How do you feel about them currently?
I'm constantly torn, because I'm so glad there is loose skin and visible muscle beneath. I'm really proud of the work I've done in the past year by myself and I'm really proud of the work I will continue to do. At the same time, sometimes it feels like the distance between where I am and where I want to be is insurmountable.
On days when I've used my body a lot (taken a workout class or walked around the city more than I normally would), I feel great about it because the way I move around these days is obviously easier than when I weighed more. On days when I haven't been moving as much (especially on rest days), I can feel frustrated or worried that the change is only temporary.
The best days are when I don't think about it at all, I get to just exist.
What places on your body do you hope to see differently?
Having just lost a lot (>100 lbs) of weight, I'm currently carrying (what I feel like is) a lot of loose skin, particularly around my belly button. I also have a good amount of varying dysmorphia, a deep mistrust in what I see in the mirror because there's been such a marked change. I'm hoping to see my stomach and my loose skin differently - quite possibly just see them as they actually are instead of how I see them warped in a mirror.
How do you react, what happens, when you see these parts of your body negatively?
On the very best days, I reroute those thoughts into reminders about what my body can DO rather than how it LOOKS, because at the end of the day, that's what's important.
I need my body to be the vessel for me moving about the city and doing all the things I love doing. On the very worst days, the images stick with me and resurface throughout the day. For me, it's not an immediate feeling, it just lingers and won't go away.
Who would you be if you really loved your body?
Still me, just bolder. I think I would stretch more than I do.
I think I would walk into places less worried about the space I take up.
What hopes do you have that would arise when other people see these images? When you see these images?
I just want to be content.
I honestly want to not care what other people think or feel when they see these images, though I would like to think that the more images we see of bodies that are not the commercialized norm, the more comfortable and naturally accepting we are of the different kinds of bodies in the world.