What a good looking kid! I was always a pretty cute little girl, with long wavy hair and big green eyes. Even when I was young, I was almost always smiling, and it made my whole face light up.
I've been looking at old pictures a lot lately, which I usually do when I am in periods of change in my life. With my finally deciding to do the right thing for myself and get healthy, I've been looking over the visuals of my past. I don't have very many pictures from when I was very little - those are mostly at my parents' house in Connecticut - but the ones that I do have (or at least have digital copies of), I love. They make me smile. I think I look very hopeful in them - totally ready to take on the world. I was like that when I was a kid. I was shy, but I always had high aspirations and the best intentions of growing up and making something of myself.
The other reason why I really like looking at pictures of myself as a very young kid is that they are the only way I have to know "what I look like." I've been this way for so long that I can only remember what my body (especially my face) looks like since it has been overburdened with excess body weight. There were the early teen years when it wasn't nearly as bad as is now, but those aren't as heavily photo-documented as my childhood; once I was old enough for a job, I bought a camera - and made sure I was always the one taking the pictures.
So besides a few awkward school pictures, the only images of me between 100 and 300 pounds exist in my mind. And that's really a shame, because not only do I not have a record of my body in its various sizes, but I don't have a record of years upon years of my life. There were friends who came and went, school dances, birthday parties. I didn't want to remember the pains, the heartaches, the let-downs, everything that came with my fat body. But I didn't have the foresight to think that someday, as an adult, I'd forget the specifics and simply want to recall the one childhood I was given.
If I could sit down for just one minute with the kid I used to be, there are so many things I would tell her. That she is strong and will survive even the toughest times. To let everyone she loves know how much they mean to her. Not to give up - ever - on anything.
And to take more pictures of herself.