On the third morning of my new job working at Kiss My Keto, I took- what I hoped would become- “before” photos for my keto weight loss. I took them on my boyfriend J’s phone while he was half asleep. “Don’t show me those pictures,” I told him, “Not until I’ve made some progress.”
Denial characterized the entirety my weight gain. I objected to photographs, avoided mirrors, only took selfies with my phone tilted down from overhead to hide the bloat of my neck and chin. Sometimes, I’d see an ad for plus sized clothing on Pinterest or Instagram, and I’d mechanically report it as spam; “This ad is not relevant to me,” I’d click. Honestly, it was my first video for Kiss My Keto that showed me what I look like speaking from a frontal angle. To me, this was invaluable because I’ve learned that any form of self-improvement requires facing the problem, dead on.
Fast-forward 7 weeks: As I was getting dressed yesterday, I glanced sideways in the mirror. I did a double-take because noticed that I looked different. After snapping a few photos of myself, I felt ready to see my original pictures. “J,” I prodded, “Send me those pictures I took on your phone.”
Yes, there was a difference. A significant difference– at least, to me. My stomach was flatter and my torso was slightly narrower; It’s not close to where I want to be, but it’s progress. I used an app to arrange the photos side by side and excitedly sent them to some close friends and family.
The positive feedback I received gave me the confidence to post a photo on Kiss My Keto’s Facebook and Instagram story, and I spent the rest of the day feeling invincible.
When I woke up the next morning, I opened Kiss My Keto’s Facebook page. Along with a couple dozen likes and comments, there was a comment from a stranger that said, “I’m sorry, what’s the difference?” I was overcome with a wave of mortification and, without thinking about it, I deleted the photo. I began to question myself. Was there even a difference between the photos at all? Group texting with my sister in-laws about it helped me realize that I had let one miserable stranger on social media undermine my accomplishment.
Throughout the past 7 weeks, there were a few other times that I questioned my openness about this process. I’ve avoided social media for so many years, that publicizing my life feels like a big deal. The suddenness of a digital presence brings back a type of anxiety that I haven't felt since I was a teenager; Are people making fun of me?
Michael and Alex did not hire me to lose weight. They hired me for my background in digital marketing. I’m not losing weight for money or to impress anybody. I’m losing weight to take control of my health. I’m losing weight so that I will like what I see when I look in the mirror. I’m losing weight for me. Plus, the benefits of keto are far greater than weight loss. Since switching to the ketogenic diet, my mood swings have subsided, I feel more mentally alert, and my skin has cleared up. Overall, I feel happier and more capable. In fact, a few days ago, I emailed my doctor to ask if he could begin weaning me off the antidepressants I began taking four years ago.
Criticism about physical insecurities can hurt, but so can keeping things to yourself.Someone once told me that when I’m criticizing myself in my head, I should switch my inner voice to the same voice I use when I talk to my cat. It sounds crazy, if my inner voice starts saying something like, “Kate, what the hell happened to you? Why did you let yourself go?” I switch my inner dialogue to something like “Kate! You’re so driven! Who’s the most determined girl there is? You are! You are!” I know, it’s ridiculous– but at least it will make you laugh!
I’m going to keep sharing weight loss photos and blog posts. Why? Because I know others will relate to me. Besides that, it feels good to celebrate my progress. If anyone reading this wants to share their progress, feel free to email me so that I can celebrate with you!