That Picture

 

Until I saw that picture, I had no idea.

I mean, I knew I would need to order my matron-of-honor dress one size up (as usual). And, I knew I was already wearing a size 26, but didn’t understand what that really meant.  I wasn’t in denial. I knew full well I was up-sizing my wardrobe more often than I should have been at full-figure specialty stores. Those stores had dressing room mirrors, and I saw myself in them as I necessarily self-modeled pre-purchase.

At home, though, without a full-length mirror, l rarely felt the need to review below the bust. Make-up made everything ok, except for airline seatbelts and movie theatre seats. Occasionally, I would back up outside the bathroom door to try to get a glimpse of the overall picture. I was mostly looking to determine that there wasn’t any non-existent-waist bunch-up. I didn’t need a mirror to tell me that if I could easily glance deep-down the 4x low scoop-neck designed more for a large and tall woman than a large and short one,  so could everyone else.

For me, I just didn’t see it. The way we see ourselves every day, gives no herald of big change. Steady creeping leaves little to compare this week to last week, or even this month to last month. There was no step away interval, and I didn’t think I needed one, anyway. Until, that picture.

How did my mind play this trick on me for so long? I should have seen exactly what shown in a tri-mirrored, harshly lit, try-on cube. I should have seen it. I just didn’t.

The picture became my “Julia,” based on a 1986 Lifetime movie about (to simplify) a brain transplant. The first time the brain sees itself in its new body, it see what it expects to see: Julia. As a tall, beautiful model Julia models a nightgown gift in a swish. At the second turn, Julia’s brain now reports her transplanted body more accurately. The problem is that it is nothing like the body she had.

This isn’t at all the plot of the movie. The movie is more about dealing with the issue of two husbands who both believe she is their wife, with an after-thought warning to the beautiful people about what happens when they are no longer “beautiful.” But, the mirror scene is what’s stuck with me all these years.  Revived by a few episodes of “The Swan,” it was enthralling to imagine being so unsure of your reflection that you must touch it.

Reality caught up to me in that picture.

I’ve had 10 years to wonder about this; and to try to correct it. I deeply regret that my dear friend’s wedding album features that creature I still don’t recognize as me. Of course, I know it’s me. I just never felt that way. Perhaps, because something more important over-rode whatever the mirror might have said. I had someone who loved me for my brain and my heart and what later became my soul.

I have just as hard of a time now believing “that was me,” as I do now knowing, “this is the new me.” I can pick up a size 16 pair of pants and without trying them on, based on the brand, know from experience they will fit. Yet, I hold them up in front of me, every single day before dressing, and am momentarily seized by three seconds worth of  “there’s no way I’m getting even one leg into these” panic.

Even with the new picture, mirror-image reversed, I am the least comfortable I have ever been.

All that extra saggy stuff; yeah, I hate it.

Being able to buckle-in without an extender; yeah, I love that.

Missing someone who accepted me as I was; yeah, I’ve got to learn to accept me as I am.

Quote for the Week:

2015 06 30 I think we all dream of finding someone jakorte

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

Who is Julia?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9nN9va4y_4

Misleading Mirrors: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/22/science/22angi.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

A Picture of Who You Used to Be: http://www.lightsource.com/ministry/refuel-with-rick/articles/a-picture-of-who-you-used-to-be-14032.html

 

 

Blogback Tuesday

Although, sometimes, criticism is actually complimentary, it can still ruffle my feathers.

Thank you to my friends and family who notice without fail when I am healthier, which includes being smaller. Some of you been with me on my weight-loss journey for the past 10 years; some maybe only have seen recent changes.

I’ve been considering participating in the “Throwback Thursday” rage so long that it’s really run its popularity course. That one particular slap-up-a-photo without much explanation day isn’t the best way to go about it, anyway.  I am therefore instituting “Blogback Tuesday.”

I don’t usually allow pictures of myself to be taken, and even more rarely allow them to circulate. I can tell you everything I don’t like about the last picture posted of me, and it’s quite a list. I look completely bald. I have serious neck waddle, unsightly elbow hangover, and my clothes, while cute, seem too big. I’ll deal with that last notice later.

I can also, after more than a minute, manage to see some good in it; a genuine smile.

Ok. RE: my clothes are too big.

It’s such a nice thing to say, and a great validation that the self-work I am doing is noticeable. The problem is my clothes are not actually too big. They unfortunately fit perfectly around the parts that are going to remain a problem for the rest of my life.

Slowly, with effort, I adjusted my forage and exercised off 100 pounds over the course of 3 years. Then, there was plateau, devastation, regain, some re-loss, stressors, plateau, some regain, more re-loss, discouragement, encouragement, life with its ups and downs. My latest attempt is the one that complicates things a bit.

I was feeling pretty good about where I’m standing. I also felt pretty good in 2005 less than a pound away from 300. I also felt pretty good in 2009, down 108. Between those points, I fluctuated – mostly up. With great effort, I’m now below 2009’s benchmark, but well-aware that between then and now, the goal line was completely achievable. Total, I’m down 114, but not I’m feeling good about it.

Shoulda-woulda-coulda doesn’t count anymore, and I am left with the consequences. Without being gruesome: there’s a lot of extra, saggy, flabby stuff; everywhere. The elbow hangover is the most inoffensive example.  Yes, it’s incredibly awesome to be able to fit my arms into sleeves that don’t restrict my movements to B-9 level.

For my own mental comfort, I’d rather wear garments that come down past the joint point. I certainly don’t want to feel that flap or see it reflected in photos. I highly suspect nobody else does, either.  While I thought the sleeves on the picture-blouse were adequate, I now think I need to invest in more three-quarter length sleeves.

I mentioned this before, but I don’t have a magic mirror. I physically prefer not to roll-over or roll-under any garment.  It’s just not comfortable, and I don’t need the what-was-she-thinking speculation that I admittedly quick- judge when encountering people either have magnanimous mirrors, self-righteous self-confidence, must need to spend their money else-where or simply don’t give a cat’s patootie.

The problem really isn’t with them, though. They’re obviously as comfortable with themselves as I used to be at my max. I thought I dressed appropriately, but historics show otherwise.

For those who haven’t seen me in a long time, please try to understand, through comparison, why I’m letting last Saturday’s picture float around through cyber-space. Having pictorially reminded myself how things used to be, I’m feeling a little more inclined to say it’s not such a bad one.

So here I am: 2004, 2005, 2014 and 2015, all out. Re-photographed just this evening with bumps and humps and lumps and not bothering to suck-it-in, because I don’t  live that way. I’d pass out from pretending.

I’m used to majoring things on my own, but I think this time around I could use some real encouragement and positive reinforcement as I try to affect the few things I still have the power to.

I’d also like everyone to ignore my clothes. Please.

Quote for the Week:

06 23 2015 What looks like a disaster to one person jakorte

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

B-9 Level: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robot_B-9 .

Take the Picture: http://www.purpleclover.com/relationships/1435-what-i-see-when-i-see-myself/

Naturally: http://www.healthyandnaturalworld.com/ways-to-tighten-skin-after-weight-loss/