I’m terrified of public speaking. That included speaking on my first panel and that also includes asking questions of those speaking on a panel.
Once I get a question in mind, my heart starts pounding and my palms start sweating. (This made things very difficult as a reporter at press conferences. I usually went up to the person after the press conference if I really had to ask something.)
This weekend, I attended a session on blogger responsibility at Fitbloggin’. (My recap here, transcript here.) I have a lot more to say about blogger responsibility that I’ll be posting about later in the week, but during the panel, I asked this:
“Hi! My name is Theodora and I blog at Losing Weight in the City. I lost 50 pounds and changed my life, and I get a lot of questions from readers who want to know how they can do the same. I’m always afraid to answer the question, because I know everyone’s different, and I don’t want to say the wrong thing–but I still want to help them. How should I answer this?”
I wiped my sweaty palms on my dress and sat back down. The panelists answered that I should answer with what I did and say that it worked for me but might not for everyone else.
At the end of the session, a woman walked over to me and said:
“I never would have guessed that you lost 50 pounds. You just look like a young, blond, skinny girl.”
With my weight loss being so recent and Losing Weight in the City being such a big part of my identity these days, I forget that it’s not obvious that I lost 50 pounds. That I don’t wear it on my sleeve or on my face. If you just look at me, I guess I do just look like a fit (sorry, I’ll never call myself skinny), young blond girl.
You don’t see the years I struggled with my weight. The blood, sweat and tears I put into losing 50 pounds. How I still think a lot about my food and exercise so that I can maintain the weight I’m at now. I almost wish it is something I could wear on my face–as needed. I’d turn it on for those who needed it, who needed to know that I had struggled too, but I did it, and they could too, and I’d turn it off when a cute guy was talking to me. He doesn’t need to know I once weighed 50 pounds more than I do now, right?
Either way, it was a really nice compliment, and I’m still smiling thinking of it.