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Photographic Evidence

Oh my God, I used to be so fat.

I know that should be a “Well, duh” statement by now, but it really hit home when I was organizing my data CDs the other day. I ran across an old video project I did senior year of college. It was a funny little video about what my cat does when I’m away, so I was in a couple shots leaving and entering my apartment. It’s one thing to see pictures of me at my old weight, but seeing footage of the way I moved and carried myself was shocking. There’s also footage of my cat raiding the refrigerator which features, horror of horrors, non-diet soda! Man, I was addicted to the liquid candy back then.

My brother appears in the video too as a delivery man because my cat orders catnip off the Internet. (He also watches Catwoman scenes from Batman Returns and scans his butt on my scanner, all to the tune of “Cat Scratch Fever.” The cat, not my brother.) Boy, my brother was fat too! We were both so fat! I showed him the video and both of our jaws hit the keyboard. Ow! I still have keyboard marks on my chin.

Which begs the question, did people know how much they had physically changed before photographs and videos? I can only think that no, they didn’t. Family photos have only really been mainstream for about 100 years or so. I suppose people could have had drawings made or portraits painted, but would that be within the budget of the average person? And how much of the difference in your looks would you attribute to actual change and not just the artist’s interpretation?

I feel pretty lucky to have my fat pictures and fat videos because otherwise I just might not believe how much I’ve physically changed.

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7 Comments

kimberly • November 28, 2005 at 10:51 am

I don’t think we do know. I have only lost 15 pounds so far and I can’t see the changes in the mirror, but I’ve had 2 people tell me that they can see it.

I know I feel a bit differently, but I can’t see the changes in the mirror at all.

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Jessica • November 28, 2005 at 1:07 pm

That video sounds damn funny. You should post it.

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PastaQueen • November 28, 2005 at 1:40 pm

I knew someone would ask about the video. It is actually already online as part of my portfolio. The credits reveal my real life name, so by clicking on the link you all must promise not to stalk, kill, molest or otherwise harm me, my family or my cat. Okay? Okay. Oh, and don’t steal my stuff either.

Cat Scratch Fever

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M. • November 28, 2005 at 9:42 pm

I already knew your name, as I once ventured to go ["backspace" "backspace"... * 8 times + Enter] on the URL of this site. Mwahaha

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kathryn • November 28, 2005 at 10:34 pm

The video evidence is scary isn’t it? My sister and I used to produce a telly show on community tv so we have a boxes full of tapes of me at my fattest!

Back in the olden days, maybe people didn’t care so much about their weight because they didn’t have physical evidence. I think people accepted their bodies and the physical changes more then, although it’s hard to say. I’d imagine if you weren’t part of the upper level of society, just getting through the day was enough.

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Kirsten • November 29, 2005 at 3:31 am

I might actually have to find some video of myself in order to see if I’ve changed, as like Kimberley I’m not that aware of it (although my jeans think I’m smaller). Then again, I’m always horrified by the way I look in photos anyway – even recent ones – which may indicate that however many photographs of myself I see, I still have no idea what I actually look like.

Also, the only time I can think of that I’ve been videoed since childhood was my graduation, and obviously I’m wearing a big baggy robe in that. Oh well.

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Queen • November 30, 2005 at 8:36 am

Photographic evidence is amazing, isn’t it? No matter WHAT others think or see — new people you meet won’t have ANY idea of what you’ve accomplished! It’s a reminder… of an accomplishment!! We are WHAT we are — and only WE have the power to change it. Throughout our lives we continue to EVOLVE as a person, I’ll gladly keep my battlescars w/weight. I’ve earned them.

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Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog JenFul.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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