[This was written last month, thus the November date stamp, but I'm finally getting around to adding the photos and publishing it.]
I am not objective when I see myself in a mirror. I remember when I was hunting for a wedding dress, I had trouble determining which ones I liked while wearing them. My older sister would take photos of me, and only later when I saw the pictures could I objectively determine which ones I liked.
When I began putting on weight after getting married, I didn’t notice how it was accruing until I’d see a photo of myself, and cringe as I thought, “Yikes! Is that how I look to others?” One thing after another contributed to the gain: Eric’s metabolism was higher than mine, so my natural grazing tendencies continued, but larger meals were thrown in as well; when we moved to Indiana, I was no longer on my feet teaching all day, so I was burning fewer calories; while at my desk job, sugary sweets were frequently offered, so while I have more salty cravings than sweet, I partook in the goodies so as not to offend. I probably averaged about five new pounds a year.
This weight loss – over 45 pounds since I was diagnosed last year this week – much like the initial gain, was gradual. A pound or two here or there is so little that I didn’t notice the subtle signs in the mirror. Even the smaller clothing sizes only count for so much. As a typical female, my wardrobe doesn’t consist of one size; we’re not so fortunate to have straightforward, objective numbers that correspond to clothing sizes like males do. In the past, I have had three different sizes being worn at the same time, all fitting identically but each brand choosing their own arbitrary classification for determining a size. And even with weighing less, I can still find my imperfections, so the different profile in a photograph still catches me by surprise.
At Halloween, a couple co-workers dressed up for a lunch potluck. I was helping one with her costume while someone else took photos. I wanted to see the photos later, and there was one of my back, adjusting a costume. My first thought was, “Wow! I’m skinny!” Pardon my vanity, but I’m still shocked at the transformation.
My older sister was married in February of 2008, and my dad was remarried this November 2009. While back home for my dad’s wedding, Eric stumbled upon a photo of me from my sister’s wedding, so I thought I’d offer a couple in comparison.
Here's the one of me in between bridesmaids being goofy while the bride and groom were photographed.
And here's one of Eric and me at my dad's wedding, deliberately trying to recreate the corny prom pose.
I couldn't find the exact one from my sister's wedding that Eric had referenced, but I think you get an idea of what a difference a year of weight loss makes.