Something I Never Expected…

“You’re looking good. Have you lost weight?”

It’s been almost a full year since I started trying to lose weight and get in shape. There’s a whole lot of things I expected would be difficult about the process. Things like trying to learn to eat on a calorie budget. Ensuring that I do eat on a budget by recording everything I eat. Exercising daily. Pushing through the doldrums and staying on task even when I didn’t want to.

“All of that exercise you’re doing… I can really see a difference!”

I won’t pretend that all of that wasn’t hard. Because it was. Terribly so, when I first started, and it still is on some days. Some days, I still want to eat two pints of ice cream while sitting on the couch. I don’t do it, but the urge is still there from time to time. But there’s something else that turned out to be really difficult. Something I never expected.

“Your weight loss got me inspired! I wanted to let you know that I lost my first ten pounds!”

The hard part, the unexpectedly hard part, about all of the work I’m doing is the recognition. The first time someone asked if I’d lost some weight, and commented that they could really see a difference, I was embarrased. That person meant it as a compliment, but all I could hear was my own inner voice. And that inner voice was appalled that I’d been so fat that – even with all the weight I still had to lose – the little bit I’d lost was so noticable. The second time was just as strange. And the fifth. And the twentieth.

Yeah, guys have body issues too. Like so many other things, we don’t talk about them as much.

I’ve gotten used to those comments by now, to a degree. It still flusters me a little, but I’ve practiced accepting the compliment in the spirit it’s intended. Even so, it’s stragely hard to hear. At the same time, though, I [i]crave[/i] that recognition. When someone congratulates me, it still flusters and embarrasses me. But it also thrills me, a little. Because I don’t want anyone to notice and at the same time I want everyone to notice. Which sounds just as nonsensical in my head as it looks when I type it.

I fully expected to have to develop a host of new skills as I lost weight. I never anticipated that, among those skills, would be the ability to take a compliment.


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