We all do it.
Anyone who has ever been photographed is probably guilty of criticizing themselves up-and-down over captured snapshots of their lives.
Ever since I was old enough to give a darn, my first reaction to a photo of myself was always the same...Ugh, I look soooooo fat!
Always comparing myself to people in my life who were skinnier, prettier, or more popular than I was. Always wishing I could just have that one moment when I felt as confident about myself as they must surely feel about themselves...
2002 Senior Photo, Age 18
All of those moments I wasted wishing I could be like somebody else...and now, I just wish I could be like my former-self. I wish I could be as skinny as she was. I wish I could be as athletic as she was. I wish I could wear the clothes that she wore...and on, and on, and on.
Oh, the irony...
If only my current-self could have told my former-self how stupid she was to spend all of her time wishing to be something else, rather than just enjoying the healthy, happy and energetic girl that she already was.
2005, Engagement Photo, Age 22
So here's the thing...10 years from now, I don't want to be staring at this next photograph wishing to be what I am today. Somewhere, this cycle has got to end. I don't say this to be mean, or to be critical of myself, I say this because deep down inside I know this person is not the true me.
In fact, this person is just a by-product of some emotional times I went through; and sadly, I turned to excessive eating as a way to comfort myself. I lost control...I lost confidence...and I lost the drive to even care.
Before I knew it, I had fallen into this downward-spiral and turning things around seemed virtually impossible. In fact, even as I write these words this very moment, a voice inside my head reminds me of how overwhelming it feels to try to gain back control.
Honestly, I'd rather be eating a hamburger than writing this post...but that's just the type of thinking that got me into this mess in the first place!
So where does the spiral end? It ends here.
It ends here because I am finally admitting that I have a problem. It ends here because I am taking the time to address it, talk about it, and actually own up to it. But most of all, it ends here because I feel so inspired by some of the people in my life who are encouraging me to just go for it.
As I look at these photos of who I was, I don't view them with self-pity. I don't wallow in my failure. Instead, I view them with aspiration and hope for where I'm headed in the future.