The picture I refused to send...
Christmas 08...

Pretend for a second that was you.
What would you have said to yourself as you walked around that day?

Maybe...I hope no-one takes my picture...
or, when you are handing your beautiful little girl her barbies you're thinking that you hope she doesn't turn out like you.

Or maybe when you went to walmart with your little brother and someone mistook you for husband and wife...and you felt sorry for him.
That anyone would think he would marry a fat pig like you.

I knew he deserved better than ME At any rate.
What I hadn't realized was that I DESERVED BETTER.
This picture didn't trip my trigger by the way...
I merely hid it in the back of beyond on my computer.
I don't know about you....
Oh, happy 2010 by the way...

I don't know about you,
But I have had those words said to me....
Who do you think You are?

It's always said with derision, or anger...with some form of negative connotation attached.

As if you had the audacity to expect something,
or want something you knew perfectly well you neither needed nor deserved.

Who do you think you are!


Who do you think you are?

And is what you think keeping you stuck?

Did you fail at weight loss this year?

Deep down, do you think you are a failure?

Are you fat?

Deep down, do you think You are a 'fat pig'?

Do you believe you are incapable of being fit?

Do you believe it's too late?

Do you think you have no control over what goes in your face?

Then you are right...in only one sense.
What you believe, you achieve.
Sounds hokey...but is it?

You live out your beliefs.
You certainly aren't going to do something you don't believe in.
The most important step in any journey is believing you can make it....
That you can do it, or
That you can achieve it.
What is the point of 'trying'... if deep down, you know you can't?
What is the point of starting, when you believe you are just going to fail?

Or even worse, you believe that you simply aren't worth the effort.

What do you believe about yourself?
You think you know who you are now.
Everyone does.
A year ago I firmly believed I was....

The mother who bakes.
The daughter who never complains.
The wife who is always 'there'.
The rock of Gibraltar.
The never ending support system.
The funny, fat friend.

Who am I now?
I am the mother who hates to bake.
The daughter who speaks up.
The wife who tells her husband she is going to the gym.
A person who knows she cannot be everyone's safe harbor..
A person who knows that sometimes it is she that needs support.
The friend who is sometimes funny, and sometimes sad, mad or pissed at the world.

Who do I think I am!
I can't just say no to baking!
I can't tell my mother how I feel about my childhood!
I can't just go to the gym with dirty dishes in the sink!
I can't tell my friend my problems...I am supposed to be the problem solver.
You know what?

Yes, I can.
To all of those
I am not a cookie cutter wife (pun intended)
I am not required to be the 'perfect' daughter.
The dishes can wait and you know what...real friends want to help.

Maybe you don't know what to ask for...I didn't at first.
Now I do.

Daily I ask for:

Who do I think I am!
I am a human being with wants and needs and desires that are not more important than, but just as important as...anyone's.
If you don't believe that, you have bigger problems than weight.
I know I did.

This year I actually had a want for Christmas.
Two years ago, heck....last year when asked-all I could say was "I don't know"
And I didn't.
It is almost as if for fifteen years, I was buried alive.
I was like a walking dead woman.
I had given up on happiness, health, fun and future dreams.

I couldn't have answered that question for the life of me...not if someone had put a gun to my head.
I just didn't know.

Then one day I looked up and saw what I had become.
I realized I had lost any passion for life years ago.
I didn't know that person.
I had to find me.
The me buried under 130 lbs of fat.
The me I was scared of.
The one who wouldn't take being ignored or left out.
The me that wasnt afraid to try, to ask and to fail.

Here she is....
You might see this picture and think....WOW, she has lost some weight.
Which would be true.
It's unfortunate that people can't see the biggest transformation.
The transformation of the mind.
What's most telling.
My face...
My eyes....
I am happy. Not ashamed.
It isn't how fat I am or am not.
It's about me, taking control of my life and everything in it.
It was about me making a promise to myself and keeping it...because I am worth the effort.
Knowing your own worth is the most critical aspect of this whole journey.

yes you.
I hope you are new here.
I hope YOU have decided to find out
And that for once in your life...you don't give up on yourself.
You keep looking and you keep trying until you are living the kind of life
you want.
Not the one you are willing to settle for.
It's a new year.
Don't let it slip away.



Linda Pressman said...

Chris, Thank you for this post. First you reminded me that I used to be the "funny fat friend" too and how hard it was to break that image and become a real flesh and blood woman, not just a one-dimensional character - the fat friend. And it reminded me that after I lost all my weight I would tell people if only I could take a picture of the inside of me, because the difference there was the most dramatic.

Even though I no longer have a weight issue, your words inspire me to remember that I can do what I believe I can do, in any area of my life. Thanks for reminding me of this and on this day in time for tomorrow, the start of a new day.

