I really like the end episodes of "The Biggest Loser" where the finalists watch a tape they make to their "future" athletic selves. And they always talk about unconditional love and self respect. Those are some of what we gain when we struggle to get healthy through hard work, diet and fitness. There always has to be a Day 1! Congrats on your losses. Good for you!
When I see my older pictures, of being obese I forgive myself and let go, because forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. Take care of the moment I don't want to foresee the future I am more concerned with taking care of the present.
Fitness Minutes: (3,008)
1,181 11/6/13 6:21 P
I feel badly that I have not been in many photos over the past 10 years....they are few and far between. When my son graduated from high school over 3 years ago and I got in the pictures with the family, I felt awful. When my daughter graduated from college a year ago and I again had to be in the picture (and was 10 pounds heavier), I again felt really bad. I hadn't seen my Dad in a few years and he came to the graduation and he was shocked at how big I had become. I really felt judged though I know he was only concerned about my health. I do feel sad too that I was not in many photos with my kids..the photos were always of just them together. I was angry at myself...part of it is I had always been in control of my weight and a size 8-10 until i reached my mid-40s and then suddenly, I gained and gained and gained. But now, I am at a new point in my life and my son is graduating from college next month and I hope I will be at least 30-35 pounds lighter than when he graduated from high school. I have tremendous hope that it will only get better. I just can't give up.
I knew I was big, but when I seen pictures from my oldest sons wedding, I ask my daughter in law, if we could take new pictures...LOL.. It is a big adjustment, and I think we all can understand size distortion I mean when you do loose weight, you still go to the big sizes, because your mind doesn't see you thin.
Fitness Minutes: (35,631)
3,794 11/6/13 5:09 P
Thanks for the comments, everyone. You've all given me a lot to think about.
I think part of my shock in seeing the pictures comes from the fact that my weight loss has been so gradual -- 50 pounds in 6 years. So I rarely lost enough in any given month or two to be noticable. And that made it easy for me (and maybe others) to not appreciate the degree of overall change. But 50 pounds on a 5'2" woman makes a difference. I am tempted to bring some of the pictures in to work to see how my friends react.
My weight gain was gradual too -- with no dramatic binges or sudden gains -- just 2 or 3 pounds per year, for 30 years. That's probably why I let it go so long before doing anything about it.
Maybe this experience and all of the subsequent reflection will help me get back on track. I've been on a plateau for a while and thinking maybe it was time to think in terms of maintenance rather than continued losing. But maybe not. Maybe that's just me being too complacent to work harder to get my weight down even lower.
Maybe I should post those pictures at my desk at work (where I tend to eat the most) as a way of motivating me to keep working at it. Hmmmm.... more thinking to do.
Fitness Minutes: (19,002)
563 11/6/13 1:59 P
I guess I am always amazed but not usually disgusted. I didn't feel like a fat person then. I didn't really feel any different. Obviously there is a huge difference-- 44 pounds is a big deal. But I was the same person, and I don't really look back at myself with disgust.
this all comes back to loving yourself at any size.
I was constantly criticized as a kid and fought hard to maintain my self esteem...that wasn't easy, I was always a big and tall girl. I was overweight, not even obese. The result was that I hated taking pictures. No matter what my weight was, I was always the biggest one in the pictures. As the years went by I lost and gained...always conscious of my weight. My very rare pictures and my IDs for work became the only pictures I have...friends have pictures of me. When I look back at the pictures...I wish I hadn't let myself think that way...I looked great. Lesson to be learned...don't miss out on souvenir memories of times in your life. It's your life...cherish it. If nothing else...taking pictures gives you a better idea of how you look. If you don't like what you see...do something about it.
I don't have any pictures but I have a strong memory. I was in a store shopping with my niece and sister in law. I was sitting across from the fitting room mirror. I had my back to it and for some reason I turned around. I thought to myself, who is that fat girl? And it was me!
At my highest I was 165. All my excess weight congregates in my belly. And at 5'3 that is bad. Sadly it took me a while before I got control of my health.
I do have some pictures at my heaviest, and I have them posted in my photos on my SparkPage (feel free to check them out). I have some more, that I will post eventually. Anyway, when I see those photos, I see a very unhappy, ashamed, out of control, and miserable woman. I see a woman who was going through a time in her life, where she felt unwanted and unworthy of anything better, and mentally and emotionally beat down. I am now in a place in my life where I am truly happy, and made to feel confident and loved every single day. I am losing weight and feeling in control and healthy! Though looking at my old pictures don't bring back the best memories, they do remind me of how far I have come and most importantly, that I AM WORTH IT!!
Fitness Minutes: (190)
380 11/6/13 12:43 P
My heaviest pictures were taken with my beautiful children so I love seeing them.
Fitness Minutes: (58,939)
3,509 11/6/13 12:23 P
Those pictures are still me and I love me no matter what. I don't lament my looks but rather my poor health at that time.
Fitness Minutes: (17,391)
2,116 11/6/13 10:30 A
I always really saw how I looked and was disgusted by it but didn't seem able to do anything about it. Now I reflect on the journey and my successes and it gives me the impetus to keep going so I don't look like that again.
