Now as my readers and friends, you know I usually do not shy away from photos. In fact, I am the one in our group that makes everyone stop to document our antics and posts the evidence for all to see. However, this posted photo of me and my elf buddies sent me into an entire night of neurotic focus on one very prominent feature--my derriere! No matter how much weight I lose, no matter how fit I get, my rear end continues to be the more prominent place on my anatomy. I am okay when my rear appears to be in the Jennifer Lopez range, but the moment it reaches Kardashian proportions, I go into panic mode (see photo above right).
In contrast, the photo on the left was one I posted last week, and I was honestly concerned that you, my readers, would not understand my fluffiness obsession, because this photo made me look skinnier than I really am right now. So how can I go from too skinny looking one week, to where does my @$$ end the next week?
The answer lies in the fact that pictures are another bad way to accurately judge weight gain or weight loss progress. I have acknowledged that my eating has been slightly out of control, and I have honestly been too afraid to step on a scale and face the music as to the damage I have done over the holidays. That is why when I saw the above photo, it sent me into a tailspin of negative body image thoughts. I was really getting down on myself even though I know better than to trust what appears in a snapshot.
The sad thing is that when I got up yesterday morning and finally stepped on the scale, my weight had not gone up even one pound from the five I have put on since Ironman. I let that one photo send me into an obsessively negative view of myself that literally had me dreaming about my "backward slide" all night long. Why do I do this to myself? I think I am still so afraid of going back to what I was that I am not even sure what normal looks like. Do other people have difficulty with treats during the holidays? Do other people have to watch what they eat as closely as I do? Is my somewhat neurotic relationship with food something most people struggle with, or am I right to worry about myself? Does anybody else let photos of themselves define how they see themselves?
I must say, at least my little episode was very short-lived. I worried about it all night long, but once I put it all in perspective I was fine. I guess that is progress, and that is all I can really ask of myself, right? If I am taking five steps forward, one tiny, temporary step back should not be a cause for panic. I am fine and I need to remember that and just roll with the small set-backs.