So last week some coworkers and I were putting together a scrapbook for someone who is leaving the office. Everyone brought pictures from several different "eras" of the organization.
Some of these pictures were from a time in my life when I did everything possible to make sure I didn't have to confront myself. I wore stretchy clothes ONLY. I never, ever stepped on the scale. And I almost never consented to have my picture taken. Well, photos aren't always avoidable.
So several pics of me from 9 years ago surface during this scrapbooking thing. I had NO IDEA how large I actually was. (I mean, I guess I MUST have had some inkling, what with my avoidance behaviors...) Seriously, I didn't know I looked the way I looked. I had tiny slits for eyes. I had an extra crease in my arms (like babies do). And my double chin was so large that I looked like I am wearing an airplane pillow backwards. I put 350 in my ticker, but I really think I must have weighed quite a bit more than that.
I lost a bunch of weight shortly after that by doing Atkins. I sort of made up that I lost around 100 pounds, because I never actually weighed myself during any of that. I then spent several years yo-yoing up and down.
Now that I DO weigh myself, look at myself in the mirror, and actually have a pretty good idea of what I look like, I just can't believe that I spent years of my life with zero self-awareness. It is a little bit disturbing. Its hard to explain--I guess it was like looking in the mirror and seeing a complete stranger. Who the heck was that chick?
I know there are positive lessons in this experience, but I need a little help finding them, I think.
wow, I see a gigantic positive, you've completely plugging into yourself after being completely tuned out.
I know I have a tough time really SEEING my body and weight, that's why now I take pics and PAY ATTENTION, ha.
It has it's wistful side, of course, I feel compassion and grief for that old 330 me (320 was not my highest weight ever). Though at times I feel sorry for myself being at 251, I do know I've come a long way and am grateful and happy for that.
it must be close to completely impossible to get through life without having hardships of some kind. for some people, a tiny bump can feel ginormous, while for others, what other people might see as insurmountable obstacles can feel like a challenge to meet and overcome. You've overcome a very tough obstacle, congratulations!!
Last edited by dragonwoman64 : 08-14-2011 at 01:20 PM.
I think we are all somewhat oblivious to our "fat" selves or we would have done something sooner. I never really saw all 250+ pounds of me when I looked in the mirror. I know I saw it in photos, but that isn't "real" in some ways. Recognizing the need for change is a huge positive!
Some people hate the scale. I agree that the number is just one way of assessing health. But I don't think anything reinforces the progress made like seeing the scale go down. That's why it is so frustrating when it doesn't move and we know we did everything correctly. But it really is great for self awareness. Keep up the fantastic job.
Life style change started on Jan 13, 2011. I was going to lose 100 pounds by Christmas.
I lost 93 pounds by Oct 1, 2011 and am holding there for now. We'll see what happens.
New goal: To maintain at about 160 Final Goal: To decide if I need to lose more
Just Keep On Keepin' On
I hear you. Whenever I've gotten up to my highest weights I've always avoided the scale. The best thing for me is daily weighing and I think it's something I need to do for the rest of my life. Photos are also so important. We've never had full length mirrors (more of a safety thing right now with a toddler who has already broken one!) and I've always avoided photos. But now I'm making a point to take progress pictures and it is really helpful to see how far I've come (and how far I need to go still too!). Clothes can hide a lot too so I try to make sure to take pictures in things that are tight fitting (like my workout clothes) to really get a good idea of my body shape.
I definitely have the skewed body image. I've lost almost 30 lbs, been exercising hard for almost 2 years now BUT when they take pictures of me from behind at Zumba class, I see the difference in myself and the other girls with the great bodies. It still blows my mind that I'm twice their size.
"It's a lifestyle, it's something you do the rest of your life," "How long are you going to keep breathing? How long do you keep eating? You just do it."
I totally feel you. We are the same height and the highest weight I know I was ever at was 370, exactly 3 years ago. In fact yesterday was my 3-year anniversary. I HATED photos but I'm so glad there are a few of them so I know exactly what I looked like. I remember fully what I felt like. It was so hard to climb stairs. Now I go out of my way to stay active since I have a desk job - I hate to sit still.
Don't dwell on the fact that you used to weigh that much. Love yourself at that high weight and love yourself now. That's really all you can do. I wish I could go back to myself at that weight and give me a hug and a big THANK YOU for believing in myself enough to do everything I did to get here, now.
You are Preaching to the choir brother! I so understand what you are saying.
I never ever saw/see myself as fat as I truly am. Photos were and still are a nasty reality check. I can understand how anorexics can look in the mirror and not see their starving bodies, I can look in the mirror and not see the blob of a body I created by overeating.
Sad but true.
So this is something I am working to try and get a better handle on. Had some pictures taken the other day, and even after 21 kilos lost, I STILL am far bigger than I thought....
Thanks so much for all of your responses! Thanks to you, I am down off the ceiling about all of this. It helps so much to know that there are people out there who totally get what I am feeling and where I am coming from.
I know how you feel as well. I had no idea how large I was and I hated looking at pictures of myself. I always thought I looked "fine" in the mirror but clearly I really wasn't when the pictures came in!
Now however, I'm having the opposite problem; I keep thinking I'm so huge and it takes a picture for me to see that I'm not! I can fit into a 8/9 for crying out loud (down from 16/18, maybe even 20). That's progress! But for some reason I can't see it.
See - I believe that fat people who go to work every day, face the ridicule and judgment of strangers, and just get things done are AMAZING. Losing weight is super hard, and way harder for some than others. If we allowed ourselves to think about ourselves the way the cruelest people in society think of us, why would we get out of bed? Why would we even try? Cuz I hear mean stuff about people who do not look like the air-brushed version of Keira Knightley, but who are nevertheless incredibly beautiful, fit women. I cannot jump on the train that says anyone over 30 is too old. Or the train that says anyone over 105 pounds is too fat. Or the train that says I am ugly because of (name that wrinkle or that blemish here).
So, yeah, avoiding the mirror and the pictures and concentrating on those areas of your life where you excel - I think it's kind of okay until you're ready to do what it takes to lose the weight. And if you're never ready to get there, but are still doing amazing things with your life, that's okay too.
That self in the pictures went to work and did her job, despite the challenges of finding clothes to wear and knowing that people would be judging her for her weight. AND - she made and kept the commitment to do something about this issue. She's an incredible person. I hope while you're noticing that she is fatter than you realized, you also value how awesome she is, and give her the credit she deserves for getting you to where you are now.
Except I want to add that I have been working hard at no longer avoiding the camera where my kids are concerned. I hate the way I react to pictures of myself, but the reality is that I am part of my children's lives, and they should have documentation of that. So, when I said avoiding the camera is kind of okay, I still think that. But I also think that being brave enough to have documentary evidence of being fat, but also being a fun, important part of my children's lives is even better. And I am really trying to work at that.
I hear you on that. Its really strange how we precieve our bodies. When I was at my high weight, I honestly didn't think I looked that bad until I saw pictures. Thats when I weighted myself and started getting going. But I look at myself now, and I really don't see a difference in my body because all I see are my improfections. I don't really realize how much I've changed physically until I see pictures. Even then it takes me a moment to realize that those are me.
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