“Hey, Crystal. Your face looks way thinner”

I’m pretty sure people keep complimenting my hair because I’ve lost weight.

They either don’t realize I look different, or they don’t know how to say “Hey, Crystal. Your face looks way thinner.” without sounding awkward.

It’s cool. I’ll take it.

The holidays have been a pretty startling check-in point for me. Lots of people around whom I haven’t seen in about 20 or 30 or 43 pounds. Lots of “WOAH! You look GREAT!” and “How’d you do it?”

I keep teetering between blurting out every ounce of detail and simply smiling away their questions. Does anyone really want to know what I’ve gone through to lose each and every pound?

I want to tell them. But I don’t really think they want to know. I think they want to pretend people lose 43 pounds eating five small meals a day with appropriate servings of fruits and vegetables and 30 minutes of wonderful glow-inducing cardio.

I don’t know those people.

I didn’t lose weight that way.

I lost weight by making my body so hungry that it started eating away at my fat.

It’s called the “that’s how you actually lose weight” diet.

It’s not pretty. I’m never full. I weigh myself two to seven times each day. And I’ve been at this for four long months – all so I could fit into the correct box on the chart at my doctor’s office.

I’m just 14 little pounds away from my overall goal now – I’m still not AT my goal, but I’m so close I could smile.

I wanted to wait until I hit that goal to throw the ITs out there though.

You know.

My weights and measures.

What I started with. What I’m at.

The ITs.

My best friend April has been the only one I’ve discussed those numbers with on a regular basis and that’s only because I trust her to be my friend no matter what those numbers are. It’s a trust she’s earned by sticking out 11 years worth of confessions, clothing sizes, and crying sessions as my friend.

But now, the losing-weight-thing has hit an ankle-based roadblock and the figures are moving so, so, so slowly. And really, I’m actually very, very happy to be where I’m at.

I kind of want to shout it from the Internet rooftops.

I’m very, very happy to walk into a room and think ‘I look normal.’ I probably don’t, but I feel like I do. I know that, at the very least, I don’t feel like someone is thinking “Wow. She’s umm, fat. That’s why she’s (fill in the blank with any number of human failures or ailments).”

Instead, at this weight, I feel like people think “Look. A normal girl. Let me listen to what she is saying.”

And since I’m so happy/content/tickled to be where I’m at, I thinking I’m going to just go ahead and throw it out there.



See what just happened there? I just typed my current weight and then I hit delete, delete, delete.

I don’t know if I can do it.

I don’t know what you’ll say when you see those easy-to-judge little numbers.

The weirdest part of this is that I never actually felt “huge” or “fat” or whatever you want to call it. I felt like “Crystal.” It was the scale that was all judgmental. The chart at the doctor’s office that screamed “SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH YOU.”

And now. I don’t feel “thin,” or “healthy” or whatever.

I just still feel like “Crystal.” Still (mostly) funny. Still wearing my heart right there on the edge of my cardigan sleeve. Still trying my best to make a living as a writer.

But I’m not the same. I’m more likely to be financially successful, more like to get married and more likely to make friends.

Why is that?

Why do you think that’s an OK thing? Do you think I’m different now? Am I more deserving of financial success, marriage or friends because I weigh less? I think I’m the same deserving level as I was on July 31, before I lost a single pound.

I guess, in the spirit of that conclusion though, I should just do it.

Just BAM! Type those stupid numbers that are burned in my mind.

They don’t change one sliver of the bottle of spirit and soul and Taco Bell magic that makes “me,” “Crystal” after all.

So, um. Here you go.

I started at 198.

I’m now at 155.

I’d like to be 141.

I’ll be totally happy if I don’t ever lose even one more single pound ever.

I’ll be totally “me” no matter what I type at the end of those three sentences, ever.


Anyway, in complete opposition to every sentence I just typed, I present to you some visual aids:





I realize this isn’t the fairest “after” picture, since I’m kind of behind my mom on the left, but it was either A. this, B. a head shot I took of myself last week or C. a random picture taken right now at 3:30 a.m. of me in my super mario pajama pants and glasses.

I picked A. this.

If you want to see a full version, call me, make plans and come visit – I’ll even wear my skinny jeans that are now, umm, too big for me.

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  1. Crystal Sue, I loved you then – all 198 pounds of you. But I love you more now for sharing this. I am SO SO SO SO SO proud of you. You look so amazing. In fact, I just whipped around the laptop to show Jeff, who also said “WOW!” (And he’s a boy!)

    I think the best part of this though is not the number on the scale but the smile on your face.

    You’ve inspired me to get back on the train and lose that five (OK SEVEN) pounds I’ve been fretting about. Thank you.

  2. You look terrific Crystal.

    I just read this whole entry out loud to Hannah who has been furiously working out in preparation for a wedding dress this summer and improving overall health. After having read this I am feeling more guilty than ever for having bailed on my workout regime.

    Looks like I am going to have to get back at it too.


  3. This was a pretty powerful and honest posting. I don’t like that stigma you mentioned and i never have such thoughts about other people but i still want to acknowledge your accomplishment. Actually i want to praise it. Of course, you will always be crustal despite appearances but you have worked really hard and you look great. really great. i am proud and happy for you.

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