Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Where are the pictures?

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?


amy turn sharp of doobleh-vay said...

you are gorgeous. I am proud of you. You will show us when yr ready.

Cathie said...

People want to see the pictures to celebrate your incredible success with you. You are SO much more than your weight. You are SO much more than your nose. You are SO much more than your appearance. You are a beautiful person in spite of those things. And you are a beautiful person because of those things. People who think otherwise are not only wrong, but are... I struggle for the right word... idiots. They do not know what is important. They can not see the bigger picture and the whole of a person. It is all the parts of you that make you beautiful. If you had an ugly personality, then it wouldn't matter how your body looked. You could have a size zero body and get a nose job and still be hideous. But because you are a charming, funny, caring, person, your physical traits are that much more beautiful. It helps, that you genuinely are a pretty person. You have a clear and gorgeous complexion. Your eyes sparkle. I could go on and on. Amy, please love yourself. Because others truly do love you.

Theresa said...

Boy, do I understand! Just know that you are BEAUTIFUL! Even if you don't see it! I know I never do on myself! One day, you will look in the mirror and say, huh, OK, not perfect, but, not so bad either. I think we are our own worst enemies. We compare and compare to not only each other, but to ourselves and it is all just so counter productive. Youare doing great. Please believe that. Hang in there, that day will come. It will probably surprise the hell out of you!

Christy Lee said...

Oh, Amy. My heart breaks for the feelings you have right now. To me, you've ALWAYS been a beautiful gal... regardless of your weight. Even though we don't know each other extremely well, your amazing personality and wit are what make you so beautiful.

I somewhat know a bit of the feelings you have. I, too, am about 50 pounds less than I was when I graduated from college. Regardless of the size I wear, I believe I'll always feel like the "chubby girl."

And, no matter what weight we are, we have to see the beauty within to feel beautiful.

I am incredibly proud of you for the hard work you've put into discovering better health for yourself, and for your family.

You are an inspiration to me. :)

Cate said...

Oh, Amy, aklung, na'qulluq. (that's what Yup'ik people say when they feel for you, when their heart goes out to you). You've just been living under a microscope with your focus on weight loss, and that's got to take a toll. But you are much more critical than anyone looking at you ever would be. And who is looking at you critically, anyway? Anyone who cares about you looks at you with love and admiration, pre-diet, during-diet, post-diet.

When I am feeling critical of myself, it's the nameless people I walk past in the grocery store who feel the most critical. And when I realize that, I also realize that it's ALL in my HEAD because how I can know that people I have never spoken to are critical of me? And furthermore, why would I care about them? I'm not saying you do this, but I just can't imagine anyone who cares about you thinking that you're anything but amazing, physically and mentally and all that!

I also know that these mental states are self-feeding -- meaning they become more intense and so they cycle around and become more intense again. They're hard to stop unless you stop focusing on yourself in the mirror so much.

Cate said...

PS -- I feel fatter than all get out most days, but just getting out into the sun and spring air, getting some exercise (skiing lately), even for 20 minutes, makes me feel svelte and beautiful, even though I'm sure I'm not looking any different than I did 20 minutes before!

RobMonroe said...

Oh dear Amy. I don't even know what to say, except that I think you should take pictures even if you don't share them. It's important to realize that you are working toward a goal, but this is a step. Steps are not bad - hell, they help in the losing weight process! :o)

Cassondra said...

I must say that I agree with you 110%--about wanting to be invisible!! I once was a size 5, but I haven't seen that in years. Now, I want to hide behind my kids or my sunglasses, or whatever is available. I don't buy myself new clothes because I don't like to try them on or look in the mirror! I don't like to go places if I don't HAVE to. I don't necessarily want to be a size five again; I'd be happy with an 8 or a 10!! You're doing great, and you are an INSPIRATION. Thanks!

Connie said...

omg, I've never loved you more or been more proud or understood you better than after this post. What's interesting is I've always admired the smile, perfect teeth, cool hair... never saw anything else. I worried about your health but somehow always knew you were too smart to not take care of this eventually and look how far you've come. It's a battle forever, no matter who we are or how far we've come or how far we have to go. I've thought I was ugly, heavy and awkward in ways all my life... hated my nose too... got over it... now, with gravity... it's the boobs. It'll always be something. Try to work on that. God made a beautiful, funny, incredibly bright woman who has to work on her self esteem so that her gorgeous pretty babies know that they are just as perfect as mommy!

Chelsea said...

You are so beautiful. Inside and out!

Auntie Ann said...

I've known you all your life, I can't remember a day when you were not beautiful. Saying that, I know it's not what others say, but what you say about yourself. I hope your self esteem rises with each pound that's lost.

Anonymous said...

I rather like your nose. Are you telling me I have bad taste? {g}

If you're picking apart your appearance these days, then maybe it's time to hit the cosmetics counter and/or hair salon and try out some new looks.

Either that, or leave some spinach in your teeth, and then I can guarantee you that nobody will be looking at your nose!

Natalie at Mommy on Fire said...

Amy, I do not know you well but from what I have read of you, you are an incredibly talented person. I am sure you are feeling unsure and a little scared but know that this new "notice-ness" (yes, I know it is not a word...) will eventually become the new norm for you. You are a beautiful woman - your nose is beautiful, your body is beautiful, and most of all, your heart. Keep on going, girl. I am so excited that you even took the first step - most people do not. And fifty pounds? I don't care if you have 100 to lose - 50 pounds is 50 pounds. Go, you!

Susan said...

I have always thought you were beautiful...inside and out. That has not changed...even with your thinner self. You are still beautiful inside and out.