both of us, as you can well imagine.
I imagined that they would tell friends how big I had become and ask their friends if they knew what had happened to me to make me gain over 150 pounds since my wedding day. I don’t know if they actually talked about me to other people, but I imagine it probably happened on more than one occasion.
As I started my final weight loss effort that would eventually see me losing half my body weight, it took at least 50 pounds before people began to tentatively ask me if I had lost a few pounds. I tried to stay calm and not look too excited when friends and acquaintances finally noticed that I had lost weight. I’d casually say, “Yes, I’ve lost some weight,” but in my mind I was yelling at them, “More than some. I’ve lost 50 pounds. Ten bags of flour, 200 sticks of butter!” But I just smiled serenely and we finished our conversation before going our separate ways.
As the weight came off, more and more friends started talking about my weight loss with me. I tended to downplay the whole issue and change the subject as it made me uncomfortable to have so much attention focused on my appearance, clothes, and weight! During the 14 months that it took me to lose 158 pounds, I ran into a lot of people and so most people that I knew also knew I had lost a substantial amount of weight. Eventually it became rare to run into someone who did not know know I had changed my life.
However, there was one situation when I was grocery shopping, and did run into someone who did not know I had lost weight but sure did know me. It was my husband’s cousin, whom we did not see very often.
As I rolled my grocery cart past her, she looked at me as though she kinda recognized me but wasn’t entirely certain. I said a cheery “Hi!” She looked at me a bit confused. I quickly and smoothly reintroduced myself to her and she apologized all over herself for not realizing who I was. She said, “I heard you had lost weight but had no idea how much!” I reassured her that this wasn’t the first time this had happened and not to think twice about it. She and I visited for a bit, went our own separate ways, and I was struck with the irony of the situation.
You see, when I gained 150 pounds, the exact same situation happened – only in reverse. People I had known since before I was married no longer recognized me. Then, when I lost 150 pounds, it happened again. Only that time, it was a happy moment rather than an embarrassing moment.
I offer this story as an encouragement to you. Change is very possible, and it’s not always embarrassing.
Have you had any experiences that were embarrassing at one time but changed to a positive experience as you changed your life? Diane
Photo credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Jeroen van Oostrom