I recently returned from a trip to visit one of my nearest and dearest friends on the west coast. Due to the remote location she lives, I don't often get to see her and certainly not in the 6 months post-surgery. Once I landed in Seattle it was a 9 hour drive to her home and I was BEAT when I got there. We have Marco Polo'd frequently since surgery (a great video message app) so she knew generally what I looked like but she still said she was shocked at my smaller body. Just like my mom, when she hugged me, she exclaimed about getting her arms around me. I knew she was excited and happy for me.
What followed next was five days of shenanigans just like we had together back in college. We saw dinosaurs (1st picture on left), beautiful turquoise water with chocolate brown sands (middle picture) and every morning I was greeted with a gorgeous view of the ocean (far right picture). When I saw the picture my friend took in the dinosaur park, it took me a hot minute to realize it was me in the photo. I still feel dissociated from my body size at this point and am surprised/confused when I see myself in the mirror....or in photos others have taken. Lately I've not been shying away from photos as much and I'm okay with what I see right now - as long as you can't see the arm flaps and belly rolls! But really, my self-respect in regards to my appearance has started to come back and while I'm not a crazy selfie taker - that will just never be me - I don't shy away from being in photos with my friends and family. It's like there is a record of me in life now. Has anyone else been the subject of more photos now that they are losing weight? For those that are still waiting for surgery, do you avoid the camera as much as I did? (Pretty much like you don't exist at any family and friend gatherings)
My friend and I took a few mini road trips while I was in town and we always tended to do our deepest talks during these road trips - enjoying the sights, the fresh air and hikes through the redwoods. Before we left the first time I had asked to borrow an extra sweatshirt (this weight loss means I get MUCH chillier than I expect) and she jokingly said we might be the same size now - something that had never been true for the 14 years of our friendship. I laughed and said, most likely not so give me something that was big on her. I put the sweatshirt on and it did indeed fit big. And then, during a trip at the end of my visit, we spoke openly about our weights. My 100#+ weight loss and my current weight versus her current weight and it turns out I am 12# lighter than her now. It's an odd feeling to have that shift in the friend dynamic. In this case, it was not at all a negative behavior towards me but my dear, sweet friend was notably down on herself after that exchange. I have no doubt that she was/is still excited for my losses and life change but rather than be inspired to make her own, she seemed so saddened that she is at the size she is - which has been relatively stable for the entirety of time that I have known her. I feel bitter sweet about my visit. I love this friend and miss her most terribly. The milestone of 'Smaller Than My Bestie" was not a milestone I had anticipated and I can't quite decide if it was a good one or a bad one. Has the friend dynamic for anyone else changed with weight loss?