Tuesday, 23 August 2011

How we look, versus how we feel...

I found myself looking at some photos of myself yesterday.

They are well taken shots with a good camera.

The photographer was engaging and took a myriad of snaps of me in my natural environment - chatting and laughing and sharing with other women, other bloggers.

My lovely husband and children saw the photos and were singing my praises.(Bless them - such unconditional love!)

I have a niggle in my head though. Fat. I still look fat. Self critical. I still have a double chin. Why does my neck look chubby, still? I have no waist. That incessant insecure chatter in my mind. I wish it would quieten.

I have lost a lot of weight over the past few years. Slow and steady. But I tell myself I still look fat. What's with that?!

As quickly as these insecurities gushed into my head, then I force them to seep rapidly away.

Losing weight, for me, has never been about how I look. It's about how I feel.

So regardless of how I appear in a photo; regardless of how much weight I still have to lose, I will remind myself of how good it feels to lose nearly 40kg.  Nearly 90lbs of weight has gone, never to return. I am fitter and healthier now that I have ever been.

My vitality, now, in comparison to when I was at my heaviest, is so vastly improved. That is what I must recall when I realise that, in photos, I still don't look like a supermodel.

My skin is clear, as is my conscience. Through plenty of whole foods and water, I glow.

My eyes are brighter, simply because I am happier.

I have more energy, more zest for live, more joie de vivre than I have ever had.

So I shall try not to stress over photos that depict me as "cuddly" and still plump. I shall take steps just to remember how much weight I have lost, how much health I have gained, and how amazing this makes me feel.

Tell me, do you like photos of yourself? How do you deal with insecurities? Share with me?

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PS A lot of people have asked me how I have lost weight. I have eaten less, and moved more. But most importantly, I believed I could, and so gradually, I have lost weight. The Think Slim audio series has helped me immeasurably.


  1. You're so right to focus on what you have accomplished. So fortunate you have a sweet family that loves and depends on you. I think you look beautiful and very happy!

  2. I HATE photos of myself. But I always have. Even at my thinnest, back in the day. I think it's genetic. My mum hates photos too.

  3. I absolutely hate looking at photos of myself. I usually try to avoid the camera. Good for you for focusing on your accomplishments!! That is not an easy thing to do. I am going to try to follow your lead...

  4. I know what you mean... I've lost 9kg but I just don't see it in the mirror! I was hoping that I'd look heaps different nearly 10kg slimmer, but I'm just not noticing it yet

  5. I'm not a fan of photos at all. My chin(s), fat cheeks, shiny skin (which has kept wrinkles away, but photos don't know that...). Ugh and if my arms are in the photo, forget about it. And the thing is, I'm relatively fit and trim. I think society plays a role in how we feel about ourselves and that role is not a good one. Society is our villian.

    I understand your inner critic. We all have one. Ignore her as best you can. Most critics don't know what they are talking about anyway!!

    You've come a long way! Keep it up. You look great. :)

  6. No, Lucy!! No no no.
    I was going to post about this myself this week.
    As a child I hated photos of myself.
    Then in my 20's and 30's I was happy with how I looked and loved photos...okay I'm admitting...I became a bit of a camera whore.
    But now? No....no no no. I can't see how I feel in photos anymore. And it's an awful feeling. Damn cameras...even though I'm loving photography at the moment...just don't snap me!

    You..by the way..are always gorgeous. xxx

  7. You look so happy and lovely in that photo.

    There are photos of me that I like and ones that I don't. These days, I take better photos - I can hold myself better. And yet, I weigh more now than I did 5 years ago...I feel comfortable in my own skin.


  8. I think about it in sticks of butter. Here butter comes in 4 sticks to a pack weighing in at 1/4 pound per stick. You say you've lost 90 pounds - well, thats 360 sticks of butter!!! When I get discouraged about how much farther I have to go I always think about it terms of butter.

  9. Yes, I'm not very happy with photos of myself lately. I've put on a lot of weight in the last 12 months, after losing heaps in the previous 12. Not deliberately.

    But you are right, it is about how you feel. I hated how I looked back in my 20s. Now I see those photos and I'm amazed at how fabulous I looked!

    I am trying to be more accepting of myself, which is another reason I took the plunge and vlogged recently. But I am also eating less.

  10. Whole foods will make me Glow?? Wish i'd known sooner!!

    I actually tend to like photos of myself more than what I see in the mirror. I'm strange.

    You look amazing x

  11. I have lost and gained over the course of a year and a had I lost nearly 130 then had a surgery that was particularly rough and then as a result got lazy and went back to those comfort foods that we all like then without realizing 25 LBS heavier .... WOW how did I get here I am taking this one day at a Time and now matter how I look in pictures I have decided I am happy with me and I know I will reach my goal because I owe it to myself .... There will be days when someone or something gets in the way ready to knock you down.... My point is no matter what it is remember you are always worth it!

  12. You look happy and lovely in this photo :) I feel insecure, err, about many little things. But at the end of the day I thank god for what and who I am. I would rather be me than anyone else, or any different... :)

  13. congrats on Blog of Note. so great, It happened on your pics of you post. woo hoo!

  14. I know exactly what you mean... one minute I feel great, then the next I see a picture of myself and everything changes. Your attitude is so refreshing... thanks for sharing.

    Also, you look amazing!!!

  15. I am photographer and i like people who likes being photographed but i don't like shoot photos myself because i don't like myself at photos.

    Check my blog

  16. It is about changing our internal dialogue and wrangling with that inner demon who only sees the negative in everything.
    So much harder than anything else to deal with.
    I hate photo's of myself as I see my double chin and my bumpy nose and crooked off centre teeth.
    We all have our demons to deal with. I just wish I knew how too.
    PS I think you look fab xx

  17. I loathe pictures of myself. I over analyze everyone of them. And I always thing.."I don't see that when I look in the mirror why does the camera do that?" But in the end I try to remember taking a picture is about capturing a memory.

