I have changed.
My thoughts have changed.
More specifically, my thoughts about myself have changed.
I am no longer afraid to look in the mirror. I am no longer afraid to catch a glimpse of myself in a store window. I don’t shy away from looking at myself. In fact, I take great advantage of our bathroom mirror while washing my hands after a visit to the loo, or when I’m getting dressed. And I’m not ashamed to admit that in that way, I’m a little vain :-)
How I look at and think about myself now is how I always believed I should, but never did. I was the fat kid growing up. I was the fat best friend of the most popular girl in school. I look back on photos of me as a kid and although I don’t cringe, one of the first things I take note of is my weight. And it’s not just childhood photos.
Prime example: The first year I got a job (18yrs) was the first year I didn’t have to borrow money to buy anyone Christmas presents. Boy, was that an achievement. I wanted something special, something meaningful, and something that would be remembered for awhile to come. I decided I wanted to get some professional photos taken of me. I organised it all, including getting my best friend to take me and stay/help throughout, because I didn’t have my licence yet (let alone my own car). She was even nice enough later to come pick me up and come over with me to decide which ones I wanted to buy for the family. I was so organised that when I paid for it, I had a grand total of $5 left in my account (okay, so I was on my way to really being organised, but at least I didn’t have to ask my friend for money).
Anyway, I’m getting off track. They were a hit Christmas Day and they all loved their presents (each of them received a different photo I’d picked out especially). Two of these photos are still hanging on the wall at mum’s. Which leads me to why I started this (longer-than expected) example. I noticed them on the wall when I was back home for Christmas a couple of weeks ago. I took one look and screwed my nose up “Eww….fat photos!” I cringed. I wasn’t my heaviest when those photos were taken (just over 4 years ago), but they’re still fat photos to me. (Interestingly enough, the one I gave mum, which she keeps in her bedroom, was/is my favourite from all the photos taken. This one photo I don’t see and think I’m fat, nor do I cringe. Nope, not with this one. I look at it and all I do is smile and think ‘I really am beautiful’. It is one of those few photos taken over my life that I love to my core).
Okay, so I still have what I call fat photos. I still look at them and cringe. But it is my hope that one day I can look at these and not. That one day I’ll see them and I won’t hate the person looking back at me. I still have fat photos because I still hate myself for allowing my weight to get where it was. I still hate myself for allowing my health to get to the point it was.
I’m learning to love myself, and I think I do a little better each day. That portion of me that loathes how easy it was to be in denial about such an important problem, is shrinking. Just as that portion of me that loves how much I’ve taken control of this problem, is expanding.
I’m working on it. I’m working on treating myself better, and being a better me.