Mrs. Cellophane

With my history as a yo-yo dieter, I have often wondered who, if anyone, was noticing when I regained weight.  I know I was certainly very aware of it.  Was anyone else?

Not long ago I got a compliment that I looked thin.  Many of us have issues with graciously accepting compliments for a variety of reasons that would need another whole post to explore.  But in this instance, my immediate thought was that if my friend noticed I was thin, it surely meant she also noticed when I was not.  That was a discomforting notion.

I should probably explain, for your better understanding, that I have never been obese.  Just overweight.  (And then not.  And then overweight again.  And then not.  And so on.)  So while I knew I needed to lose weight and that the baggy clothes I wore did not really hide that and maybe even drew attention to that fact, I never really knew how others saw me.  Did anyone notice or care?  Maybe the people in my life, most of whom do not seem to share my weight variations and struggles, are just not focused on the whole weight thing so I passed under their radar in that way.  But probably not.

Regardless, I am thankful that if they did notice, they never said anything.  And I am thankful that all my yo-yo years were spent out of the public eye.  I feel so sorry for the celebrities who have struggled with their weight and had those struggles talked about and documented.  Poor Oprah.  And Kirstie Alley.  And Jared from Subway who gained back 40 pounds after years as their diet spokesperson.  Just recently I saw Jessica Simpson (on Oprah) talk about her  embarrassment when she had gained weight and worn what was referred to in the media as “mom jeans.”  There was such obvious pain as she talked about it.  And the great irony is that those mom-jeans, which led to a media frenzy about her gaining weight and getting fat, were a size 6.  Yes.  Size 6.

As I write this, I can think back to how I felt about myself during my fatter days.  It was bad enough that I knew I was overweight.  I can only imagine how much worse I would have felt if I had known for sure that someone, anyone, was looking at me and mirroring my thoughts about myself.  Thinking “Karen has really gained weight,” or “… let her self go”  or some such thing.  Because I am sure that someone did notice.  I am glad they never said anything.  It wouldn’t have helped.  It would only have made me feel worse about myself.  I never deluded myself about my size:  I knew when I was overweight.  But I may have deluded myself by pretending that no one else was paying attention.  I’m going to go on thinking that.  It’s easier.



Filed under appearance, body and/or body image, emotions/emotional issues, history (my past)

37 responses to “Mrs. Cellophane

  1. Stopping by from Lady Bloggers. I am off to look around and read some posts. Hope you have an awesome week.
    .-= Sheri Carpenter´s last blog ..Smoothies For the Summer!! =-.

  2. Genie

    Oh, I might get to be first!

    I know EXACTLY what you mean! Especially when my son was in grade school, just two years ago, of course all of his friends’ moms were in an exclusive group of gorgeous, skinny moms. No mom jeans or an extra lb.; they could all be More models. What did they think of me? The pudgy, roley-poley Mom? Did I really want to know?

    And, yes, it’s occurred to me that when I’ve gotten a compliment for looking thin or losing weight, that the opposite applies in what I looked like previously.

    No solution to self-consciousness, I suppose. Delusion is easier.

    • Karen

      My compliment came from a member of my book club. It is only 6 women, but I have always been the heaviest and very aware of it.

  3. I totally understand what you mean! My weight has gone up and down quite a bit and I do wonder if people notice. No one, thankfully, has ever said anything about me gaining weight. However, I’ve gotten some compliments about losing weight, and it does make me realize that they had to have noticed when I gained weight. And I can’t believe a size 6 jeans would be called mom-jeans! Oh my! I would love to be a size 6, and realize that even that is just a dream for me. Realistically, I’ll settle for 8 or 10.
    .-= Laura Jane´s last blog ..Make It or Break It =-.

    • Karen

      The size of those jeans could be the subject of another whole post. Actually, I have a lot to say someday about clothing sizes. But not now.

      I’m glad to hear I am not the only one who had thoughts head that way after a compliment.

