If you look at a typical weight loss before and after picture, what do you see? …A physical change.
Let’s see, in the before picture she’s not as confident, comfortable or content and now she’ a lot smaller, stronger and more confident! Don’t believe everything you see.
I posted this transformation picture on my Instagram last week and it kind of blew up on a few Instagram fitness pages. I received lots of comments about how amazing, inspirational and dedicated I am, as well as a handful of comments saying I looked better in the before picture. But that’s just it, those comments are based on a physical judgement, from one picture. Unless you know the person (me), it’s pretty hard to know about the emotional, spiritual and mental changes that took place also. And let me tell you, those transformations were WAY, WAY bigger than the physical one…
When I look back at photos of me at my heaviest, I do see an ugly person. I’m not saying my looks are what made me ugly, it was the attitude I had and comparisons I would make between me and EVERYONE else. I would constantly compare my looks, size and talents with EVERYONE; “She’s not even that pretty!?”, “She probably has an eating disorder”, “I’m not THAT big/I’m way smaller than that person.”, “They have nothing to offer.”, “What does he see in her?”… The list of terrible thoughts could go on and on.
Ironically, I sought verbal approval from anyone who would give it to me and LIVED for compliments. Like, they could’ve put me in compliment AA, I was SO addicted to being perceived well.
I would call this a time when I wasn’t being my best self, I was very, very lost emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Comparing is an ugly game. You’re constantly ranking the uniqueness of people who are NEVER going to measure up to one person’s judgment or idea of “perfect”, how can you compare snowflakes right? My therapist always says that you project your view of yourself onto other people by the way that you treat them. I used to think that was a line, and it wasn’t really true… Then I gave it some time. Once the realization of how true that statement is came through, it was the kind of true that helps you breakthrough your old paradigms and forces you to stand in and own it. I’ve never been so insecure, so hard on other people and judgmental as I was 76 pounds heavier than I am now. I’m embarrassed to admit that, but it’s the truth. It was my truth and the reason I was holding onto all of that excess weight. Obviously there were higher points than others, but overall, I was in a pretty bad emotional state.
So what changed?
Well, I started eating better, boxing and working with my therapist (a lot) and I learned to start looking at myself, people and situations differently. What if I just believed others were doing their best? What if I started being my best self? What if I just believed in and loved others for simply existing and I stopped projecting my own insecurities onto everyone else? I had to own that I was using my own problems and insecurities as a shield (and while I thought I was protecting myself), I was really barricading myself and struggles in unable to rid myself of them as well. Being open to the possibilities that come with self acceptance, vulnerability, loving and accepting myself and others exactly where they’re at, as whole and works in progress simultaneously.
Here’s where it gets real about addressing those “projections”:
“She’s not even that pretty!?” – I never saw how beautiful I was, until I started seeing others as the unique gorgeous creations they are.
“She probably has an eating disorder” – I myself suffered from serious eating disorder: food addition (Read about it HERE). I would eat insane amounts of food to fill the emotional holes I had created from so many destructive patterns and thoughts. It became a self-fulfilling prophecy to weight sticking to my body and I would say and actually believed “I’m doing EVERYTHING, and still can’t lose the weight.”
“They have nothing to offer.” – I had nothing to offer in my relationships (especially with Nick) because so much of my time and thoughts involved talking about what other people were doing and why they did or didn’t deserve “X” in my mind. This one was one of the more destructive ones.
“What does he see in her?” – Deep down I didn’t see my own worth and wondered what did my own husband see in me? Sheesh! Some people are obviously better at the unconditional love thing than others.
Now, I don’t want to give the impression that I’m 100% perfect at loving myself or others unconditionally all the time. I’m just getting better at it and trying my hardest to commit to living my life that way. And do you know what?! It’s working. Little by little my heart is growing and I’m able to love more deeply, including loving myself fully in the past, present and in the future. Just know that if there are ugly parts about yourself, you can change them by owning them instead of projecting (I’m preaching to myself here).
So from the bottom of my heart, thank you for being here to follow along on my journey. I love putting into words the growth and learning I’ve been doing. I hope you know that you and I can be whole and complete while being a work in progress at the same time. You can love others unconditionally and still have more than enough to love yourself too. Love is a always available if you choose it.
| Photography Diana Putnam | Photos taken at Legends Boxing Club (check me out on the before video one year ago!)|