Saturday, March 21, 2009

camera shy

If I could go back to when I was at top weight I'd take so many pictures. Chase my formerly fat arse around snapping shots until it was fat no longer. Between swilling buckets and disinfecting small people these past 3 days, I've spent far too much of my precious "free time" looking through the files on my computer for evidence of my former morbidly obese state.

For the last few weeks at WW the leader and her scales helper types have been asking for my "before" pictures. While I have photos of me at heaviest, they don't really show the full extent of the weight I was carrying. The most unflattering photos were promptly sent to the recycling bin, ones that survive are dark or partial shots. The majority have me using the typical fat girl camouflage trick - posing with a "prop"- 90% of the time I'm using a child, or two.

A few I found in the archived folders from 2007 show the weight truthfully, not pulling any punches. A picture Sam took of me sleeping makes me wince as I recall how the fat around my neck/shoulders pushed my head up at an odd angle. I was never fully able to get comfortable while sleeping, it also made breathing difficult - not a good thing.

Another picture from 2007 caught the full effect of what having a BMI of over 40 did to my face. Most pictures that caught me straight on were thrown to my virtual bin as soon as they were done uploading, but the one on the right was smuggled into the saved stack (probably as I looked away from the screen to grab my next spoonful of Ben & Jerrys..)

Finding a solitary picture to give a true representation of me at 220+lbs is something I don't know that I can do without a time machine. A part of me was all too aware of how overweight I was, and did all she could to prevent the other part of my mind from being allowed to see the truth. Seemed somehow safer and easier to stay in denial. The fear when I would see a camera was intense, especially if I knew I would not have control of editing the pictures taken. The amount of times some thoughtful soul sent me a copy of a photo they took - one they obviously thought looked flattering, but that set me off on a binge.. ugh. Hated myself for being so big, hated the camera for being in focus. I had learnt to photograph myself well enough that I looked fat, but not dangerously so. Oh, I'd admit to being "fat" but would maintain I was a size 18, though I couldn't even pull up my size 18 maternity trousers over by bloated figure.

Then there was video footage. Now, I would still be using my fat chick camo of a baby or two, and several long pieces of cloth (most always a video of me would be a tute in carrying a baby using a wrap, my love of babywearing overruled my desire to hide my body I guess) but you can still see the shape of me. More than that though, the way I have to move with 16 stone on my 5'2" frame, and the shortness of breath as I talk during the low impact activity is so telling.

The difference in how I feel now is amazing. As far as non scale victories go, this is a big un, I want to take photos now. I am happy with what I see, and don't feel shame. I know I still have a decent amount to lose, but looking at pics of my current weight I feel normal, and for the first time I am digging being "normal"!


  1. I just wanted to say congratulations on the fab loss and you look absolutely gorgeous and amazing!!!!!! Very inspiring :D Look forward to reading more xox

  2. I don't have very many pictures of myself when I was 70 pounds heavier than I am now. I just never wanted to have my picture taken before. Now I don't mind at all. And you look great - by the way! :-)

  3. The very top right pic on here = slim woman!!!

  4. Many congrats. I like the way you write and you're an inspiration.
    Does this mean you had a tummy bug last week then, that presumably the kids then caught?

  5. thanks *blush*

    @ badger: yes, me and all 4 kids were sick for a day or two last week. Still reeling from the smell of disinfectant now, lol.