This is the photo that is on my new light rail pass:
What in the world? As if I didn’t already cringe every time I see a photo of myself. It’s bad enough that I have to accept normal photos of myself which testify of an unavoidable truth about my size, but now, to add insult to injury, my light rail photo has been stretched even wider. My head is the shape of a sideways egg.
I think that almost every person that has started a diet has that one picture that alerted them to the fact that they are actually heavier than they thought. I say almost because I had a neighbor once that said she found out she was heavy through gossiping. She saw an old friend (let’s call her Linda) that she hadn’t seen in a while, and Linda had gained a significant amount of weight. She said that she was talking (gossiping) to another friend about how much weight Linda had gained, and her other friend said, “Um. I hate to break it to you, but you are about the same size as she is.” She was indignant! She went to her husband and told him, “I can’t believe what she said! She said I was the same size as Linda!” She said that her husband looked at the ceiling. Then he looked at the floor. Then he quietly said, “I think that she might be right.” Awkward pause. “I think I’m going to go work in the garage for awhile.” He exited the scene as fast as he could. That was when my friend finally realized that she was, in fact, overweight.
I didn’t need someone else to tell me that I was overweight. I knew since elementary school that I was bigger than everyone else. Granted, I was only about 10-20 pounds more than others, even through high school, but I knew. I would worry that when a group of kids were laughing, they were laughing at me. It took until my 20s to not be self-conscious about my body anymore. Still, photos were a constant reminder that the weight was there.
I think that there is a big difference between being self-conscious about your body and being realistic. I know that I am fat. I don’t deny it. Denial can be just as dangerous as self-consciousness. I don’t necessarily like it, either. When I see photos like the one on my new bus pass, I am reminded that my faults are available for everyone to see. I think that this photo rubbed me the wrong way because it exaggerated something that I already knew was an issue.
So, there is one of the things that I want to die with my diet. I want the shame that comes with taking photos to die. I want to be able to look at myself and not have to acknowledge my biggest fault. I want to look at myself and just see me.