My mom absolutely freaks when she sees pictures of my dad in later years. One of our former staffers donated a picture she took of him for display at the local humane society (he was a founding board member), and she was ticked right off because she really figures that all you can see in the photo is how big he was, not WHO he was. Not WHO she married. The only photos she keeps out are his college graduation and one from early on in their marriage when he was smaller.
When he passed, there was a huge discussion over this, because we fought over the photo for the alter. She didn't want one at all. I had to explain to her that while I could sort of understand the shame and guilt she felt about the shape my father ended up in, she also had to remember that I barely remembered him as anything smaller than 5 or 600 pounds, and that my younger brothers had never known him a different way. The man in those pictures was the man that they remembered, and he was their father, they weren't looking at his size. Precious few photos of him were taken, for the same reasons we all avoid the camera. I don't want to hide the ones we have.
That being said, I've hid from the camera a lot. But it's the snaps that caught me - ones I didn't know were being taken, ones where I had to be in them, that helped me come to the realization I changed. And while there's still shame there, I'm glad I'll be able to have a visual record of where I came from.
And if I had hid from this picture:
I would have regretted it all my life. I'm still over 400 pounds here. But more importantly, I'm with my nephew, having the time of my life.