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Notes on a Supressed Memory

Saturday, March 30, 2013

I was cleaning the house yesterday afternoon and found a pile of pictures. They made me, for lack of a better word, sad. I should preface this with, like mirrors, I tend to avoid being in pictures or seeing them afterwards. You know when someone takes a picture and everyone runs to the camera to decide if they should retake it? I am not that person. My in-laws still use disposable cameras so when they finish a roll, they get them developed and share the doubles with everyone. My husband isn't too involved with this process; he flips through them and then whatever happens, happens. This is how I know that the pile of poorly kept photos I found are my own doing.

They're awful. They're from this past August and I don't think I ever really looked at them because they should have been a wake up call. Most of them are in the water, on the beach, and - naturally - in a bathing suit; a bathing suit I thought was figure flattering and hiding at least a little of my weight. I was very, very, VERY wrong. And it's disappointing because as I look at these photos I can see how I tried to mask my insecurities - turning to the side, hiding behind my kayak, holding my niece - but I never once thought, "I need to make a difference."

(I mean there was a point in my life, as a competitive swimmer, that I spent days in a bathing suit that was so tight you could see my abs and hip bones. There was no flexing required to see my muscles and too tight bathing suits were mandatory attire. And I looked good.)

I realize dwelling on the past doesn't allow you to move forward and so I am trying to shake these feelings, but right now I can't help but feel like my present accomplishments aren't good enough because I still look like that. I'm torn here - mentally I know the journey I have embarked on is a great change with tangible accomplishments and that I will, at the end, have developed the mental, emotional, and physical strength to learn from my lessons of apathy and self-deprecation - but at the same time it's hard to be proud when I feel momentarily ashamed. Breaking it down in a blog typically helps me revise my perspective, but I think this one is going to take a little while to digest.

I'm thinking about either destroying those pictures (a rebirth from fire sort of thing) or keeping them in a motivation/deterrent box, but right now I can't decide. All I know is I need them out of my living room, even if they are just in a pile. So now I keep telling myself that I've already grown from those pictures. This Tuesday will be three months exactly - the day I measure, weigh, and put it all in perspective, which is hopefully a healthy and realistic perspective. Maybe I'll even take a picture in that stupid bathing suit.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Please keep the photos of yourself and take a moment to read this blog...


    So very few pictures of me because I'm usually the one with the camera, if any of us even think to take pictures... Gotta fix that...

    1842 days ago
    1843 days ago
    I have photos of myself like this around here and there. If they are photos of an activity/people I enjoyed and want to be reminded of, I hang on to them. I try not to think of how uncomfortable I was in my own skin at the moment the pictures were taken and focus on the memories that were created.

    I do like looking back at them from time to time to remember the people and events during my life at that time- and to remind myself how far I have come.

    Won't it be fun a few months from now when you can put your current photo next to the older ones and begin to see the positive changes you are making in your life?

    I like to introduce the "new" me to the "old" me, especially during times when I feel like I've plateaued. I notice small changes and am reminded that each day is an opportunity to take more steps in a healthy direction.

    You are on your way. Keep it up!!
    1844 days ago
    I had a similar wake up call when I saw the pictures of me taken at my son's wedding in September. I really thought my dress was flattering and slenderizing. No, it wasn't. As in the former comment I am using these pictures as my before pictures and my motivation to keep going. Although I wish I had started on this weight loss journey sooner, I am glad that those pictures gave me the shove I needed to start.
    emoticon emoticon
    1844 days ago
    Hmm, that is a tricky one about the pictures! I can understand about it being hard to see them sometimes. I'd say keep one photo as a kind of 'before' shot, and then destroy the rest--like that rebirth from fire kind of thing you mentioned! Do your best to move one foot in front of the other in a forward motion--not living in the past. You can't take it back, but you can change the future!
    1844 days ago
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