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Will the real PastaQueen stand up?

When I was overweight, I never understood skinny girls who looked at photos and complained, “I look so fat in that photo!” I always looked fat in photos because I was fat. The skinny girls looked skinny. Perhaps the camera didn’t catch them at the best angle, but they looked thinner than I ever would.

Then I lost about 200 pounds and I totally understand where they were coming from. I present exhibits A, B, and C.

I'm thin!No, I'm fat!Wait, I'm thin again!

These three photos were all taken on the same day, which is odd because it looks like I gained 10 pounds and then lost it again before noon. I ran a half-marathon that day, but running 13.1 miles does NOT burn 35,000 calories, nor could the lasagna I had for lunch make me that much fatter.

In the first photo, I’m striking the “skinny pose.” I have one foot placed in front of the other. I’m turning at the waist, but rotating my shoulders towards the camera. I’m jutting my chin out slightly. I read how to do this online and at first I felt silly and awkward arranging my limbs and torso like this, but then I noticed it actually works so I do it often. If you watch starlets on the red carpet, they use these tricks too. I’m also wearing a dark color on the bottom and a light color on the top to balance my bottom-heavy pear shape. All in all, I look pretty thin.

About 2 minutes earlier, the second photo was taken right after I finished my race. I eagerly downloaded it from the official race site online and was crestfallen when I saw it and immediately thought, “I look so fat in that photo!” I don’t know if it’s the angle or the lighting or post-race bloat that evaporated 120 seconds later, but I think I look fat in that photo. Which sucks, because it’s supposed to be my proud, victory photo and I don’t feel particularly victorious when looking at it.

Then, there is photo number 3, taken a couple hours later at my book release party. My face looks the thinnest in this photo to me and I’m rather satisfied with my size. Maybe the dark lighting helps? :) I’m sure some of you will comment that I look great in all these photos (or that I look like a bean bag chair if you’re a hater), but it doesn’t really matter what you think, it’s what I think.

It seems odd that all these photos were taken within hours of each other and yet I look so different in all of them. I know my face and my body better than anyone else, so I’m probably the most critical of my appearance, noticing the smallest variations. It’s amazing how different I can appear, not because of my size, but because of the way my body is turned or whether I’m wearing makeup or whether someone turned on the overhead light.

I might not be the best judge though. There are times when I don’t think I look particularly good or bad in a photo and other people compliment me on it. For instance, I got several compliments on my Jamba Juice photo, but when I saw it I thought it was far too dark and that I looked a little bit irked. I would caption this photo with a thought bubble saying, “Have you taken the photo yet? I want to pick up my orange dream machine!”

PastaQueen at Jamba Juice

The worst was when I was still morbidly obese and I’d look at a photo in horror and someone would say, “What a great picture! It looks just like you!” Geez, really? That’s awful. Not only would I feel bad about an ugly photo, I would feel bad that I evidently looked like an ugly photo all the time.

Photos confound me. I like living in a technologically advanced society, but if I’d been born in the 1700’s without running water or electricity, at least I wouldn’t have to deal with the head game that digital imagery now provides on a daily basis. Am I fat? Am I thin? Who knows?

Somewhere all those skinny girls I never understood are laughing.

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66 Comments

Inny • August 29, 2008 at 7:48 am

Have you changed the way you see your old pictures since you lost weight? I used to be overweight and when I saw a relatively good picture of myself I’d say “Oh I look so nice here”. Then I lost some weight, looked back at all the “nice” pictures and I though I looked so bloated. Then at one point I gained the weight back ( :( ) and when I looked at the old pictures they would look nice again. Now I’m starting over with the weight loss effort and I’m wondering if I would look fat in my old pics again :)

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Pam • August 29, 2008 at 8:25 am

The Jamba Juice picture is a great pic – your hair frames your face perfectly, and though it is dark, the shading works to accentuate your features. Maybe you could walk around with it like an ID badge all the time, or just photoshop it into unflattering pics.

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Kathy • August 29, 2008 at 8:33 am

I’m going to agree on the jamba juice picture, it looks spectacular. I’ve had the same experience with people telling me they have a ‘great’ photo of me…..really, that’s what I look like? And not only that, that’s what I look like at my best? Thanks…..

I have a question for you that I’ve been meaning to ask, though if it’s too personal you don’t have to answer (I hate that, of course you don’t have to answer. I’m not going to start the water boarding if you just stare at me with affronted silence). Anyway, what is your body fat % ? I have the same scale as you (bought on your recommendation) and I just crossed the line from obesity to just plain overweight, but again, with the BMI being so flawed I’d like another number to look at…

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Just_Kelly • August 29, 2008 at 8:47 am

I agree you look different in all your pictures and I think you look skinniest in the 1st. Maybe I know that faces can be decievingly skinny so I need to see the body for proof. It’s funny you “strike a pose” but it obviously works for you! I’ve got to work on that for pictures…

I also thought your picture at the juice place was really pretty. I think your face looks nicely scuplted and is a good contrast to your hairs softness. Or something. Look at me getting all designer-y analysis on ya!

