I have spent the better part of the last year trying to take better care of my body. I changed the way I ate, started working out and I just invested more time in looking the way I wanted to look. It was hard work and I am pretty proud of the results.
Want to know what else I feel when I look at this picture? I feel confused. The woman on the right is not a woman I recognize. I know that might seem strange to say but I am still really trying to get to know her.
As anyone who has lost a fair amount of weight can confirm, drastic changes to your physical appearance can severely warp your sense of self. I lost a little over sixty pounds and it has skewed the way I view myself along with the way others view me.
Imagine waking up one morning and realizing you no longer recognize the person staring back you from the mirror. This can be exciting. It is like the ultimate gift for someone who was overweight most of her adult life and never really expected that the changes she had implemented in order to be healthier would yield such amazing results. It can be so overwhelming that you forget who you are. You wonder if you are even capable of being the same person you were. You wonder if you even want to be.
I find myself more concerned with maintaining weight now. Men notice me more and this has made me to realize I really long to share my life with someone. I have also become very preoccupied with my physical appearance. My features have changed. My confidence has inflated. I take tons of pictures of myself. I spend embarrassing amounts of time looking at those images and noting every change.
As I become more comfortable with my new reflection, I feel less disoriented about the change in my appearance. I am becoming less uncomfortable with the attention of strangers. I am defining who I am all over again. I feel more feminine. I dress differently. I date.
Losing weight has been a mixed blessing. Ultimately I am still struggling to define who I am. I know that in a spiritual sense I have not changed but in many other ways I have.
But the overriding emotion I feel when I see my transformation is still one of pride. I have been presented with the opportunity to change and grow so much from my metamorphasis. I am proud of myself. I am proud that I can see outwardly how I feel inside. I am finally learning to project the beauty of my true self and that is truly beautiful.