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Sunday, April 21, 2013

There's No "After" Photo...

The before and after... oh how we love the before and after. When I think before and after, something like this usually comes to mind:

Watch the media for more than thirty seconds and it becomes clear that America loves a good makeover. Especially when it involves weight loss. But if you really think about it, what does "Before/After" REALLY mean? "After" implies that something is over and done. "My weight loss is over. Getting "healthy" is over.Changing my lifestyle is over..." ?

I'm definitely reading too much into it. . . .

Anyway, this crossed my mind as I thought about making my own Before/After collage. Then I realized I can't make one. I can't take an "after" photo when I'm still in treatment. And then I realized there will never be an "after" photo. Because there's no such thing as "after recovery." At least not for me. I have to (and want to) choose recovery every day for the rest of my life. And because of that, there's no "after," there's only "during."

In the words of my sister,
"YAY! SHE HAS BOOBS!"
And hips. And a tummy. And a life. 
Nice.

11 comments:

  1. Slow clap. Such a profound statement. You ROCK! (BTW, did you also find it disturbing how that article included Nicole R and Renee Z-- both clearly unhealthy-- in their "weight loss success" story? Good thing we have positive forces like you out there combating such nonsense in society!) You look healthy, strong, vibrant, and beautiful!

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  2. I want to tread lightly with this comment, because I know compliments can be hard for ed suffers (my mom is an example) but you look great. A lot of girls would love to look like you. But what is even more beautiful, is the confidence you seem to exude in the last photograph. Even if this confidence was only minutes or even seconds, taking that picture with a smile on your face is amazing. Your strength to keep pushing through recovery is astounding. You have this beautiful light about you. You should be proud. You are an amazing individual.

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  3. I truly admire your courage to fight your eating disorder and think the insight you've gained so far is amazing, however... and I say this with genuine love and concern... I disagree with you posting sick pictures of yourself. I feel (and I own this as my own feelings) that doing so is a detrimental to your recovery. I've been there, so while nobody can understand your situation perfectly, people can understand what it's like to recover from an eating disorder. I realize that this your blog and no one is forcing me to read it, but I do hope you realize how many followers (many probably silent as I usually am) with eating disorders you have. I don't think you would intentionally try to hurt anyone. You seem like a sweet girl, but these pics can be harmful to your readers and in my opinion to yourself. I was once a patient at Center For Change. I know sharing "sick" pictures is not allowed and many of the professionals would agree it isn't a healthy part of recovery. Please don't take this as me bashing you, but rather expressing my genuine concern for you. I challenge you to take them down or at least ask yourself honestly why you posted them. We know you were sick and still sometimes struggle. You don't need to prove that because we already love you. I don't even know you and can say that. I hope you at least respond to this comment.
    Love,
    K

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    Replies
    1. I understand your concern. I'm not sure what to do because I can't please everyone all the time. I posted these because I genuinely think I look better in my "during" picture. Which I never thought I'd say. This blog is for people who are sick, people who know someone who is sick, people who are just plain curious, people who genuinely want to know more about eating disorders/what it's like to have one, and for me to process my own recovery. I'm pretty sure a large percentage of what is written here could be triggering, and I hate that because I don't want to hurt anyone, but I can't walk on eggshells on the off chance that someone could get offended. Nothing about this post is pro-eating disorder.

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    2. Thanks for replying. I really worried about offending you or other readers. I didn't want to come across as a rude anonymous poster- I know you've had a fair share of those. I can totally understand not wanting to walk on egg shells. I personally wasn't triggered by your pictures, but I'm doing very well in recovery right now. My concern is for those who aren't. I still disagree with posting them, but that is me and I can only draw from my experiences. I appreciate your journey and I guess I would just suggest processing your pictures with your therapist as he or she can probably give you better advice than me or other readers can. Keep fighting! There is much to live for and I promise it gets better!
      Much Love,
      K

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  4. To hear you say "I look better in my "during" picture" brings tears to my eyes ... HAPPY tears! I remember when you thought you looked good "before", and because you can say that you like better how you look "during", then that is a HUGE step... and one that needs to be shared.
    I'm proud of you...Love, Dad Dad Daddio

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  5. Bravo. Keep gaining weight, please! You are still very skinny. If you look at the pictures of a true Goddess, they have ample bosoms, big hips. Don't let society's sick view of women break you, love. Ask most men and they will say they love curves!! Most important is that you love yourself - inside and out.

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  6. You are such a gorgeous girl inside and out and it makes me so happy to see you getting healthy. You look happy and confident in your "during" pic. Stay strong!

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  7. Camilla, I'm so proud of you! In the "before" pics, I see a girl who is smiling, but full of heartache. In the "after" picture, there's something different...maybe it's a girl who is more confident, more loving of herself, a girl who is leaving Frank behind and taking steps towards an incredible future... Keep up the good work! -a reader from Kirkland, WA, blocks away from Wing Dome. :-)

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  8. What a good point. I never thought about or realized but you are so right. It's always a during, not after. Thank you. You look so great. You are so adorable and cute! Again, you are so brave to be open about your progress and I just want to thank you for that. Keep striving for happiness, we're all in that together :) Have a great week!

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  9. You look great! It is very apparent that your hard work is paying off. Keep it up! We are all cheering for you!

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