Accepting Change and Compliments

By Rachel 

23 pounds. That’s how much I’ve lost recently. I’m almost halfway to my goal.

The weird thing about losing weight though is all of the changes that come with it. I have really mixed feelings about everything for a number of reasons. First of all, I am certainly my harshest critic. I have very high standards for myself and nothing is ever really good enough. I don’t take a lot of time to pat myself on the back for my hard work, but rather beat myself up over what I have yet to accomplish.

I don’t want to be complacent when I know I’m not nearly done.

I was talking to a friend today about the strange feeling that can come with receiving compliments when you change your appearance. In the past few weeks, the volume of compliments I receive has increased. While it is nice that people have noticed the change in me, at the same time, my brain starts getting paranoid.

“Well, wasn’t I good enough before? Wasn’t I attractive 23 pounds ago?”

The sad part is, I’m a hypocrite. I’m equally as guilty of finding someone more attractive after they took the time to get into better shape. (Except, Seth Rogan. I loved him before he got skinny.)

It is an extremely bizarre feeling though. Self improvement certainly gives you self esteem, but in my case, it makes me wonder what people saw before my transformation.

For example, my ex didn’t start paying attention to me as a potential mate until I changed my hair color. I had taken out my highlights and colored my hair red. Bam. That got his attention, and the rest is history. That was seriously all it took. One Myspace profile photo change and his whole perception of me changed.

What was different about me then? I was the same person. Same personality. Same weight. Same clothes. Just added a sassier hair color.

I know that I should just be thankful and happy that people are taking notice that I’ve worked really hard to get healthy and in better shape, but I still can’t help but wonder what people thought of me before. Once I reach my goal weight, then what will the perception of me be?

Everybody wants to be desireable, but it is hard to come to terms with the fact that at some point, maybe you weren’t. Physical attraction is important to any relationship’s success. When people find you more attractive after you have gone to great lengths to improve yourself, this is flattering, but if your brain is kind of screwy like mine, you take it as validation that maybe you weren’t worth it.

I’m the same person inside. Same smile. Same sense of humor. Same level of intellect. Just perkier boobs and a butt with more lift. (Squats and chest presses are your friend!)

Sometimes, even I am subject to stereotypical female insanity and irrationality. This is one of those times.

People thinking I am more attractive now though, only validates to me that what I previously felt about myself was true.

Perception is an odd thing. I feel better about myself and I like that my hard work is being met with praise. Everyone likes to know that they are actually making progress. Without people taking note, I would be infinitely more hard on myself. But I also don’t really like compliments that much because they embarrass me and I don’t always feel like I deserve them.

I don’t like feeling though like I was hideous prior to my body changing.

Do you see where this is an absolutely vicious cycle??

The mind is far more strange than the body it runs.

**NOTE** This is NOT a blog begging for compliments. This is me talking through my own neurosis and hoping that I’m not the only numskull out there who’s brain functions in this manner. And thank you to everyone who has graciously sent compliments my way. I really appreciate it. I’m not downplaying your kindness.

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