This is very difficult for me. I've fought with myself for years since the stroke; I "get it" now. The fact that that's the case doesn't make this any easier to admit to myself.
Since I was about 16 my appearance has played a big part in my life. I never really could see it; maybe it was being sexually abused as a child, maybe having alcoholic parents - I don't know. Others could. I hid myself with my clothes, and could never really understand why some people seemed to respond to the way I looked.
Then when I was 36 - WHAMMO!! I had the stroke. Memory problems, word retreival problems, and LOTS of physical changes. RT side facial paralysis and WEIGHT GAIN being the most obvious. I thought the entire time I was in rehab that my face, eye, smile would all go back to the way they were before! (How's that for denial!) My weight didn't start to change until I had been home for a while.
OVERWEIGHT. OBESE. I HATE those words. (I mute weight-loss commercials all the time; I can't stand them.) I can't seem to exercise enough to take off the extra, unwanted pounds. I have a finate amount of energy now and once that's gone - it's gone. I don't eat much junk at all, but my relative inactivity has taken its toll.
It has been over 11 years since the stroke. It took me over five of those years to get rid of some very nice clothing I used to wear for work. I still have some "skinny" jeans and other small-size stuff in my closet that I just can't part with yet. However, I've started visiting clothing websites to look at clothing that is my size, and even though that's a hard pill to swallow, it's reality.
BTW, to the person who gave my picture the thumbs-up - thanks, but I don't look like that anymore.