it dawned on me the other day that I hadn’t taken any progress photos for a while, so I took a few selfies to upload to the photo archives page on the website (note to self: still haven’t done that yet)
i’m not sure there’s a huge/any difference from the last batch of photos taken – then again that’s not surprising as I have been stuck on 112kg for a while now…
i’ll talk about that more later, but for now I want to mention some thoughts that cropped up as I reviewed these, more sh*t from the past really that I hope may be of help/use to someone else…
you see – where I am now, weight-wise and waist-wise is pretty much where I was when I was 20 I think (hard to remember exactly). where I am now, I am (based on BMI and the visible evidence of a bit of an overhang) at the lower end of the “overweight” zone.
or, to put it in a more “glass half full” sense, I’m very close to hitting the “normal/healthy” zone.
in the pictures attached to this post, there’s a shot of me when I was about 14 (with my Mum and younger sister) – the term “slim jim” comes to mind when I look at that photo.
so in a 5 year period there was a slow increase in weight and girth to roughly where I am now. nothing excessive. just a little padding. or at least that is the perspective I have NOW.
you see, when I was 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and beyond… I wasn’t very sporty, wasn’t really very fit, and more than anything else I was shy, introverted and lacking in self-confidence.
and that all manifested itself as a belief that I was chubby, that I was fat. that if only I could lose weight and be slim, then I would have a chance of having a girlfriend, that I would stop being shy, stop being the “nice guy” that things never worked out for, and so on and so forth.
YES I KNOW IT IS RIDICULOUS. I mean look at that picture of me as a teenager. slim. I can see it now, but in order to see clearly what happened? my self-image, that vicious circle of self-defeating negative thinking wound up manifesting as exactly what I had in my mind. an obese person, completely unfit, unhappy. eventually this became the classic “fat bloke who is good for a laugh and joke”, “life and soul of the party after a few beers”…
and then I got used to it. THEN I started kidding myself that I was fine, that I was tall so I could carry a few extra kilos (note – OBESE is more than a little extra weight). my self-image now flipped so that I thought I was OK. I just had to ignore the little glimpses I saw in shop windows. just had to ignore the multiple chins facing me as I sat in a hairdresser’s chair while I got a haircut. I was fine, I was “living”, I was “loving life” – i.e. drinking, smoking, eating kebabs…
how does that even happen? on one hand, issues of confidence made me think of myself as fat. then some sort of denial process kicked in to make me think of myself as reasonably ok…
obviously I knew things were wrong, deep down, otherwise I wouldn’t have made the changes I did. but it was only in making those changes that I have started to understand, started to see how twisted and distorted my self-image was.
I literally had to become obese and then slim down again in order to see that when I was 15, 16, 17, 18 and so on, I was actually doing OK.
so how do I feel now? well, I’ll be honest… I don’t fully like posting these pics online (not just these, but other progress pics as well), because while my self confidence is growing, it is still fragile, it is still developing, it still needs nurturing. and I see the small amount of gut overhang and a little part of me is thinking “fat”.
but that part of me doesn’t win any more, that part of my brain is a minor stakeholder in the game these days. and it all comes down to having a positive mindset, self-belief and confidence.
I tried to think up a satisfactory close to this post, something about body image not being an issue JUST for teenage girls. something about it being linked to inner unhappiness, to confidence issues. I even tried to think of how I could tie it into the global obesity epidemic that has most “civilised” nations in its death grip.
but really all that matters is that this reaches the eyes of the one person who needs to read it, and somehow makes a difference.