Today, I drove out to the new house to meet a buddy from jr high & high school so he could give me a bid on some work on our windows. I’ve known this guy since I was 13 years old, when we were in choir together, and I have all kinds of great memories of surviving science classes and bus trips for choir and just general adolescence together. He’s a good, honest dude who was always a good friend to me, and I was genuinely happy to see him. I was caught off-guard, though, when he got out of his work truck and said, “Man, Jen, you have not changed a BIT!”
My gut reaction (other than “EXCEPT MY HAIR, right?!” Haaa!) was to absent-mindedly laugh while I processed my surprise/humility/relief/gratitude. I’m sure his comment was just something people say–a pleasantry, a kindness. But it was meaningful to me because a couple of years ago, it’s not something anyone would have felt they could say. It would not have been honest when I was so extremely overweight, nor would it have been kind.
On the way home, I realized what a gift that comment was. THIS is why I wanted to lose weight, after all those years. I hated knowing I didn’t look like myself anymore. I hated feeling embarrassed to run into old friends. I hated being afraid of what people were thinking. Now, when I see someone after years and years, they don’t see the weight. They don’t see the destruction I ravaged on my body for a decade. Instead, they simply see me.
I have changed, and I know I have. It’s been 20 years since high school, and I’m nearing 40. But I’m happy with my health. I’m happy with how strong I’ve become, and how hard I know I can push myself. I know myself better than I did 20 years ago. Or five. Or one. I’m proud of this girl. And that’s a huge non-scale victory. 👊