Do you see what I see?

A picture says a thousand words, right? Well, sometimes I wish it didn’t.  Today, I saw this picture of myself:

This is a cropped version of me dancing in a big group of my friends from my birthday party last weekend.  In context, it’s pretty funny.  But today when I saw it all I could think was, “Wow, I had no idea that my arm looked like that.”

I mean, I look in the mirror every day. I get on the scale at least 5 days a week. I know what size clothes I wear.  I don’t think you could accuse me of being in denial about my weight/size/appearance, but for whatever reason, in my head I don’t look that bad.  But then I see a picture like that and I am completely shocked.  And then I wonder, is that what everyone else sees when they look at me every day?And then I feel jiggly and gross and put on a sweatshirt.

Maybe I don’t see it because when I look in the mirror I am alone.  When it’s just me and the looking-glass, I just see my self.  But in pictures, I see me . . . next to other people (not in a comparing my self to them in a negative way, but as a I-need-others-for-scale kind of way).  And I see me from angles that wouldn’t be possible in a mirror.  That’s when I really see how far I have let my self go and how far the mental image I carry of my self is from the truth.  It’s jarring.  And scary.  And makes me sad.  That is my arm.

This is the girl in my head, in case you were wondering: Board.  (If you chose not to click, it’s a collage of pictures of me from 2000 – 2008, at varying weights and states of healthiness.)  I really want the girl who shows up in pictures, the girl who everyone sees, to be the same girl who lives inside my head.  Somehow, I think the disconnect between the two holds me back on my “Quest for Health.” It stands in the way when I try to forgive myself and when I try to move forward.  I hope that somewhere on this journey who I am on the inside and who I am on the outside can merge into simply me.

 

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