Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My REAL "Before Pictures"


Two weeks ago I had my son take a "Before Picture." After several attempts, I just cried. It wasn't the camera or the angle, I was just overweight! I even look sad in it, even though I'm trying to smile. I didn't even think to edit it because I wasn't excited about it (which is saying a LOT because I usually love pictures.)

I don't like using the word "fat" because, I guess I'm afraid to say it. I also feel like it's more of a judging, mean word by society's general use of it. "Overweight" can be determined by the numbers no matter how "fine" I look at times or feel. But I am now overweight and fat, so it was discouraging and too embarrassing to even post the picture.

But I realize now I was being hard on myself, because EVERYONE has a before picture they can feel proud of (whether from this life or before,) because the Before isn't just about how we looked but how we felt. You aren't born with a negative self-image, or low self-esteem. So there is a "before" for everyone where we felt happy and confident.

I have "Before" pics from before having my 3rd son Samuel I realize now I looked great in (I was still only 142 pounds-30 pounds lighter- when I was 3 months pregnant with him.) This means this weight came on from general snacking to avoid puking, from late night snacking to keep me up while feeding him, and lack of exercise during lack of sleep, proper nourishment, etc. Well, last night I slept the entire night through for the 3rd time in over a year and a half!! WOW!! I literally feel like a new person... Not being able to sleep through the night can do terrible things to a person's body, but hopefully I'm at a point where that will not be the case anymore.

I have "before pictures" after my other children's births I look beautiful in, and family pictures, wedding pictures...

It's a HUGE deal that I can say this because at the time these pictures were taken I may not have been "overweight" by the numbers, but I called myself fat. I saw myself as fat in the mirror. I didn't even wear the real wedding dress I wanted to because I thought I was too fat to look good in a figure-forming gown. THAT is what I have to think about every time I look at a wedding picture of myself, and it's wrong. I could of worn any dress I wanted to.

Now I am finally realizing how distorted my view had become. Not only had I thought I was "too fat" then, but three months ago I thought I "was alright" with how I look now, and I was 10 pounds heavier then!

Even though it still makes me cry because I can't believe this is how I look (I just don't feel that big!) I am posting this picture because I need to recognize it and accept it if I'm going to change it. But I am also posting my "real" Before Pictures. These are pictures showing me happy, healthy, showing some of the reasons I put on this weight and that it was WORTH IT!!! I love my kids and would go through all this again for them in a heartbeat.

But now it's time for the weight to go, along with the late night snacks and convenience foods, and along with the distorted self-image that made me want to give up and give in to more food than I knew I really needed. No more, "I'm already this big, I might as well have more..." I am a beautiful wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, disciple and it's important I stay a beautiful wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, disciple in mood and spirit as part of this process because that matters more than what the scale tells me. Some weeks I will not lose anything, and some weeks I might even gain a couple pounds, but little by little I will become healthy again because my family and I are worth it and we can do it together. After all, we got here together! LOL

Here are my REAL Before Pictures that are going up on the wall to remind me who I am, and to treat myself like the woman I am worth:



























Thanks for reading! Check back later for my weigh-in (to help keep me on track!) -Eva

12 comments:

Keaven Neely said...

You're so beautiful! Your posts are so encouraging. Thanks for sharing your struggle and your journey.

Eva Melissa Barnett said...

Thank you Keaven! I love seeing your posts on Facebook and am glad we are still in touch! :)

Dawn said...

Eva, I've always thought you as such a beautiful woman, inside and out. Your honesty is remarkable and recognition of blessings so refreshing to read. I know you will find success in this, as with every endeavor you set your mind to. You are so gifted and just an amazing person. I'm routing for you!

Sarah said...

Don't feel too bad about the wedding dress. I remember you telling me that you wanted a dress that would be cool. I got married in the exact dress that I wanted, and it almost baked me alive! Plus, on several occasions, I've seen wedding pictures of women I know years later and thought, "Wow, they look so much better now!" So, even though we're getting older, I'd like to think that our best-looking days are still ahead of us!

Eva Melissa Barnett said...

Thank you Dawn! I've always felt the same about you- beautiful AND spiritual inside and out. There are still exercises I do from when we were dancing together at SVU :)

Eva Melissa Barnett said...

Sarah, the idea of "I don't want this to be the prettiest I look and have it go downhill from here" was definitely part of my decision. :) I was comfortable that day, had great shoes and knew people would be looking at me anyway, so I didn't need a huge dress to stand out. lol And it helped to tell myself there would be a time in the future I would get to buy a great, fancy dress I really felt pretty in again...haven't had a reason yet. But I think I'm going to just have to make a lot of money somehow and find a cruise with some amazing New Year's ball. THAT would be a fun goal to reach (and SHOP FOR!)

D... said...

I just wanted to say that you are beautiful and I appreciate your honesty! Love ya!! :)

Eva Melissa Barnett said...

THANK YOU!! :)

bibliotecaria said...

ABSOLUTELY beautiful! Before, after, right now, and in the future. That's a given. You're a beautiful young woman who is the mother of some beautiful children. Beautiful inside and out!

Eva Melissa Barnett said...

:) Thank you! Thank you! :) You don't know how much that means to me...

Unknown said...

Eva, u r great and I love to read your posts. I just met you once in Centerville about 5 years ago and I still remember you, because u were so polite, caring and sweet girl to me. I was about to get married and you come to show me how to do my make up. You look great, eventhought sometimes for us is hard to believe that a few more pounds are not a big problem. Take care and I wish we can keep in touch.

Eva Melissa Barnett said...

Of COURSE I remember you! Thank you so much for your message. I needed those words to remind me I am doing great and a few pounds aren't a big deal. I hope you are doing well and we stay in touch too! :)