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Trying to figure out what to do.

Discussion in 'Share Your Story' started by Iheartyellowsubs, Dec 12, 2016.

  1. I talked to someone on Instagram that was showing a picture of them from the past when they were “tiny”. This made me think about my photo album called “Wasting Away” I have on Facebook. It was public at first but then I changed to only I can see it. I have thought long and hard lately about what to do with it. It’s really my shame album. It’s pictures of me with my weight.

    In December of 2010 I was working at Wal-Mart and took a picture with Santa. I just didn’t do full body shots ever back then. Most photos I posted I found ways to edit my body off the picture. Well when I got the picture after wards I can remember how I felt so much shame. I felt like I was just so fat/ugly/disgusting. I decided right then that everything had to change.

    I started to calorie count like crazy. I became obsessed with everything I did and how many calories it burned. I even would look up how many calories just sleeping used. I would write down everything I ate and did. I didn’t even notice it at first that something triggered my old anorexic habits. My wife/co-workers would ask me sometimes how much I was eating and I would say I am eating enough. I stopped writing everything down. I told myself and others I did this because I learned how much most things are. I actually was doing this because I didn’t want them to see I was living off less and less.

    It wasn’t uncommon for me to go down to 500 calories in a day. 1000 calories a day became this evil thing in my head. I didn’t deserve a 1000 calories. I ate salads almost for every meal. In the morning I would eat just one or two egg whites and a smoothie. Sometimes I would eat one piece of turkey bacon. This was my days for over a year. Yes I did lost ALOT of weight for a while but then it just stopped coming off. This broke my heart.

    During my weight loss so many people kept saying things to me. I can remember this one woman that I thought was just SO beautiful. She was so thin and pretty. She told me how it was so nice I lost so much and how she could really tell because my back looked so much thinner. That comment would hunt me for awhile. People would tell me how they were proud of me. They had no idea just how unhappy I was. They had no idea how much pain I was in.
    So here I am in this picture from December 2010. I am in the upper 270 lbs in this picture. This was the picture I used to fat shame myself for over a year and half. This is the picture I used to look at almost daily to think if I should eat. I thought this picture meant I was worth less than others. All I could see was this HUGE ugly woman! I honestly didn’t know how messed up my view of my body truly was. When I looked at this picture those 6 years ago I saw a HUGE circle with hands, feet, and head sticking out. I didn’t really see actually real shape to myself. My view wasn’t hurt. It wasn’t that I am not fat it was that I saw myself in a way I wasn’t. I didn’t realize how much I held onto that view from my anorexia days. When I saw myself I didn’t truly see myself. I saw something else. It was like every flaw was a million times bigger. It was like you couldn’t see Santa at all. Like he was something in the distance that you wouldn’t normally notice.
    So now I wonder what should I do with this album it's full of picture of myself. This is part of my story and I just don't know if deleting it is the right thing.
    BoPo Team and Corinne Santiago like this.
  2. First of all, thank you for sharing this with us. I know that writing it must have been difficult. Reliving a painful journey and sharing your struggle is something to be proud of in itself. The thing about this post that stuck out to me the most was when you called it your "shame album."
    Shame is defined as "a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior." That word and its definition is filled with far too much negativity, and negativity has no place in your life when you're on the road to self love and acceptance.
    In response to your question of what to do with your album, I hope you know that there is no right answer. This is about what feels right for you and what will ultimately help you be a happier and healthier version of yourself. That being said, I hope my suggestions help you come to a decision.
    On one hand, I think that if this album was used solely to shame yourself and it triggered old habits of a dangerous eating disorder, I think it's best to get rid of it. I would hate for it to be the cause of your misery and your body deteriorating.
    On the other hand, these pictures are all a part of your journey. Everyone's journey has its ups and downs and there are always parts that you'll look back on and cringe; but that doesn't erase them. I think what I would do in your situation is go back and look at every picture and force myself to find things I like about the picture. Even if it's, "I liked my hair that day," or "That's a really nice nail polish color," I would do my best to force some positivity into these photographs that once brought me nothing but pain. In a way, I think that'll help you to reclaim some of your power over the images and it'll tie them to happier feelings rather than only shame and disappointment.
    In that picture of you and Santa, I see a woman with a beautiful and genuine smile. I see a woman that is gainfully employed and therefore financially taking care of herself. I see a woman with holiday spirit and happiness in her heart.
    You're going to decide what's best for you and I hope you know you can talk to me and everyone else here about it.
    Just remember, the ultimate goal is to accept and love yourself the way you are at every stage in your journey.
    I believe in you and I believe in your strength.
    Iheartyellowsubs and BoPo Team like this.
  3. Thank you for your kind words. I agree about the two-sided of what to do with the pictures. I for sure don't want them to be shameful for me. I want to just view it as part of my story. The Santa photo to be honest I don't see the same woman I once saw. I just see me happy in the moment. So I know I've gotten lots better. I just feel like in my self love journey it's time to do something with these photos.

    BoPo Team likes this.
  4. Hi!!!

    I read your story and was so moved. So many times I find myself doing the same thing, until I realized how I use to look and how I look now will never define who I am. I understand, trust me it's so much easier said than done but it is about truly believing your self worth and beauty inside and out. I feel your struggle, one I endure as well but strength, community (BoPo Team) and self-actualization will give you the power to look at that picture in a different light.

    Instead of looking at it in a negative connotation, you will see what we see; a beautiful smile, a kind heart and a jovial spirit.

    I took my picture and framed it, after doing exactly what you said you did day in and day out and USED it to EMPOWER me instead of DECIDE for me. It was difficult at first, but now I can smile when I walk by knowing I will never be ashamed of what I was and what I am now because simply it makes me, me!
  5. Yes I'm trying to re-own those pictures. That's what I want to do with it on facebook. I want to come up with new caption for them all. I may even make the album to talk about my self love journey more on facebook. I don't post much about it on facebook. Most my post are on instagram. I'm hoping to work on it and have it up in two weeks. Thanks for your kind words.
    Corinne Santiago and BoPo Team like this.

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