From my senior high school prom to my last trip to New Orleans, here I am! While I’d love to have part of my eighteen year old body, I’m a happy forty-eight year old today, much in part to my weight loss journey at Down the Scale!
Today, my senior high school prom date, J., sent me a photo from that night. Wow, how have eighteen years passed by this quickly? It’s always fun to see photos from the past, but this one was a good reminder my current success in my weight loss journey. My face and body have been bigger at times during the thirty years in between photos, but I think I still can see my old self in my current photo. Many of my pictures from, especially when I was in my thirties show a much heavier person…both in body and spirit.
While I wish I had the wrinkle free face and perkier breasts of the eighteen year old Jen, I am happy with who I am now. Sure, I’m always working to better myself, but I am proud of where I’ve been and where I’m going. Life is always changing and I am happy to change along with it, especially as I go Down the Scale…
And here’s the whole photo from my senior prom! Thirty years pass by quicker than you imagine…
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:
Here is my driver license photo from 2011, pre-gastric sleeve surgery. Not a bad photo except for the extra 100 pounds I weighed!
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…
Posted in Bariatric Surgery, Gastric Sleeve Surgery, Life After Gastric Sleeve Surgery, Lifestyle Changes, Maintaining Weight Loss, Obese, Running, Weight Loss
Tagged bariatric surgery, Challenges, Community, emotional changes, Family, Food Lifestyle, Friends, Gastric Sleeve, gastric sleeve surgery, Goals, Health, Healthier, Healthy, Journey, life after gastric sleeve surgery, Lifestyle Changes, obesity, past, photos, reminders