See Your Future Self!

Monday, February 4, 2013
2:00 pm

In my last blog post I made the statement, "We become what we behold." For most of my life I saw myself as fat and ugly. I believed that about myself because that's what two of my brothers told me repeatedly. I don't blame them for my lifetime issues with weight. I'm the one who ate (and ate and ate); the onus is on me. But because I believed what they said about me, I thought I was fat and ugly. I couldn't see myself any other way.

My one successful experience losing weight (from September 1981 to March 1982) provided me with profound memories. I knew for the first time in my life what it felt like to be comfortable in my body. Though I didn't keep the weight off for long, that brief time left a sensory impact on me. One night in particular has stayed with me. It was in late February or early March, shortly before I was to be married, and bitter cold outside. I had a fire blazing in the wood stove that heated the ancient mobile home where I lived, so  inside, it was toasty warm. My best friend Cathy was there with me and we were just hanging out, literally in our panties and sweatshirts. I had never been comfortable not wearing a bra because I was always too well endowed; my boobs were were a constant source of embarrassment for me since they drew people's attention far too often. But this night, I didn't have one on, and I was perfectly comfortable hanging out, braless. For once my chest wasn't abnormally large. It was normal. My thighs didn't rub together and chafe. My hips were slender, and my tummy was almost flat. As odd as this will sound, I was cognizant of the fact that I was not thinking about my body in a negative way. I felt good in my own skin. This was a completely new sensation for me. I want to feel that way again! And a key to getting there is going to be my ability to see my trimmer, healthier body before I ever live in it.

To that end, let me share another really cool tool I found years ago that can help me (and you) do just that: On this site you input everything from your height and weight to your hair style and color, and much more. You can chose to appear in a bikini, one piece bathing suit, or underwear. You can even choose your background (blank, bedroom, closet, or seashore). You submit your current weight and your goal weight, and what you get in return is a virtual approximation of what you now look like and what you will look like at your goal weight. It isn't perfect, but it's pretty slick! I have actually printed mine and I keep it at home to look at from time to time. Look how much younger the thinner me looks as compared with the rotund me.

Looking at these images inspires hope. And without hope that I can actually achieve my dreams, I wouldn't move forward. Hope is a precious commodity. It's essential for success. I cannot imagine the me on the left living the kind of life I want to live. I can, however, see the me on the right fully participating in her own life. I can see her smiling all the time. Climbing in and out of a kayak. Hiking wooded trails. Riding bicycles with her husband. Feeling pretty when she gets all dressed up. I look at both images, and have strong feelings about each. The former me looks like she's packed into an overstretched skin casing. She struggles to bend over and tie her sneakers when she's fully dressed. She doesn't enjoy taking luxurious baths anymore because it's so difficult to lower herself into the water without splashing it out of the tub. She loves to be outdoors when it's cool and breezy, but you wouldn't know that because she doesn't take a lot of walks, since she gets winded so easily. She breaks a sweat or worse, breaks into tears when she's forced by necessity to shop for clothes. She knows how much of life she has missed by sitting on the sidelines.

The latter me is excited to get out of bed every morning to see what is in store. She feels light and free, released from a suffocating cocoon of fat. She enjoys shopping for clothes wherever she wants to, and has a blast wearing all kinds of new and different outfits. She is active and fearless. She loves life and knows nothing can stop her. She's a force to be reckoned with. She isn't concerned about meeting new people because she doesn't wonder if they're judging her. She is open and loving and at peace with herself.

I'm going to keep these virtual before and after pictures around until I can replace them with the real things. And I will replace them. Just you wait!

Until next time . . .


  1. I love this statement, "Looking at these images inspires hope. And without hope that I can actually achieve my dreams, I wouldn't move forward. Hope is a precious commodity. It's essential for success.". I think that is one thing I have trouble with: hope. I have never been under 250 as an adult. (Well, I think I got to 220 for a day or two one long ago diet). I can't picture the after. I've looked at before and after pictures of people who started out my size and I can't even imagine looking like the after. But, I will chose to HOPE! Thanks.


    1. Julie, have you ever created your own before and after at It's fun and honestly, inspiring. I have gone on a number of websites to look at before and after pics as well. Weight Watchers. Jenny Craig. Any commercial "diet" site should have success stories. "People" magazine has an annual issue called, "Half Their Size," about men and women who have lost at least half of their weight. We're all struggling and many of us have a lot more than you think we do to lose. We're just good at hiding it or hiding ourselves because of shame or embarrassment.

      But here's the deal...we can't get to our goal if we don't start where we're at. 2013 will pass whether we do our best to change our lives or we don't. I would rather get to December 31, 2013 and feel humbled by my accomplishments, than find myself in exactly the same spot I'm in now, wishing I'd done something about it. Does that make sense?

      I wish you the best. Take tomorrow on. Love yourself enough to be as kind to you as you would be to someone else. One day at a time. You can do it!

    2. Michelle, I did do the model my diet a few months ago (and then again today when I read your post). It does look surprising accurate---except the chest size isn't realistic. (I need HUGE!)

      You are so right about just starting. I got back on track January 1st. So far I'm down 15 pounds. I walked 50 miles in January, and I started doing Zumba. And I changed what I eat. I still eat the fun stuff, but I account for it in my food budget.

    3. Sounds like you're doing GREAT! Keep it up. Stop in often for encouragement. We can help each other.

  2. You. are. brave. Beautiful entry. Gonna go find my hope!

    1. You're sweet, Lisa. Thanks. We need to get together one of these days.