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Erin • August 29, 2008 at 9:02 am

Amen to the picture dilemma. I have a similar problem with photos of myself. I think I’m thinner than what the photo shows. I can do my hair and put on what looks in the mirror to be my most flattering outfit and then when I see the picture of me, I think “THAT was me? — gross!”

Aside from my genuinely-happy-looking wedding photos, the only pictures I’m fond of of me are the ones taken when I was thinner which, despite the advice, I sometimes tape up in the problem spots in the kitchen as to disuade me from snacking.

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deanna • August 29, 2008 at 9:18 am

That’s a GREAT question Inny – Have you changed the way you see your old pictures since you lost weight?

I so get the picture thing, I so agree with you on your take of seeing pictures. I think I have to start using that “stance”! But I have to say the jamba juice picture is absolutely beautiful -the way your curls frame your face, your smile, complexion, collar bones peeking out. – as Elaine would say “It’s a peach, I tell ya, Jerry it’s a peach”.

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Alexia • August 29, 2008 at 9:20 am

Fascinating subject. Really. I totally get where you are coming from. And it’s strange how over time our perceptions of pictures can change, too. I used to think I looked fat in photos… until I gained a bunch of weight. Now, I would love to look like that again! When I try to use them for motivation, they freak me out, though. (a) I get stressed about the weight and (b) they have not-so-happy memories attached.

What’s interesting (well, in my self-absorbed way, interesting to me, I guess) is that my internal picture of myself has remained fairly constant. I know it takes several months for our mental image to reflect reality when we change, but my mental image of myself was what I was like around 220 pounds, even when I was thinner or fatter.

Sigh. Body image issues.

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April • August 29, 2008 at 9:29 am

Yes, the Jamba Juice picture is amazing. Your curls look so soft and pretty (so envious!) and the color you’re wearing really flatters your skin tone.

I hate pictures of myself. I have that same reaction. That’s what I look like?!? Which is insane because I see myself in the mirror every single day, I know what I look like.

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Sally Parrott Ashbrook • August 29, 2008 at 9:42 am

You know yourself and your body better than anyone, but other people look at you and your face and body more often than you do, since you’re living inside them looking out. . . . For that reason, I try to pay attention when people who know me say a photo looks particularly like me or is very flattering, because they see me so much more often than I do.

My husband often rolls his eyes at the photos of myself that I don’t like, because I’ll pick out some tiny thing to hate about it.

The photo of you talking at the book reading has your face at an angle and is animated with your reading. I think that makes it more flattering, though the flush on your cheeks there also reminds me of what often happens to me when I’m reading or presenting in front of people! (Even with me being very extroverted.)

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Erin • August 29, 2008 at 9:49 am

I think your hair looks fabulous in the jamba juice picture! I don’t remember seeing that before. Either it’s getting longer, or you’re wearing it curlier, but I like it!

:)

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fd • August 29, 2008 at 9:53 am

i can totally relate to the photo confusion, but can’t help but giggle that when you look back at the pictures commemorating a day when you had TWO AMAZING ACHIEVEMENTS that you can be proud of forever and ever, what you’re seeing is how fat you look/are instead of how fantastic you are. i definitely do the same, and i suspect we all do, but i promise, when i look at those pictures (all of them) i just think WOW. it would be nice to learn to look at pictures through some other prism than the fat/thin one.

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Deb • August 29, 2008 at 9:55 am

Hi Jennette, I was one of those who complimented you on the Jamba Juice photo in the past. I said you looked “fetching,” and today I’d say you have a “come hither” look. But even more important, look at your clavicle bones showing! And the whole photo thing — aaargh! I used to refuse to believe I looked as bad as my picture; now I love to think I look like my picture. Sometimes, I even drive myself crazy. Thanks for your blog — I really enjoy it!

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Katie • August 29, 2008 at 10:19 am

For the longest time, I avoided having photos taken just because I didn’t want to see how I looked. Some people look great from every angle. I’m not one of them. The worst is the pics people take when I’m not looking. Uggg!

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Merry • August 29, 2008 at 10:22 am

I hate photos of me. Always have. Probably always will. But I look at them and see the faults, while other people focus on details that I don’t notice, like the smile.

Tangent time — I read a book about a blind man who climbed mountains. He wrote that because he was blind, ‘fat chicks’ thought that he would appreciate them for themselves and not judge them by their looks. But he quite candidly wrote that he was a ‘pig’ and always checked with his sighted friends to make sure the woman he was with was ‘hot.’ Everybody’s going to judge you, one way or another.

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Kyle • August 29, 2008 at 10:26 am

Like with a lot of your posts, I’m sitting here nodding, going, “Yeah, me TOO.”

When I was +50 pounds I used to get SO MAD at friends who critiqued every photo of their perfect 130 pound bodies saying they looked fat. Now I do the same.

