One of the hardest components that I had to face when beginning this pilgrimage towards better health was reconciling my own perception of how I looked with what was going on in reality. I sometimes think that I must suffer from a type of body dysmorphia, but not in the way that is so often the case.
I believed I looked fine. Honestly, I know the value in this and am very happy that I feel like my body image has generally always been a positive one, but it also makes this journey more difficult at times. In fact, I believe that it is one of the main contributing factors to me even reaching the size that I did.
I certainly struggled with my share of evenings where every piece of clothing that I owned ended up on the floor in a heap because I couldn't quite convince myself that anything hid the fat adequately enough. I suffered the self-admonishment that played in my head each time my pant size increased. I felt ashamed to realize several years ago that I could no longer purchase pretty much anything in the average clothing stores, and that my choices had become limited to plus sized shops only. I tried unsuccessful time after time to lose enough weight to fit into a smaller dress size for my wedding.
Yet, none of these - nor so many other - factors actually made me feel like my weight made me look terrible. I could peer in the mirror and generally felt satisfied. I absolutely believed that my body was well proportioned and that, since the fat was distributed fairly evenly, I looked fine.
I would get photographs back and be really unhappy that someone had captured an image of me from such an unflattering angle. I would stare at the shadows of my husband and I walking side by side down the street and be confused about why mine looked so much larger than his. For the longest time, I wondered if perhaps my scale or the scales of all my male friends were broken, since every time they mentioned their weights I just couldn't comprehend that their numbers were lower than mine.
The truth was that I had built an obese body for myself and hadn't realized it. I knew the numbers, but everyone always says that it's more about how you feel than what is on the outside. I had somehow accepted that on a very extreme level.
Being two hundred and sixty six pounds is not alright with me. I know that there is a wonderful movement to accept the weight of people no matter how far up the scale their numbers go, and I believe that it's a good cause, followed by a group of very self-assured and progressive individuals. But, I can't be one of them anymore.
For me, it is important to ensure that my observations become more synchronized with the truth. I don't want to be satisfied with the status quo only to find myself astounded or making excuses when a hard piece of evidence of my mass is suddenly staring me in the face. I want to remove the blinders. I need to see clearly.