Things are not always how they look

About ten years ago, when I was at my fattest, I really enjoyed life. I mean really. I socialised a lot, I had confidence in myself and I felt strong. I didn’t mind having my picture taken, I pretty much did whatever I wanted to do and I was happy. I wore what I wanted to wear and I would always look at myself in the mirror and think “Yeah, you look pretty good.”

Now, ten years later and 49lbs lighter, I am a completely different person. I can’t quite remember when my moment of realisation occurred but it definitely had an immediate impact. I’ve read so many weight loss stories and they always refer to that moment they saw a holiday photo of themselves and they were disgusted. I guess it is kind of the same for me. When I look back now at the pictures from ten years ago it shocks me. Not because I was so much bigger, but because I remember how I felt back then. At no point did I think I was fat. At no point did I think having to buy larger and larger clothing was because I was getting bigger. At no point did I think that my stomach hanging over the waistband of my jeans was not okay. I cannot explain this. I really can’t. I’ve done a little bit of googling and discovered that it is possibly a form of body dysmorphia. It has even been referred to as ‘fatorexia’. This is a term that I am not comfortable with using though. My reason being, that anorexia is a serious mental health illness. This is so far from my issue that it would be an insult to those who suffer from anorexia. My issue was mainly just thinking I looked pretty hot, when in reality I looked an absolute mess. I am still confused as to how I could not see my own reality. It is something I will investigate further. There must be a reason for this and it must be a common condition. If anyone has anything on this, or has experienced this themselves, please comment. I’d love to know that I was not alone and begin to understand the reasoning behind this.

Now when I look in exactly the same mirror as I did ten years ago I have a much healthier, more honest view. I am under no illusion that I see the truth though. For mirrors only show you what you want to see. They only show you a version of you that you perceive through your own eyes. It is your mind that must compute this information in an honest way. Whatever it was in my mind ten years ago that told me “Looking good Vici. Your stomach is flat, your arms are nice and toned and your face definitely doesn’t look like the last pumpkin on the shelf”, has gone. I can see flaws now, but not just flaws. I see positive things too, like new muscle tone and a new shape emerging. I see age lines appearing on my face abundantly, but I also see my smile lines.

Looking back at pictures of me ten years ago I am still in shock that I didn’t see myself for what I was. This has to be related to the mind surely? It’s very confusing but all I can summarise from this is to not always trust what you see in the mirror, or more generally, don’t always trust what your mind perceives.

Don't always trust what your mind perceives.

Don’t always trust what your mind perceives.

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