Last night, I was talking to Peter and Rick and one of them said something about it being weird that I take so many photos of myself. I was asked to rate my vanity on a scale of 1-10. I said 8, but not because I think I'm fabulously beautiful or that I admire myself all the time. It's more that it's interesting to see the way I change over time and I am really aware of my looks. I know I'm not alone in this. Spending so much time in front of mirrors in dance classes from the age of two surely feeds into my self-awareness and self-scrutiny. And I see it as a victory of sorts that I'm fairly dispassionate about my level of physical beauty and have a pretty positive body image after all the weird socialization that happens in ballet classes, and just surviving being a teen girl in general.
Another reason I take more pictures is that I've really tried to change my lifestyle over the past year or so, and those changes are visible. Talking about body and weight and fitness is complicated and uncomfortable, but that's something I've been trying to get over. We all have bodies, right? And we all have issues with our bodies, regardless of our shapes or sizes. My own motivation to make a change was based more on feeling better than looking better, but I can't pretend I'm completely unaffected by my looks. But what affects me most is how other people react to my weight loss. I understand that people mean well when they say I look good or exclaim that I've lost "a lot" of weight, but it always makes me wonder what they thought of me before. And back when I was heavier, I didn't even worry about that, so it's almost like I'm retroactively getting my feelings hurt. Again, this stuff is complicated.
But that doesn't mean I don't like the changes I see in myself weekly, if not daily. It feels good to have more energy and actually want to get out and be active without being certain I can't keep up. I like being smaller and realizing I've gone down four (almost five) sizes. Sure, of course that's nice. And maybe taking pictures of myself is part of a bigger commitment to these changes and will help me maintain them.
Rafting on the Snake, July 7, 2007
In the Snowies, May 24, 2008