Ironically, exactly one month ago today, I posted a blog called "Avoiding Sparkpeople Out of Shame." I appreciate all of your comments and encouragement, when you were writing them you could not imagine how much they would mean to me.
Today, I decided it was time for me to sit down and actually look at those pictures I was so horrified of.
At the end of August I ran, for the second time!, Mud Hero Toronto - a 6k obstacle course at Albion Hills, Ontario. I was so proud to find out that I not only beat my time from last year but that I also DESTROYED my overall goal to beat the one hour mark by almost four minutes! Not only that, but I came in 1400-something or other out of over 3000 participants! There were some very fit people there!
The issue was that when the pictures were uploaded by the company, I was so disgusted with how I looked that I wanted to hide and never come out. "You mean, I LOOKED like that the whole time?! THATS?! WHAT I LOOK LIKE - STILL?!" I hate my body. When I look in the mirror, all I see are the problem areas and the improvements waiting to happen. Is this the same for most women? I hope not. I hope most women see the positive attributes they have and don't fuss over side boob or tummy apron.
None the less, it sent me on a downward spiral. Two years, and 50 lbs lost later, I still am so embarassed at what I see and what the camera lens showed. But I have decided it was time.
My mother (who came to cheer me on :) ) told me that she had uploaded them to her Facebook account under strict settings that only I can see them. When I went to fish them out, ready to brave my own mental-barrage of negativity, what I found was even worse.
I found pictures that I had completely forgotten about from before my journey began. Pictures that I had blocked out - and the times associated with them. But after looking through them and then going to my Mud Hero pictures, I've realized... things aren't so bad.
I don't remember how things got like that. Actually, I don't really remember ever feeling like that. Uncomfortable, self-conscious, but I still feel all those things... I thought they were supposed away with the inches? Apparently not. Those pictures make me cringe.
After looking at those and then going over to the new pictures, I see the light at the end of the tunnel again. I see where the chins have shrunk a little... maybe my arm's not as big at the top. So if you're still wondering: these are the pictures I do not want you to see.
Those above are the ones my mother took. The next ones are from the company.
I'm still not happy looking at them but comparatively, these are easier. That's what it looks like to lose 1/4 of yourself. To go from 200lbs to 150 (I was 148 in the Mud Hero pictures, I believe.)
And if I can find the courage to post the most unflattering pictures of me on a public forum with a pretty good idea of where you can find more, then maybe the courage to finish the journey is somewhere around. I'm going to post the collages on my sp page so you can really see them, so you can go look if you want to.
Thank you to everyone for your encouragement along the way, even when I've fallen off the wagon and am hiding under it with a cheesecake.