Ok. So. Down 50#. In one-derland. Feeling good, confident... walking tall, smiling often. Can this be undone with one click of a digital camera?
Well, yes... almost.
Yesterday I attended a staff barbeque. Wearing my polka-dot dress that I first wore in May 2013 (at 213#). That I thought I looked soooooo good in. I feel great when I wear it. My Spark profile pic of choice displays this dress, as do several photos in my gallery. I wore it to my son's high school graduation banquet. I wore it to dinner in a fancy restaurant. I wore it to a family function. Every time I put it on, I get compliments. I am intellectually aware that it is a regular size 18, which has become somewhat loose on me in the weeks since I first bought it... so, really, the numbers say, "I must look OK."
And then I saw these pictures of me at the barbeque.
Initial reaction: "OH MY GOD LOOK HOW HUGE I AM."
Second reaction: "HOW CAN I STILL BE SO BIG AFTER LOSING 50#!"
Third reaction: "I LOOK TERRIBLE HOW EMBARRASSING THAT EVERYONE WILL SEE THIS."
Basically, my internal dialogue could be visualized like so:
WHY is the first reaction, so critical, so cruel? WHY does looking at these pictures make me want to scream "I look terrible, how could I ever have let myself believe I looked nice?! I look just as large as I did when I was 245#!!"
It really bothered me.
To try and reassure myself that it wasn't *that* bad, I hauled out some "before" pictures. Some really "true" before pictures, that I haven't had the guts to look at in a long time, that I've never had the nerve to publish here.
And, yeah. Ok, maybe I'm not at "goal weight" yet (whatever weight that may be). But I feel better once I recognize and reflect on just how far I've really come. I DO look a lot different now. And it isn't ONLY "the difference in weight"...
I think that the "difference in weight" is actually the least important thing to note, when I compare these before-vs-now pictures side by side. Look at my posture - leaning in, TOWARDS the camera, vs shrinking back, arms clasped in front of me like a shield. Look at my expression - a big smile-for-the-camera, vs a panic how-can-I-escape look of fear in my eyes.
Yeah, Ok, I'm still a "big girl" but DAMMIT I LOOK ALRIGHT.
If I say this often enough... my mind may slowly come around to agree.
To help it out, I've made one more picture, for myself. To remind me... it isn't all about "size" anyways. It is about living, laughing, smiling, accepting who and what I am with confidence and pride.
Yes, I'm doing just fine. I will turn my head around. These pictures will LIFT ME UP, *not* bring me down. I post this last one for me, to remind me always of what I just said.