Friday, March 12, 2010
I hate taking pictures. A forced photo is the best way to make me cry.
I don't remember when I started thinking like this. But, if I had to guess, I would say that it was during my pre-teen years, when my father started criticizing my weight.
"No man will ever want you," he said.
But as the years went by, that was far from the truth. I went from being a chubster to a very curvy, size 10 teenager, whose height and fashion sense hid the weight well. I also was a very shy one, who willingly stood in the shadow of my beautiful, outgoing (and size 4) friends. I relied on those girls on everything, from making me laugh, to ditching school, to meeting guys.
And through the years, we have hundreds of pictures together. I loved taking photos.
I appear in three.
Fast-forward to now. I'm a 22-year old, unemployed (sigh) college graduate, who's been dieting since I was 18. My first diet was very successful. I even started taking pictures of myself. But even my size 6 photos rarely made it to Facebook.
I love the positivity and honesty I see in SparkPeople. I am inspired by the stories you tell me, and I am offering my support as much as you are giving me yours. But I cannot, cannot post a photo of myself yet.
I hope you're not hurt, annoyed, or offended at my actions. I hope that you understand that simply creating a profile and posting my weight are big steps in my mental schema. Even putting my name is a no-no for me. I have such low confidence, and a deep fear of failure, that I am terrified of not succeeding and someone pointing that out to me. And the fact that my name is pretty unique (or at least the spelling) doesn't make it any easier.
But I promise that I will soon. Once I lose the first 50 pounds, I will finally be proud enough to show you where I am in my lifelong journey. And next Monday, March 15, I will make my sister take pictures of me. I will save those pictures on my computer, and when I finally hit that 50 pound mark, I am going to share it with my fellow Sparkers :-) So you can see firsthand how far I've come.
But for now, I can only offer you my support and the truth.
I know that my weight isn't the only reason that I hate taking photos. I view myself differently than I view others. I'm very critical of myself, to the point that my loved ones notice it. Without a doubt, I believe everything my father said when I was younger, and unfortunately, my self-confidence relies almost entirely on my looks.
I love my father very dearly, and I'm blessed to have him in my life. But I urge all men out to watch how they treat their daughters, because I'm sure that my father has no idea that 12 years later, his daughter is still struggling to take a picture without bursting in tears.