  4. I know people notice my weight gain. It’s obvious. I had this discussion with my trainer just yesterday. I go to a little gym and we are all in each others business…in a good way. The older men up there are “concerned” about me. They watched me drop 160 lbs….now they’ve watched me gain back 70. It’s embarassing and humiliating. There are times that I want to switch gyms, avoid all the people I know…..yea right….that is doable. I am trying to be kinder to myself and realize that this is a struggle for me and pretending it’s not with myself and others won’t help. The bad thing about weight being a person’s struggle is that it can’t be hidden like other problems. Ugh.

    • Karen

      Those men sound sweet. I remember last summer when someone I know at my gym commented that I had lost weight. Then I when I started gaining it back I thought of that whenever I saw her. Sigh. You are right – it is hard to have our struggle be something so visible.

  5. IDK…I would have to say yes and no to this. I think everyone carries weight differently. One person can loose 10 lbs and immediately you see a difference, and another will need to loose 30 before anyone notices anything…plus, if you were never obese, maybe some ppl didn’t notice the ups and the downs…and maybe others did.
    .-= losingmore´s last blog ..Tooo Fast =-.

    • Karen

      That does raise a great point – how the pounds sit so differently on us all. For me, at my height, 5 pounds is a whole clothing size.

  6. I wondered that about myself as well. I went from 130 to 213 and on a 5’4″ frame, that’s pretty significant. I’m sure people noticed but nobody (other than my parents) ever said anything. Plus, like you, I knew I was wasn’t like it was a secret that I didn’t know about! Ha!
    .-= Anna´s last blog ..Change =-.

    • Karen

      My parents used to say things about it many, many years ago. Before I was married. My dad died shortly after so I have no idea what he would have said as I got older and did it over and over. I don’t remember my mom really saying things in recent years, but she sure did find ways to encourage me to exercise.

  7. sunnydaze

    I totally agree with this post. I knew I was really big 40 pounds ago but nobody ever really mentioned it (except for my a$$hole ex) but I think I didn’t really realize HOW big I was until I’d see a picture of myself or until I actually began losing weight. I guess maybe because I felt the same on the inside.

  8. I totally agree with you on the fact that…it would be downright wrenching to have to go through the whole weight-loss/weight-gain ordeal in front of the nation.

    • Karen

      And I know I am not the only one to think that if I only had all the money of Oprah I would hire trainers and chefs and be thin. Obviously not.

  9. You know…I think that we are WAY more critical about ourselves than others are. I have talked about being overweight to many a friend. Apparently, it’s not until I lost a lot of weight that people even recognized that I was overweight before. Though I do feel bad for the negative comments that the stars receive, I ALWAYS think, “If I were flippin rich, I would buy a trainer, a gym, and a personal chef. Seriously…I don’t even have patience for people that waste money on fancy clothes, cars, and houses. Hello…you have to walk around in your body!!! Great post!!! I may have a spin off from it tomorrow!!! Stay tuned 🙂
    .-= Corletta Brown´s last blog ..HOORAY….one successful week down!!! =-.

  10. This one got me thinking. I was really surprised at my lowest weight when, out of the blue, an acquaintance at church looked at me and said “even your hands are little.” I don’t think I’d ever exchanged three sentences with this person. I took it as a compliment, but it got me thinking. I wasn’t fooling anyone. It was obvious that my weight sat heavily on my frame. And when I lost that weight, the difference must have told. I do feel sorry for the people with weight issues in the public eye. It’s almost like they can’t even consider dieting unless they are up to the onslaught of public comparisons and scrutiny is they so much as falter on the path to slimness. As my mother always said–If you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything at all.
    .-= Tish´s last blog ..25 Minutes–News Flash =-.

    • Karen

      Why is it that the media feels such a need to go on and on about the stars this way? Like taking unflattering bathing suit photos. Or shots of stars eating crap.

  11. You’ve nailed precisely the reasons I’m uncomfortable getting compliments about my size. I can’t help but feel it’s unspoken commentary on my previous size. That’s wrong of me, I know, to assume I know someone’s thoughts. I suppose I’m projecting my own internal commentary upon their well-intentioned heads.

    Sigh. So much works still to be done…
    .-= Cammy@TippyToeDiet´s last blog ..Hanging Up My Robe =-.

