Visibility

I had forgotten about it.  It’s been so long. But, it has happened several times in this last week.  I’ve been “seen.”

If you’ve not struggled with weight issues, you won’t understand.  But, if you’ve been heavy and then lost weight, you will identify.

In America, you become invisible when you get heavy.  I can’t say that I know when it happens but, some time along the way, people cease to see you.  It’s slow. It’s subtle. But, it happens.  And you don’t even really notice it…. until the pattern is reversed.  THEN you notice.

I first remember noticing after Joy was born.  I have struggled with my weight the most since having her.  I’ve been as heavy as 181 at one point. It was from this point that I worked my way down, but I’ve still not been able to get weight off and KEEP it off.  It’s always a cyclic thing.  I put it on the winter, when I struggle with being sluggish and I hibernate.  Then, as the days begin to lengthen and spring draws near, I begin to have more energy.  I stop eating as much and begin to lose again.   But, the past two years, I’ve stayed at a steady 170-180 pounds.

It’s so difficult to live there.  I know this sounds crazy, but I think about my weight all the time.  I’m literally uncomfortable in my skin.  My clothes are very tight, but I won’t buy larger sizes because they fit me everywhere EXCEPT at the waist.  So, I stay in my twelves and endure very tight waistbands.  The discomfort is always there…. when I sit …. when I stand.  I think about it often. But, there is never enough motivation to try to stop eating. In the past year or so, I realized that I’m eating to gain energy because I feel so drained from …. the winter …. the lack of sun?  I don’t know.  All I know is, I need energy so my head tells me to eat.  I eat. But, I don’t have any more energy because it’s seasonal, not physical.  So, I remain overweight. And I remain uncomfortable.

But, this year, I’ve been able to make some changes. I really can’t put my finger on why I was able to do it this year, when others have gone by without the motivation.  But, I feel so much better. And I’m so thankful.

Since buying the chin up bar that I wrote about here, I’ve been able to work up to a fourteen second hang. It might not sound like much, but it’s a start.  One day, I’ll be able to actually PULL UP my body weight.  I’m sure it will be months, but I’m working on it.

And I’ve been going to a several belly dance classes that I’m still absolutely loving.  They have been very encouraging.  The classes are full of women of all sizes and ages.  The instructors are strong and move beautifully.  They make me feel beautiful and sensuous.  It’s a wonderful feeling.

So, I’m seeing progress and I’m into some dresses that I haven’t worn in two years!! I started at 178 and was down to 154 yesterday!!  That’s a 24 pound weight loss in about five months.  I’m riding my bike about once a week, running once or twice and going to belly dance one to three times a week.  I have gone kayaking once and plan to go a lot more (as soon as graduations are over!) since I have a kayak of my own now!! My kayaking adventure - as documented by my friend Sherrie

So, this weight loss has reminded me about visibility.  Have you experienced it?  When you are heavy, people don’t see you.  But, when you’re thinner, men open doors for you, they notice you … they “see” you.

I had forgotten.

And to be honest, this is the part about being thin that I find difficult and I don’t know why.

Maybe it’s because it’s easier to be invisible.
Maybe it’s  because being visible doesn’t line up with the self-doubt I experience internally.

These things make me think. They make me wonder.
I have no wisdom on them. I have no insight.  I just ponder.

Do you have anything to share on the topic?

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2 thoughts on “Visibility

  1. i totally get that. i had forgotten about being “seen” too until recently. with my weight loss and surgery, i have noticed being noticed…. i used to think i would have liked it, now i feel weird. i’m not sure why either….

    on another note- i’m so proud of you for losing that weight! that is AMAZING! you go girl! you look fab in your kyak. how i hope you can come visit us in VA, with your boat, and we can go out together.
    love you!
    h

    Like

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