Weighty Matters

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Picturing Progress

on April 21, 2012

Thank you, everyone, for your kind words on yesterday’s loss of a friend.

So, I’ve been threatening promising to put up some pictures to illustrate my progress.  This is more difficult for me to do than I thought.  I’m sure it isn’t a big surprise to anyone that having my picture taken has never been one of the top ten things to do on my list.  It’s emotionally hard to face the evidence of super obesity.  No matter how someone else might comment on my outfit or my smile or whatever, I see only the humongousness of my body.  Oh the many times I’ve tried to hide in the back of group pictures or someway, anyway,  make myself less conspicuous.

Even today when I went through photographs to find one that would show you all where I was before weight loss surgery, I experienced a range of emotions — none of them great.  Embarrassment, shame, sadness, and a healthy dose of, “Oh good God”.   My heart aches for the me in the old photos, even while I cringe while looking at them.

Then I looked at the most recent ones, taken a week or so ago when I went to the RT Bookreviews Magazine Booklovers Convention.  Even though by number of pounds I’m still obese, I’m not trying to hide in any of the pictures.  I’m happy with the progress I’ve made and the improvements I’m experiencing and the happiness shows.   The joy in my heart has helped me overcome the shame of the past and post the before and after photos.

Here goes.  This first one was taken about a year ago.  If I wasn’t quite at my top weight, I was damn close to it.

At or close to my highest weight.

Now here’s a photo of me with a friend taken a week ago today.

Hanging with my good friend

Even I, with my messed up self-image, can see the difference in my weight.  When this photo was taken, I was down 65 pounds.  My body is smaller, my face is thinner.  Even my forearm and wrist are not as big as they used to be.

What you can’t see is how I feel.  In that moment, I was simply happy to be photographed with my dear friend.  I wasn’t even thinking about what I looked like.  I was just happy.  When I first saw the photo, I didn’t cringe or think any evil thoughts about myself.  I simply smiled and shared it with friends and family on my personal FB page.

I realize now that it’s good for me to take more pictures of myself as I continue on this journey.  Sure I can note my progress according to the number on my scale and how I physically feel, but really looking at my changing, improving body is (pardon the pun) ample evidence of the improvements happening with my body.  The practice engenders positive reinforcement like a big pat on the back to myself for doing everything that I need to do to get healthier.  Positive action changes everything and these are great changes.

Oh, a side note:  See the outfit I’m wearing in the before picture?  I wore that shirt today.  It’s much looser on me and doesn’t cling to fat rolls.  I recently had the pants taken in but need to revisit the seamstress and have her make them even smaller.  WOOT!

By the way, I got on the scale today and I’d lost a few more pounds.  My total now stands at 68 pounds.  I’m now at a weight lower than I can remember being in the longest time.  Seriously, I don’t remember when I last weighed this much.  Best of all, the best is still yet to come!

12 responses to “Picturing Progress

  1. londonmabel says:

    Ooh I love your top in the bottom picture!

    You look beeeootiful. I’m glad you’re feeling glowy and happy. Thanks for sharing the pictures, though I can understand it was hard.

  2. pinkpelican says:

    Beautiful photos, both before and after, and congratulations on being able to see the changes and being so much happier in your own skin. Such wonderful achievements!

  3. Kelli says:

    I’m basking in your shadow, and totally thrilled at your progress. YOU know that I know exactly how you’re feeling, as I’m already starting to feel the little bit of progress I’ve made. I can’t wait til next year at RT when we BOTH walk in there so damn skinny that no one even recognizes us.. :-)…. You and I will toast (probably with water…lol) to all the happy, healthy times ahead. I wish you the greatest of success, my friend.

    • Mary Stella says:

      You aren’t in any shadow, Kelli. You’re walking tall on your own journey now. Don’t know yet if I’m going to RT but I’ll happily toast with you if I do!

  4. Mary says:

    You glow in both pictures, Mary.

    Sixty-eight pounds is terrific! I’m happy for you.


  5. Mary Stella says:

    Awwwww. Thank you, everyone!

  6. FABULOUS!!!!! And what a totally gorgeous smile you have!!!! Wonderful, wonderful….

  7. lora96litdiva says:

    You are so beautiful, inside and out. Brave, brilliant, gorgeous girl!

  8. Marti says:

    Beautiful! The look of pure joy on your face is priceless!! 🙂

  9. hoperoth says:

    Congrats, Mary. You look wonderful. 🙂

  10. Susanne says:

    I’ve been following your progress with considerable interest. That whispered cheer, “Go Mary Stella GO!” is mine 🙂

    Here’s the thing about pictures. I love taking pictures, and when people (like my mother-in-law or my sister) don’t want their picture taken because of how they perceive themselves, I’m respectful of their wishes, but I’m always a little sad. A part of our family history is lost by them not being in the photo. I’m sure the friend you posed with is thrilled that she has a photo of the two of you taken at a very happy event.

    Best wishes as you continue your journey.


  11. robenagrant says:

    That’s absolutely fabulous!
    I’m so happy for you, Mary. Your smile really shows your happiness.

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