Normally when you get a letter from the DMV stating you can renew your license either online or by mail, you jump for joy. I can’t think of anyone who enjoys waiting in those long, endless lines at the DMV. So when I received my letter, there shouldn’t have been a doubt that I would avoid the DMV, but I haven’t renewed it just yet. It’s all because of this photo:
This is me from 2011. It’s obviously pre-gastric sleeve surgery. It’s actually not a bad photo except for the extra 100 pounds I was carrying. I can avoid the hells of the DMV and just live with this photo another five years. So why am I even contemplating renewing my license in person?
Of course, it’s all about the photo. It’s an upsetting reminder of the literal and psychological weight I was carrying. Sometimes I forgot who I was back then. I have many friends tell me that they just think of me as I am now: healthy and happy, not the obese woman who hid so many painful feelings. And on a practical note, it causes delays when I present this ID at the airport or for any type of verification. I get a few raised eyebrows when I give my ID to someone, but I’ve just learned to smile and say I’ve lost weight to keep the line moving.
A new photo will represent the new me. The healthier and happier me. I would say a new picture would show the person I am striving to be: the woman who does her best to be treat her body and mind with the respect and nurture she needs. I will always be a work in progress, but I think my current photos show me as the person I want to be and not just an obese woman. Because let’s face it, when you look at a picture of someone who is obese, most people notice the obesity first, if they can even look past it.
Besides avoiding the DMV, why would I consider keeping this photo? Well, it’s a good reminder of how far I’ve come. Yes, I am proud of my success, but honestly, I struggle every single day with food. I am embarrassed to say I’m still struggling with the holiday weight gain. I’m letting stress and fear get in my way. I am working on it through exercise, positive reflection, more mindful eating, and a bit of good old-fashioned prayer. Looking at my driver’s license photo is tangible proof of my success. More importantly it’s a reminder of where I’ve been and gives me the encouragement to continue focusing on my weight loss journey.
I have about a week to decide if I should keep my current license photo or go get a new one. Any thoughts, my readers? One of the greatest parts of my journey is the encouragement and advice I receive from my friends, family and blog community. I would love your opinions as I think about braving the DMV and continuing to go Down the Scale…