Exquisite Transitions

Exploring the opportunities and gifts of changing times

Physical Transformations

It’s very interesting to observe how people respond to physical transformations differently–both their own and that of others.

I have personally experienced physical transformations a number of times. Most notably when losing a lot of weight, and when losing my hair with chemotherapy. For me it has been a very interesting process to observe the reactions of others. Very often the response reflects their own judgments and prejudices, and they are frequently clueless as to how transparent they are being. Like the neighbor who hadn’t seen me in several months commented, “Oh, you’ve kept it off, thank God.”

Thank God?

It seems though that as the opinions of others have mattered less and less to me, I have more and more people in my world that simply accept me and any transformation I experience as “me.” And I expect a large part of that has to do with my inner acceptance–no recognition–that nothing which changes on the outside really changes “me.”

The most profound experience of this awareness was when I lost my hair. My hair had always been my signature–that which set me apart from others, as it was a coppery red, now darker, but still red. Kids made fun of it growing up, but as I grew, it was more often a source of admiration from others. So losing it, was losing a piece of my identity. Or at least I thought it would be.

Instead, I knew–“I’m still me. Hair or no hair. Cancer or not. No matter what–I’m still me.” That clarity gave me true joy. I could smile from inside out, because I knew, it didn’t matter if I had hair, if I was having an experience with cancer–no matter what, I’m still me. And that awareness is always with me. Fat or thin…I’m still me.

So when I had regained a lot of weight and finally decided that the physical problems that was creating was no longer acceptable to me, I decided to change the physical…knowing that doing so would only change the physical. I’d still be me.

The neat thing was that by making this transformation yet again, I found that I could be even MORE me. (Ironic huh?) I was MORE comfortable in my own skin–still me, but willing to let ME out of hiding. I had a measure of this feeling years ago when I lost a lot of weight, but something else happened between that time and this time…


The first time, I was trying to discover who I was as a thin person. People treated me differently, which puzzled me. But I didn’t realize that I was trying to see how I fit in, in this thinner body.

This time, I knew exactly how I fit in. I wasn’t attempting to discover me…because I already knew who that was, who that is.

Now I understand why, after having lost the weight, when I finally went to get the haircut that I’d wanted for so long, there was no adjustment period–no need to get used to it, as I’d experienced so often. My hairstyle finally suited me to a T. For so long my husband had discouraged me thinking it would be too short, too much like a boy. But I ultimately decided to do it anyway. And before the stylist even finished blowing it out, I felt like, at long last,  I  showed up on the outside as I have been feeling on the inside–perky, energetic, confident…ME!

It seems the true metamorphosis requires shedding all the self-doubts on the inside to carve the physical form to reflect it on the outside!

1 Comment»

  tasinator wrote @

I’ve spent years trying to be the weight eveyryone else thought was right for me, and never quite being comfortable with my own body. Now, I am the size I am, and happy about it–I’m not fat, but I’m not thin, I’m just me.

Enjoy who you are, because you’re right–the body is just a physical representation of the real us.

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