This weekend I was at the Breathing Space Blogger Retreat. It was a meetup of 75 bloggers, mostly local to the Wasatch Front area, held at Daybreak. I’ve known about the retreat for several months, and one my factors of motivation was to lose enough weight to look good in pictures.
For a long time, I’ve shuddered at the thought of group photos. I’m usually the largest woman in the groups, and I just pore over the pictures in nit-picky comparison. But this week I hit the 60 pound mark in my weight loss, and I had some cute clothes to wear, and I got into a mindset where I didn’t feel like I needed to stress out about how I looked for the conference.
On Friday afternoon, I went to the salon at Daybreak for a complimentary shampoo and style. The attendees of the conference got to choose a free service, and I wanted my hair done. I was thinking we could do something fancy, and I wanted to look good for the Stepford Wives party, so I found a picture of a rockin’ 60′s beehive style. I was totally bummed when they said I’d have to pay a lot extra to do it. So I told the stylist to do whatever she wanted with my hair. She blew it out and gave it some wave, and dubbed it my “Kardashian hair.”
That evening was the Stepford Wives party, and I had a custom dress made by eShakti. I’d never ordered a dress off measurements before, and I wanted it to not be too big, so I guessed where I’d be in a few weeks when I bought it in early April. It was very tight when I got it, and the sleeves were way too tiny in circumference. I ended up picking out the stitching to get the sleeves off and wear it with a little jacket. As you can see – I’m regaining my waistline! The party was so fun, and there were so many fun dresses and outfits. The party was hard to eat at though – Corner Bakery catered the dinner, but there wasn’t much I could eat. I am addicted to their tomato basil soup, but dinner was a choice of sandwiches. I ate the meat out of my sandwich, but I was still hungry and faced an army of dessert choices. I nibbled on a few sweets, but resisted the urge to binge on cream cheese brownies and Sweet Tooth Fairy cupcakes.
Saturday was full of classes and ended with a Cinco de Mayo party. As the day went on, Jenny K (the official conference photographer) was snapping away. I started getting nervous about what pictures she was taking of me. When I went through her photostream after the conference, I felt so self-conscious. So many pictures of me from “bad angles.” In the one to the left, I can’t even tell I’ve lost weight, especially compared to the above picture in my green dress. I started feeling really hard on myself. You can’t always control what pictures are taken and shared. But you can try to control the way you think and perceive what you see.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been having a hard time emotionally with my weight loss. I care too much about what other people think, and I’m having a hard time accepting myself. I love getting compliments and attention, but sometimes I have a very hard time believing the things people say to me. I look at photos of myself so critically, and wonder if other people are judging me as harshly as I do to myself. Luckily, I’ve been finding out who really cares about me, and who I can depend on when things are hard. I gained some great new friends at the conference, and felt more accepted by new acquaintances than I have in a long time. I think I intimidate some people, and I’m hoping that I’m becoming more approachable with my weight loss. I know that I’m working on myself physically, spiritually, and mentally, and these doubts and struggles are just part of the journey.
This is not to say I can’t take a good picture right now. This shot was last weekend at Lake Michigan…I really like the way I look in it. My body seems as well in proportion as it can be for this weight. Since I’ve started Thrive, most of my loss has been purely from food. I am going to start working out regularly, especially toning exercises, to bring back the Nicole I recognize.