This is no new thing for me to suffer from; if you’ve been reading me long enough, you know I’ve already spoken on it before. But sometimes it seems to sneak up on me like a snake, and takes a bite out of my heart (aka: what little confidence I might have built up since the last time I was bitten) so big it knocks me off my feet and depression rakes my soul.
In the last two years I’ve made legit efforts to work on both my inner and outer appearance; to wear clothes that were more representative of my style and figure, to be brave enough to express myself with funky hair and makeup the way I always wanted to, to take care of myself with better eating and fitness for both my overall health and weight issues, and to actually “feel” pretty on occasion. And as several of my posts have indicated, I did feel pretty on occasion for the first time in a long time because of these efforts. There have been several days I’ve finished my makeup and hair and even considered taking a selfie to mark the moment because I was so impressed with the look. But those pictures never seem to look the way my eyes or mind see myself, which brings me to this latest snake bite.
I finally got my wedding pictures back this past weekend and to say I was excited for them would be an understatement. The whole day was over so fast, I feel like it was more like a something I dreamed rather than something I actually participated in. My memory of the details of that day hardly exists; I just know I was happy. I remember feeling like a million bucks, gorgeous the way every bride wants to be on that special day. But as I look through these pictures I feel like I shouldn’t have lied to myself about feeling so pretty. Every little flaw seems to beam at me brighter than anything else in the pictures; my double chins that have almost eaten my neck whole at this point, my waistline, which a tape measure swears I have, but certainly isn’t evident in the pictures, how my unnecessarily big boobs that had just went down 2 bra sizes still manage to look even bigger than my already big head, the way my fat bulges out of the sleeve, even though I had to have them taken in and they were nowhere near tight on me… I could pick apart these pictures forever. In fact, the more I look at them, the less I love myself in them.
Everyone I’ve showed them to says I’m crazy and I know I should probably listen and stop tainting such a special day with self-hatred. But while a big part of me knows it’s not healthy to pick on myself as much as I am, I also don’t believe it’s a wise idea to lie to yourself about your appearance because then pictures like these fall into your lap and the shock of what you truly look like is almost too much to bear.
All of this being said, I still intend to share the pictures and recount the day in my next post. I recently read a very thought provoking article about photographers, this particular one being overweight like me, always capturing someone else’s memories and never putting themselves in front of the camera because they don’t want to remember being that big or flawed. That one day they’d regret not having those memories of their own because they kept waiting for that magical moment when they wouldn’t hate the way they looked and it never came. I already feel this way at almost every family gathering. I’m there to capture it for everyone else, but I almost never put my camera in someone else’s hands to capture me being there too. Not just for my own memories when I’m old and losing it, but for anyone I leave behind when the end of my days comes.
I haven’t had this sort of hatred for myself in a long time and I doubt it will just vanish overnight, but I’m going to keep trying to improve myself both physically and mentally and hoping that one day pictures of important moments in my life won’t make me cry the way these did. That if there are tears, they’ll only be the happy, nostalgic kind.