I recently shared a new before and after on Facebook (stay tuned, I'll show you too!), and at the risk of sounding vain... I couldn't believe the attention it received. I was blown away by how impressed folks were, especially considering I've seen most of them recently while out in our local town.
Sometimes I forget that while my 'before' is very, very, very fresh in my own mind... it's not in others'.
Most days I have to remind myself that I've lost over a hundred pounds. I'm constantly holding myself back from things because I still see myself as the 'before' version of me. Though I'm more confident, I still have moments where I freeze in panic when I approach a new restaurant booth and am unsure if I fit. I'm always surprised when I do. It's as if my brain hasn't caught up to my body.
A great example of this was at a wedding I recently photographed. The church where they were married was one I had photographed another wedding in about five years ago. Long before I lost weight. During that ceremony I had tried to sit in the pews, but unfortunately the space between the pews was so small, that I couldn't fit. It was a long ceremony and I ended up exhausted by the end of it because I just... couldn't fit to sit. Fast forward to the wedding I did this September in that same church and queue the anxiety. I walked in with my breath caught in my throat as I eyed up the still-so-tiny space between. When we were instructed to sit for the first time, I stayed standing because I wasn't ready to attempt it again. I was so scared. However, soon after... I told myself that if I went the entire ceremony without trying I'd be more disappointed than if I don't fit again, so I tried. Lo and behold - I fit! I mentally screeched in celebration and couldn't to tell my sister all about it.
After speaking with many weight-loss success story individuals over the course of my journey so far, I've come to realize that this is incredibly common. So common, in fact, that there's a legitimate medical term for it.
While beginning the planning for this blog, I knew the disorder name but I wasn't really sure how to explain it properly as most of the articles I've found are very medical and relate more to those who feel they're too big when they aren't or they just simply feel they're ugly when there's absolutely nothing ugly about them. BDD can affect more than just those with extreme weight-loss, too. People who have lost smaller amounts are just as likely to be impacted by BDD, as it's rarely connected to the amount of weight lost. Luckily I found this incredible blog post found here that explains it perfectly, and I would encourage you to read as well.
"“While weight can quantified by a stepping on a scale, a person’s self-image is a more abstract thing,” Billings said. “Our beliefs, past experiences, relationships, cultural context and behavior all play a part in how we think and feel about ourselves.” If some of those areas haven’t changed despite the weight loss, he said, a person might still feel the same way about themselves as they did when they were heavier."
This really hit home for me. It really ties into my personal beliefs, too, that being overweight doesn't have to equal being unhappy, it just often does. I've met plenty of heavy guys and gals that are totally happy and in love with themselves! If you've read my story, you'll know that a huge part of my WHY is that I wanted to find happiness.
When I posted this before and after photo and the comments and likes flooded in, I was taken aback immediately. I still am. The last time I checked it was at over 260 likes! It shocked me that people were so surprised by my progress, I thought to myself... don't they see the girl on the left still when they see me? I know I do most days. As I'm getting ready for work and grabbing my favourite smallest-size-ever jeans, I still question if they'll really fit. Then they do. Honestly, most days they're too loose now too. When I'm shopping with my sister and she grabs me a size from the rack, I always argue with her and tell her to grab a bigger size. She never listens, of course, and naturally... she's always right. Please don't tell her I said that, for the love of all things good in this world, don't tell her.
It manifests itself in so many different ways. One night I remember sitting at home, I was feeling extra confident and decided to snap a selfie. When I looked at the result of the selfie I actually felt a tightening in my chest as I looked at the girl on my phone. I didn't recognize her. I felt the panic seep in as I stared at my "reflection" and couldn't stop trying to figure out who that girl was. I was uncomfortable and to be completely vulnerable with you, a little scared. I was scared because my brain and my eyes weren't lining up with reality. I thought there was something wrong with me. I ended up deleting that photo and not taking another that night.
