Whew… being back in DC has been rough. It was FREEZING when I stepped off the plane last night, and they are saying lots of snow later today.. quite a 180 from where I woke up yesterday. While I try to adjust back to normal life, unpack, grocery shop, etc. (since I didn’t get home until after 10 last night), I wanted to share a photo with you guys that I recently came across of me “before”. I’m not sure if you noticed, but I added a few new pictures to the photos page (scroll down for the new ones).
You see, the before photos I had been working with previously were pretty limited because my highest weight ever was during the archaic time before Facebook. Plus, I wasn’t exactly eager to jump in front of a camera during that time, so the pictures I did have were few and far between – mostly at weddings and other events where I had no choice but to smile for a photo.
When I was home last month for Christmas, my mom and I were looking through some old photos, and she handed me one in particular that really made me take a step back. Here it is:
As I stared at that picture, all I could think was, “Who is that girl?”
The easy answer is, that was me. This photo of me and my sister Wendy was taken several years ago, during a vacation in the Caribbean. I distinctly remember that tank top from Old Navy and remembering how “flattering” it was. The more complicated and true answer however, is I don’t even know. Yes, that was me, but I am such a different person now than I was back then that I barely recognize myself.
My good friend Molly said to me, “Its funny because i remember you being a very happy person in college, pre-weight loss, but you don’t look very happy in this picture.” Ain’t that the truth. I think its so easy to put a smile on your face, tell a joke, and hide behind other people’s laughter so that you avoid what is really eating at you. For me, it was the fact that I was obese, bordering on morbidly so. Every once in a while, though, a photo will get taken that will show the true you. If it’s any indication, I never smile a genuine smile without showing some teeth.
Seeing that photo reminds me of why it brought tears to my eyes to see “Health Hero” next to my name in the article from two weeks ago. The above photo was me for 24 years of my life. I’ve only been this “new” person for 2 years so I’m still adjusting, yet I can barely even remember what it was to be that heavy.
Besides the obvious external changes, I’ve changed on the inside, perhaps even more drastically. For starters, I now make myself a priority. I try to make “me time” every single day and to say “no” when I’m overextending myself and making too many commitments to other people. I’m not saying it’s good to be selfish and only focus on yourself, but what I’m saying is that for me, I have more to give to others when I make time for me.
Besides that, I’m much more confident and try to take active steps to make my life what I want it to be, rather than just going along for the ride. I started this blog, am actively pursuing some exciting opportunities that I’ll get to share with you soon, and have just been more proactive about my schedule and what I do with my days and time. It’s funny how they say when you try to change one thing about your life, everything else falls into place. Not only was I incredibly negligent when it came to my health, I also was very irresponsible with my financials. I’m still working on getting out of the debt I created for myself, but now I have a pretty strict budget I stick to and am much more diligent about where my money goes in addition to what I put into my body.
Do you find that life changes go hand in hand for you? When you’re diligent about some things do you find other things fall into place?