Saturday, January 26, 2013

I Want to See my Fat Pictures (You Know Which Ones I Mean)

 There are two types of fat pictures. 

Senior Prom 1998
     There are those you love.  Usually, these were taken before the availability of digital cameras.  They are real pictures.  Not the type you take of yourself with a phone.  This picture is taken by someone who loves you or cares about you and wants to remember the moment you are in.  Had digital cameras been in existence at the time, you would have commandeered the camera and you would have deleted the moment forever from history.  Alas, there was a time when you had to take your film to the store to be developed.  This only happened after at least a week of waiting, and only if you did not have any film left on the roll.  When the film was finally developed, opening that yellow and white envelope was almost as suspenseful as opening a letter from a college after having submitted an application.  If your friend was kind enough, or if you were the lucky owner of the camera, you possess the power to review and approve any pictures that included you prior to circulation.  Have you ever wondered how many photos of you are floating around that you have never even seen?

Summer of 1998: It became my profile
picture, although it was picture of a
large group, not just my legs.
     Sometimes, you weren't too happy with a picture of yourself, but either for the sake of your friend, or maybe just the memory, you decided to keep it.  After all, you did pay for the film to be developed and for the picture to be printed.  One day, many, many, years later, as you clean out your five-year old's closet, you find it. When you do, you begin to ask is this really me?  Did I really pull off a black strapless dress with feather trim?  Suddenly, that picture that you had wished didn't exist becomes one of your most treasured moments in life.  Immediately begins the internal dialogue I used to think I was so fat.  Look at how thin I used to be.  It's as if a better picture of you never existed you begin to question all of the preconceived notions you had about your body.  You want to frame it and make it your facebook profile picture (sometimes you do).   
December 2009
     Then there are the other kinds of fat pictures.  The ones that have no right or reason to exist.  They came after the digital age and film.  They should never have been approved by anyone, let alone someone "on your side".  Obviously, nobody consulted you before deciding that it should be a part of some kind of permanent record of how fat you are.  Face it, when you see a fat picture of yourself, you don't think about the fun you were having, you are simply thinking about how fat you look.  They were not taken by your camera from a flattering angle, and they were not approved by you.  Sometimes the others in the picture look great and you must sacrifice your own vanity for the beauty of others. 

If your friends and family are kind, they understand that this is a fat picture, and although it may go up amongst the billions of pictures on facebook, twitter, and instagram, you are not tagged.  If you are lucky, the picture will fly under the radar.  Worse yet are picture in which you are fat AND are sitting with a plate of half eaten food.  Worse yet, sitting with a plate of what used to be dessert. 

     I want to see my fat pictures.  Don't get me wrong, I don't necessarily want the world to see all of my fat pictures.  I'm starting to think that these fat pictures are somewhat of a treasure.  I realize that every time I have the chance, I erase any pictures of myself that are less than my standards, or those of others.  The reality is, that life is not flattering, not when you have to wake up early and work over 40 hours a week.  Not when you have sick children, or a house to clean.

     I searched and searched for a fat picture so that I may compare itI to my present.  Not only that, but I want to remind myself how far I have come.  When I gain a pound one day instead of loosing 3 ounces.  When a size 14 doesn't fit yet.  When I want a bite of cake, and most of all when I want to quit.  I want to remember where I started. 
Some of the progress photos I have taken.  Oldest
to newest.

     I started nearly 2 years ago.  I started over 35 pounds ago.  I started 10% body fat ago.  I started a size 22.  I started depressed.  I started unhealthy.  I started at a resting heart rate of near 80.  I started 360 miles and a pair of running shoes ago. 

     My present is today.  My present is a toddler smaller and with 10% less body fat.  My present is a size 16 (nearly 14).  My present is happy and healthy.  My heart is a restful < 60 BPM at rest.  My present is 60 miles into my new shoes and too many hours ago to count.

     I don't know where I'll end.  I have a goal.  I am determined to meet that goal, still who says I won't become determined to surpass it?
     And so, I want my fat pictures back.  All the ones I have erased, burned, shredded, flushed, scribbled on, or threw away.  I have the fattest of the fat at school, but I hid it so well, that I'm not sure where it is.  Inevitably, it will make it's way to this page some day. 


  1. You're a very good writer! and very inspirational. I may just do my exercises after all.

    1. Thanks Heather, I just noticed a typo. I look at your blog and can only dream of having you wit


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