Just how far I've come....

This is me in 1994 (school photo that Chris Roth drew a heart around in my yearbook as a way to mock me).... The photo was taken shortly a...

This is me in 1994 (school photo that Chris Roth drew a heart around in my yearbook as a way to mock me)....

The photo was taken shortly after my mom died.  Please note the gigantic plastic glasses, the braces, the too-dark lipstick, the boyhaircut (my hair was long--when my mom died I told the hairdresser to cut it all off), and morbidly black clothing.  Also notice the double chin?

Yeah, that had been there before my mother died.  I didn't know how to deal with my mother's mother dying (while I was in the room) and so I ate.  Lump having unhealthy parents on top of it (it's peculiar to think about, but my parents rarely played games with me as a kid) and this is what you get.  I was 5'9" and the dress I'm wearing in that photo was a size 20.

Within two years of this photo being taken (I'll have to hunt for the subsequent yearbook photos) I was at my heaviest -- 5'9" and 240 lbs.  I was in 10th grade, wearing boy's skater pants, my dad's old flannels and completely oblivious to just how unhappy I was.

I was chatting with a HS classmate (who runs a modeling agency now) about how most people in my life now will never know the person in the photo you see.  Part of that girl is still with me, but for the most part I've let her go.  I've let go all of her pain, all of her grief, and all of her confusion.

It took being in front of a camera once again (a webcam, self-portraits with digital cameras) in order to see myself as beautiful, sexy, worthy.... but most of all, healed.  Because I no longer looked like a goth Janet Reno, I allowed myself to no longer feel like her.  I gave myself a little credit.  I even lost a little bit of weight.

It's funny how that happens... you forgive yourself a little bit and a little weight comes off.  You spend less time ruminating on all the things in the past that held you back or beat you down and you move forward.  The weight comes off.  I don't think i know a single fat person that doesn't feel like their extra body weight is a burden.  But there comes a day when you choose to allow a little honesty/grace/compassion/forgiveness into your life and the burden says "it's okay, you don't have to carry me anymore."

Why thank you... don't mind if I do...

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6 comments

  1. I actually had a liitle tear reading that. Such a raw and honest post. You have come so far. So true about weight physically and emotionally being lifted off your shoulders. Thanks 4 sharing. x

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  2. Well Ali, I'm hoping that it was a happy tear, not a sad one.

    I can look back at that person that I was with so much love for her while at the same time realizing that I don't have to be her anymore. She got me to where I am now...and that's a pretty good place.

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  3. Thank you for sharing!

    I think had we of been at the same school in the same country at the same time we could of been kindred souls. I wore black, or velvet and too dark lipstick with a short page boy hair cut. I threw away all pics of my teen years. I could not bare to look at them.

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  4. My fashion catastrophe didn't last for long... sadly just for my school picture. Soon after this, my dad let me get contacts and I never cut my hair that short again. Despite looking grim, I tried to put on a brave face. I was very lucky that my friend Nancy swooped in at that point and put duct tape around my broken heart. Had it not been for her, I don't think I'd be as trusting as I am now, nor would I have recovered from my mom's death in a healthy way. She really saved me. I know i don't talk about her much on this journal, but i really should. If it hadn't been for her, I would be in a much worse place right now.

    I don't have too many pictures during that time, not because I've torn them up, but moreso because they just didn't exist. My mom was the photographer of the family.

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  5. aw thanks hun! I dont remember doing anything special. Dont forget...we originally bonded over the mutual liking of a future gay man. But seriously, all i did was be myself. As awkward and dorky as I could be. Perhaps that was the best thing to do. I'm so glad things are looking up for you. You look fabulous and you sound so happy. I remember those days when you would sound/write such sadness. We must get together soon! love you!

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  6. Nancy -- i don't think you had to do anything special. You just stood by me when i needed it, let me lean on you when I needed it... and you needed me and leaned on me just the same. You being yourself was exactly what I needed -- someone honest and genuine.

    I remember those sad days too... I'm hoping they're behind me.

    In the future... your WEDDING!!!!!!!!!!

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<3 Robby