Now you see me…but, I sure don’t! By:Steph

stephandclintI have a problem with what I look like. I think it’s because, I don’t truly KNOW what I look like. I look in a mirror and all I see are the flaws glaring back at me. I see a smaller but, still very large women looking back at me. I am aware that I have weight left to lose. I have more muscle to build and it’s not something that even in maintenance will ever be a completed process for me. Life is forever moving and forever changing.

Today I was looking at a dress in my closet that I bought a few weeks ago. I want to wear it on Easter but, I’m nervous because, it’s ***GASP*** sleeveless and I don’t do sleeveless! However, I love this dress and I need to get past this issue to wear it. The other problem is the size of the dress. I hold it up and look at it and double check the tag even though I TRIED IT ON in the store and then again at home that night. I am convinced that somehow it has shrunk or been swapped for a smaller size while hanging in my closet. I am pretty sure the magical evil elves Ping and Pong (that’s for you Clint) have snuck into my room and replaced the one that fit me with this imposter just to wreak havoc on my self confidence. I take a deep breath, strip down and slide it over my head. I wait for the pulling and tugging, that awful material stretching and then tearing sound but, it doesn’t come. It slips down over my tummy and hips with room to spare. WTH??? How could that even happen? I mean I know I saw that dress on the hanger and it was definitely too small for me but, here I am standing in front of the mirror wearing it. I tie the sash and look into the full length mirror. It’s pretty bad. I see saggy arms, thick legs, lumps and bumps in the tummy and hips. I am ready to take it off but, I remember something. I need to try the picture trick.

I call Ebby my younger daughter to the living room and ask her to come out front and snap some pics for me. She loves being my personal photographer and readily agrees. After much direction and a few tantrums about lighting, shadow and lack of poses, we are done. I come inside and don’t even look at the pics. I slip the dress off get ready for my Ladies Night Out with some friends tonight and come downstairs. I make the kids lunch, clean up a bit and lay kids down for naps while listening to the melodious sounds of the older children expressing their extreme dislike love for each other. The little cherubs 🙂

Now I am sitting at the computer I am trying to be objective and not think about the pictures being of ME. So, I will judge them a bit more fairly. I pop in the memory card and open them up. At first I am seeing only flaws but, then something magical happens. I am able to see what others will see. Sure they may notice some of the same things I did but, for the most part it’s not too bad. I am actually happy with what I see in the pictures. The only bad part is that the girl in the pictures isn’t the same girl I face in the mirror. Those aren’t the same legs I look down at with judgmental eyes, while they are propped on my husbands lap at night. The arms that make me want to cry when I walk past the mirror in a towel, aren’t as horrible as they look in the mornings. Why does the camera find something that my own eyes fail to see. Why can I see it in print but, not in reality? I wish I knew these answers.

I know I’m not the only one out here who feels this way. Who sees the worst in the mirror and can’t admit how far they’ve truly come. Some people are incredibly well adjusted and willing to take the credit for the changes they readily see in their bodies. I am among the group of those who can’t. How do we change this? How do we become more accepting of ourselves? I obviously haven’t discovered these answers yet or I’d apply them to my own life. I’d love to hear your opinions or experiences. I know that one day I will be in a place where I feel confident enough to see my true outside and not just the image in my head. I think that being able to see it in pictures is a step in that direction. To all of you struggling with the same thing I say start taking photos and find a thing or two in them that are undeniably good and work from there. Week by week, month by month you will get better at recognizing the real you. Hang in there and know you aren’t alone in this war with your own head.

Say cheese,



6 comments on “Now you see me…but, I sure don’t! By:Steph

  1. Overboard_Eater says:

    You look fantastic! Beautiful. I often feel the way you do. This weight loss thing is such a head game, which I guess shouldn’t be a surprised since for me, and I know you, the weight gain was a lot of a head game too.. sigh. With time I hope it will get better, just as the other issues we have faced in our lives have gotten more manageable. You really do look amazing, especially because of your HUGE smile 🙂


    • hootfish says:

      Thanks Overboard, I do know it’s a total head game and I’m the one holding myself back. It’s finding the way to get past this that’s difficult. But, we will get there!



  2. Big Nasty says:

    We all must remember that when we were kids someone told us we were big, ugly, worthless and a lot of other things. Somewhere along the way we started to believe the things we were being told. Some of us have been in bad relationships because we thought we didn’t deserve a good spouse. We never tried to improve because we were always told ( Thats just the way you are, Ugly-Worthless-Fat ). People are always afraid to try and change the way we were because we let others make the decisions for us.
    Now is the time to take care of us and not worry about what others think. The people who hurt us in the past have all gone out of our lives. There is a reason we no longer talk to or visit those people who made us think negatively of ourselves. We have to give ourself value, Value for growth in wisdom, health, beauty and worth.
    It will be a battle for some every day but remember you are the world to someone and no one can change that no matter what is said or done.
    Remember to keep talking to your spouse because that is the most important thing we can do. We all do not think the same about things and it helps if we are all on the same page.


    • hootfish says:

      Thank you Joe. You’ve been a wonderful support system all throughout this journey. I can’t thank you enough for the support and love you’ve shown as I battle with my past and my self image. I love you Big Guy 🙂



  3. Candi says:

    I feel the same way nearly every day. In the mornings, after I’ve stepped off the scale, I typically feel ok. I’m now fitting into smaller clothes so that’s kind of fun.

    Then the day wears on……at work, in my head I ask myself, “why don’t more people say something about how much weight I’ve lost? Well of course it’s because they can’t really tell because I’m still so fat.” It’s like that all day. Or something fits the body but not the arms because the arms are still hideously fat.

    It’s a never ending cycle. Just when I have a good day, I slide back the next. I so appreciate you sharing your feelings. I’m very happy you could see how beautiful you are in the pictures. Keep them in front of you….in the bathroom, on the fridge, etc to remind you of how you felt when you realized that you really have accomplished so much on this journey and it really shows!

    – Candi
    (caldrich001 from MFP 🙂


    • hootfish says:

      Hi Candi,

      I know what you are describing right now. I felt similar to that for a very long time. Then that insecurity or frustration (depending on the situation) transitioned into, “Why are people saying I’m looking good? They’re just being nice because, I at least look better than before.” to “I wish they would just stop talking about my weight. I feel naked in front of them without my layer of insulation from taking their words to heart.” I know this is an issue within myself but, I strongly suspect that I’m not alone in this struggle.

      Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on the subject and I look forward to a day when we can get past our own self talk and just live peacefully in the bodies we’ve been blessed with 🙂 You’re an amazing woman and I’m blessed to have gotten to know you these past months on mfp.



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