In a Few Words

This comment was left by my mom:

Oh, I think it’s more than just a SLIGHT difference. I know you talk about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it and how you feel, but in a few words, what do you think when you compare the first picture with the last picture?
Even though I see you fairly regulary, it still makes me do a double take.

Are you kidding me?  When is the last time I was able to explain something in a few words?    😉

It’s funny the things that come up at the same time.  I was on the phone with a dear friend at the time that my mom must have been writing that comment and we were talking about the exact same thing.   I just spent the last 30 minutes flipping back and forth between the pictures, trying to figure out how to answer the question she posed. 

In one way, I don’t recognize the person in the first picture.  She’s unhappy and unhealthy and fat.  In other ways, I know there is no difference between the first and last picture.  I’m still the same person.  I still have some of the same fears and doubts and triggers and emotions that I had 4 months ago.  What is completely different is how I handle those now.  As I was driving to my b’day brunch this morning I was thinking about getting older, and what I thought is that I am not only getting older, I’m getting wiser and healthier and smarter and more in tune with who I am and what I want.  And that makes me prettier both on the inside and the outside.  I remember the last couple of years, being so miserable around my birthday, thinking that my life was spinning out of control and that getting older was just adding to the turmoil.  This year though, I have a completely different outlook.  I’m not best pleased about turning 29, but I do know that I am doing the best for me that I possibly can and that is a wonderful feeling because as long as I have that nailed down I can handle whatever else comes. 

I thought about if the current Shanny could sit down and explain to the old Shanny how terribly she was letting things spin out of control.  I thought about whether the old Shanny would have listened or whether she would have put up her defenses and walked away.  I can almost guarantee you the latter.  In looking at that picture, and I’ve looked at it for a very long time, I can see the resistance and the denial that saturated me.  I can see how unhealthy I was in heart and body.  It’s actually a little hard to look at but in the same vein, I have to look at it.  I can’t just pretend that it didn’t happen.  With so many things in life, pretending they don’t exist is just another way of telling yourself lies and lieing about how I let that happen is a surefire way right back down that road.

While talking to this friend on the phone tonight he was telling me, in a very honest way, just how far off track I had gotten.  And while none of what he was saying was any surprise, I was slightly taken aback that anyone had noticed.  I guess when you’ve lost all respect for yourself and YOU don’t even notice you anymore, you figure that no one else does either.   You wish yourself invisible and do all sorts of stuff to try and distract people from your appearance.  That was a big fear when I started this because I didn’t want to lose my personality.  What I realize now is that my ‘personality’ was a bit over the top.  I’m still the same person but everything, including how I behave, has been finessed a little.  When you don’t need to distract people, you can just sit back a bit more and relax.

4 months ago you couldn’t have convinced me I would have come this far in the journey.  Hell, you wouldn’t have convinced me that I would be ON this journey.  I’m interested to see what the next 4 months brings.   So far in the journey I’ve managed to eliminate every single health issue that I had, from severe skin issues to restless legs to depression.  I’ve also managed to increase my fitness level (on a side note, in the mall today we zipped up two flights of stairs from the parkade to get to the main floor of the mall and I realized that I wasn’t out of breath and didn’t dread doing it.  In fact, it was nothing, a non-event.  4 months ago I didn’t want to walk around at all, let alone run up two flights of stairs) and go out of my comfort zone in ways I never could have imagined.  Bring it baby, I’m ready for the next stage!



  1. Bev said,

    December 15, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    Thank you for those ‘few’ words. That was not a truly happy person in the first picture but it is/was still YOU. Way to go on the stairs!

  2. Marueze said,

    December 16, 2007 at 8:58 am

    You sound like you are in a great place today!
    Had the same experience with the pictures. . . I can’t stand to look at them I have copies of group friend photos at my desk where I folded myself out of the photo because I hate how I look in the photo…mind you I am very chosey of photos of myself.
    Age…well, I look back all the time and wish I could have spoken to the younger me as to what I should have done or avoided ….oh on so many levels…but a wise friend always reminds me we must travel the journey presented to us for a reason to learn. We encounter situations to learn, and we must ACCEPT what we went through and learn from it.

    Yay for progress.

  3. Tammy said,

    December 16, 2007 at 10:50 am

    The difference from the beginning photo to the current photo is incredible. You look great. When my friends and family look at my infamous “lineup” picture and me today they all comment on how happy I look and how my eyes are shining. I can say that without a doubt your eyes are shining now as well! Great job on your success now and for the future!


  4. ladybeams said,

    December 17, 2007 at 8:04 am

    You look fabulous! Really enjoy the ‘Journey in Pictures’.

  5. marieclaude said,

    December 17, 2007 at 10:04 am

    All I can say about the difference between the 1st and the last picture is: WOW. You have embarked in a wonderful journey of transformation. Yes, you’re still the same person with hopes and fears. But what is emerging now is the person that was hiding under the shell… Embrace it, live it, love it!

  6. Tarable said,

    December 17, 2007 at 5:43 pm

    It’s harder to notice as much when I see you every day – but when I see those before and after pics, it blows me away.

  7. pantrypuff said,

    December 17, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    Unbelieveable. You look AMAZING. You also look tall. Are you?

  8. Lady Shanny said,

    December 17, 2007 at 8:16 pm

    Hi Miss Puff,

    I am indeed tall, I’m 5’9″ in my bare feet. Good bloody thing too or you’d have had to roll me around at my heaviest weight.

  9. December 18, 2007 at 12:18 am

    […] think you are doing fantastic, Lady Shanny!  I can see a great difference in your pictures.  Fabulouso!  Happy Birthday, […]

  10. Hilary said,

    December 18, 2007 at 6:03 am

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SHANNY!! I know this is going to be a great year for you and I’m so glad we’re internet buddies 🙂

  11. CreativeChicen said,

    December 18, 2007 at 10:38 am

    Happy Birthday!

    Keep up the great work!

  12. MamaBearJune said,

    December 19, 2007 at 2:17 pm

    You are doing such an awesome job! (And making the rest of us look bad at TFTS!) 😉 Happy Birthday to you and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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