I suppose there is not too much difference in these two pictures taken just over twelve months apart. You will notice that I have moved out of my making a statement re. the International Women’s Movement with the green and purple foils phase into my “I am not trying to disguise the fact that I am grey, I am making a statement about the importance of colour in my life”. But I can see the differences – I have only one chin and a bit of a turkey gobbler going on. My cheeks are more defined, and I seem to appear a bit less uncertain in the second image. Who would have thought it!
For the past few months I have had the surprising experience of people being unable to recognise me and I being even less able to recognise my physical self! Its been unnerving and something I never predicated would be the result of losing one third of my body weight in a little over a year! When people ask “my secret” I tell them that I have been attacked by a South American tape worm. I was told last week that this could be regarded as a bit racist!
So what has been my secret? I gave up drinking alcohol – fortunately just before my heart went into meltdown, mainly because of my daily intake of same from 2007 till June 1st 2016, I started drinking more water and eating only at meal times and then I went to hospital for the pace maker, for the cardiac rehab, for the simultaneous bilateral knee replacement and the rehab after that and the weight just seemed to fall off – steadily.
So many positives about the new shape and size of me but what has astounded me is the accompanying identity crisis!
I used to go on about the scene in Shirley Valentine where her Greek lover kisses her stretch marks. My gag line was always “if I ever met anyone who wanted to kiss all my stretch marks he would find himself occupied for at least the next 50 years”. Eight pregnancies, morbid obesity had left me with what appeared to be a map of the river system of several continents! Now, in the event of finding someone who wants to do the same thing, it will be like traversing a three dimensional diorama with frilly crests and shallow valleys that sort of resemble ric-rac braid!
I remember discussing a phenomenal weight loss by an acquaintance with a friend. I had not seen this woman for some time and although she was never as horizontally gifted as I was, she was out there! Weight loss made her look fabulous! However, in the course of the conversation I was having with this newly svelte woman, she just happened to tilt her head forward and it was as if her entire face had become a land slide! Everything came forward! I didn’t know where to look or what to say. Fortunately it all returned to its correct place when she lifted her head again! That hasn’t happened to my face… yet anyway but OH OH OH my stomach and my boobs! Not that I look at myself sans apparel often but on the odd occasion if I stand up its like a flesh coloured avalanche – ric-rac braid included!
I had to buy a new bra! My daughter who is a trained bra fitter was very happy. The last over should boulder holder I purchased was a 24DD. I have been on the lookout for a man with double D cup hands all my life and it has nothing to do with wanting to play duets with him on the piano! So I fronted up to the bra shop and explained y situation and half an hour later I walked out with two 18C numbers! My daughter was delighted! “About time Mum! Your boobs have been flopping around in your bra for the last year!” Of course when released from the bondage of the C cup they are now, more than ever, like bottom heavy pancakes but they no longer flop as far as my belly button – which I can now SEE THE BOTTOM OF!!!!!!!
And my ARMS…. oh my arms! I have developed a pair of biceps – therapy and walking with Canadian crutches. I was very pleased with them. I can flex them with the best of people but THAT balloon was burst when my 4 year old grandson laughed his head off and said “Oh Grandma, you have floppy arms!” However, I can do sound effects with them now! If I am sleeveless and I forget they make a sort of tree branch flapping in the southerly breeze sound!
I have not been able to get the thunder thighs under control though – not that I have tried to get them or any of the above sorted really. My new knees give me fairly constant grief. No pain that is almost unendurable as it was a few months ago but it is like they are sending me a message that there is not enough room in my legs for them to fit in. When I saw the X-ray of them in situ I nearly passed out. I won’t be anxious to see them again!
BONES…. I have sticking out bones! My ribs sometimes wake me up at night when I lie on my side! My collar bones are evident creating that “look” that I have not had since I was on boarding school rations in 1968!
So, has it been worth it? Well, I think so. People are very kind and express awe at the “transformation”. It makes me a little sad to think that I must have been such a disappointment to them before! I haven’t changed – its just the packaging that has and although I sometimes feel a bit like I am in the middle of an identity crisis, losing one third of my body weight in just over a year has not changed the person I remain. Its just that I come in a smaller size!
I have only one fear however!What if the “avalanche” should develop to include my thunder thighs? The rehab physio told me that I will never be able to kneel again. No big deal until I fall over. Her advice was if I fall down in public, I just need to roll into recovery position, dial 000 and wait for the paramedics to arrive!