So – after posting yesterday, I left the house, and then agonized for hours about it. I had just posted a pretty awful photo of myself, and then lots more photos of me, and I was worried that y’all would think I was fishing for compliments or something. Which I wasn’t.Β 

I haven’t lost as much weight as some people (instead of losing 1/2 of my weight, I only lost about 1/3), but you know, it was a pretty impressive change for me, and I really shouldn’t feel badly about talking about it. How weird are we? I felt bad when I was overweight, and now that I’ve lost weight, I feel bad about talking about it? We are such a weight-conscious society – but so few positive dialogues are started about weight.

I’ve been castigated for being overweight AND for wanting to lose weight.

I’ve been told that I wasn’t trying hard enough to lose AND that I was trying too hard, and that if my body wanted to be thin, I just would be thin.

I’ve been scolded for running – hard on the knees AND told by a trainer that I wasn’t running enough.


With all these conflicting messages out there – “thin is healthy!” “love your fat!” “heavier people are healthier” “you can’t be too thin” is it any wonder that there is such a prevalence of body dysmorphia?Β 

In my mind, I look almost exactly the same now as I did two years ago as I did six years ago. This is what I look like in my head (although less dressed up):

That is about 20 lbs heavier than I am now, and 40 lbs lighter than I was at my highest weight. But that is what I have looked like for the past 10 years or so, at least in my mind’s eye. (When I was 19 & 20, I pretty much believed that I looked like my 16 year old self, but without the velvet choker.)

I don’t think I’ve ever had a terrible body image, although I do like myself a lot more now than I did six years ago – I’m sure some of that has to do with my weight loss, but some of it might be the presence of the architect (who, by the way, I met about 3 weeks after that BEFORE photo I posted yesterday – and he still liked me).

I don’t know….I think that we owe it to ourselves and our friends and your children & grandchildren to be honest about the connection between weight issues (over or under-weight), physical health issues (there are some really unhealthy skinny people and some pretty healthy overweight people), and mental health issues (running keeps me sane in the winter – and I wish I’d had something like that growing up). There is a balance, and each person balances a little differently. The key is to know oneself, right? If you don’t know who you are & what you value, you’ll never achieve the body/spirit health that I think is key to a long & happy life.


  1. I am going to be at Duniway track, which I think is the one that you’re talking about, but not sure if I’ll be there at 6. My plan is to try to get going by 3, so I can avoid darkness. Good luck with your run there tonight, I can’t wait to read about it!

    And, re: the post….I hear you. Society is hypocritical. I feel like everyone I know has been dealing with the same issues on and off for years now. You think we’d have it all figured out by now…I’m hoping someday I will!

  2. Wonderful post my friend!!! I so agree with you. It’s hard though, especially this time of the year when there is one party after another. Not that i am ever invited but you know what i mean!!!

    I know that for me, if i didn’t have running i would definitely be 30lbs heavier. Plus, there’s the thing about running keeping me sane!!!

    Hmmm, missy its tuesday where is my porn???

  3. Alisa

    I didn’t think you were fishing for compliments at all! I agree with Emily as well about how society is completely hypocritical! What’s a girl to do?

    I’ve certainly gone through bouts of disordered eating habits. I wouldn’t say that I’m completely over them either…though much better than I used to be.

    As I’ve gotten older, I try to be more realistic and more content with what I’ve got. I strive to be healthy instead of “thin”…since I think “thin” is just like “fast” in running…it’s all relative!

  4. GREAT post! And like Alisa – I didn’t think you were fishing for compliments. For some reason, all of us find sanity posting about this stuff. You should know you’re contributing to the well being of other people! We’re all a little nutty with that mind eye. Sometimes I’m a stripper, sometimes I’m 500 pounds. Craziness I tell you!

  5. j.

    Isn’t that the truth! It doesn’t come close to coming across like you are fishing for compliments. The honesty with which you write is refreshing, and I think with this post you really nailed it on the head. We all have such strange body-image issues, and when you hear another person put your thoughts into words, it is always pretty cool.

  6. SnowDance

    Funny and timely story for ya. A gal Jan from a past WW experience…(yeah, the one who had the comments about your attire.) Anyway, I ran into her yesterday and we got chatting about WW and how we continue to struggle, she mentioned needing to try it online, I mentioned my difficulty with maintaining and her comment to me was this (although typical for her…) “Well, you don’t have to worry about it, you were already skinny.”

    Okay, to all those reading, I know that this can be taken as a compliment but in this context and in relation to the gazelle’s wonderful posts – after I thought further about it, I found myself getting more upset. I found myself wondering how someone who has gone through a program like WW could really feel that it was okay to make that kind of comment. Did she not learn a damn thing?! I wonder why and if people who are challenged with weight issues, body image issues, everything the gazelle has mentioned, feel as if they are the only ones who are going through this challenge. We all have some challenge in our lives, whether it is with weight, addictions, and habits, whatever. I am challenged by my body image and weight, well beyond what I care to admit sometimes, but yet I don’t find it particularly useful to say such outrageous comments to others who are most likely struggling with some issue in their life as well. I know it can make others feel better about themselves and well, I guess so be it then. But damn that person who was in the same weight-loss program as me who feels it necessary and okay to make such a flip comment about my weight like I was just participating for the pure fun of it all.

    And thanks gazelle! It is people like you who share your weaknesses, strengths, tips, secrets, before & after photos (which I am going to do for myself this evening!) that truly inspires and motivates people like me to step up and do something healthy for myself!

    1. as we know, Jan does not have an overabundance of tact – also she is lacking a filter. BUT – I totally get where you’re coming from – it’s not okay to make comments like that, even if, as I’m sure she did, you mean them as complimentary.

      I give you permission to kick her. Or mutter insults under your breath. Or ask her how she gets away with wearing such dowdy clothes on a day-to-day basis. πŸ˜‰

  7. Great post! I always find you such a source of inspiration. Even if our fluxuations in weight aren’t as great as the ones you have gone through (I’m agonizing over 15 pounds ) we all feel that same way.
    Keep running! It’s actually GOOD for your knees! (runners have an 84% reduced rate of knee osteoarthritis than non runners) And it keeps you sane!

    1. I am so glad people are finding me inspiring, despite my fixation with pretty shoes.

      Running is so good for us! Besides the osteoarthritis issue, it helps us maintain bone density! BOO! for people who tell me not to run.

  8. I think our own image of ourselves is so interesting! Have you ever seen that show that Tim Gun is on where he shows people a computer image of themselves? They are always shocked, usually pleasantly, at how good they look.

    Thanks for the comment on my blog by the way. πŸ˜€

  9. Didn’t think you were fishing at all. I think many of us have distorted body images, and by many, I mean me. Like you, I have also lost a big number and it is very hard for the brain to catch up. I used to have reminders of my current size around the house, photos, etc. But I have since gained a bit back so…it’s ongoing.

    1. That’s a good idea – the photos thing. I don’t have any current photos posted of me, only older ones, so everytime I see my picture, I am between 20-60 lbs heavier than I am right now. No wonder my self-image has caught up!

      You’re a genius. Thank you!

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