I saw a lot of people today that I haven't seen in a while. I was mentoring the new teachers in our school system and got the chance to see some of my friends who work in other buildings who were also there to mentor the new hires. During a regular school year, we have little opportunity to engage with one another other than by email, so even though some of them knew about this journey I've been on for 16 months now, many of them hadn't actually seen me. I heard some great feedback today from my colleagues about my progress on this journey! It was actually a really nice feeling to be complimented on my hard work. One of my colleagues that I haven't seen in about 2 years, though, really stunned me. She said she didn't even recognize me! She and I taught in the same building for 7 years. It's not like she didn't know what I looked like...but she had to look really hard to realize it actually was ME standing in front of her.Really? Am I so totally different physically that I don't even look like the same person? Her comment gave me an idea. I wanted to see just how different I appear. People notice the changes, which are really beginning to be obvious. I get that. And I know I've lost almost 80 pounds since my friend had last seen me, but surely my features are still somewhat similar, right?
So these pictures in this post are my little experiment. They are taken almost exactly 2 years apart. The one on the left is July of 2009 and the one on the right was July of 2011. The one on the left would be how I looked the last time she saw me. The one on the right is pretty close to how I look today.
You be the judge...what do you think? Is there anything in these two pictures that let you know its still the same person? I'm really curious about what you think. Please leave a comment on this post if you're comfortable with that. Or you can email me if you'd like to be a bit more private. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tomorrow, I'll let you know what I think about this. I need a bit more time to chew on this one! Something tells me, though, that this is an important step on the journey.
How I see myself physically is perhaps more important than I've thought. I give a lot of thought to how I view myself emotionally, spiritually, intellectually. But giving a lot of attention to how I see myself physically has always felt a little vain to me. I may have to rethink that, though. In reality, this is one of the first things people notice. This is what my colleague's comment pointed out to me today. She literally did not recognize someone she worked with for 7 years! Not my eyes, not my smile, not my voice. She had to look hard to see me because what she remembers of me didn't fit who was standing in front of her.
Physical appearance is not the most important measure of a person...not by a long shot! I know that. But maybe because I've been obese for so long, I've gotten very used to ignoring how I look to other people.
I've got to do some thinking on this...all suggestions and ideas are welcome!