    • Karen

      You know what is interesting to me as I read this is that I thought about it as enough that they just noticed my weight, and had not taken it further, to your notion that it is a commentary on the size. Interesting. I wonder who comments more about weight loss – thin or overweight people?

  12. In Jessica’s defense, I truly believe it’s not her weight in the photo (she’s beautiful) but those are really the worst jeans ever. Totally from the SNL “Mom Jeans” skit! Thanks for another thought provoking post!
    .-= Diet Buddy Daily´s last blog ..What I ate today… =-.

    • Karen

      They are bad. I saw on What not to Wear that we should never wear high waisted pants and should actually wear tops out to cut our butts visibly in half.

  13. I know exactly what you mean. I actually got tired of hearing people say things when I lost all my weight. I never liked them mentioning it because then I knew they “noticed” me at my morbidly obese weight.

    Great post.
    .-= Diane Fit to the Finish´s last blog ..Subway Gift Card Giveaway! =-.

  14. I friends feel awkward mentioning weight for fear of upsetting friends. My daughter asked me why I didn’t talk to her about hr wieght when she started to gain – I said I thought she obviously knew..but I guess sometime we don’t all “see it” the same way.

    I just always aim to be well groomed and hope that I look put together at whatever weight.
    .-= Brightside-Susan´s last blog ..TRUE CONFESSIONS TIME =-.

    • Karen

      I do remember when my parents brought it up many years ago. It just made me want to eat more. Unlike you, I let myself be a slob. Sigh.

  15. Yes. I do think people notice. It’s in spurts though, just as ‘suddenly’ the pants don’t fit or the belt etc.

    It doesn’t matter. I’m constantly trying to remember that.
    .-= JourneyBeyondSurvival´s last blog ..Can You Tell Me How to Get? =-.

    • Karen

      You are right. We need to feel good about ourselves and what anyone else thinks shouldn’t matter. Easy to say.

  16. I can totally relate to what you’re saying here! I was never really overweight, but I definitely yo-yo’d between way too plump and just right. And I know that people noticed, you can’t really help it. My husband would always notice if I gained the smallest amount of weight and he would say something!!! So I was never able to fool myself that it wasn’t noticeable. Now when I get compliments I love it because people are noticing all the hard work I am putting into my health.

    • Karen

      I am trying to remember my husband saying things and I don’t think he did. Or if he did, it was never anything I took negatively. I can say I was embarrassed even to have him know my weight. I have to say I feel very lucky that I never had a sense that he cared what I weighed.

      BTW – I said it on you blog and I will say it again here – you look great!

  17. EXACTLY what I was talking about on my blog. Well, sort of. 🙂 I never really worry about if other people noticed that I was fat or gaining weight…mostly because they have eyeballs and can discern things with them. 🙂

    But that is exactly what I was meaning when it comes to Daris. I just feel for him.

    And Oprah. And Kirstie. Because they all struggle – and in the media, people highlight it.

    Life is tough enough without people standing on the sidelines commenting on it all.

    Thanks for your comments on my blog. I’ll definitely become a follower of yours!
    .-= Happy Fun Pants´s last blog ..To Daris from Oklahoma: I get you =-.

    • Karen

      I felt for Daris too. Can’t wait to see how he does. I have not watched any past seasons but wish they had a follow up show. Not to gawk and see who has gained, but because I really am interested to see if that show leads to long-term success.

  18. Wow this post really struck a cord with many people,including me! I have yo yo dieted my entire adult life and my family and friends have seen me lose and gain 40 plus pounds time and time again.

    Of course they noticed the weight loss and gain on me, I am only 5’4″ tall and every 10 pounds is a size up or down for me. I have seen the delighted looks on peoples faces when I have lost weight and I have also experienced the shocked looks when they have seen me after I have gained back the weight. That just feels terrible!

    I love the saying, What you eat in private you wear in public. So true.
    .-= Tami´s last blog ..Chicken Nuggets as an Appetizer & Product Reviews =-.

  19. Pingback: Diet Buddy Daily » Blog Archive » Changing things up!

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