Wednesday, July 03, 2013
I've had this issue for a long time, even before I had a weight issue. I can't remember if pictures specifically upset me like this when I was a kid, but I know videos did. My parents never took many pictures while I was growing up, but the neighbors were addicted to creating home movies. I remember at one point during elementary school I was over at their house dancing with their kids. They showed us the video later, and I remember looking at myself and being embarrassed. Not like "oh, I was doing something dumb" embarrassed, but "How could I possibly allow my horrible self to be shown on this?"
I honestly don't know how I got to hate myself at such a young age. But oh, that hatred was well formed at that point.
The weight hasn't helped. I think it was really driven home how much weight I had gained when someone posted pictures of our ten year high school reunion to facebook last year. In one of the pictures I was standing next to two friends. It was a bad shot. I was wearing a plaid shirt (the last time of that, by the way), and the shot was a three quater of me. The other girls were straight on, and were wearing nice dresses (I don't own any dresses, so that didn't happen). I knew I'd hate myself in the picture, but that one was especially bad. I didn't know it had gotten that far out of hand.
... But like I said, that was a year ago. I'm fairly certain I'm actually heavier now than I was then, though much of that weight difference could be muscle. I was about the same size, I think. My weight fluctuated up and down a lot from then until now, but that's not really the point of this. That wasn't a catalyst for my weight loss goals --at least not at the time.
The point here is that that photo might as well have caused my physical pain for how horrible I felt after looking at it. Whenever I see pictures of myself, I'm not motivated. I get this overwhelming urge to just give up, and go away, and it doesn't matter, because it can never be fixed. I'll never be able to look good, I'll never be able to be happy with the face staring back at me in the picture. It just doesn't work like that.
What upsets me the most is the apparent disconnect between how the world apparently sees me, my own mental image of myself, and even my freaking appearance in the mirror. That last one really bothers me a TON. Ideally, my mental image would be what the rest of the world saw. Considering all the apparent self hate I harbor, I have no clue why when I visualize myself, I see someone so drastically different (and pleasant) from reality. But the mirror... That damn mirror.
Over the years I've managed to look at my own reflection in the eye, and eventually, I've come to a passing tolerance of what I see there. Especially these past couple of months since I began working on getting in shape. While I'm still overweight, I'm starting to be able to see micro changes here and there. My legs are showing hints of muscle, my belly seems a teeny bit smaller, and so on. And I'm satisfied with these changes. I'm progressing, and each day, I can look in the mirror a little bit longer and be okay.
Today started out just like that. I looked in the mirror, even prodded my stomach a bit and didn't spiral out into self hate. A simple "maybe a tiny bit smaller" was all I thought, and that was it. Hell, one might even be able to consider that positive. But then someone took a picture of me after work, and my whole world crumbled around me. I'm just thankful I didn't check my e-mail before I went for a run, otherwise I would have seen it and would have just stayed in my room.
Why is the person in the mirror so drastically different than the person in the photo? It's not fair. Even if the 'mental image' me never becomes a reality, I'd take 'mirror' me over 'photo' me a million times over.
The kicker to all of this, the thing that makes me feel even more frustrated, is that logically, I find this entire situation so overwhelmingly stupid, and it upsets me to think that I can actually be sinking to this level of immaturity. Appearances don't matter, it's your intelligence and contribution to society that forms your place in the world, and I have every intention to leave quite a mark by making a positive change in education. So for the love of god, WHY do I have to be so stupid about how the outside world views me?
I'm just so sick of being broken.