September 17, 2011

Neck

As a reward for losing 150 pounds, I decided a few months ago that I would go get my state ID renewed early, so that I could get a new picture. In Illinois, ID cards have your photo and also your weight listed; when I got mine in fall 2008, I weighed 305 pounds but said 295 because I had been losing weight and figured it would be accurate soon enough. (That, and admitting to the 3 in print was hard to do.) Then, over my two years in grad school, I gained 40 pounds to bring me to my biggest. This summer, at 195 pounds, I not only had met my 150 pound weight loss goal, but was 100 pounds lighter than my ID said. It seemed like the perfect reward.

One thing after another came up. I figured I would have to move at the end of the summer - if not back home to Connecticut, then at least to a cheaper place in Chicago - so it seemed useless to spend money on a new ID when I'd just need another one in a couple of months. And, to be honest, with my weight not changing for so long, it hadn't really felt like I deserved a reward. So it got put on the back burner.

Now, fast forward to my life in California. As a university employee, I need an ID card for certain things, like getting into my office and my classroom, using the photocopiers, and taking the campus shuttle buses. Last week, my paperwork finally got processed and I was able to get my faculty ID card made. Comparing the ID to my student ID from grad school (when I first arrived in Chicago - 324 pounds), I feel pretty proud of all I have accomplished:


There's consistency - it's me, for sure, with the curly hair I'm still not quite sure what to do with, and the pearl necklace I bought for my senior prom and have worn on all of the most important days of my life since then. But there are changes, too. I have a smile now, which is awesome. I have a tan, which is weird - at first I didn't realize I would need to wear sunscreen every day.

And - I have a neck. A nice one. With a little definition to it.

Yesterday, Tim wrote about a great NSV he had with his haircutter commenting on his face getting thinner. It reminded me of last spring, when one of my French coworkers commented on my weight loss, noting that
"...now you have a neck!"
In French, I'm sure it sounds like a lovely compliment. But at the time, I was struggling a lot with my self-image - specifically, with being able to visualize my weight loss - and so I mostly just shrugged it off.

With my weight having essentially stayed the same (plus or minus five pounds) for the past few months, my brain has had the opportunity to catch up a little. I couldn't see it for a very long time, and it was heartbreaking. Now, I can look in the mirror or at my new ID card, and even though I'm not always happy with everything I see, I can at least recognize that the girl I am looking at is me.

20 comments:

Donald Wells said...

You look younger, cuter and definitely happier in that second photo. Great before and after shots.

Anonymous said...

Now, that is success! Look at you! That is amazing progress and you should be so proud. :) I'd rob banks for a neck and a tan... LOL.

Carbie Girl said...

aw mary, your little eyes light up when you smile!! you're quite lovely.. i want to have a neck too someday ;0)

Caron said...

Two thumbs up! :)

Jessica said...

You are beautiful...

PJ Geek said...

You look very healthy, very alive, and happy.

Tim said...

Check out the tan! Oh, I wish the UK gave me a tan instead of making me whiter and whiter. I love this post, Mary! (Not because i'm mentioned on it - haha).

This post has made me look at my work ID and realise that it was also taken when I was around my heaviest weight. Maybe i'll post it on my blog one day. It is the worst picture in the history of pictures though.

SlimKatie said...

The difference is AMAZING--you look absolutely fantastic! How exciting to see that change!

timothy said...

that's great and i LOVE that you're getting a new perspective on it. you should be proud and it's wonderful to hear you happy!
xoxoxoxoxo

Chubby McGee said...

I love before & afters. This one is now on my list of "the best ones." I love it. It reminds all of us, still on our long journeys, just how amazing the reward for our sacrifices really are.

Thanks so much for sharing, pretty lady. :)

Plump Nonfiction said...

You look so, so good. Congrats on making it so far!

Ivat said...

You look amazing. I have just been introduced to your blog by a friend who is on the weight loss/transformation with me. Thank you for your candor and sharing. CONGRATS!

Sarah from Onmyweightohappiness said...

Amazing! You look great!

Joy said...

Beautiful!!!! What an amazing transformation!! Congrats my Friend!!

Keep focused!

Poison said...

WOOHOOOO!!!!! I'm having trouble with my mind catching up to realizing who I am not. Glad to hear yours is finally doing so!

gracies tough journey said...

Amazing, just amazing. You look so vibrant and happy now. Kudos to you. Gracie

marisol said...

What an awesome NSV. Someone's looking like quite the California girl. You look much happier in that second picture.

Kelliann said...

I have a co-worker who said the same thing to me - and she is NOT French! LOL! Those pictures are amazing, that is for sure! You look incredible!
BTW - I didn't know you were from CT - that's where I live! :-)

Hyla said...

Wowza! Huge difference! Your moth looks so tiny in the old picture, much more proportioned now!

Looking great!

Shannon said...

Thanks for sharing the pics! You look wonderful...and so happy!