“You’re doing great,” the receptionist said as she recorded my weight and pasted the sticker recording my progress for that week in my pocket guide.
“Thanks,” I said and smiled.
“You’re doing so great. Do you recognize yourself?”
I paused, unsure of what she was asking and how to respond.
“Yeah,” I said tentatively, but wasn’t sure.
I slipped my shoes back on, grabbed my purse and took a seat. As I thought about the receptionists question some more, I realized she asked a different question. At first, I heard, “do you recognize your weight loss progress with small rewards?” Then I reinterpreted it as, “do you recognize the changes in habits — both eating and exercise — since January?”
That was not her question. She asked, “do you recognize yourself… when you look in the mirror?”
“Yes,” I thought to myself. Of course. When I see my face, I still look like Cindy. I don’t even feel that I look much different unless I look at photos. And even then, I see more differences in my clearer skin complexion, or the great tan I had over the summer. Unlike my padrino José, I don’t think my nose looks more prominent or that my face is more “afilada.”
Other people think differently. A few weeks ago, Papá Chepe told me he confused me for my sister, Lori, when he first saw me. Other family members say I look more like my mom (as a 20-year old bride) or cousin Sandy.
Part of me takes the comments as a compliment, another indicator of my progress. But there’s a nagging critic that says, “they don’t recognize you without all the extra weight, that’s why they compare you to your thinner sister, cousin and mom. They’re like the bouncer who didn’t believe you were the girl on your driver’s license.”
I’m still me. I know I am.