I'm closing in on -50 pounds. Since November, many of you have asked for pictures.
The reason why I haven't posted them is complicated.
When you're fat... and let's not mince words, I was fat. In fact, at -48 I'm still fat. When I was at my highest weight, I weighed exactly 100 pounds more than my sister. I'll tell you what, the only thing more depressing than having lost 50 pounds and still being fat is having 100 pounds to lose when you begin. But anyway...
When you're fat, you're kind of invisible. People NEVER comment on how you look. Ever. If they do, it's "Have you lost weight?" even though both of you know the answer is "no." I'm sure there's some deep psychological significance there (maybe people just tend to remember me as even larger than I am?) but I don't want to think about it right now.
So, you kind of go through life like one of those inevitable headless people walking down the city street on a news program where they're talking about how fat Americans are - you've seen it. Fat people are anonymous. We are unseen.
Or at least, that's how it feels.
So you see, for a very very long time, too long for me to even really remember, I've been comfortable with my invisibility. I wore it like a cloak. It made me feel safe.
I am more self-conscious now, at -48, than I was at my starting weight. I look at myself in the mirror, and I see nothing but flaws. I hate my nose. I never hated my nose in my life, but it looks like a beak to me now, and I hate it! I've started wearing make up, because whenever I see someone who hasn't seen me for a while, they say, "Look at you!" and I cringe. The fat girl doesn't want to be seen. She wants to hide. She wants to stay invisible - behind flesh, behind make up, behind the kids. She knows you can see her, now, and it's really scary.
She can't even talk about it in the first person.
It's easier for me to post that picture of my starting weight body than it is for me to post a picture of what I look like today.
Because what if I lose all 100 pounds, and I'm still ugly? Then what will I do?