I know some may have been a bit shocked at the analogy but I think it goes to how people who are "different" are treated. I had a mother who was in a wheelchair, paralyzed with Multiple Sclerosis for her last 30 years. People stared when I took her to the mall. I have a BIL who will soon be 50 and has also been in a wheelchair due to Cerebral Palsy. He needs care for most basic needs but he still lives on his own. It is really hard to understand him when he speaks but he still tries. Sometimes we ignore him because it is too much effort to try to communicate. One of the guys I work with is visually impaired yet he still reads all his e-mails on a special screen and font huge and has an amazing sense of humour. But I sometimes feel embarrassed when I say things like "look at that, can you believe it" or other stupid vision related sayings.
"Losing all the weight has got to be like having one's legs amputated above the knee. You are viewed so differently by others, treated so differently by others, and you have to relearn how to do many things in your life. It has to be a lot of mental work."
But I also believe "seeing" someone with a disability can also make them invisible. Someone with an amputation: I am sure many of us would stare although we would try to do it unobtrusively. The same with fat people (yes I said it). There are fat people in this world and I being one was made to feel invisible. I tried to hide it but it was always the elephant in the room. Would anyone ever go up to an amputee and say, OMG you don't have any legs. Not really. I never remember someone saying, OMG you are fat! But there are so many other ways that we picked up the non-verbal reactions.
So yes, we are viewed differently by others, treated differently by others, and have to relearn how to do many things in life. We did this when we were at our fattest, on our way down and for some of us we aren't sure if we have actually "reached the end" in our weightloss.
But will it change? I doubt it. We will always look at ourself differently even when we actually are not very different. An amputee can sometimes have phantom pain or "feel" like their limb is still present. I think those of us who have been fat will always feel that way. There really is a lot of mental work to see ourselves. And I am trying to actually "see" myself.
Stephanie posted about saying nice things to yourself. Sort of a Say it til you believe it!
So here I am to say, I am not fat. I am pretty. I am a good person who strives to be fair and compassionate. I am a great mom and wife. I am learning to love myself no matter how many lumps and bumps I see in the mirror. They are what make me, ME. I love to speak my mind and am trying to listen more. My favourite expression is: Beauty is what health & happiness looks like on the outside.