I should preface this entry with the fact that I enjoy and embrace the anonymity Spark People allows. I am a private person, hate the spotlight, and often feel anxiety at even the idea of feeling exposed. About a year and half ago I quit all social media because it left me feeling inadequate and, at times, pathetic. Not because I don't have friends, but because I was allowing that to be the only connection to friends. Even worse, I forbid my husband to tag me in photos and prided myself in the lack of updates I was providing. The idea of "cyber-stalking" in any way, shape, or form was just too much stress.
I recognize that those feelings are largely a result of my size and (lack of) self-worth.
Like many of you (or so I assume), I was in denial of my weight gain. It was easy to do so - I always took the pictures, instead of posing for them, I never bring a camera anywhere, scarves are a trend I've embraced (conveniently hiding neck bulges, double chins, AND excess cleavage), leggings don't have a waist band or any restriction, and tunics of any kind can mask all shape to a body. I styled myself to conceal and deny.
I thought I'd lose weight for my wedding and decided it was too cliche. I wanted to be who I always was and embraced those pictures (also the photographer was AWESOME). They were the first photos I wasn't ashamed of in a few years.
Then came our honeymoon. All the photos were action shots or my posing in a way that avoided the beginning of a double chin. We returned from our honeymoon and I weighed myself for the first time in years - I was 199 - and my thought was, "wow I pull this off well. I'm not overweight."
Guilt crept in a few months later and I weighed myself again. It read 212. I was shocked and ate myself into forgetting. I continued to do that until this past January. A few months prior I finally realized that what I thought were pant indentations on my stomach were stretch marks - big ugly ones - and what I thought was a sporadic chin pop, was in fact a full fledged double chin. I looked at the holiday pictures my mom sent me and realized I can't live in denial: as I got bigger, my self-worth got smaller.
So I joined SP with quite a bit of anonymity. I have been envious of those of you who can put everything out there - before pictures, progress pictures, what you're eating, what you're doing, your trackers, etc... And then I realized THAT'S accountability. How can I truly take pride in what I'm doing and why I'm doing it if I don't have some accountability outside of my over thinking - sometimes obsessive - mind?
I started by making my food tracker public about a month ago.
Last week I made my fitness tracker public too.
And now, after my first benchmark accomplishment, I'm trying to maintain perspective. I was proud of my accomplishment for less than 48 hours. That's when I realized that being vulnerable is part of improving my self worth. So I'm ready to post before pictures, so I can look on them as motivation, pride, and perspective. That I should be consistently impressed by my weight loss and not embarrassed by it.
So this is my first denial picture on vacation this summer:
I thought to myself, "this is a fluke." No way am I that big.
And then Thanksgiving rolled around and my mom sent me this one:
I realized baggy sweaters and scarves weren't doing me any favors and that drinking a bottle of wine only made me comfortable with smiling in pictures because Lord do I not remember feeling as happy as I look here.
I have lost 26 pounds in 2 1/2 months and that's something I need to remember all the time. Right now I don't have any pictures of me from the past two months (scary huh?), but I will pose for one soon and share that too. A healthy perspective will help led me to a much healthier life.