The Other Side


There are days, like today, where I feel like I woke up with a new body. I’ve spent part of the morning going through clothing and separating out what’s wearable and what’s not, even though I already did this at my lowest weight before surgery. And I am not back to that lowest weight, yet, although I’m very close. (Hopefully, I’ll be in a loss situation by next week’s blog.)

While I’m a big believer in non-scale victories (NSV), I also tend to get hung up on what the scale says. I also tend to still think of myself as obese — not in the stinkin’-rotten BMI sense of the word, but as someone who’s grossly overweight and carries the social stigma of being considered as other. Someone who lives on the far side of an invisible barrier that few get to cross.

I felt something different this morning; an excitement as I realized that my body has continued to change, despite not yet being at my lowest. That number was back in the spring, before knee surgery, before physical therapy, before a temporary increase in weight (and the process to re-lose those pounds), before working my legs to strengthen one after surgery and the other before the next, before hitting my stride again with walking.

Nah, if it’s too *big*, I’ll get rid of it!

I was quite surprised to find that I could lay aside more clothes for the donation pile, and move some up from my too-small drawer (which is looking pretty scant these days). I also tried on a dress I bought back in the spring that was too small, then, and now needs to be altered to fit on top, and a few dresses that have hung in my closet in excess of a decade, waiting for wearing.

Well, the waiting is over! All I need is a few occasions where I can wear them and I’m set. I can finally cut those clearance tags off. (Yes, I’m bad about leaving tags on clothing that doesn’t fit, yet — maybe as a “well, it wasn’t THAT expensive!” thought to console myself for blowing money on something that doesn’t fit.)

I’m at the point, now, where I have a few items that are still too small; a couple pair of jeans, a dress I bought as a goal dress back around 15 years ago, and a leather coat that has been around for almost as long that I should be able to wear this winter with no problems. In short, the number of things in my home that are too small is probably the same number of too-small clothes normal women have.

Maybe even less!

Every single thing is in a regular size; no more plus sizes, with very few exceptions. And those exceptions are items that ran very small to begin with. I actually cut through the plus-size section of my local Walmart the other day, saw something cute hanging up on the wall, and then realized that I don’t wear those sizes anymore.

I’m no longer other; the only one who treats me as if I am… is me. I need to give myself permission to allow myself to enjoy normalcy without forgetting the lessons I’ve learned over previous years. My life is on the other side of that invisible barrier, now. I intend to stay.

On a related subject, when I went into my orthopedic surgeon’s office last year to see about getting on the list for knee replacement, I hit a wall thanks to a PA who regarded me as other. He told me to come back when I lost weight. I had to delay surgery because I didn’t lose the weight and there’s a part of me that has always thought well, he won that round. Later, I was able to lose the weight and had to weigh in to prove it, but I did it.

Yesterday, I had my two-month post-surgery follow-up with my surgeon’s office. I didn’t expect to see the surgeon — or, for that matter, the PA who disregarded me the first time; I hadn’t seen him since that day last year. Until yesterday. He was very professional. I no longer felt as if he regarded me as he did, before. Neither did the surgeon, but he’s the one who helped me find other ways to accomplish my goals. My weight is no longer a factor with their office; no one has asked me to step up on a scale to make sure I’m within the right BMI range.

So here I stand, perfectly normal, and I’m no longer other. Sometimes, it’s like a fairy tale, where I’ve been given the gift to relive my life. I can never forget, though, that this is a gift I worked hard for and gave to myself.


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