Annalisa@Gracie'sGarden said...

Thank you Chris! I love love love your blog. It is filled with so much emotion, inspiration, and compassion towards your readers. Thank you for caring for you, and thank you for caring about us. I am looking forward to reaching our goal weight this year together. Happy New Year!

Christine Jeske said...

Happy New Year, fellow Chris!!!!

I don't know what struck me more.
That I own that robe.
That I have a Christmas picture like that from last year, that's ME.
That I am not trying to hide under the weight and be the perfect everything to everyone anymore . . .

All those thoughts, all your words, they really helped me sum up my year too. ♥

Retta said...

This was just wonderful, Chris. It goes deep into what the journey is REALLY about... to find ourselves, and then live true to that, because we finally feel worth it.

I am one of those who had a significant adult say to me in rage: who do you think you are?? I know how devastating that is. And it's taken decades, literally, to throw that off and stand up for myself.
The weight is just a symptom... finding ourselves is the solution. Thanks for a terrific post!! It will surely help people, I know it helped me.

outdoor.mom said...

i am so proud of you!! wow you have come such a long way!! It reminds me of looking at pictures of myself a few years back. When I saw them, I winced. It was then that I knew something had to be done. Something in me just snapped and this determination came over me. I don't know, maybe its partly an age thing. We get to this age and get a little smarter and sassier. We say "hell no!!" It took me a while to figure out how to lose weight. Also the whole emotional comfort eating thing was and continues to be a challenge. I will never forget that summer I lost the most significant amount of weight. For our anniversary I rented a house boat and we cruised all over this huge unpopulated lake. At night we beached the boat on desserted islands. It was the best anniversary ever. It was the first time I EVER ran around for days in a bikini and that was awesome!! My husband had such a good time and so did I. I loved how amazed he was with me. He was just like a little kid (or maybe a teenager)! Its so much fun to get a new body!!
You are doing so great!! Don't look back, keep moving passionately forward. You have so many good things ahead!!

Happy New Year!!

Anne said...

I stopped bringing the camera out on Christmas morning a few years ago because of the inevitable fat photo! Your blog has been such an inspiration to me, thank you. I found the Perfect 10 Challenge through your site and am looking forward to sharing the adventure with you!

Anonymous said...

Chris, you put this in a way that is going to reach a lot of people. Really our weight loss and fitness journeys are second to our mental journeys. Let's not fool ourselves, most of us with weight issues have something going on mentally too.

I really love seeing how far you've come. May God bless you and yours during the upcoming year!

Anonymous said...

Another home run. Thanks for the post.

Vagabonds Mercantile said...

inspiring post. Thank you for saying so well what I have been thinking.
The last few months I have been using the words "I deserve" a lot more then I ever did. And when I do , it has nothing to do with food.
I deserve to live my dreams, I deserve to be happy in photos. This is the driving force that keeps me going. I keep thinking of the person I wanted to be and wondering what happened to her. It's time to get that girl out of her comma.

Sevenbeads said...

So loved this post! You hit the nail by saying that the greatest transformation wasn't just the weight but also your mental attitude and sense of self.

Thank you for all the times you've stopped by my blog and made an insightful comment. I always read your comments in other blogs as well.

Happy 2010 to you and your family.

Boozy Tooth said...

Yowza Chris! Look at you Miss Hottie Mama! I am so very very proud of you and your amazing accomplishment!

These striking and profound words of yours had me nodding my head in agreement:

You live out your beliefs.
You certainly aren't going to do something you don't believe in.
The most important step in any journey is believing you can make it....
That you can do it, or
That you can achieve it.
What is the point of 'trying'... if deep down, you know you can't?
What is the point of starting, when you believe you are just going to fail?

Or even worse, you believe that you simply aren't worth the effort.

I just finished writing a similar comment on Fat[Free}Me's blog which goes double here. Here's what I wrote:

What absolutely stunning photos! And what a pure inspiration you are to so many of us who have been watching your progress. You have so very much to be proud of.

Lets get down to brass tacks, shall we? Weight loss is daunting. If it were easy there wouldn't be a multi-billion dollar weight loss industry including the likes of Jenny Craig, Nutri-System, Weight Watchers, and all the bogus supplements and diet aids and green tea extract nonsense. Everyone is looking for the magic pill. The magic bullet. But we know that chasing those hollow promises only keeps us fat and miserable.

To step out in faith and to finally accept that the only true and lasting road to sustainable health and fitness is to do it the old fashioned way: eat less, move more. That's the first critical step. I'd convinced myself for ten years that because of my hypothyroid disorder I just couldn't lose weight no matter how hard I tried. The truth is, I didn't try very hard. I didn't try very long. I got easily discouraged and distracted and went straight back to my old familiar ways. Sound familiar?

