Monday, March 3, 2008

On Keepin' On

I had my first appointment - this go-around - with Rocky at JMP Rehabilitation (Physical Therapy) today. It was a strange experience. Deja vu. I felt like I had been there before and, in fact, I had. Many times. A lot of the same supportive staff who have helped me over the years still work there and seemed very happy to see me. And in a way, I was happy to see them too. Of course I'd rather have reunited under more social circumstances, but it is what it is.

The immediate burning question on their mind, knowing where I have come from and how I lost weight, was if I still exercised withRichard Simmons... to which I, of course, answered "Yes!" They can see that I've somewhat maintained my 200+ pound weight loss, even with my current struggles in that arena. I've gone to Rocky after orthopedic issues at all of my differing sizes, and they've always been helpful, but with me being of normal BMI, he's more helpful. Probably because I'm more able to help myself.

Everyone looks about the same. Maybe a little older and some a little heavier, but they always were very good looking and athletic and it remains so.

However, my appearance is really different than the last time I visited. That last time, I was so ill that the Paramedics were called after I had collapsed on the way out. They had dismissed me before the appointment was finished because I looked too sick to partipate and apparently they were right. So I really don't know if their attitude today was of concern for my health and the historical consequences or disquiet because I don't look like the same person that they'd known for all these years (25).

One of the fortunate-but-unfotunate issues of weight loss is that you discover just how important appearance really is. More so than I had ever imagined. I wear a lot of make-up now; put a lot of emphasis on hair and clothing. It's something that Richard taught me; a lesson that I resisted for years before I finally aquiesced. People treat me differently at my current weight, and especially with my attention to cosmetic impact. Much better. But it's awkward and disquieting for me.

I've talked about this with my Therapist on many occasions. How the world works so differently than I had thought for those many years. How unfair it is that we're primarily judged on appearance rather than substance. And how I still feel like a fish-out-of-water under most circumstances. Like I don't necessarily deserve the attention that I get.

All the same, discomfort be damned, I'm not going back from where I came. It's not that I like how I look now (I don't), or even that I enjoy the preferential treatment I receive (it makes me feel like a fraud). But what I do enjoy is that I can go anywhere I want to go and do most of the things I would like to do that I used to only get to watch from the sidelines.

The bottom line is that even though I don't fit socially and don't know if I ever will, I fit in much better.

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