Thursday, June 14, 2012

An ode to my former self...and other shenanigans

I'm a little obsessed with finding "fat" pictures of myself.  I still have plenty of fat to lose, but I mean the real fat pictures of me.  The dreaded "before"pictures.  The pickings are slim.  I did not like to be photographed.  Another way I was able to avoid my weight issue.  If I couldn't see first hand how large I was, I wasn't really that big now was I?  But every once and a while, I come across a new gem like this one taken last July in Colonial Williamsburg.
A VERY unflattering photo!
The funny thing is, sometimes I still see that person when I look in the mirror.  I have to do side by side comparisons in order to really see the difference in myself.  Truth be told, I don't hate that person.  I could never hate her.  She was there for so many important moments in my life.  She married my husband, she was with my mother when she passed away, she gave birth to my son.  She did all the things I hold dearest in my heart.  I wish I could have been her back then, but everything happens for a reason.  Being her has made me a stronger person.  I never want to be her again, but I appreciate all that she's taught me.

Without her aching back and knees, her heel spurs, her high blood pressure, her body sores from skin rubbing together, her shortness of breath after climbing a flight of stairs, the binges that left her feeling nauseous, her endless lack of motivation and consistent tiredness, without all these things I may not be where I am in my journey right now.  I thank her everyday for feeling twice her age and giving me the kick in the pants I needed to get my life back.  I know I'm not her anymore, but sometimes it's hard to let go of the security she represented.

I'm always going to have self-esteem issues.  When I was at my biggest, it was easy to be the clown and hide behind my huge clothes.  Nobody really paid much attention to me and I was fine with that.  Lately, men have started to look at me.  A very strange and foreign occurrence because I'm not used to the attention.  I know I should feel flattered, but it really makes me uncomfortable because I don't know how to react.  And FYI!  If I'm wearing a wedding ring, it means I'm taken.  Sheesh!

I usually stare at the compliment or pass maker like a deer in head lights, then turn and flee.  Much like an actual deer would do.  Probably looks a little crazy, but I really don't know how else to handle this situation.  I've been over weight pretty much my whole life.  This is all very novel to me.  I've thought of flashing them my stomach, which at the moment displays my loose skin.  That would likely scare them away.  It sure as hell scares me every time I see it!  Which brings me to topic number three...or four, I've lost count.

Loose skin.  I'm hoping that Dr. Pitt is not just saying it to make me feel better about my wrinkly belly, saddle bags and flabby arms, but I'm really hopeful that he's right and they may tighten up within a year of reaching goal.  Now he could just be talking smack because he doesn't want to have to deal with my wailing, but in a perfect world, I will not have to have plastic surgery to correct my loose skin.  I'm thinking it's very likely I'll have to have my arms done, the rest of me I can fake.  I'm not adverse to Spanx and a good push up bra.

What an eclectic post.  It started out a little poignant and turned into my family physician talking smack over my loose skin.  Just to kick things up yet one more notch, I got to see myself running on tape.  Lets just say I really need to work on my form.  I had no idea I ran like Phoebe from friends!  Why did no one tell me?  I don't really, but I did get to see all my jiggly bits which makes me want to run even more to get rid of said jiggly bits.  I need to challenge myself more during my runs and have started to run more trails and hills.  My clinic instructor also suggested that I need to add more distance to my runs.  5k just isn't cutting it anymore.  Because lets face it, as much as I wish it could stay this easy, my ass isn't going to run itself off!
My fearless photog (aka my brother-in-law) taking some stills
of me on the Rail Trail.


  1. You sure are doing one very awesome job!

  2. Leigh, I just love your story! And how far you have come. Your blog is always a joy to read.

    It is strange when we start to get compliments from men...I still always assume people are making fun of me if I get hit on (not that it happens a lot, but because I work in a bar, I do come across a good pervert every now and again).

    I love that you can look back at your 'old' self and not hate that person. I think that actually shows that you have a pretty healthy self-esteem, it just needs some tweaking as far as getting used to some new attention goes!

    Thanks for sharing the pics. You look awesome!

  3. You rock! I am so in awe of you and love your blog posts! You're journey is motivational and you are a beautiful soul!! Thank you for sharing yourself with us!!

  4. I have very few pictures of my fat days. If anyone did insist on a family shot, I would do my best to be behind someone to hide most of my body. I still don't like pictures but I don't run screaming now. You really have done a great job. Keep it up! :)

  5. I think all of us have a hard time finding "before" pictures which is really SO sad. I mean...there should be LOTS of pictures because that person LIVED and EXISTED and we're not different people just because the weight is gone but somehow, we feel more "worthy". Great post!

  6. Hi Leigh! Isn't that the craziest thing when men start looking at you?!!! I remember when that started happening. Actually, I remember the exact day. I had been wearing shapeless workout clothes, you know, those extremely loose t-shirts and shorts. Then, after my shower, I had put on form-fitting jeans and clingy top. One guy's mouth actually dropped open at the sight and I watched his eyes look from head to toe, and then an appreciative smile.

    Since then, I know many guys in the gym who make mostly friendly sweet comments about my figure, nothing that would break up a marriage over. Guys have told me that I look "pretty" when I do yoga. Or that I (weight)lift like a monster but sure don't look like one. Things like that. They notice. And I'm happy to be a blip on the attractiveness scale again. You should be too. You'll get used to it, and be happy about it. There's nothing wrong with having an attractive body.

    :-) Marion

  7. Even when I was a normal weight I felt uncomfortable when men 'noticed' me. I couldn't imagine it happening again! I'd love to be skinny enough to find out though. ; ) Some day soon.

  8. Leigh, I have maybe 10 before pictures or so of myself. I hated the camera and avoided it like the plague. In my head, I'm still that girl in the before photo, no matter what, and I know she will always be a part of me. The attention I've been getting from men lately is WEIRD. Straight up strange. I'm not sure how to deal with it, but I'm hoping I'll figure it out? You look wonderful, Leigh! Look at all the wonderful changes and healthy habits you've formed! You've come a LONG way!

  9. If you can live with the loose skin... fair enough.
    I couldn't so had a tummy tuck. Best thing I ever did.