I just had to share this . . .

Monday, January 7, 2013
8:23 am 

Yes, I'm supposed to be working, but I just read an incredibly poignant blog post by a woman named Holly, who has lost an amazing 207 pounds and continues to press on toward her goal of losing 300 pounds. I was so moved by her post that I asked her permission to reprint it here. She beautifully articulates what so many of us have felt, but didn't dare to say aloud. Those of us who are considered morbidly obese, whether we are 75 pounds or 300 pounds overweight, know what it's like to have a camera pointed at us. We don't want any reminders of what we are painfully aware of every minute of every day of our lives . . . that we have failed to control our bodies, our lives, ourselves. We are ashamed and embarrassed and the last thing we want is visible, tangible proof of that. So we are the ones who volunteer to stand behind the camera and take the pictures rather than be in them. 

Before I post Holly's words, I want to let you know where you can follow her progress. Holly's website is: http://www.300poundsdown.com/. Check out her before and after pictures; they are astounding. Here is her blog post . . . 

Get In The Picture

I was married for 11 years
Before he left
And in 11 years of marriage
There is only one photograph of us as a family
With me in it
And that was taken by someone
Who just happened to snap it
And send it to me
I treasured that picture
Because it was the only one
That proved
I was the mother
The only one
That showed we had been a family

I could never be in any professional photographs
“You take up too much room”
“You distort the picture”
“You throw off the symmetry”
“You ruin the family photograph”

I could never be in the Christmas picture
Because those were sent out to relatives
And friends
Who didn’t know how much weight I had gained
And it was better to keep it that way
I never insisted that I be in the picture
Because over time I believed it
That I would ruin the picture
That the picture would be distorted
With me in it

What an awful way to think
What an awful way to feel
For years on end
That you aren’t worthy to be in the picture
Because of what you weigh
It didn’t matter that I was their mother
That I took care of them
Day in and day out
When it came time to take a family picture
I was only allowed behind the camera
And never in front of it
Not until I could lose the weight
And be worthy

My mirrors got smaller too
I no longer could bear to see myself
In a full length mirror
Before long
The rear view mirror
Was the only one I owned
Because it showed just a small part of my face
And hid the rest
The rear view mirror
Where I was always looking back
To what could have been
If only I had not gained the weight
When my husband left me
He immediately remarried
And started picking them up
For family portraits
With him and his new wife

She was worthy of being in the photo
That I never could be in
He would have extra copies made
And bring them to me
Instruct me to put it on the center of my mantle
The photo of him and his new wife
With our children

I had finally been erased
Completely eliminated
And no one would ever know that I had even existed
Because in all those years
I had never been in a single photograph
It was as if
I was invisible

My oldest daughter will be 17 years old in February
And my youngest is now 8
Don’t you think it’s time
That I finally have that photograph?
That I finally get to be in the picture?

I have been divorced 7 years
And it took me this long to decide
That I deserved to be in the picture
That I always deserved to be there
I am their mother
And what I weigh
Doesn’t determine my worth

I am not just someone who exists
To change diapers and clean dishes and do laundry
Feed babies and rock them and care for them
But be tossed aside
Hidden away
Because she’s too big to be seen
Unworthy to be in the picture
Well not anymore
I’ve lost 207 pounds
And I decided it was time
To get in the picture
Here are a few of the pictures
We had taken that day
Now I’m going to admit
That this last picture of me
The one I’m about to show you
The one with me and all of the kids
Still made me struggle

As we all know
Pictures can be illusions
You win some
You lose some
Some pictures of me
Make me look thinner than I feel I really am
Others make me look 20 pounds heavier
And the one I’m about to show you
Made me look bigger
Than I look in other pictures
At least that’s how I feel

Maybe it was my shirt
My jeans
My hips
My butt !!
Who knows!
Or maybe that’s just really
How I look!

But I wasn’t going to post it
Because these thoughts
Ran through my head

“You take up too much room”
“You distort the picture”
“You throw off the symmetry”
“You ruined  the family photograph”

But then I stopped myself
And remembered
Those were never MY words
Those were never MY thoughts
They belonged to someone else
Who believed all those things about me
Who believed I was unworthy to be in a picture
Because of my weight

Well guess what?
I have lost 207 pounds
And I’m still obese
I still have big hips and a big butt
And big thighs
And you know what?
My kids said
It was their FAVORITE picture
Out of them ALL
They said it showed us
As a a family
They told me to frame it
And put it on the mantle

And regardless of my insecurities
In spite of the past voices running through my head
I framed it
And there it will stay

Because I am their mother
They are my children
We are a family

And each and every one of us
Deserves to be in the picture
Not because of what we weigh
Or what we look like
On the outside
But because of who we are

We are important
We do NOT distort a picture
We do NOT ruin the family photo
Because of what we weigh

Quite the opposite
We make the picture complete
Because we DO belong
We always belonged

No matter what you weigh
No matter what someone told you
No matter what you feel
Get in the picture
Don’t wait

You are worthy
You are deserving
You are NOT invisible

Until next time . . .

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