  18. Congrats on the weight loss. You look great. My story...... I hate having my picture taken. I always have. I've never had an issue with my weight until the past couple of years. I guess it's an age thing. I am 46. My body is changing and I hate looking at it. it doesn't help that my husband is 7 years younger. Oh well, i am trying to be comfortable with myself. i go through spells with the Total Gym. Maybe i will get serious about it during the winter months. Keep up the good work. and by the way. I am new to your blog and so far, i really enjoy it. Thanks.

  19. I think you are gorgeous.

    I've also lost a lot of weight in the past 3 years... almost 20kg from when my daughter was born. I've gone from 90kg to hovering around 71-72kg, which is still "chubby" for my height (5 '4) but nowhere near the waddling walrus I was :)

    Still, I look at photos of myself now and think: how is it POSSIBLE I still don't have a waist? After all that? And why do my legs still look chubby? And how come I can't notice THAT much difference in my face?... and so on and so on.

    I forget how alive I feel now compared to then, how wonderful it feels to go to Target and easily slip on a size 12 (other stores, maybe a 14 :) ). To be able to go to a wedding and feel nice in a dress. I'm a long way from where I was but I'm still super-critical too. I think it's very common!

    Let's love ourselves instead, because our bodies - with all they've been through - are remarkable. x

  20. Check this out: http://www.mybodygallery.com/

  21. my body shape has changed so much after having children ...even if I go back to the weight pre-children I don't feel the same.

    I'm learning to love the body I have... slowly.

  22. You look happy and glowing and bloody gorgeous. You know that don't you? And I bet you feel it today after a boxing workout. I'm not a fan of photos of myself. Not sure how I'll feel when I see wedding pictures of myself, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. In the meantime, it's all about the journey. xx

  23. I love looking at photos of myself over the years - I can see how I was feeling at the time just by my face. Funnily though my mood never correlated to my weight. I have been happy overweight and I have been sad skinny (well close to skinny). Isn't that interesting? AT my fattest I had a very happy phase because I was loved and in love. No sooner did that happen than I started to lose weight naturally. Contentment seems to play a huge role. Even for someone who is fundamentally insecure. I look at your photo and in that moment you look content. Life is a series of moments isn't it?

  24. Lucy you are just so fab. But you know that already. Look what you have achieved. THAT IS AMAZING. To have changed your life the way you have is an amazing achievement.

    I look back on photos of me on my honeymoon in my bikini and think, shit I looked hot. Then I remember feeling totally crap about myself then. But I was hot. Stupid me. I should have worn a bikini every day of my goddamn existance.

    You know what. Life is too short to be critical of our bodies. Now I sport one helluva mummy tummy but you know what. Who cares. Go with it. Look what the tummy created! 3 little rascals.

    So no more feeling shit about my body. You too.

  25. I just wrote a massive post and then deleted it. Photos are too hard to justify. They either make you look great or crappy. I try not to be too hard on myself because if it was taken from another angle or with different clothing the camera would capture something completely different.

    You look great! And like Vicky, my body is never going to be as it was before it produced three babies between 9 and 10lb. Short of surgery, my stomach is never going to go back to my dancer days!

    But it did produce three amazing, beautiful little girls so I can't hold a grudge. ;)

  26. Loathe them. Happy or not, rainy days and photos always get me down. I much prefer the me that's on my head. x

  27. In my head. On my head. Sheesh. x

  28. Hi Lucy,
    I have just discovered your blog. I always think I look chubby even though I am considered slim by almost everyone else. I am a UK size 10-12 and, at 40 years of age, I ought to be pleased. Self-perception is never reality in my experience. I listen to others now and not the voice in my head that tells me that I don't look good. Great post.

  29. When I was a teeny tiny size 8 (11yrs ago) I still had a double chin courtesy of my mother's family. No matter how skinny we are we have double chins.

  30. know the feeling. I think it is because my body shape is the same whether I am above or below what I like to weigh. I am round hipped (damned curves) long waisted and have a short femur, regardless. When I look in the mirror I still see THAT shape. Now matter how much I lost I cannot ever be tall and willowy. NEVER, or maybe not without extensive plastic surgery.<a href="http://fangswandsandfairydust.com”)> Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust</a>

  31. That is a great post! I know what you mean. I posted a picture of myself on my blog yesterday, and I wanted it there for the others in the photo, but I was so unhappy with the picture of me. Then I realized that no one cares but me, and I put it up anyway. I tell myself "You are enough" and move on.

  32. You transmit such a chipper vibration with the small pieces of blog I have just read from you. I believe we are all beautiful if we have noble hearts. You have one.

  33. Congratulations on the weight loss! I myself just lost 80 pounds. After I had my first baby I was determined to lose every bit of the extra weight until I felt well and healthy again. I agree 100% with you that it's the way you FEEL, not the way you look (though I must say that you look great!) I still find myself critiquing the way I look in the mirror, but I'm hoping with enough time at a stable weight that that stupid voice will go away. Honestly, sometimes I tell myself out loud, "Shut up! You look great!" lol

    Good luck on your weight loss journey and maybe, if you're like me, you will learn more about yourself on the way than just what size you want to be. :)

  34. I think your picture is wonderful, you look so happy! I understand what you are feeling though! It seems like many of us (me included) find it hard to believe in a compliment!

    I recently managed to loose a dress size. Nothing compared to what you have done, but it really makes me happy. I did just as you are saying, eating when hungry, only as much as I felt like, and moving more. I wanted to do this more than anything because I was finding it hard to move like I used to. Not sure why now except it was time. Good luck to you!!!

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