Originally published Sept. 3, 2005, in Our Town for the Tracy Press.
OK, it’s official. I am thinner. I know it seems I’m stating the obvious, but I feel obligated to admit that I’ve finally noticed the changes in my appearance.Until recently, if someone commented that I looked thinner, I would respond with “Do I?” or “Do you think so?” I wasn’t trying to be coy; I really couldn’t see a difference.However, that all changed when working on last week’s column.
At first, it just had to do with comparing the “before” picture with the one taken last week. I included many of the differences noticed in that column. However, I still didn’t notice them when looking in a mirror. I just looked like Tonya. No different from before.It wasn’t until trying on a pair of size-16 twill pants in a Kohl’s dressing room last weekend that I truly saw a difference.I didn’t expect the pants to even go over my hips, but they did. And then I stood there in front of the mirror, telling myself that they wouldn’t zip up, but they did. I tried them on with a large-size knit top, which also fit. And it was at that moment, looking in the mirror, that I saw the physical changes that everyone else has been telling me about.At first I thought the color combination (wine-colored top with black pants) was playing tricks with my eyes. But the more I looked at myself, the more I noticed. What first struck me was that the tummy bulge that seemed a permanent part of my appearance was less noticeable. As I turned to the side, I realized my thighs have actually gotten smaller.Before surgery, I feared that my whole body would shrink except for my thighs, giving me the world’s worst body shape imaginable.Looking up from the side, I realized my back had no visible fat rolls.There was no flesh bulging over or under my bra strap, no “love handles” flopping over my waistband.Feeling under my arm, I realized there was no flab pushing against my bra at all. That doesn’t mean there isn’t any there, it’s just not so much that it can’t be held in.After looking at each individual body part, I took a minute to take in the whole picture once again. And I couldn’t help but marvel at the realization of being 120 pounds thinner than I was a year ago.At 215, I’m about the same weight I was when I graduated high school. I didn’t have as many stretch marks back then as I do now, and my skin was a lot more supple and youthful. But I think that’s true for many women in their late 20s. Sure, they may have had babies and stuff, but it’s still true.I’ve gone from wearing a too-tight size 28 in February of this year to a snug 16 or loose 18 on bottom, and large or XL on top. And, for the first time ever, I weigh less than what my driver’s license says I do. How’s that for a strange situation? I look forward to getting it renewed next year and taking a new picture and recording a new weight. I might actually dress up for the occasion.It’s been a good six months, and I look forward to noticing more changes in the weeks to come.