While updating my side bar today (I decided to add a mileage tracker for my 300 mile challenge and also have been contemplating adding some other things as well), I saw that there is now a new "slideshow" option and got all excited. I thought about all of the blogs I've seen with slideshows of their weight progression pictures and instantaneously thought it would be awesome to have one of my own. So I started milling through my old pictures, trying to find all of the ones I have that would be good. I found all the pictures that I perceive myself as fat in and put together the most amazing slideshow. After pressing the "watch slideshow" button, I nervously waited- wondering if I would be depressed or excited about my new creation. Believe it or not, I kind of loved seeing pictures of the past 2 years pop up one after another, reminding me of all of the good times I've had since I moved to CA.
But I can't seem to bring myself to post the slideshow. Not because I'm embarrassed; that's not it. Confused by my own reaction, I decided to wait an hour or so and try again. Still couldn't bring myself to post it. I'm not sure why, exactly, but it was affecting me, and the only thing I can even think to say about it is that I just don't feel like it's a good representation of me. Let me try to break this down for you:
Sure I'm proud of myself for losing 20 pounds. But looking at those old pictures helped me realize that my weight does not define me. Does that make sense? I'm not comfortable with just throwing a few 'fat' pictures together and expecting you to watch the slideshow and suddenly realize that a few photos is a poor representation of who I am. Let me back up and try to be clearer-
I've chosen to be happy with myself and my life. I believe that happiness is a choice.
As I type this out, I wonder if I've just summoned a firing squad. There are days that when I've heard people say or write these types of things- and I've instantly disregarded them AND their opinion. I close out of the post or close my ears to their words and immediately move on; never to think of them or their opinion again. 'You have NO idea pal what it's like', I think to myself. Now whether I'm talking about weight related depression or another type of depression, when you're feeling it- there is no choice. And I know that because I've. Been. There. However, I suddenly remember that I just stated only a few sentences up, that "I believe that happiness is a choice." So how can I contradict myself in less than 10 sentences?
Because I'm not talking about brain chemical depression here- I'm talking about giving myself a break. Cutting me some slack, for the first time in my life. As I read other blogs too, I realize, there are a lot of us who are freaking hard on ourselves. Maybe it's because we're women, I'm not sure. But many of us are constantly upset with ourselves because we put ridiculously high standards on ourselves and then can't meet them. We wouldn't put those standards on our loved ones, but we do it to ourselves. Maybe I'm not talking about depression after all, but love and self acceptance instead. My roommate and I call it, "being nice to ourselves", and we constantly remind each other to 'be nice'. I'm not sure how I've managed to realize I needed to ease up and then do it, but it feels GREAT. For me, it is learning to be happy moment by moment because I'm not being so hard on myself all the time. I pray about it constantly. I believe God wants us to be happy in this life. While I believe that happiness, joy, and acceptance (and self love) comes easier for some of us than others, I do believe it's possible for all of us. I think I partially have you guys to thank for helping me 'awaken' (I'm enlightened now? YES! Ha! This is getting awesome!).
The good news is- it's clear I'm growing. I'm learning to accept myself a little more. I'm not interested in remembering my life according to my weight. As I look at all of those 'fat' pictures, I see in them that I'm smiling. In all of them; every single one. Even if I felt fat or self conscious at the time, or even if I've deleted a million pictures because I hated the way I looked at the time, of the ones I do still have, I'm smiling. And I now choose to remember those times as good times with my friends and my family. Who cares if I was 15 pounds heavier? Self acceptance. There will be times that I am heavier in my life; And there will be times that I am lighter. Hopefully I can continue to learn to live by my heart and just be happy.
Wow- wordy post. For those of you that made it to the end- Congrats. I'll post a few of the pictures here, so you too can see my smile. :)
And some more current pictures: