Photos Can Be So Cruel

This topic contains 30 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  sylvestra 10 years, 3 months ago.

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  • Had to have a groan and a bit of a chuckle. Have been working hard at reshaping the body, burning some fat and being a fair bit fitter since mid November, following 5:2 since early December (I think). Have been quite happy with the results so far. Have dropped around 6 kilos and have been seeing the muscle tone returning to the body. All good. Woke up yesterday morning feeling taller, stronger, fitter, leaner.

    Went off to do the 1000 step walk in the Dandenongs. Had a great time and really enjoyed the day. Then I had a look at the photo hubby took of me at the top of the climb. What the photo showed me is NOT how I have been seeing myself for the past few weeks!!!!!!!!! It showed a fat, frumpy, overweight, middleaged woman. So while I will put it down to just a bad pic – that image is going to stay in my mind as motivation to never let it become a reality. It’s not reality I tell you. It’s not.

    Anyway – off to the gym now to do a spin class. 11 weeks of moving my body and eating better under the belt.

    Hoping that everyone achieves their goals in 2014.

    Photos are some of the cruelest things out there, I’m telling you! Like the Croods, who just smear paint on their face and then smack it into a wall… kinda feels like that sometimes.
    But then again, I think focusing on how you feel is also very, very important. You lost 6kg for pete’s sake! So yeah, what if you’re not ‘there’ yet, you’re further along the road than you were 11 weeks ago.

    So bluh. 😉

    Thanks Nika 🙂
    I think my poor hubby was petrified when I said “Yikes I look so fat” he’d already posted the photo on FB.
    I am pleased with where I am at the moment – the best I’ve been for a long time – but I just can’t wait until I can’t look that fat in a photo.
    Just going to remember that I am feeling taller, stronger, fitter, leaner and be damned with reality – reality can catch up with me.

    Well just to be philosophical, what’s more real? How you feel about yourself, so taller, stronger, fitter and leaner, or how you look in some random picture? 😉

    I remember looking at a photo that my kids took of me several years ago in holiday and wondering why my mother was in the photo! I was shocked for weeks and vowed never to look like that again.

    6 kilos is an amazing weight loss and no-one can take away how you feel.Plus the muscle tone that you can see see probably not visible in the photo anyway.

    Well Done. Just think how different you will look in another 11 weeks.

    Hello Ghostgirl, I had the same sort of experience! Have been feeling so much thinner and fitter – in fact I was feeling quite thin – and I’m absolutely not!
    I’d been avoiding reflections etc so to avoid seeing how far I still had to go. THen I saw a reflection! 🙁 Yikes! Not at all how I felt!
    Of course I know I must still look fat but have been feeling so much thinner with clothes fitting better!
    Tear that photo up in your mind! If it pops back into your mind go La La La La La and the memory of it will fade! Best wishes 🙂

    I’m not photogenic at the best of times, even when the mirror tells me I’m really not bad at all. Something to do with bone structure, I guess. Or maybe I really DO look like Shrek!
    The saddest examples of this were my wedding photos, taken in 2010, a year or more before anyone in the UK had heard of the Fast Diet.
    I was on steroids for polymyalgia rheumatica which had long since cleared up but the quack insisted I keep on taking the beastly things. Result – a face like a half-pound loaf, two extra chins, a big fat belly and a size 20 wedding outfit – black with a lot of gold trim which would have looked great in a smaller size and is far too big, I’m pleased to say. I’d also just come through a horrible work project and was feeling exhausted and more than a little unwell.
    I deleted the offending piccies before anyone could see them – except my ma-in-law who insists on keeping one such horror on display so that people can wonder out loud why her son chose to marry such a hideous creature.

    That may be her reason – but it’s yabhoo to her because she is also showing everyone that her son loves a real person not a photofit. I know well that if someone loves you they also love how you look. xx

    I wish I could agree, speedy. But until very recently, I didn’t get on with the lady at all. My partner and I had been together for 24 years before we eventually married and the relationship between me and his mother during that time had been downright hostile. I couldn’t get along with her snobbery and rampant racism, she disapproved of me (possibly rightly)for all sorts of reasons, not least because I wasn’t a traditional homemaker who worked for a living “pandering to foreigners” (I’m a translator).

    Her I bet your hubby thought you looked fantastic on your wedding day & Honestly that is the only opinion that counts.
    🙂 my hubby thinks I look lovely in that photo & that is something that I do appreciate. I’ve made myself a promise that the next photo he takes is going to look better – and the one after that better again.
    I killed it in spin class this morning my heart rate monitor reckons that I burnt 700 odd calories & those calories are never going to make it onto my hips.

    That’s really what I meant – that your Mother in law is the loser in all this if she is being mean. Your husband thinks you are lovely I’m sure. Families can be very difficult!

    ghostgirl, my husband likes the way I look for real, but agrees I don’t photograph well even on the wedding day, when I genuinely was looking pretty rough. We first got together via a lonely hearts column – we’re very, very old and there was no internet dating back then – and he has admitted if I had sent him a photo he wouldn’t have bothered to reply. As it was, when we met face to face, his first reaction was “fwaaw”. As was mine. A bit of role reversal took place. He noticed my big, blue eyes. I noticed his great legs and nice butt!

    speedy, I don’t think the m-i-l is being deliberately mean. She is so focussed on her only son (who she thinks is God and I have had to bear the consequences!), she probably hasn’t noticed that I look crap.

    It has been comforting to know that friends and rellies I know to be beautiful in real life sometimes look less than attractive in photographs. So it’s not just me.

    Its definitely not just you hermajtomomi. I have destroyed so many photos taken on film, and also deleted 1000’s of digital ones of me.
    I think we see ourselves differently to the way others see us. I have a mirror in my bedroom that tells me I am a size 10 (UK) and pretty hot yet the mirror in another bedroom reflects my mother at her heaviest!
    Beauty is only skin deep and we lose skin everyday so the inner beauty is the one to focus on.

    Well now, I have spent many years telling my 22 year old daughter that she is “beautiful inside & out” & every time I tell her that, I also remind her that the most important part is the “inside” bit – how we behave, how we treat people, how well we live our lives. The “outside” bit is largely what we are given basically. Sure, we can all be different sizes – but does that makes us better people? Of course not! Our personalities matter so much more than our looks – which were dished out at birth. There are so many complicated reasons why I am overweight – but at last, here is an opportunity to deal with it….once & for all. The benefits are going to be huge, but despite all that, I am still going to be me. The difference is, I will feel taller, thinner, lighter, happier, healthier, more confident & maybe even attractive on a good day. That will be utterly priceless……and the best gift you could ever give yourself!

    So, forget about your m-i-l – you are not married to her! If you are lucky enough to have a husband who loves you, you are very blessed…..

    Good luck on your fasting journey hermajtomomi – I will look forward to your updates!

    Oops – just realised I got carried away with one story & neglected ghostgirl & all the other contributors to this thread – stay strong & keep fasting everyone! Support is here whenever you want it…

    I’m just gonna chime in with another story. I’ve been doing Taekwon-Do for almost 6-7 years now, and a little less than a year ago I earned my black belt. I absolutely loathed the pictures of the exam. I was too heavy and I just felt ridiculous. For a long time I felt like I didn’t deserve it. My coaches disagreed. They reacted quite differently though – one said “Well that means you don’t trust us to be good judges, so you’re just insulting us” but the other one said “don’t tell anyone, but your exam was the best of the three”. He also insists on calling me his best student towards outsiders. This made me mad for a long time, until I realized that my weight isn’t everything. Yes, if I want to get to big tournaments I have to train and lose weight. But I was (and am, although I’m not there atm) the student who always was there when they needed an extra hand somewhere, I taught the kids and sometimes adults on my own every week when the others of my grade still had to do their mandatory “3 times a year teaching hours”. I’m good with the kids, and I care. Also I kick ass, despite my weight (imagine how much better I could be when I’m lighter!).

    Anyway, wasn’t really meant as a “look at how awesome I am”, but it just shows how I’ve always been focused on my outside looks (for a while I didn’t even want to go to training any more because I was embarrassed) whilst all the others just saw -me- as the person I was, not my weight.

    So there. An essay from me 😛

    Excellent story Nika.
    We are so much more than our weight – and you must be pretty fit and flexible to have earned your black belt. It isn’t something that is easy to earn. Well done.

    The photo of me isn’t a bad one – if I just crop it down to the head and shoulders. I think the most disapointing thing for me was realising how much further I have to go to reach my goal (10 more kilos to shift to healthy weight). Still staying focused with my 5:2 ing and still keeping to moving my body everyday. Good strong weights workout today.

    For the first time in my life I am focusing on both food and exercise AT THE SAME TIME. Looking forward to a time when the photos and my mental image of myself come into alignment.

    Well I got 17 more kg to go!! So you’ve got it easy 😉

    Excellent thread started, ghostgirl, thank you to all the contributors.

    Of course, I only like photos of my left forearm, which looks very slim compared to the rest of me, LOL.

    hermajtomomi, firstly, I’m giggling at your ‘We’re very, very old’, (rubbish I yell!) and your wedding dress sounds a knockout. Not really a shame it’s too big for you now, but then, imagine one anniversary party if you wore it again and had to have it taken in several sizes, woohoo!

    *reminds self not to annoy Nika* 😉

    Hi aud,

    I was thinking chronologically. Inside my head I’m about 7 and a half. The dress was in fact a top worn with black trousers which had I been in better shape would have looked great. Although I deleted the wedding photos, I’m still stuck with several ID photos taken a few weeks later, when I enrolled at uni and had to have a student ID card and various library cards. I’ve still got them and there I am with my great steroid-inflated pudden face.

    Both I and Him Indoors have horrible passport photos. In his he looks like Harold Shipman, while I look like Myra Hindley. One day some immigration person is going to refuse us entry to some green and pleasant land or another.

    How we look, how we think we look, how we want to look, how others see us, etc etc…. Fraught.

    I was struck by one point made above: “I know well that if someone loves you they also love how you look.”

    I can’t agree. Life’s not so simple and clear cut, probably fortunately so. Very few of us match ideals of appearance, and fewer still as we grow older. We may love each other because of, partly because of, irrespective of, in spite of how we look. If we fall in love only for how someone looks, are we going to stay in love, and love reciprocated? People may have expressions, mannerisms, quirks, smiles etc that captivate, thrill, endear, whether they fit, or continue to fit, stereotypes of beauty or whether they don’t.

    Beautiful is as beautiful does.

    It’s good to strive in positive ways to look better, whilst becoming healthier. It’s not good to hate our appearance, and have unrealistic demands placed on us by ourselves or others, to chase ideals of youth and beauty.

    Best wishes to all for a healthy, happy 2014, R

    “I know well that if someone loves you they also love how you look.”

    Looks provides 48 seconds of advantage, then it matters what is said when they open their mouths ans speak.

    There are those lucky few that have the looks, communicate well, have great thoughts and can relate with others.

    We probably call them stars, and in this visual technology age, are promptly elevated.

    For the rest of us mortals, we become spectators and emulators.

    Maybe one day we can make a difference without the need for looks.

    Wow a little bit harsh @tomorrow. I know you are entitled to your opinion, but we are all here for support.

    Tomorrow. I think you perhaps misunderstood what I meant by: “I know well that if someone loves you they also love how you look.” I think we are making a very similar point.

    How a person looks has some influence right at the start, when you meet someone. THen you may go on to fall in love – or not. That love may be an infatuation that will fade or not.
    If it turns into what I would describe as a real love then, I know for myself that you love the whole person, who they are, what they look like. You do not lose the ability to see and appreciate others for many reasons.
    But, at least this is true for me, if you really love someone you also love what they look like – eg their lopsided face, their ugly hands … A person doesn’t have to conform to the current social stereotype of beauty to be loved for their looks.
    Culture certainly has an effect on us and what we like and don’t like but I believe any strong love, worthy of the name, easiey over-rides any such superficial preferences. Happily for 99% of us!

    @ hermaj …happy new year, terrible twin!!! I am with you on the M I L thing…she’s dead now but mine disliked and disapproved of me from the word go because… other half is a bit younger than me, I had two children from a previous marriage, her son stood up to her when she miscalled me (how dare he? he had never done that before!),I had a career and I am a darn site more intelligent than she ever was. She had photographs of her son all around her house but absolutely NONE of me – not even a wedding photo which was one of the slightly better ones of me.
    I much prefer to be behind a camera as I am not very – for that read ‘not at all’ IMO, – photogenic but, as you say, it’s not just us who are like that.

