Mamavation Monday: For Me

I don’t come from a family that hands out compliments frequently.  In fact, my entire small hometown in Pennsylvania is filled with the kind of people who will rebuild your house should it burn to the ground, but will not congratulate you should something wonderful happen to you.  Now, of course I’m generalizing.  In fact, I had a grandmother who used to tell me that I had lost weight and my hair had grown every time she saw me even if I had gained ten pounds and gotten my hair chopped short.  She was also essentially blind.  But I digress…

Last week my family and I traveled to my brother’s house for Thanksgiving.  Thanks to social media, my brother and sister-in-law knew that I had been losing weight and had even seen pictures. However, other extended family members hadn’t seen me in a very long time, some since Thanksgiving last year.  I remember long conversations last year about someone growing out her hair, how long it had taken her, what made her decide to grow it out.  I also remember many conversations about various protein-rich diets that another family member has been on and how his weight has fluctuated. This is not a family afraid to share their observations.  I braced myself for negative feedback: “Oh my God, what happened that you lost so much weight? Are you sick?” or my personal favorite, “What diet are you on?”

Instead, they didn’t say a word.  It was as if I looked exactly the same as I had a year before despite the fact that I had actually lost 18% of my body weight.

Midday my aunt stopped by to join the rest of the crew, and she almost immediately commented that I looked completely different.  She even asked what I was doing to lose weight.  Once she said mentioned the elephant in the room (no pun intended), another family member offered, “Yeah, you really do look great.”  And that was it.  The conversation was over.

I’ve had a similar experience with several local friends who didn’t see me all summer, yet didn’t seem to notice how different I looked when I reappeared at the start of school.  In fact, the most supportive friends in my life seem to be those I know through social media and the Mamavation community.  So how do I keep from letting this get me down?

The fact is that I’m not making these changes in my life to gain the approval of others or even so that they recognize the hard work I’ve done over the last few months.  I’m making these changes for me and for my family.

That is what is going to get me through as I continue this journey.  Some days – many days – I’m going to be alone in what I’m trying to do.  And that is going to have to be enough.

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  • Can I tell you a secret??? I cried when I read your post because it was a total uhh huh moment for me. I would lose a couple pounds no one would notice and then I would sort of give up.

    But you are right. We are not doing it for anyone but ourselves which will effect our families too.

    Thanks Amy… I needed this today more than you will ever know.

    • I’m so happy that this post fell at just the right time for you!

  • It is nice when someone notices our hard work. But yes, this journey has to be about me (or you). I have to want this, I have to be willing to do the work. I have to be happy with the results even if no one else ever says a thing. You are amazing, Amy! You are a perfect example of what a little hard work will do!

  • I can totally feel you on no one noticing or saying anything. Grant it I have not lost a lot of weight or changed size drastically, but sometimes I wish I could get just a little acknowledgement. Congrats on all your hard work. I look forward to seeing more progress. I have to keep reminding myself that this is for me to be healthier and better and no one else. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • I bet there are a lot of us out there nodding our heads. I waited all day for someone in my family to notice the nearly 30 pounds I’ve lost. I waited all weekend for a house guest to mention it and nothing. In the end, I realized that while it sucks, it’s ok because I’m not doing this for them. I’m doing this for me. Amy, you look amazing. You’re beautiful inside and out.

  • See my head nodding so hard it’s making its own breeze?
    Seriously. PEOPLE! WAKE UP!
    Doing it for yourself is the most important reason, even though having someone say, HEY, you look great make a HUGE difference!
    (and hey–you are FABULOUS!!!)

  • This is one of those times where you just have to surround yourself with people who appreciate your efforts most of the time. Cause I agree, that CAN make you feel down. You can pick your friends, but you don’t get to pick your family. I would just get drilled constantly about things and then everyone around me would talk about what they ARE going to eat right in front of me like I was going to have a problem with it. Families are weird sometimes and weight brings out weird things FO SHO.

  • A.Smith

    I think some people actually feel bashful about mentioning weight issues – even if it’s to say you’ve lost some. Even though we all love some kind of acknowledgement for our progression – people are hesitant to compliment in case there’s an underlying medical issue or the weight loss in unintentional. The sensitivity of society is off the charts these days. Anyways, 18% is a huge accomplishment so give yourself a big ol pat on the back and just know deep down that everybody is thinking you look better even though they don’t want to say it and possibly offend you (aka the infamous “why… did I look bad before?” reaction, lol)