Not Being Recognized

While my two-year fitness journey officially began in September, I’ve been working out and eating healthy (for the most part) since completing post-knee surgery rehab in March. I’ve lost 48 pounds this year and I weigh 68 pounds less than I did at my heaviest.

Last night I saw two relatives I haven’t seen in about a year and a half. Their mouths literally dropped open when they saw me and both said they would not have recognized me. Both wanted to know what I’ve been doing and the compliments continued to roll for a bit.  I thought their reactions were sweet, yet a little extreme, until I realized that losing 50 pounds off of a 5′ 6″ frame can make a big difference in one’s appearance.

In the old days, compliments like that would have set up a “pride before the fall” dynamic. I would have reveled in the kind words, decided I “had arrived,” and then I would have celebrated with a dessert buffet. After filling myself with foods that are for me addictive, I would have gone on binging for months or maybe years. I’m not kidding. I’ve done that several times.

The journey I’m on now is not about how I look (although compliments are appreciated). Today I’m all about the quality and quantity of the years I have left. I want to some day be the 80-year-old who earns her black belt in tae-kwan-do. I want to win my age group in a half-marathon because I’m the only woman participating who is that old. I want to be an old lady enjoy friendships with people who are much younger than me, not because they visit me in the nursing home, but because I can keep up with them on the bike trails, the hiking trips and road races.

So while I find compliments so kind, I’m after a bigger prize…one day at a time.

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