    I don’t judge people on how they look – to me it’s the person inside the skin that matters. I hate how women in particular are judged on their appearance and how the less attractive are also perceived at times to be less intelligent. personally, I would much rather converse with a person who is intelligent and communicative than some, supposed, ‘beauty’ with less intelligence, but more ego, than the massive designer handbag she’s carrying.

    Anyway it’s a new year so I am heaving myself (and the extra 4lbs I have added in the last 2 weeks) back up on that wagon all ready to get myself going again 😀

    Hi sylvestra, my terrible twin – and everyone else, of course. We do share some very similar experiences, don’t we? It so happens my other half is five years younger than me, however I don’t have any kids. I’m childfree by choice, following a fairly harrowing experience au pairing where I was stuck with kids 24/7 and even had to have them sharing my room. Other friends who took the au pair route were much luckier than me. However, it made me very dubious as to whether I could handle parenthood, despite efforts of an overbearing female quack who suggested I sought psychological help “to make me want a child”!! Back in the early 70s you were considered mentally ill if you didn’t see motherhood as the ultimate goal. I’ve no regrets, I’ve been a good aunt and now a great aunt to two boys I love to bits and who seem to like me.

    Your ma-in-law sounds like a right witch, well done hubby for socking it to her. Mine was never quite that bad and now, for some strange reason I can’t quite fathom, I feel far more benevolent, even affectionate towards the old dear – now 93 and, shall we say, more than a little confused. In the bad old days when she was well to the right of Genghis Khan I used to refer to her as the Frau Obergruepenfuhrer or compare her to Hitler’s lady friend Eva Braun and when, in her 80s, she was still fit and active, I would make jokes about them keeping them fit in the Hitler Youth. Her poor only son didn’t know whether to laugh or accuse me of disrespect. So I guess I was as much to blame for the rift.

    I couldn’t agree more about the way women in particular are judged by appearance. It must be especially galling to good-looking women who also have brains, like my early 40-something niece-in-law – mum of the two lovely boys. She is a scientist whom google reveals to be well-known and respected in her field, but she finds that in meetings with male colleagues who should know better, they are more nterested in ogling her boobs than concentrating on what she has to say.

    Having handed in the dreaded MA assignment today, it’s now back to the day job and back on the wagon as from tomorrow. Somehow I managed not to add an ounce over the holidays. It hasn’t made me feel smug, it’s actually very annoying. Not having lost anything since September despite sticking pretty closely to the 5:2 regime and achieving the same result while eating assorted naughties is making me wonder why I bother!

    Dear Hermaj,

    Very quickly, sorry don’t want to interrupt, but WELL DONE on handing in your MA ~ WOOOOHOOOOOOO!!!!
    (Maybe you’ll see some weight loss along with that monkey off your back?)

    Aud x

    Hi hermaj……yes indeed – congratulations on handing in the MA assignment. I’ve kept you a seat up here on the wagon 😀

    Hermaj, may I join everyone else in congratulating you. Brilliant.

    Thanks aud, sylvestra and toms for your congratulations. It’s very sweet of you.

    However, jumping up and down and waving our knickers in the air should be postponed until I know whether I’ve passed. Results can take 6 weeks or more to come through. And even then it’s still not over. What I just handed in was the last of three essays. And of course back in the autumn there was the lovely research project on the Glasgow Tenement House where I was helped by some delightful people either belonging or associated with the National Trust for Scotland, for which I got a very good mark and the possibilty of turning my report into a book.

    Now it’s dissertation time, folks. The big one on which ultimate success depends. I’ve got until September but I can’t hang around for too long. And the day job is picking up, too.

    Today has been our first fast day – Him Indoors is Fast Dieting too – and I’ve just enough calories left for a cup of tea before bed time. So I think it could be said that I’m back on the wagon. Thanks for saving me a seat, sylvestra.

    With fingers crossed for your results of course, hermaj. I can remember the pain of getting an assignment finished on time, the relief when it was handed in and the deep breath before diving into the next task.

    The Glasgow Tenement House reminded me of a couple of years ago when I gave a presentation on behalf of Woodland Trust Scotland at the Scottish Parliament for a project on Volunteering in Scotland. One of the other presentations was for NTS by a lady who volunteered at the Tenement House and, had i not known about it before hand, I would have left still completely ignorant. The poor dear was absolutely dire and had obviously not thought(or not been given time) to prepare. I was cringing for her, poor soul. I look forward to your book (more fingers crossed)

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