Categories
Fitness Food Health Keto Mental Health Musings Plus size Stress Time Weight loss

To see myself through fresh eyes

It happens sometimes in life: you get depressed, you lose your self confidence, and you kinda wish mirrors didn’t exist. That’s how I felt when I gained all that weight–like every time I passed a mirror was another opportunity to see how I’d failed.

Now? Now, it’s not as bad. Yeah, I’m still overweight–obese, even–but I’ve lost so much weight that it’s not as obvious. I even had a patient tell me I was looking thinner yesterday! People don’t always pay attention to the workers at the doctors’ offices, especially not enough to care whether they’ve gained or lost, so it felt good that my weight loss was noticeable.

I had noticed a bit of a change in the mirror myself as well, but I still felt kinda gross and huge most of the time. That feeling dissipated, however, when I took the following picture after work:

For the first time since I’ve started losing weight, I saw the difference in a photograph. I can see that my face is thinner. Yes, I have the camera at an angle, and my head is tilted a bit, but the difference is notable. I’m starting to become me again.

Here’s a photo from a few months ago, kind of on the downhill slide of weight gain, when I was nearing my heaviest, for comparison:

The angles aren’t 100% the same (because it would take me forever and tons of OCD energy to find a selfie where I held both my head and the camera at the exact same angle), but they’re close enough for a comparison. Look at the selfie from yesterday, and the one from months ago. In the second photo, you can clearly see that the face is fuller, even though I was going for that angle where the fullness isn’t as obvious. It was “full” enough that, even though in the individual selfie it wasn’t bad, the difference between the two is striking.

The “new” me? It’s closer to the “old” me than I’ve been in a very, very long time. Long enough now that I have to search Facebook for a comparable photo of “before weight gain.” I finally found one with a similar angle to it, from four years ago (when I was at my most recent “thin” weight–which is still about 75 lbs less than my current weight):

Okay, so I’ve got three individual photos–one now, one a few months ago, one “thin-ish 30-something me”–but can we see a side-by-side? Well, seeing as how it’s almost 5am and no one else here is awake and I have apps on my phone for this, let’s see what I can do.

(Speaking of apps and stuff, sorry for the weird borders on all these….the website is basically not letting me upload anything that’s not edited in some way, so I’m doing what I can to get these up here without altering the actual photos)

Now this is a good comparison set of images! The “before” (pre-weight gain) image is blurry, but it’s almost the exact same head angle as the “now” image. I look like “me” again!

This. This is it. This is my fuel for the fire now. I can see “me” again when I take a picture. I can see the possibility of being that “me” once again if I just keep at it. I can visualize the weight loss, I can see an end in sight (even though I’m still just beginning).

What’s the purpose of this post, you may ask? (Besides a little narcissism lol) To show that it’s possible. To demonstrate that yes, noticeable weight loss can be achieved. Is it super easy? No. I have to struggle constantly not to backslide and get into old eating habits. Do you know how often people bring keto-friendly snacks in to the office? Almost never. Cookies, bagels, donuts, chips, bean dip, fruits, etc are in abundance, but meats and cheeses? Nuts? Yeah, not so much. (Don’t get me wrong, though–there are some people at work who have brought in meat and cheese trays specifically so I can snack, too.) Fast food choices are severely limited on this diet. Eating on the run isn’t all it’s cracked up to be anymore. And once the boot is off and I’m off activity restrictions post-Jones fractures? I’ll be exercising. I have to. I can’t rely on only the keto diet to lose this weight. It’s too deep-seated, too set in. But I can do it. I can lose it. And if I can (and I’m a pretty lazy person in general), then almost anyone can.

Find what works. Keep trying. Don’t let obesity win. Don’t let obesity kill you. I was on the road to an early grave. I could feel it. I got short of breath putting on socks or getting in and out of the car. I had trouble putting on my shoes. Now I can do those things with no problem. And they’ll get even easier the further I get.

Two months down. A lifetime to go.

By AJ Mullican, Author

I'm a New Adult author who has written both urban fantasy and sci-fi/dystopian. My publisher is RhetAskew Publishing, and my novel ABNORMAL is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Wal-Mart online, or you can request it from your local bookseller or library. Look for Book 2, ESCAPING THE LIGHT, coming soon! :)