One great indicator that my life is finally on the right track is actually very subtle. It’s something that is difficult to pick up on at first glance, but after years of not caring about my appearance, having low self-esteem, and weighing about 100 pounds more than I should, I’ve been able to notice the indirect ways that people react to me.

A few years ago, when my life was out of control, people were still nice to me. I was still awesome. I was really nice and funny and had a pretty good personality, so people weren’t really mean to me. However, I would still get The Look. That brief glance that was about 90% pity and 10% aversion. I was still pretty good at talking to women, but if I ended up talking for too long, or went off on a tangent, or got too close, I would end up getting the look, meaning, ‘alright you’re pretty nice, but I’ve reached my quota for you and do not want to look at your fat, sweaty face anymore.’ I eventually was pretty aware that the look was eminent, and once it arrived, I was already gone.

I think I need to revise the last paragraph. I was not good at talking to women. I could maintain a conversation for about five minutes. In my mind, these five minutes were going great, when in actuality, I was flailing my arms, screaming, and had really yellow teeth, which has nothing to do with my conversation style, but didn’t help, either. After five minutes I would either just stare at her nervously or walk away.

Now I still get the look, but it’s completely different, because I’m awesome now. People aren’t disgusted by me anymore. When I smile at a stranger and say, ‘hi’, they don’t squint their eyes and immediately start walking in the opposite direction despite the fact that they’re already five minutes late to see their dying grandmother. They smile and say, ‘hi’ back like I’m a goddamn normal person.

This isn’t just due to my weight loss. It’s a complete lifestyle and partial personality change. My mannerisms are even quite different. Of course, it is far better to be unique and not conform to what people respond favorably too. However, I am too weak-minded to not conform. I must be liked.

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