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    Monday, July 09, 2007

    Compliments Are Painful

    My parents (who I work for) took the girls up north (that's the upper peninsula of Michigan) last week. This means that I worked alone.

    I had to put some Department of Transportation (DOT) numbers on some semis for an oil company. When I got to the site, there were four men finishing up working. I told them what I needed to do. All four of the guys decided to sit and watch me work. One of them asked if I charged extra to have them watch. I felt weird knowing they were all standing behind me staring at my ass. I'm just not used to this kind of attention.

    I've spent the last 15 years (or more) hiding myself, or so I thought, away from the grueling public eye. People are mean and mean people suck!

    Compliments have always bothered me in more ways than one. First, I don't know how to accept one without putting myself down. An example of this is that someone will say that I look great. My response is always, "I have so far to go" which is a dumb thing for me to say because I really only have about 60 pounds more I'd like to lose. That's not so much when you consider that I needed to lose 200 pounds at the beginning of my journey.

    I often feel guilty for letting my happiness be based on how others are viewing me physically. This weekend brought two different couples to our home that hadn't seen us since before surgery. Both of them were completely flabbergasted by our appearance. Neither of them could believe the difference and I believed them based on the looks on their faces. It felt really good to know that we had made such a drastic change in our lives and that it had made a difference. On the other hand, I'm thinking about how hideous we were in our former fatter selves.

    I'm not sure I'll ever be able to wrap my head around all this physical image stuff. It's nice to know that I look better, but that's not why I had my guts rearranged. I did it so I could enjoy life and be a better mother. I guess I win both ways, but I'm still not sure I like all the attention. What am I saying? Yes I do! I've worked my ass off, literally and I'm going to try enjoy this crazy ride.

    ~edit~I was interviewed (I think everyone in the blogosphere was). You can read it here.


    lime said...

    may i just say that the astonishment of your friends who hadn't seen you doesn't necessarily mean they thought you looked 'hideous' before. you can view it as the same reaction you might get if you dyed your hair brown and put in dark brown contacts. it would just be a drastic change.

    you've shown those pre-surg pictures. were you bigger? of course. does it mean you were hideous? no.

    as for the guys ogling you....well, sugar...i think that you ought to just enjoy as the fruits of your labor. ;)

    The Savage said...

    I kinda know what its like not being able to handle new found popularity/ compliments... I was a loner for a long, long time... Now, not only to I take compliments (it's still hard) but in a comic twist I feed my ego and get all gloatingly, self congradulating... but in a fun way...
    I have yet to be interviewed.... but hey... I'll wait my turn....

    terry said...

    lime said exactly what i was going to, about the "hideous" before issue.

    you were never hideous. i'm sure they didn't think you were either.

    funny, whenever i end up drawing the attention of men like that, i start looking around for the good-looking woman they must be ogling. you can imagine my surprise and confusion when it's just me.

    G-Man said...

    Thats what I've been telling you for months..
    Your a hot Bitch!!!
    Live with it!!!
    Galen loves you very much!

    Anonymous said...

    You deserve it.:)

    Donna said...

    No! Not everybody has ben interviewed! LOL

    Seriously though, I know exactly where you are coming from with regard to how others perceive you now.

    And about the guys? Well, you just can't help it that you're beautiful -- sh*t on them that they're just figuring it out now. :)

    MONA said...

    hey gurl! you NEVER looked hedious. I think you were always cute!

    & now you are gorgeous! enjoy the attention & the flabergasts :)

    Danyele said...

    It takes a while, but accepting a compliment will get easier and easier.

    Just practice .. smile.. say thank you.. and eventually you'll really mean it.

    (And you're gorgeous honey and always were.. don't you dare tell yourself anything different)

    Dirk_Star said...

    Both you and your blog are looking good.

    Micah is eleven weeks old now and is such a joy.

    I didn't blog for a spell, but I'm back now.

    Crabby said...

    Not only are you hot but you've been damned brave to undertake such a HUGE change in lifestyle. Most folks wouldn't have the hootzpah. The thank yous will come naturally in time. Everything has been a whirlwind these past few months. Give yourself time. You'll adjust to being a red hot minx. LOL!

    Crabby said...

    PS. I agree with lime. You were never hideous. Fact, I always thought you were gorgeous, inside and out.

    DZER said...

    I saw this thing on the Discovery Channel (maybe The Learning Channel?) about a woman who was very overweight for her whole life. She had gastric bypass and got down to a "normal" weight ... and she's very cute and shapely and all that ... but she still has a hard time accepting it and has difficulty dating, because she sees herself still as "the fat girl."

    I guess it's all a journey, and learning to get used to the "new" you and the compliments ...

    ... said the guy who has a hard time taking compliments about his physical attributes ;)

    jillie said...

    I don't ever think you could have ever been a hideous person. But I do know how uncomfortable it can be to get a compliment. I am always happy to give them out but when I get one I don't know how to respond. It really bothers me. It's something that over the years I have worked on and can deal with them now.

    I just want to say Jenn that you are one of the most stunning people that I have ever had the chance to meet on this blog. Inside AND outside.

    cadbury_vw said...

    i completely understand the reflection on your "past self" and thinking "Man, I must have been gross". i still do that.

    i had many friends who genuinely liked me when i weighed more. that they complimented me and still do on my appearance now, to me, means that they appreciate the effort it took to get where i am, and that they honestly think i look good now.

    i had one lady friend (platonic) who told me right before i began my weight loss effort "I'd do you even at the size you are now"

    i have held on to that statement to say to myself that i was attractive before, and have become more so now


    for what it is worth, i thought you were attractive from the first time i read your blog and saw your pictures

    i think you are becoming the complete beauty you can be

    snowelf said...

    I was made fun of very, very badly when I was little because I was not an attractive child in the slightest. And whether it was true or not, I believed it because that was the way people attacked me. Because of this, I still always have this voice in the back of my head telling me I have to look perfect ALL the time or people will make fun of me. I know it's just from living that way so long, it's hard to shake.
    Give yourself time...I am just now, after almost 20 years not comparing myself to others as much and even when I do see someone who is "gorgeous" or "perfect", I haven't caught myself putting myself down or even wanting to be like them the way I used to. I'm finally okay with being me and being comfortable in my own body. It's hard, but I think over time, it fades and the compliments are a lot easier to accept.
    We all love you Sign, and you've worked very, very hard. It takes a lot more than just "rearranging your guts", you've done so well with all the lifestyle changes and adaptations that come with...you've taken advantage of your surgery and ran with it and it's absolutely admirable.


    Anonymous said...

    lol I have a habit of laughin off compliments, sometimes with a roll of the eyes, depending whats being complimented lol... which I recently was told was a little rude... whatEVER!

    I doubt anyone thought you were hideous and if they did they certainly were not your friends! *swat*

    *S* said...

    You look stunning, so it's no surprise that the guys are staring! As for compliments, all you need to say is "Thanks, that's kind of you to say" or "Thanks, that's nice of you to notice." By putting down a compliment, you also devalue the giver and no one wants to do that. Practice makes perfect.