Unrecognizable

So many of the people who have been supporting Jason and I see us often enough that they can watch the transition as we lose weight. They’re our coworkers, our family, fellow Weight Watchers members and our closest friends. They applaud our progress and cheer us on, but they’re privy to the gradual changes. They know who we are when they see us.

One of my friends didn’t.

Last night a couple of my friends stopped by to visit. One of them I see at least twice a month even though we don’t have enough time to really hang out any more. The other, I hadn’t seen for a year. A year ago, I was getting ready to go on vacation and was at my highest weight. Right after telling me that I was looking great, she said one of the best things I’ve heard in a year. “I didn’t recognize you! I’ve seen you around town, but I didn’t know it was you!”

I can’t even begin to tell you how great that was to hear.

In talking with Jason later, I found out that he had seen her several times when we’ve been out shopping. She’s waved at him (it’s not uncommon for us to split up) and apparently she’s seen me nearby, but didn’t know it was me.

Now, this isn’t the kind of “unrecognizable” you see on talk shows, where a girl who was bigger in high school, confronts her youthful crush (who broke her heart) after losing over half her weight and flaunting it with the benefit of Hollywood’s stylists. I don’t think if I posted side-by-side pictures of me then and now that any of you would struggle with seeing that I’m the same person 50 pounds lighter.

It got me thinking about how we recognize people while we’re out and about besides their face.

A few weeks ago when we had Sophie at her puppy training class, we had to take her around the store and ask strangers to command her to sit and give her a treat to start training her to sit for a greeting. Most people while out shopping tend to be a little unapproachable and we were having a hard time finding someone who wanted to give Monster a treat. I glanced down an isle and saw a couple walking the opposite direction. I could only see the back of this woman, but I thought she looked like a coworker of mine. I called her name and she turned around. I was right! And I’d found two of the five people I needed to ask my Sophie to sit.

I couldn’t see her face, but I recognized her frame as well as the style and color of her hair. We can watch the way someone walks and recognize them. We see the way they move. We notice height, size, shape and many other nuances in the people we know. We don’t think about them. They’re just a part of the person and we know them.

Some of those things have been changing in me and apparently enough has changed that, to people I haven’t seen since I started losing weight, I’m not immediately recognized. My friend finally recognized me because she knew she was at my house. Out around town, she never did. It’s not only because I’m smaller. It’s because as we lose weight, we carry ourselves differently, more confidently. We move easier. And yes, we might even look taller as we slim down. My shape is different and a glance doesn’t identify me for someone who hasn’t seen me in a long enough period of time.

I would, of course, have loved to have visited with my friend if she’d stopped and said hello. I don’t know why I didn’t see her myself when apparently Jason did. But I loved hearing that I’ve made enough progress that I don’t look the same. I still have a long way to go and I’ve recently struggled with being able to see past all the weight I’m still carrying around to see the changes. I needed this. I needed someone to realize that she hadn’t recognized me and tell me so.

I love being unrecognizable.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Robyn Denise
    Aug 03, 2011 @ 11:02:05

    I’ve been my current size for about 2 years now, give or take… but I find people that haven’t seen me before walk right by me, and in many cases it’s great! I mean.. there are a lot of people from high school that I really don’t want to talk to. especially the small talk as you see someone when you’re out at the mall or something.. I love it 🙂 Sometimes I get the people staring at me (who I know but they don’t recognize me) and I get the “Didn’t you go to Meadowvale high school?” I laugh when that happens. Actually happened when I was at a restaurant.. by someone I was good friends in high school. 🙂

    Congrats on the awesome weight loss! You should post your current and before picture one day soon

    Reply

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