Fitness Minutes: (87,796)
11,704 11/6/13 10:29 A
I only have old pictures of myself when I was thin and they make me feel bad because I want to look like that again. I hide from the camera now.
Fitness Minutes: (27,570)
3,770 11/6/13 10:15 A
When I see pictures of myself at my heaviest, I see a sad, hopeless person who was just existing. It makes me appreciate the progress I've made so far.
Fitness Minutes: (123,317)
5,255 11/6/13 9:23 A
I always feel bad when I see pictures of myself heavy. Likewise good when I am slim.
I don't have any pictures of me at my heaviest and really don't have a good one of how I look now, other than a really bad one I briefly posted on spark recently and took off the next day lol.
@Plinthess, that is an excellent idea and I think I am going to do that.
Fitness Minutes: (30,864)
2,259 11/6/13 8:11 A
Can I suggest that you now get some really good pictures taken of yourself? If you can't afford professional pics, get a friend to do it. Wear your most flattering outfit, get your hair done and do your make up (if you wear it) the way you like it. Get your friend to take lots and lots of pics and choose your very favourites. Delete all the rest.
Get the best pic enlarged, framed and on display at home. Maybe even give framed copies to loved ones as a Christmas gift? These new pictures will not erase the old ones from your mind entirely, but I believe they will help restore your self image
Fitness Minutes: (76,885)
2,953 11/6/13 4:02 A
Unfortunately for me no matter what weight I am, I still see that fat self in the mirror from way back.
Fitness Minutes: (33,189)
21,840 11/6/13 2:33 A
At my heaviest, I was a wee bit heavier than shows on my ticker. I have seen photos of me a good 20lb lighter, but been physically bigger than at my heaviest. People even commented to me AFTER I had gained weight, that I had lost it - I just told them that it was rearranged. As far as seeing the photos of me are concerned, altho' I didn't like them, I just accepted that that was what I WAS, that NOW I am much more in proportion. I certainly don't see it as an opportunity to beat myself up for what could have been, but at the same time, I kinda feel a little sad that I couldn't have been like I am now, back then. I think part of this is because I was always eating properly - not junk, and not excessively, and was constantly talking to my Dr about it, and trying to find the reason and how to fix it. When I finally found the recipe, ...... well, the rest is history :-)
It bothered me tremendously when I was heavy and saw pictures of myself as a heavy person. I felt disgusted, demoralized and embarrassed. But, now that I've lost weight, I love to look at those pictures. I feel proud, accomplished and relieved that I'm not that heavy anymore. I used to belong to a food program where participants spoke at meetings. The speakers always brought "fat pictures" to show what they used to look like. I had to look far and wide to find my pictures. Of course I had avoided taking pictures and had thrown most of the one I had to take away, but I did find five or six and laminated them on one sheet of paper for when I spoke at meetings. I started keeping them in my car, and then I started showing them to anyone who entered my car - or anyone who came near my car. I was just so darn happy I didn't look like that anymore. When I changed jobs, I couldn't wait for the right moment to show my new friends my pictures. I loved hearing people say - "that was you?"
Embrace your weight loss and keep those pictures as reminders of what you don't want to be again and to remind yourself that you've come a long way. Or as an incentive to lose even more, if that's your goal. By losing 50 pounds you've accomplished something remarkable, that so many people would love to do, but can't. Look in the mirror, try on those smaller clothes, and smile.
Fitness Minutes: (27,448)
1,505 11/6/13 12:38 A
You've lost 50 pounds. Congratulations! YOU did that through your hard work.
I believe your parents CAN see you now and they are proud of what you've accomplished, and happy for the healthy choices you've made.
I saw a picture of myself about 7 months ago, after I had lost about 4-5 pounds. I was at a point where I was beginning to think that it wasn't worth the effort to try to lose. The picture was not flattering, and I was embarrassed to know that other people had seen the photo as well. After some thought, I realized we are most critical of ourselves in photos. But it also made me realize that I needed to continue with Spark People.
Don't beat yourself up about how much you weighed previously, or how "big" you looked in the photos. Maybe you just weren't ready then. That was the past.
What matters now is that at some point you made the decision, day after day, to get healthy. While it's natural to feel some regret, focus on where you are today. Give yourself credit for a job well done, and think about how different your life will be, now that you are fitter and healthier than you've been in a long time.
Fitness Minutes: (35,631)
3,794 11/6/13 12:07 A
I found some old pictures of myself today from back when I was at my heaviest. They shocked me as I don't think I ever "saw" myself as that having been THAT fat at the time. I barely recognize myself in those pictures.
I am trying to sort out how those pictures have made me feel. You would think they would make feel happy ... but my feelings are a bit confusing. Mostly I feel sad: 1. Sad that I did that to myself 2. Sad that I was obese most of my adult life 3. Sad as I wonder what would have been different about my life had I not been that fat 4. Sad that friends who haven't seen me in years still picture me that way 5. Sad that my parents didn't live long enough to see me lose weight. The fat person in the picture is the image of me they died with.
Instead of feeling happy when I see those pictures ... I feel a deep sense of regret.
How do you feel when you see pictures of yourself at your heaviest?
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