I hate to have my picture taken and avoid it whenever possible. But since I really believed that this time I was going to lose the weight FOREVER, I decided I wanted a BEFORE picture, so I could chronical my journey. I should also add that I never looked at the BEFORE picture until Tuesday.
The why I looked at it is actually funny. The picture at the right is me, which I took by mistake Tuesday night in a restaurant bathroom. I was taking a picture of the mirror (I want to replicate it in my house), was in a hurry, and didn't stop to think that I would be in the photo.
When I looked at the photo I was amazed, first that I was in the picture, but more importantly, that it was finally obvious to me that I am losing weight. Under that wrap was a jacket and a shell -- and my silhouette is just so much slimmer than my BEFORE picture, below, that I finally dug out.
The point in all this?
For those of us who avoid the camera, we lose sight of our body image. Most of us avoid mirrors too, and when we look in one, it is close-up, to put on make-up, shave or comb our hair. We have no concept about how heavy we really are.
My advice to anyone who is really sincere about shedding pounds: Take a full-length picture. At every 10 pounds loss, snap another one. You'll know when it is time to take a look at your progress. And when you get there, be prepared to be amazed.
I am still suffering from a negative body image, even though I know that 42 pounds is an awesome amount of weight to lose. And I am not alone:
- About 91 percent of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting.
- Only 5% of women possess the body type portrayed by women in the media.
- 33% of men are unhappy with their bodies.
Negative body image is an unrealistic view of how someone sees their body. These thoughts are usually formed in childhood, but body image continues to form as you age and receive feedback from your friends and family. And if you live in an affluent community like Fairfield County, skinny and blonde is the preferred pedigree. Since I am neither, self-doubts and critical inner thoughts have been shouting loud and clear in my mind.
So what changed? Mindful eating. I teach insight mindfulness meditation, which has really helped me change many of my age-old patterns of behavior. Over the past four years, my business partner and I have been trained in six mindful eating programs -- some great, some really ridiculous.
But we learned so much. And we combined some of what we learned with the techniques we teach in mindfulness, and developed our own mindful eating program that I can honestly say is much different than any other program out there.
It has permanently changed my relationship with food. I am at peace with what I eat. And I am finally at peace with my body. The pictures helped. But honestly, the change is within.
I finally understand that losing weight is not a race. It will probably take me another year to reach my goal weight. That’s OK. Because of one truth:
Every pound I lose now is a pound gone, never to return. I’m losing pounds that I have no intention of ever finding again.