It's tempting--awfully tempting--to look back on older photos of myself with a critical eye. Lately, I've noticed that when I look at older photos, my gaze hones in on the extra chins, the rolls of my stomach, my chunky arms. I find myself reveling in how large I used to be, because it shows how much I've accomplished throughout this weight loss journey.
But why go there? Why use my old self and those old photos as a way to make myself feel thinner and prettier? Have I become my own worst enemy?
I was talking to a good friend today, and I mentioned that it was crazy that I still got hit on at bars when I weighed 240 pounds. Her response: "You were model-y in a plus size way back then, with your big features, wavy hair, and big boobs." Her response surprised me. I had gotten so used to disparaging my former, larger self that I forgot how special and lovely I was, even at my highest weight.
I firmly believe that it is a mistake to hate on my old, 240 pound self. Because, like it or not, I am the same person I was then. Yes, now I've changed my eating/ exercising habits and I look different, but I'm still the same old Katie. The girl who gets lost driving around her own neighborhood. The girl who trips when wearing high heels. The girl who can cook addictive (and awesome!) chocolate chip cookies. The girl who reads books over and over again, savoring each scene, each piece of dialogue.
Even at my highest weight, I still had a certain something. A well proportioned figure, pretty eyes, curly hair. A nice smile.
I like the way I look better now--there's no denying that. But the last thing I want is to hate a part of myself. And that 22-year-old Katie did some amazing things. She graduated from two great schools (undergraduate and graduate), she moved to two new cities all alone, she made a life for herself in Richmond. And she made the rather epic decision on March 25, 2010 to join WW to lose the weight and get healthy.
I owe a lot to the former Katie, and I shouldn't forget it.