Weight Loss Journey 1:  A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Weight Loss Journey 1: A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

*****This post first appeared on Sparkpeople on August 14, 2009****

I’ve gotten into the habit of taking a picture of myself about once a month that depicts the progress I’ve made so far. It’s really great to have a visual indicator of how far I’ve come, particularly when progress is slow. Most of the pictures I’ve taken have been with my cell phone (I have the EnV Touch from Verizon-I love it!) or my digital camera. Sadly, pretty much all of the photos in my gallery are selfies.  If I were ever to lose my phone I would be highly embarrassed; nearly all of the pictures on there are of me, taken by me.

Summer 2008

Summer 2008

Saved deep in a secret file on my laptop is a folder that contains pictures of me *gasp* in a bikini. I bought this bikini in late winter (February or March, I think) with the hopes of one day looking good enough in it and feeling confident enough about myself in it to eventually wear it in public.  Sorry, but these will never be in my Spark People gallery.  The most recent of these I took in the beginning of June, and I’m actually really excited to do this again.  I’m confident that current pictures will look drastically different from the June ones. Every day I jump out of bed and my reflection instantly looks back at me from my strategically-placed full-length mirror.  I actually really like doing this because you weigh the least amount first thing in the morning, and I start my day marveling at how much better I look in my booty shorts now than 3 months ago.  😀 I have a personal goal to say 3 things I love about my body every day, and this is usually accomplished within the first 5 minutes I’m awake, even if I’m running late.  It’s really a great way to start the day and I’m absolutely convinced that’s one reason I’ve stayed dedicated as long as I have so far.  Also, it forces me to look at how far I’ve come instead of how far I still have yet to go.

My journey started with my slapping a picture on my refrigerator of myself in a gown before my junior prom–my first big goal is to reach the weight that I was when I graduated high school.  Seeing that picture reminds me of what I’m trying to accomplish.  Additionally, it’s not some random model from a fitness magazine—it’s ME, at one point in my life, and since I’ve been there before I can certainly get there again!

November 2008

November 2008

Now that I have had a measure of success that is visible in pictures, I look at other pictures of me with a different perspective. Of course, I compare myself to how I used to be (who wouldn’t?), but the purpose is to prove to myself that I have made progress and that the effort is worth the results, not to criticize. In fact, I’m gaining a more objective perspective about how big I actually was (and I stress WAS–I will never be that big again).  We’ve all got those pictures where we’re standing next to a skinny friend and think we look so much bigger than them because of the way we’re standing, or the clothes we’re wearing, or the lighting.  I’ve come to realize that, although photography does not depict the total effect of a three-dimensional scene, it is very objective, and can show you things whether you accept them as so or not.  I didn’t realize how much bigger I was than some of my friends, how puffy I looked, how my clothes pinched at my body in what I sometimes thought were flattering ways.  I can see a huge difference in my face; in some old pictures my face seems so puffy I wonder how I was able to smile.

In the past couple of weeks my weight has hit a (temporary) plateau, which has turned into an incredible learning experience. I AM NO LONGER THE GIRL FROM THOSE OLD PICTURES.  When my weight stopped going down for a couple of weeks, I really got scared that I would regain that weight back and look that way again.  Aside from the vanity, this really disturbed me.  I’ve really worked at bettering myself and I’ve stayed committed.  Truthfully it’s been quite easy to lose weight, it’s just a matter of choices, but the things I’ve learned and the path that I’ve put myself on since beginning this journey is not the same path that girl from the old pictures was taking.

May 2009

May 2009

This realization has really come as quite a shock to me.  First of all, in the very first blog I ever wrote I talked about body armor and the fact that losing the weight intimidated me a bit because I had developed this physical (literal) layer of security around myself that protected me from a lot of bad things.  This layer has also distanced me from a lot of good things-new opportunity, exciting experiences, and the intimacy that only comes from allowing myself to be vulnerable.

Gaining back that weight that I’ve lost scares m–not because of how I look, or used to look, or however you want to say it, but because I don’t want to be-no, I’m NOT the frightened little girl that used to hide in that old body.  As the body has changed, so have I.  As I have changed, so have my habits and choices, which is bringing about a new body that more accurately reflects the beautiful person I am within.  I’d like to say “I’ve worked so hard” but really I haven’t.  I’ve just made a lot of good choices, which are showing on the outside. Like I said, it has really not been that difficult.  But the habits that I have now are who I am, and every day that I adhere to good decisions and to the commitment I have to better myself I move closer to the person that I intend to be. To the person I am meant to be. It has all been very exciting, and sometimes intimidating, and the fear that I have now is that the frightened little girl will try to resurface and bring doubts into my mind.  I will try with everything I have to silence that girl, because the girl that is surfacing is strong, confident, positive, and is replacing that frightened girl, regardless of whether that frightened girl is ready to leave or not.

Losing weight is so much more than counting calories and working out. I’m overwhelmed at how far I have come and where this journey has taken me mentally and spiritually.  I’m so thankful that God has given me the courage to be strong even when I don’t want to be, and to make good decisions when making bad ones might feel better.  I’m so thankful for the people in my life who are always commenting on the changes I see and telling me that they’re proud of me, even when I have chosen to focus on the wrong things.  Finally, I’m thankful that I have goals and a vision to be accountable to, and that I’ve written those down and can refer back to them when I’m feeling less than positive.

June 2009

June 2009

I’ve already made a decision to change. The hard part-and it’s really not that hard-is staying committed to the change when your old ways are trying to pull you back.  But I’m choosing to move toward momentum, positivity, success, health, and yes, vulnerability.  I don’t know where these things will take me exactly, but I have a vision in my mind and I’m confident that the future is bright and better than where I’ve been in the past! ************************************************************

Inquiring minds want to know: What is all this business about Weight Loss Journey 1 and Weight Loss Journey 2? Weight Loss Journey 1: I lost 75 pounds from 2009-2011; I’m reposting the blog posts I wrote on Sparkpeople during that time Weight Loss Journey 2: I have gained back the majority of the weight I lost and have been on a quest since July 2015 to lose the weight again. Sorry about the timing of the posts, I know that’s probably confusing. But they are only appearing at the same time because I didn’t start my blog earlier. It may be helpful to read the posts by category if you want to catch up. Enjoy!

About bridget

I was born and raised in upstate New York, where my parents still live, before escaping the cold weather to settle in North Carolina in 2008.
I am a Gemini, a middle child, a dreamer, a lover, an optimist, and a Social Worker. I have a cheesy sense of humor, a belief that all people are basically good, and a desire to improve the world around me.
I live in NC with my husband and our dog.

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