Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Analogies & Positive Reinforcement

Lapband Gal posted this today and since my comment would have been really long, I decided to reply on my blog since it hit a chord with me. Here is the comment a good friend left for her:
"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."
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.

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.

That's all...

9 comments:

Lap Band Gal said...

Amen sista! Love today's post :) I hope I get to see my favorite Canadian at boobs again this year!

Drazil said...

You are pretty and amazing and a million other things and I love you!

Camille said...

Love this post, SL!!

Barbara said...

I am here to say you are one of the most beautiful people I know outside and INSIDE. And you have every reason in the world for us to love you and for you to love yourself.. this I know for sure. hugs

Gen said...

Excellent post, and I love your affirmations. You deserve to feel this way! You are right about all of these things.

The amputation analogy doesn't work for me. It is backwards. Like before we were in the wheelchair without legs, invisible, stared at, ignored....and now we are normal. So its like, how do we live as a normal person now?

Theresa aka Tessie Rose said...

Great post Sandy! I'm so glad we all have each other to get through these changes, it's quite a journey!

tagyourit said...

Perfect explaination. Thanks!

Beth Ann said...

Love the postive affirmations!

Amanda Kiska said...

Love this!

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