reality check

I was just reading Scale Junkie talking about body image and reality checks. I've talked before about my own screwed up body image. Back on my former healthy path, I used to catalogue my weight loss with photos every few kilos. Without the photos I could still look in the mirror and hate what I saw. I needed that perspective to show me how far I'd come. I'd study the pictures in great detail and look for changes. I'd relish every smoother line and more defined bone - I especially loved my collar bones, I'd always wanted collar bones. My square shoulders were a revelation, who ever knew they were there?

On the way back up I completely avoided the camera. Photos were no longer my new found trusted friends, revealing fab details I would otherwise have missed. I knew how confronting it would be to see myself and I decided not to face it.

Of course now I'm kicking myself, thinking I really should have just bucked up and faced myself before it got this far out of control. But if I were to be a little kinder on myself, I might remember just how frantic and anxious I was over all this time, I'd question if I was in any fit state to be facing home truths and might forgive myself that mistake (still working on trying to reconcile that one).

Yesterday I decided I was strong enough to see for myself where I was really at. I thought it about time to update my sidebar photo with an up-to-date one. I was completely shocked with the result.

I've said before I couldn't see the 30 kilos and I've also said I couldn't believe I'd gotten back into the "morbidly" obese scale. Looking at the pictures of where I was and where I've come to, I can see every last kilo. There's a whole thick new lining of fat over everything and the complete absence of a waist. I knew I felt fat again I just didn't realise how fat.

So here it is...

Left: 'before' 86kg (190lb, 13st 8) taken at the end of June 2007.
Right: 'after' 112kg (247lb, 17st 9) taken yesterday.

Quite the reality check.

It’s such a fine line I’m trying to tread. I want to face up to it because denial won’t stop me coming back here. But it's such a difficult thing to see in front of me.

I look to all those other fabulous success story bloggers out there who are truly living the dream at their goal weight and I can't believe how, after a lifetime of obesity, I could get that close and throw it all away. I have so much to learn from those folk.

Why didn't I realise how big I was getting? Why didn't I realise how small I'd been?

How can I learn from my mistakes?

Am I just feeling sorry for myself? I'm not sure. Is this another unhealthy way to beat myself up or is it a necessary and valuable reality check?

I'm asking more questions than I'm answering. I trust some answers will be forthcoming. For now though, I'm doing OK. I'm happy I'm back on track again. I'm not going to let this rattle me, but I am going to let it challenge me: Give me a few more months and we'll see if I don't manage to swap those before and after pics around again.


Hanlie said...

Yes you can!

Big Girl said...

It is a reality check, but being honest and seeing the differnce can be a big motivator.

Now it's time to look forward and not back. You will be able to switch those pictures around, I know you can.

Katschi (Karen) said...

Thank you, Ani, for your comments on my blog.
I value your honest input and advice.
I wouldn't call what you're doing feeling sorry for yourself at all.
I would probably label it grief.
It's excellent that you didn't put the entire 143 lbs on before you started reflecting on where you are.
Like so many of us, I totally didn't see the beauty of my body when it was actually at a normal weight. I let boyfriends tell me I was fat and believed them rather than thinking THEY had the problem.
I deeply regret this.
I'm also taking monthly photos this time to document my progress so my eyes can see the reality of how my body looks.
I love your candidness, Ani. It helps to read that others are experiencing the same feelings, struggles and of course successes.

ani pesto said...

thank you, and thank you Karen for your kind comments, I'm glad you didn't mind too much me littering your blog with tales of my saggy boobs ;-)