The unavoidable truth


Yesterday I saw a picture of the Zumbathon that I just did Saturday and I looked for myself in the background.

I found myself.


Guys, I was honestly shocked when I saw it. I mean, I know I’m overweight. I know I need to lose weight. What I did not know apparently, is that I. AM. F A T.

In the past, when the BMI charts listed me as obese according to my height and weight, I just sort of nodded and said “uh huh” and went on my merry way, not really giving it much thought. But seeing that unposed, unaware-of-the-camera picture allowed the scales to fall from my eyes and now I know what everyone else sees: I am OH BEEEEEESSSSSE.

And lest you think it was just a ‘bad’ picture (it wasn’t – the other folks in the picture looked normal), more proof was handed to me last night: Zumba was held in a different location – a dance studio. Do you know what dance studios have? They have MIRRORS.  A whole entire wall of mirrors, which we faced while we danced. Of course I nestled myself in the very back row, but I still had a clear shot of myself in the mirror. Now, in my head, when I go to Zumba, I’m like JLo bustin’ a move over there. I can work it, I really can (in my head, mind you). However, watching myself in that mirror was like watching someone’s grandma trying to do hip hop or something equally horrible and humiliating. And about halfway through the class, I came to the sad realization that I was most definitely the biggest girl in the room. There were a couple of women who came close, but I am certain I was the heaviest one there. Out of about 50 people, I was the big girl in the room. Not my best day.

Did this awareness inspire me and make me recommit to a new healthier way of life? Oh hell no. It sent me into a sadness and resignation the likes of which I have not seen in quite some time. I was sad, sad, sad for the rest of the night. Sad for all the years I’ve wasted being heavy. Sad for my husband who has the fat wife. Sad for my kids who have the fat mom. Just plain ole sad.

But I am grateful for this realization because now there is no more kidding myself. I can’t be in denial anymore. And here’s a handy tip – when you pray to God to show you how you REALLY look, he’ll answer that prayer. In a big way. Make sure you really want to know something before you ask God to tell you.

Like I said, I am thankful for this even in my sorrow. I don’t want to live my life avoiding the obvious anymore, but I’m not sure know where to go from here. I’m exercising 4-5 days a week now and I don’t feel like I’m eating too much, so I don’t know what else to do. I can’t overthink it right now. I’m still kind of reeling and more than anything, I just feel numb.

And no, I am not going to post that picture. You all know I’m pretty much an open book here at this blog, but I just can’t show you the picture. Not yet. Maybe some day after I’ve lost 60 pounds I’ll pull it out and show everyone, but for now, it stays hidden away.

I’m not crushed by this, just sad and disappointed that I let myself get this way and a little overwhelmed at how much work and how long it’s going to take to undo it all. I have such a long road ahead of me.

19 thoughts on “The unavoidable truth

  1. There are people, at the dance studio where i go, who are sort of sunk by the mirrors and have found spots where they can’t see themselves during class. This has helped them. If you belong to the studio where the Mirror guy was efficient at being sure everyone can see themselves, so sorry. But do not let the mirrors keep you from going to class, just keep your eyes on the instructor.

    My two favorite trainers (real life, not tv) have always said when you feel like you are doing everything you should and weight is not coming off, look at percentages within total calories (healthy fat, lean protein, complex carbs within total calories). Many people are getting too many of one and not enough of the other two, even if they are eating healthy/real food. Water. Sleep. Breathy, sweaty cardio. That is what I have heard them say time and time again.

  2. Who said that nothing that’s worth it is easy? I hate that guy. Why can’t we have a magic wand so that everything can be fixed right now? Knowing that it took me a while to get myself to this spot doesn’t help me remember that it will take a while to get away from it. Fix it now, dangit! I’m sorry, Jill. I still think you’re the greatest.

  3. Maybe it’s because your hair wasn’t done. You didn’t like what you were wearing and the photo was taken at a bad angle. I just let out a huge scream because I saw a photo of myself with all those things wrong with it.

  4. Oh, yeah. I know that feeling you describe. Nothing anyone says can make you feel better after an experience like that. I feel like that everyday, especially if I have to go out somewhere. None of my clothes fit, and I have refused to go shopping, hoping I can make it until I lose enough weight to get back into my nice stuff. I look like a sausage.

