Is Perception Reality?

How we see ourselves affects every aspect of our lives.  It affects the choices that we make, the clothes that we wear, the friends we choose, where we work, the list is endless.

For years, decades even, I have always viewed myself as the largest person in the room.  Not the tallest, mind you.  That’s something else entirely.  I’m 5’1″.  I am short by nearly anyone’s definition.  Maybe my 5-year-old niece thinks I’m tall, but that view will soon change I’m sure.

I have weighed somewhere between 250-315 pounds for a very long time.  Any time I see pictures of myself, I am nearly always the largest person in the photo.  As a result, I have avoided having my picture taken as often as much as possible.  I posted a picture about a week ago I think of me and a group of women at a friend’s wedding.  I will re-post it here now.  I am the one in pink on the left.


I do not like the way I look in this picture.  I hated to admit that I was really that big.  Having my picture taken was just a reminder.  I felt so unattractive and unhappy.

Recently, a friend of mine in my writer’s group took a picture at one of our meetings.  One of our group members, Jeff Miller, has had some success with his new novel, “The Bubble Gum Thief” and he was talking to us about is experience finding an agent and getting his book published.  (Btw…buy this book.  It’s awesome!)

I am sitting in the “audience” in this picture.  The girl who took the picture posted it on our website and tagged me in the picture.  It took me almost 2 minutes to find myself.  I immediately looked for the largest person in the picture and it was not me.  Not to mention, I couldn’t figure who the biggest person in the picture was.  I recognized the dress that I was wearing before I recognized that it was me.  I am the one in the yellow dress with flowers on it.  I’m on the left.



I was shocked when I saw this picture.  I know people have been telling me how small I am compared to before.  And I do see a difference, definitely, but I am still sometimes surprised when I see myself, especially when I see myself next to other people.  I look almost average.

I know that I have changed, but it may still take a little while longer for my internal perception to match what is actually happening on the outside.


4 responses to “Is Perception Reality?

  1. Perception is everything. It doesn’t matter how someone else sees you, it’s what you see in the mirror that determines how you present to the world. That is harsh, to be sure, but it’s the ultimate truth. Thank the media for its never-ending display of heroine chic. Our children, especially the girls, are taught from day one that _this_ is the perfect body image.

    Changing begins at home….and at the cash register. Voting with your wallet is your most powerful weapon.

  2. I still think it’s funny when you walk up and it takes me a hot second to register, “Oh, Colleeen!”

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