I have to be careful when I share conversations between my boyfriend and I with people who don’t know him, or haven’t spent a lot of time with him.
He is, for sure, one of the most supportive people I have ever had in my life, he is also honest [sometimes brutally so] and holds me accountable to myself; for things beyond the subject of weight and wellness.
And honestly, he’s the funniest person I know. Like eyes tearing up, on the verge of peeing my pants funny.
I once told a story over breakfast to a girl who has never met him, and I was laughing the whole time I was retelling it but she sat there staring at me. She let me finish but her stare stayed, and she said “Uh, that sounds kind of rude” still laughing just thinking about the encounter itself I said “I guess you had to be there, he’s not rude at all” and I didn’t go too far on defending him, because he didn’t need it, I know who and what he is and really at the end of the day that’s what’s important.
I have since, however refrained from sharing some stories with some people because I can never duplicate his tone, or the situation or the inflection properly, and I don’t want to give off the impression that he’s some asshole.
But here’s a story that I told like eighty people because when I think about it, I still laugh.
I take a lot of pictures of myself, I think that I always have, but now I’m a little self obsessed, so it’s like I have to document everything in my life as a smaller person.
I’m working on it, but if you follow me on either of my Instagram accounts or Facebook, you’ve seen the selfies. Part of the reason, is because I like to make comparison photos. I like to see how I looked at Christmas in 2013 versus 2016, or how I took a selfie in the airport bathroom in 2011 and find myself in the same airport bathroom in 2015. I mostly make the comparison for myself, but sometimes they blow my mind, and I share them.
Steve sees me every day. He saw me every day for about four years before my surgery, and every day for almost three years since. He teases me for taking the pictures, he scolds [lovingly!] me for staring at my reflection in our new television [it was ONE time!] and he has probably grown tired of hearing people in our families or neighborhoods or friends commenting on how I look now almost every time we see them over the course of my weight loss, but he agrees every time.
He sees me, but I don’t think he SEES the difference all the time, he just sees me. Just the same person who he has always seen. I mean he’s not an idiot, he sees the difference but differently than me, or outsiders, ya know?
So here I am one day, almost two years post op from my vertical sleeve, a few months post op on my panniculectomy (this is essentially a lower tummy tuck without muscle repair) and I decide to make a side by side comparison of myself using photos from the night before my weight loss surgery, and this day. Both are bra and underwear photos taken in our bathroom, and I probably tear up a little, share them on the internet with a story about my story, with honest, real commentary.
When Steve gets home from work, I shove it in his face and instead of his usual “Wow, crazy” or something like that he stares for a minute, blinks hard and grimaces.
“I know right?”
“Holy shit you were fat'”
“Oh my God, you were so fat”
I laugh again and now he laughs – almost maniacally
“I don’t remember you being that fat, oh man”
Now we’re both laughing, him as if he just made some earth shattering discovery and me because I don’t think I have ever seen him react to anything this way.
Pacing around the living room while shaking his head in disbelief
“I’m sorry, I mean woah”
“It’s fine, I mean, you never said it before, so I get it”
“Well I never realized, WOW”
“Uh huh, yeeeeeeeeeea”
“Can we just talk about how fucking fat you were for a second?!”
And of course, we do. And we laugh some more, we reminisce about things from heavier days that we didn’t see or notice, and I am grateful.
Grateful that for years of my life that I shared with another person, he never saw me for anything other than who I truly was.
While he knew I struggled with my weight, he never struggled with it.
Yet, at the breaking point of my struggle, he soothed me, he encouraged me, for me.
If that’s not true love, I don’t know what is.