I know that a big part of BDD comes from my mental health, which makes this blog even more perfect since we just celebrated National Mental Health Awareness Day. I'm so proud of the progress I've made in my journey physically, but also mentally. While I still struggle to see the current me instead of the old me, I do know that the progress I've made majorly out-weighs (ha-ha, puns) the struggles I still have.
"“Working on viewing oneself as a whole person with varying parts, interests and facets – as opposed to over-identifying with and/or attaching so much importance on the physical self – could also be helpful,” Billings said."
Starting today, October 12th, when this blog post is going live -- I'm making a promise to myself to actively work on this. Viewing myself as a whole, complete person. Because that's exactly what I am.
Thanks for reading and following along my journey!
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If you aren’t personally impacted by a nut-based allergy, there’s a high probability that you know someone who is. CEO & Founder, Melanie Wildman, gives you an inside look about why she created Nutracelle's allergen-friendly protein powder, why nut-free was one of the main priorities, and what it's like living with two children who have life-threatening allergies.
Love this flavor! Definitely appeals to my sweet tooth!
When I opened the bag I couldn't believe how GOOD it smells! It really smells just like fresh picked strawberries. And there are REAL Strawberry flecks in it!!! I watched Melanie's webinar and she said there were dried real strawberries in it, but I didn't realize she meant actual strawberries in it!! omg! I was kind of worried that it would taste like that nestle strawberry milk syrup but it doesn't - it just tastes like you are eating real strawberries. I love that it's not too sweet too. Anyway, if you are thinking about trying it and you like strawberries, you will love this one! I'm changing my monthly order now to make sure I get a bag every month along with the natural I use in everything I eat. I've lost about 7 pounds in the last two months and I just fit back into my favourite jeans again so I'm pumped to get to keep the weight off with strawberry now too! Thank you Nutracelle (and Melanie and Tracy!)
I absolutely love my new cookbook! Such a great selection of recipes and so far every single one I've made is fantastic! Thank you Melanie
The old nutralean was so good and the new blend is even better. Did not thing protein nutralean could get better man it’s better!! And my 2 & 1 year old know what I’m drinking and take my drink all the time for themselves. Love It!!!!
Absolutely loving the new formulas. They mix beautifully with water now... and they taste amazing!
I have trouble finding protein powder I don’t hate. I bought the cafe mocha and chocolate dream to try and didn’t expect to love it but I do!!! It was amazing! No weird after taste or texture. It also came with a shaker cup! I love that the ingredients are all things that I know. Plus it’s made in Canada!
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So happy with my product. It’s a great product for anyone who’s on the go and always busy. I can rest easy knowing I’m getting good nutrients, that also taste yummy!
WOW!!! I’m sipping a Pumpkin Spice Smoothie as I’m typing this review. I received my order of the new formulas today and was excited to try it! I’m so impressed with the smooth, creamy consistency and the ease that it blends! 2 thumbs up from me!!!
This will hands down always be my go-to choice for anything protein related. I am glad it does not even taste like i am having a protein supplement. Since I don't enjoy eating meat often, this is the best alternative!
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Absolutely the best shake i have ever tried. Such great flavors... I love it! ☺
Product works when you follow guidelines. Always weighed at Doctor's office
believe it or not i've lost 51 lbs in 9 weeks. 30lbs to go...
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The taste and quality of nutracelle is absolutely unparalleled in the protein market. I recommend it to all my friends and family and having been using it daily for almost 2 years now. And still in love!
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Meal plan is realistic and absolutely manageable. My coach checks in post every workout to see if there is any area I struggle in or if maybe the routine was too easy. He is quick at answering any questions I have and is very knowleageable with nutrition and what my body needs to eat and can explain it to me in various ways to make sure I understand as well. I have never worked with someone who is so passionate about fitness and proper nutrition as well as someone who is on top of everything. App is also very user-friendly; super easy to log everything in with a few click so that you dont have to do it urself on paper. Absolutely thrilled to be working with this team to better my fitness life. Highly recommend joining the team!
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