I've had that experience a lot over the past few months. On the one hand, this change is very gratifying. As near as I can figure, I now weigh about what I did when I graduated from college two decades ago, and who can complain about that? I've even discovered that a few very old garments I've held onto over the years as mementos fit me again. For example, I found a sweater vest that I must've bought around 1985 of thereabouts; the tag indicates it came from Jeans West, if anyone remembers that very '80s mall clothier (your number-one source for parachute pants). I never thought I'd ever get back into this one... but it turned out to fit so well now I'm thinking about starting to use it again!
As much fun as that sort of thing is, though, it's also weirdly disconcerting. I almost feel as if I've switched bodies with someone else. Could I really have once been so large that those giveaway clothes fit me? If clothes I've worn for so very long don't fit me anymore, am I still really me? And if I'm not, who am I? I certainly haven't regressed back into the me I was in 1985, just because I can wear that Jeans West sweater vest again. For one thing, that guy from '85 could live on Ding Dongs, 7-Eleven nachos, and red-cream soda; if 2012 me tried that, his blood glucose would explode and he'd probably land in a diabetic coma. Drat the luck. I miss shitty 7-Eleven nachos.
Other things are different now, too. I don't get headaches very often anymore, and when I do, they're not nearly as intense as they used to be. I no longer suffer from heartburn, either, whereas I used to eat Tums by the fistful. And -- this may be too much information, but what the hell -- I'm not as gassy as I used to be either.
All of this is unquestionably for the better, even the weight loss, as weird and disturbing as it sometimes is to be physically larger in my mind than in reality. But there is one thing that's different now that I sort of regret, and that's my newly lower body temperature.
You see, for years I "ran hot," for lack of a better description. The Girlfriend was convinced that I actually had a slightly higher body temperature than average, and affectionately referred to me as "her own personal space heater." People didn't believe her when she talked about how warm I was, so she'd have me demonstrate by pressing my palm to the other person's exposed skin. This almost always resulted in a goggle-eyed stare of fascination as the sensation gradually settled in, like what happens when you sit in a patch of springtime sunlight pouring through a window. I used to think of these hot hands of mine as a kind of superpower, something I visualized very much like the image you see above. (That's from an episode of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, if you don't recognize it.) I delighted in my ability to warm others on frigid winter days simply by taking hold of their hands. I was proud of this weird little quirk of my physiology. I certainly never thought it was a sign that something might be wrong with me.
In retrospect, I suspect it was probably a symptom of my (then) outrageously high blood pressure. And now that I'm on medication and my BP is down here on Earth where it's supposed to be instead of halfway to the International Space Station, my superpower has vanished. No more hot hands. And to make matters even more unhappy, I'm far more sensitive to the cold than I can remember ever being in my life. I've found myself wearing cardigans and fleece jackets in settings where everyone else is in short sleeves, and Anne and I are finding it difficult to get the thermostat in the house adjusted to something we can both live with. I always used to find it odd that my grandmother was constantly complaining of the cold, even in the middle of summer. Now I think I know what she may have been going through. And while I look and feel better than I have in years, this damn temperature issue also has me feeling old... as if I needed any more reason to fret about that. I fear becoming a stereotypical geezer shuffling around in a sweater. I feel like I've genuinely lost something unique and integral to my identity. I'll get over the clothes, but the warmth was literally part of me, and I miss it. Wish I could it back somehow without risking my health to do it...