Friday, March 30, 2012

TGIF: Take (a) Guess (who's) In (these) Fotos

Okay, so no guessing. The answer is me five years ago. I just found these photos from when I was in the middle of this weight loss process. I know when this photo was taken. It was May of 2007. I weigh about 220-230 pounds. What was I thinking in this green outfit? I look like Princess Wears a Pea. Every lump and bulge shows and the cut of the shirt is all wrong for my pear figure. That day I thought I looked fine. I was happy to take photos. From my top weight of 385 I was down about 160 pounds. 

I cannot believe I posed with my hand on my hips. I mean, the idea is always to camouflage the hips, not accentuate them. I was too happy with the events of the day to care about the way I would look in a photo. These must be two of the first photos where I stopped thinking about the negatives on my body. They were there. I accepted the bumps and lumps and took photos anyway. There was definitely some growing going on in my emotional recovery at that time. In the hands on hips photo I am standing next to my mom and sister - both smaller than me. That would not have happened with that smile and that my arm like that a year earlier. 

In the photo to the left I am standing with my daughter in her college graduation gown. It is the day after graduation and we wanted to get outdoor shots of our two girls and I guess we got a few with me, too. The day before this photo was taken I was feeling good, confident, strong and happy with my weight loss. When I saw these photos a week later I was miserable and I let that after-the-fact feeling take away the happiness I enjoyed in REAL time that day.  

This photo is from 2006. I was weighing in at around 250/260. Down over 100 pounds. I co-officiated at a wedding ceremony that day. Sometimes that is part of my job and one of the rare days I have to dress up for work. This was a really nice shirt and top set. I remember feeling professional that day. I remember feeling sexy on the arm of my husband. Hmm, I was feeling sexy and professional. I wonder if I was feeling like a sex-professional? I am glad I can see his hand on my back shoulder. With that smile it might otherwise have been on my tush. I weigh more in this photo than I do in the photo above but when I saw this photo afterwards I did not see any negatives. It was all good, even as I lost more weight, I loved this photo. 

 Gee, my hair was long. I think shoulder length hair makes me look younger but I have so little hair on my head all I can see if how much scalp I see in the photos. 

I am back to seeing those negatives, even when the photo has yet taken. More work to do inside me. Keeping the pounds off is never just a physical journey. It is emotional and spiritual as well. Anyone who says all they need is the physical is in for the sad awakening of not knowing why they are gaining back the weight. Why can't they stop eating. Why can't they do what they know works. . . why isn't it working. How do I know that? I have never met anyone who has kept off significant weight without working on the issues that brought them to their peak. When I say kept it off, I mean really and truly keeping off the pounds on the scale and in their heads. I know I am still working on mine. 



downsizers said...

Accepting that this will always be a part of our lives is important. As they say, "there is no finish line". Those pictures should make you very, very proud but our first inclination is to point out what's negative I guess it's just human nature. Take care.

Karen said...

Interesting post. At least you even wanted to be photographed. I hid for so long not wanting to be photographed at all. It was if I wanted to disappear and being in photos was one of the motivators for me to loose.

I smile like I mean it now in photos. Up front in groups ( I'm super short so I'm always at the front of group photos) A refreshing change. A weight loss mentor recommended that I keep a lot of photos around and really identify with the thin me and not the obese me.

Its still difficult for me to see the few photos I was in the last 6 years. I had a before and after photo published in a largely circulated newsletter at work. It helped me accept the whole thing more.

Great post today. Karen P

bbubblyb said...

I think you have a lovely smile and I bet part of the reason you love that picture with your husband is that you both look so happy :)

It's true though that we need to work on the inside if we want to keep the outside healthy. It's sad to me that even after such great accomplishment sometimes we still find ourselves feeling down about ourselves. I can remember my doctor just not getting it and saying "what do you have to be depressed about". I do repeat that in my mind often because really we don't have anything to be depressed about, we are healthy and have a loving family. You are a great person :) I think that's what you have to remember that the outside doesn't make us who we are.

KCLAnderson (Karen) said...

It sure is a work in progress. I used to look at pictures of myself at my heaviest with disgust, even after I lost weight. And then one day I realized that having compassion for myself, both right now and in pictures that used to disgust me, was really key in helping me keep the weight off. Now, when I look at old pictures, I see something much different...and I love the woman in those photos. Because she is me and I deserve my own respect no matter what!

Anonymous said...

I love this post. And at the same time it made me a little sad. Sad that you had to look back and not feel how great you felt. You know how you felt, but don't feel it anymore.

Sometimes when I look back at my older photos, even before I lost any weight I sometimes see two faces. One where in the moment I am genuinely and unadulteratedly happy. But then I know in my real life and not in that moment, but my general feeling in life I was profoundly sad. Desperate. Out of Control. Hiding. Running. Not all the time, because i am a generally happy sort, but my undercurrent. The emotional me that I keep tucked away.

THAT is the person I am trying to come to terms with. I think she is my enabler (as Vickie was talking about today). The one that soothes with food. I think that is how I kept the happy person on the surface and the darker one tucked away. Soothing with fat. Every year it took more and more fat to keep her tucked.

I think I may have to do a post on that. It is all about confronting/discovering those emotions and impulses and coming to terms or peace with them. Peel the onion as Vickie might say. How you say. How Karen A sez.

My fave blogs for a reason.

Unknown said...

Hi Jane! Well, I have never thought much about how you felt about old photos. But you handle(d)your weight, so perhaps it is time to be nicer to yourself about the green outfit and putting your hand on your hip. It probably felt very slim at the time, after already losing a bunch of weight.

:-) Marion

Cenandra said...

Hang in there Jane! I know my negativity comes and goes. When it hits me hard, I have to dig deep and see beyond the mirror. I have to take long looks at myself and tell myself how far I've come and how good I look now. Its a mental thing that I think we all once overweighter's go through.

Vickie said...

I loved this post because that back and forth feeling is very much part of the process (in my opinion) with mirrors and pictures.

First talking about the actual physical perception:

I have a post somewhere titled something like "when my stomach got smaller, my butt got bigger".

I have had this happen with increase in tone even at my second maintenance weight. When I work on one area, then another area catches my eye. when it happens, it is motivating.

I think I have a label titled 'the muscle pushing the fat out thing'.

the psychological:
I identify with having a picture/mirror look one way to us and then look another way later. I have had that happen within minutes of each other. And I have had it happen both ways (within 5 minutes). think something looks terrible and then look again and realize it doesn't and versa visa. And I have been unhappy (in general) and have it come out in my perception of myself. sometimes it is 'fat thoughts' sometimes it is talking too much thoughts, sometimes it is woulda-coulda-shoulda thoughts from the past.

excellent post.