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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Body Image

I was talking with my BFF earlier (my best fat friend) who has been on this journey with me since elementary school.

Together her and I have probably lost and then regained 1,500 pounds over the years - so we have a lot of shared perspective on this whole body image topic.

One thing we were talking about is how despite our significant weight loss and our solid progress over the past couple of years (she looks fabulous and has been near goal for quite some time now) we can still FEEL as fat as we were at our highest and we can still SEE ourselves at our fattest.  It's a little scary how easily our own body image can change based on the choices we make on any given day.

This picture was taken yesterday by a coworker who told me that a couple of times during the day, when she saw me walking down the hall, the word that came to her mind was "skinny"  (Not really that I am skinny, but maybe that my weight loss is so drastic that I'm moving in that direction?)

I asked her to take a picture so I could see what she saw.  She snapped front, side and back for me and when I looked at the pictures I thought, "wow!  That's me?"

I am looking at it right now as I type this and I am trying to imagine what I would think if I was meeting myself for the first time, or if I saw myself on the street.  I think I'd just think that was an average woman.  Heavyset/big, for sure, but heck so is most of America.  I wouldn't say "more fat" than anyone else.  In other words, I see nothing abnormally large in the photograph.

But in the mirror, I see every flaw.  Just sitting here, I can feel the loose torso area and when I look in the mirror, my eyes frequently zoom right in on the flaws to see if they are properly hidden/masked/etc.

And my perspective is influenced also by that day's choices.  This is where my BFF and I were laughing.  If I work out and eat healthy, I can look in the mirror and see a pretty cool chick who's got it going on.  Miss Thang.  After a weekend like the 4th of July (my 4 day bender) I would look in the mirror and see the same girl who was 81 pounds heavier!

I don't have this whole body image thing figured out yet and it really does fluctuate in ridiculous degrees.

What I do know for sure, though, is that when I make my next right choices - eat well and keep my body moving - I feel good about myself and that translates into the filter I use when looking in the mirror.

Body Image:  One more reason to keep making next right choices.



  1. I just found your blog! It's incredible! Thanks for sharing your journey.

  2. Thanks, Melissa! Great to "see" you and hope to see you next month!

  3. Wow - very interesting post and insight into the "filter I use when looking in the mirror." I know for sure our negative self-talk and fault-finding leads to a much poorer self image than is what's really right before our faces. I love how you can see all that, recognize it, and write so honestly and beautifully about the process. Thanks for the continuing inspiration!

    I was once at least 40 lbs. heavier than I am now (after being really skinny most of my life) and it was always shocking to see myself in passing in mirrors, store windows, etc. That was a relatively short period of time in my life, but it left such a mark on me that even now I criticize the size I am now, where I would have loved to have been then. Perception is not always reality - I'm glad you're beginning to see yourself as the beautiful person you are - inside and out!


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