Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Becoming Visible

I want to share something from my journal near the beginning of my new lifestyle/weight loss journey…….

Dec 18/07

I hate looking in the mirror and seeing someone else. It is like that face isn’t mine. Oh, my face is in there, somewhere, all covered with layers of fat – but that isn’t me that you see. It only looks a little like me – an idea of what I would look like if I was visible.

Maybe that is why so many people "in my condition" become so introverted and self-conscious – because we feel like we have disappeared. The real me is lost somewhere under all these layers. Those who become the “jolly fat guy/girl” are those who deal with this loss by trying harder and harder to keep the real person at the forefront. It is all the same, though. We are all suffering a loss of our real selves.

I have heard or read people say that as they are losing weight, they will look in a mirror and be startled, wondering “who is that?” I think I will look in a mirror and be happy to see me again – I plan to have a ‘welcome back party’ for me as soon as I can begin to see me. When my glasses are too big for my face, I will happily buy another, smaller pair. Some days, I am more anxious to lose weight in my face than anywhere else.

What will I look like? I haven’t seen me for at least 20 years. How have I aged? Will I have wrinkles where there are none now? I don’t care, I just want to see me again.

Back to today…..

Like many people, my computer’s screensaver is set to display photos from my files. One of the photos of me that pops up occasionally is from May, 2007. Although I have avoided having my picture taken, and usually hated the results when someone did manage to get the camera out of my hands, I was relatively happy with this photo – at the time.

Lately, however, I have been struck with how fat my face is in this photo and have wondered if it is still as pudgy. When I look in the mirror, I think my face is thinner, but haven't been sure, so I had Jim take a similar photo of me this week.

I still don’t look quite like “me”, but I think I am starting to see myself emerging. At least I'm pretty sure this proves that I don't have quite as many layers of fat hiding my face.

Here is a photo from 1982….I was (obviously) 26 years younger (25 years old). I considered myself to be overweight, but I think this is a pretty good representation of what I really look(ed) like. (That dress was a size 9, actually. I guess I didn't have as much extra weight as I thought.)

Ignoring the face-covering lenses of my glasses, and allowing for the passage of time, what do you think? Can you see “me” in the photo from this week?

I notice that I had a much longer neck when I could wear a size 9. Never really thought about that before.....a longer-looking neck will be nice.


Ashley said...

Of course I see "you" in last week's picture! But I see you in the one from 2007 as well. Sure, you've lost weight and are getting more healthy (congrats!!), but you're still you. And based on your photos and blog, you are beautiful and loving, and you have a gorgeous family. Show the self-love!

You're looking great, and good decision with the smaller specs. :o)

Karyn said...

Thanks, Ashely for the sweet words. It is always heart warming to recieve such lovely compliments.

I do want to reassure you (and anyone else) that my comments about not being "me" relate ONLY to what I see in the mirror. When I am not looking at my reflection or at a photo of myself, I have no identity crisis - and never have. But last year, in particular, I was having trouble recognising the face looking back at me.

And I cannot BELIEVE we wore those huge glasses for so many years! They were stylish,though....really they were! For at least a decade, believe it or not. What were the fashion gurus thinking? LOL

bbubblyb said...

I wore glasses like that too Karyn lol. I enjoyed your post and loved your pictures. I can definitely see a big difference in your face and I'd have to agree I can see more of the 25 yr old you now than your last year's picture.

~TMcGee~ said...

I can see you! When I saw the first pic my honest to goodness thought was "gosh, she looks really pretty" and then I scrolled down and saw the transformation emerging. Karen, you are such a pretty lady, I think your prettiest "hidden" part is your heart, you've got such a wise soul in you. :-)
I think you should have the hubby take a face shot for every 5 or 10 pounds you lose, then you can line them up and see the physical transformation.

P.S. I can't wait to have a neck again. LOL I miss it so very much. :-)

~Crystal said...

I think the new pic of you is definately much thinner in the face than the old pic of you!! Your hard work, determination and dedication to weight loss is definately paying off!! Keep up the great work and always remember how beautiful you are, no matter what your picture shows! :0)

\vinj&kath said...

wow mom, it's so crazy when you see pictures togther the difference you see! Amazing for sure. That new picture of you is SO GORGEOUS! I love it.
Good going, and keep on going! ur doing great!

Karyn said...


and this comment is directed mostly at my Mr Wonderful....

but in case anyone else is wondering, due to the 3 different haircolors in the photos.....

(drum roll, please)....

the TRUE hair color of moi is in the 1982 photo - I had never colored my hair before that! And it got darker after Andrew was born.

I AM a true brunette! :) heehee

(Formerly a true blonde - until I entered my teens)

Hide those cookies said...

I see such a difference in the second photo. I know what you mean about feeling like you've lost yourself, but I'm with everyone else, you're lovely in all 3 pics!

Loving My Creator said...

Girl, you are the most beautiful lady in the whole world. Pudgy or thin, you are my girl and you are GOURGEOUS. You are especially pretty in the first picture. You are just so easy to love. Keep up the good work, you are making good progress allowing the real you, the inside you, to the surface.

Loving My Creator said...

The pearls, the eyes, the light hair, the lips, the setting, the time...OK that enough...Lady, IT JUST WORKS!! Did work, does work and will always work!!!

Lyn said...

Oh I definitely see "you." ANd I have to say you look so much younger in the "now" picture.

You are beautiful, inside AND out :)