I felt my last and only hope was gastric bypass surgery or at the very least - LapBand surgery. Then last January 29th I asked my doctor if we could discuss it. He encouraged me to give diet and exercise one last chance. Sigh. Okay. I went home and signed up for Weight Watchers Online and on a Thursday at the end of January (odd timing) I jumped on the WW bandwagon. Six months later, I was 70 pounds lighter. Not typical, but I always do things to the extreme. In my mind I had to over compensate for being 50 years old, for having hypothyroid disease, and for being on the threshold of menopause. So I followed WW to the letter and exercised (literally) my ass off. I had the time and opportunity to invest in myself, so if I didn't do it while I could - then when? (continued...)

Boozy Tooth said...

(continued from above)

Three key things kept me motivated:

1) If all those "Half My Size" folks in People Magazine could do it, why not me? If all those "Biggest Loser" people could lose weight, why not me? If Oprah and Kirstie and Valerie can lose weight, why not me? Why NOT me?

2) Give yourself six solid months and see what happens. Regardless of whether you lose or don't lose - commit to dieting and exercising for six months. Then reassess. Either way, the six months will be here soon enough. What condition will I be in if I honestly give it my best effort. I know what condition I'll be in if I don't.

3) Hope is not a strategy. If you sit around hoping you'll change, you won't. If you wish your weight away, it's not going anywhere. You must reset your mind and body by actively pursuing your goals. Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. The only true way to reverse your situation is to reverse your actions. Whatever it is you're doing to stay fat and unfit - turn around - start doing the opposite. Challenge yourself, make it fun, keep your eye on the horizon - not on the line you're walking. That's the surest way of losing your balance.

Finally - trust yourself. Trust that you can accomplish your goals. Trust that you have the power, the ability, the sticktoitiveness to see yourself through to a healthier happier you. The only thing that's been standing in your way, is you.

You can do it. You can. If fat old Alix can do it - ANYONE can. I promise.

Good luck and happy new year to everyone.

Joania said...

Hey Chris,

What an AWESOME post....so much of what you wrote could easily be about me...I think I have that same picture!!

You've done such an amazing job!!! Enjoy 2010 hon...Operation Size 10!! :0)

Have a fabulous 2010!! We'll be chatting!

Melissa said...

Awesome post! You are fantastic on the inside and the outside. I love your blog and I know that you'll have an even greater 2010.

Anonymous said...

Chris - I am a total lurker - don't have my own blog to promote or anything. I just have to send you a message and thank you. You have put to word the feelings I have had for so long, but was unable to articulate. I have lost passion for life, and been going through the motions. However, since I came across your blog, I have felt a change. You have put to words the feelings I have inside. And once the feelings are acknowledged, the healing can begin. Thank you so much, and please keep posting. You inspire me. May God continue to bless you this New Year. You, my friend, are a blessing to me.

Amber said...

agh, I just left a comment but somehow erased it...

I said...
I have always loved my friend Chris, but I do fell that the new Chris is a better friend. she has confiedence and knows she is worth it. She has been a large part of what has kept me going.
You are going to inspire many to lead their own transformation.

Great post!

Rachel said...

I just found your blog--love it. But OUCH! I just used this phrase with my dd yesterday. Thanks for getting me to rethink the words I'm using both to others and myself.


Losing 100 said...

Chris, So Profound! I am finally caring enough about myself to take care of myself! That first picture could have been me. It's amazing what kind of transformation can take place when you care enough about yourself. Both inside and outside. :) Happy New Year!

Tony said...

Just the post I needed to get over my New Year's Eve Fail.

Anonymous said...

BAM!!! Great post. You are worth it and so AM I!!!

Foodie Girl said...

I am glad to have found you. Really. I truly mean that. You are one of the people I look and turn to for daily inspiration. We don't live that far from each other and I would love to meet you in person one day. To meet one that inspires... would be an honor.

Becca55 said...

Thank you for this very touching and needed post! You are such an inspiration and always have wonderful things to say and blog about. Happy new year and congrats on where you are now it is wonderful!

bbubblyb said...

What a great post. Every post you write though speaks to me. It's so true this is about fixing our minds not just our bodies. Thanks Chris. You are looking terrific!!!

Onewhocares said...

Great - you really cheered me up when I was having a bad day - that was the pep talk I needed!

jo said...

Maybe it takes one to know one, but I can see part of that mental change--just the way you're holding yourself, the confidence oozes. That comes from a lot of hard mental and physical work.

Yet another wonderful post. (I always write that, but you always write wonderful posts.)

Hanlie said...


I still want to die when I see a picture of myself. That's no way to live.