Overexposed: Newfound Attention.

When I was 18, I went blonde for the first time in my life. It wasn’t shortly after that I realized I was now getting attention from people who didn’t even know I existed. At the time, I really wanted people to notice me and pay attention to me because I was sad, lonely, and really depressed. I quickly learned that people didn’t really care about me as a person, and they didn’t want to get to know me as one either. The blonde hair went away 5 months later, my hair was cut shorter, and everyone stopped paying any attention to me.

Hi, my name is Liz, and one thing I am worried about down the line is getting unwanted attention from people because I’ll be thinner.

The fact of the matter is: I don’t know how much weight I will end up losing in total. Going into this process, I told myself that my goal was to at least lose 100 pounds; It was a number I never thought I’d be able to lose because it was such a large amount. But, It’s only been three months since my surgery and I’ve lost 50+ pounds in total already; who’s to say that by January, I’ll be up to 100 pounds lost in total? That’s only 6 months since surgery; and the effects of this surgery happen for the next two years of my life.

I’m worried because I don’t want the attention this transformation is going to give me. I don’t want strangers paying attention to me. I don’t want people that I knew in my past to just pop up out of nowhere and be like “OMG wow, you look great!” I also don’t want people, guys in particular, to now give me the time of day because I am thinner and “better looking” in society now. I just don’t want it.

But I know it’s going to come. It already is, in a way. Friends and family are telling me that I look thinner, and that I look “so much better”. In a way, my lifestyle and the way that I eat now or just having to tell new doctors my medical history puts the attention on me, and this idea that losing weight will make me feel happier about myself when it really isn’t why I did this in the first place.

If you’ve been here for awhile, you would know that I did this for my health. I was prediabetic early 2020, I had gained 20 pounds during the lock-down last year, and I was feeling 20 years older than I actually was. I was exceeding 300 pounds, and I knew that if I didn’t do what I needed to do, I would’ve gotten heavier than I already was. So, to already lost half of the weight I was expecting to lose, it’s pretty unpredictable to know where I’ll even be by the end of the year; this time next year even.

Although I won’t be comfortable with it, I know that the attention is going to come and I don’t know how I’m going to deal with it. I never truly gotten “positive attention” for my physical appearance, and to even get some of it now definitely feels refreshing and rewarding, but I know that when the weight loss becomes more apparent, I’m going to hear words like “pretty” and “beautiful” more than I ever heard in my life, and I just don’t know how to feel about the sudden compliments.

Maybe I won’t think anything about it. Maybe I won’t react as much as I think would. Maybe it won’t even bother me, or maybe I’m just overthinking things. Whatever comes my way, I just have to prepare myself; knowing that this journey is different than anything I’ve been through before and it’s completely okay to not know how to feel during it. I just know that I have to keep going, and keep doing it for the reasons that matter most to me.

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