Saturday, June 22, 2013

I hate seeing pictures of myself

If you are friends with me or any of my in-laws on Facebook, then you’ve probably noticed that we took family photos last weekend.

The event was probably the biggest challenge I’ve had to face thus far in my recovery.

I feel like I need to lose weight, pronto.

It is really difficult, and has always been really difficult, to look at pictures of myself.  I pushed myself through the experience because I know that one day, hopefully, I won’t care about my appearance and I’ll be glad for the pictures.
Portrait of my sister, Marcella, when
she was maybe five.  She stayed
still for 20 min, then I finished
the rest from memory :)
When I was a kid, I loved seeing a younger version of my mom.  I didn’t care what she looked like, how much she weighed, or what she was wearing.  Someday, if we have kids, I want them to be able to see pictures of me and Craig when we were young and carefree. J

I am really glad that we took those pictures, please don’t get me wrong.  I would not change it, if I could go back in time.  No way!!

However, I didn’t expect that taking family pictures would be so difficult for me to deal with afterwards.  Looking back, I probably should have prepared myself a little more.  Maybe I could have spent less time fussing with my outfit and more time practicing compassionate self-talk.

Before I go any further…

Don’t tell me that I looked fine in the pictures.  Don’t tell me not to worry about it.  Don’t tell me anything about the pics or how I look.  It will only feed into my anxiety and my eating disorder.

To me, words are pointless unless you have the actions to back them up.  I am not trying to be mean.  It's just that I know that you care about your appearance.  I know that you put on make-up and do your hair to look a certain way.  I know that you try to watch your weight.  So your actions speak louder than your words.  Seriously, I am not trying to be mean; I am just saying that it’s not going to help me if you say something…it could actually hurt instead.

You may not think I should be worried about the way I look.  But, I can’t see myself accurately.  All I see is fat.  All I see is me taking up too much space.

If you tell me that I look thin or pretty or whatever, your words could fuel my eating disorder tendencies.

I know your compliments stem from good intentions.  However, if you compliment my looks, then I feel like I can’t change.  I must, therefore, keep it up and stay in control of the way I look because, well, you noticed.  If you compliment my looks, then all the progress I have made seems to go down the drain.  I feel noticed for my appearance instead of who I am on the inside.

I am trying to not care what other people think of my appearance.  I know I can’t control what people say to me.  “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” says Eleanor Roosevelt. 

One of my biggest struggles is trying to let go of controlling how I look.  I want to be fine with the way I look now, and I want to be fine with the way I look if I gain 100 pounds.  I’ll never be OK with having a baby unless I can give up control of my weight.

Right now, I feel like I can’t do it.  It’s too difficult.

I can’t stand the way I look right now.

I was going to end there, but, like yesterday, I cannot end a post with having some kind of positive take-away.  Today, the only thing I can come up with is that “thoughts do NOT dictate actions”.

Maybe I should remind myself that it’s my feelings that I cannot control.  I’m trying to give up controlling my weight.  Maybe I should first give up trying to control my feelings.

I can’t help it that I feel a certain way, that I feel fat and need to lose weight.  Just because I am feeling that way doesn’t mean I have to act on that feeling.  Feelings are not always the truth.

Truth #1:

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