    Since I’m trying to be kinder to myself, let me just offer this: Did you keep up with all the skinnier women in the class? I bet you did. That’s something, right? I know it’s hard to do when you’re forced to watch yourself in the mirror, but try to keep your focus on having fun and how good you feel during the class. That probably doesn’t help much, but it’s the best I’ve got. I feel your pain.

  5. Im gonna say this with all the kindness that can be conveyed over the internets..perhaps your afraid to post the picture because you know that we won’t see what you see. Im pretty sure you’r no Kate Moss (me either) but something ELSE tells me you are not a lard ass either. I’m trying to be honest, blunt, but its because I care and I’ve been there. So, you dislike your body…a lot. It embarrasses you. I understand. You think everyone else is looking at you, when really they are worrying about everyone looking at them. You cannot go into hiding..that’s how people end up getting cut out of their houses.

    In the end, it doesn’t matter that you are the biggest girl (or the skinniest girl) in the room. it doesn’t. It really, really doesn’t. What matters is that you keep taking steps to better yourself, to live a healthy lifestyle, to respect your body.

  6. OMG, never verbalized it but I had the same experience, “aha moment”, in a dance class probably 10 years ago. I was feeling good about myself, chubby, but certainly not my largest ever. And I was the fattest one in the room. No avoiding that. Women spend their lives comparing themselves to others and we’re experienced judges. Reading your post brought back all those feelings. Problem: I now weigh 20 pounds more than that. Do more with the information than I did.

  7. I went to one Zumba class …one. Those mirrors did me in. I can so-relate. And I relate to your sadness paragraph as well.

    I have about 6-7 Latin dance exercise DVDs to do privately at home instead. I’m almost too embarrassed to even do it with my family around, but I like it so much. I know I have to get over it. They know I’m fat; they might as well see me exercising and having fun with it.

    The self-portrait series you and Kyra introduced me to was an eye-opener for me.

    I know that numb feeling, too. We’ll see that pic someday cuz there will be an after shot.

  8. *hug* For right now, track every bite, get a real picture of what you’re eating before you make changes, so you really know.

    but, more than anything? *HUGS*

  9. I know exactly how you feel. Keep going, keep working, and one day, you’ll catch yourself in the mirror or in a photo and realize you are smaller than you thought. You can get there. I used to be an expert at avoiding mirrors, and I still am, but I’m 75 pounds lighter because I pushed through that same sadness.

  10. Yeah, the mirrors. Everytime I get a coffee at work or go to the loo and then go back to my office, I see my fat bottom in the glass panel of the office door. Not a pretty sight. Every day. Every damn day. And what do I do now? Reading blogs, drinking coffee and stuffing myself with sweets. Great plan… Hey, maybe I can send you the last picture I took in a H&M changing room – in underwear. I bet that would make you feel better about yourself, because yours can’t be worse. On the other hand, it is really not pretty.

  11. My whole life I didn’t see me. Every morning, I stood in front of the mirror, and never saw Me. All of me…all 286 pounds of Me. I would buy clothes that 286 pounds would fit and never see Me. I was expert at not looking at what I looked like. But pictures and mirrors don’t lie. There was no way for me to be 286 lbs and look like I weighted 115 lbs. Four years ago I lost over 100 lbs. I’ve gained 12. And still have 75 to go. But the truth of seeing myself, in a picture, almost did me in. For the first time, I saw Me. And, like you, made the choice to do something about it.

    Starting over is never really starting completely over. The NewYou can do it, where the OldYou didn’t know how. I really appreciate your willingness to be truthful and vulnerable.

  12. i think when you are trying to lose weight , after all exercises ,walk if you not see better results then you will have to balance your diet .check which food you eat have more proteins ,fats , calories , carbohydrates and then try to balance all these .

  13. I completely agree with you on the mirrors at Zumba. I take a Zumba class 4-5 times a week and much prefer places with no mirrors because I feel like I get a harder workout when I can’t see my various body parts jiggling away. You’re not alone!

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