Ps. I’m totally going to try that first pose. Because I’ve tried the legs crossed pose that starlets do and it does make you look thinner but also totally ridiculous. You look normal in the first pic, so I’ll take that as a good sign.

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Mymsie • August 29, 2008 at 10:41 am

That Jamba Juice pic is a really good one :)

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Shawna • August 29, 2008 at 11:03 am

If it makes any difference to you, I was struck when I saw your television appearances as to how thin you looked, especially through the face. That middle photo isn’t really a good representation of what you looked like in those video clips. Why is it that still photographs so often add bulk to a girl’s face that isn’t there in real life?

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Karen • August 29, 2008 at 11:03 am

Hmm… I pretty much hate how I look in every still photo lol but that has improved since I lost the 80lbs. I have so few pictures of myself at my highest weight — 264lbs — bc I would intentionally avoid cameras like the plague.

But actually, I LIKE the way I look lots of times in videos. It’s weird, but I somehow always look like a doofus in still photos and, horrified, I think “Holy crap, I look like THAT!!??” but then if I see a video of myself, I think I look pretty decent and not really all that fat. I guess some people are better in motion. And really, that’s more important in a way — people interact with you in motion, so if you look decent and move decently in a video, that’s probably how people percieve you in daily life.

And speaking of videos, you looked GREAT in your TV interview!

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anji • August 29, 2008 at 11:11 am

I had a photo from grade 11 or 12 and I looked like a beached whale. In fact, that’s its official title. I lost weight in college because of that photo and went smaller. However, I gained all of that weight back and more … and I just found that photo a few weeks ago.

Now when I see it?

“Man, look how THIN I am in that photo!” The reality is, I am probably 50 pounds overweight in it but being 100 pounds overweight now, well… you do the figuring out.

It’s all in the perspective… literally!

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debby • August 29, 2008 at 11:16 am

Love the jamba juice photo-gorgeous. I’ve never done the skinny pose–I’ll have to try it. I never thought about this much. I pretty much believed I did look like the photos. So if I looked fat, I thought, ‘well that’s what I really look like.’ Seeing your side-by-side photos from the same day was really eye opening.

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Wendy • August 29, 2008 at 11:17 am

I totally know what you mean about looking so different in photos. Only this weekend someone took 2 pics of me a second apart. In the first I look so slim and lovely that I genuinely did not recognise it as a pic of me at fist glance. One second later I had slumped forward ever so slightly and turned my head a fraction and I just look fat again!

And as for how to horrify me with a photo – if I’m looking at one I hate and someone says what a very flattering photo it is! Then I get to feel like I look even worse than the the bad photo in reality!

Naturally PQ you look awseome in all 3 photos.

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nolafwug • August 29, 2008 at 11:33 am

I read about this cool project someone did for a class. You take a picture of yourself every day. It can be all artsy and stuff, like just your ankle or whatnot. Or you can pose like you’re at a photo shoot for Vogue.

I thought it was interesting and even though it seemed really self-indulgent and I felt really silly I got out my camera, learned how to set the timer and started taking all kinds of pictures of myself over several days. Some pics looked hideous, some looked good. Some looked “like me” and others did not. It was an awesome experience as far as getting to know myself and my body and feeling more comfortable inside myself. I recommend it.

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Ryan • August 29, 2008 at 11:35 am

The mentioned “photo effect” is observed not just with people but all objects too, since photos are 2D representations of 3D space. Yet when we look at photos our minds are trying to reproduce that original 3D space, and often with unflattering results. It happens to all of us, unfortunately, no matter what our size.

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Gwen >> My Relationship Resume • August 29, 2008 at 11:36 am

I love how honest you are. I definitely know what you mean about being non-starlets, non-skinny girls scrutinizing our photos when one “bad” one pops up. But then how many of those diet-crazy skinny people have accomplished and can show off a half-marathon finish photo? :) You’re still beautiful and it shows through – keep all the pictures as evidence of your versatility.:)

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Gwen >> My Relationship Resume • August 29, 2008 at 11:36 am

I love how honest you are. I definitely know what you mean about being non-starlets, non-skinny girls scrutinizing our photos when one “bad” one pops up. But then how many of those diet-crazy skinny people have accomplished and can show off a half-marathon finish photo? :) You’re still beautiful and it shows through – keep all the pictures as evidence of your versatility.:)

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Gwen >> My Relationship Resume • August 29, 2008 at 11:36 am

I love how honest you are. I definitely know what you mean about being non-starlets, non-skinny girls scrutinizing our photos when one “bad” one pops up. But then how many of those diet-crazy skinny people have accomplished and can show off a half-marathon finish photo? :) You’re still beautiful and it shows through – keep all the pictures as evidence of your versatility.:)

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Gwen >> My Relationship Resume • August 29, 2008 at 11:36 am

I love how honest you are. I definitely know what you mean about being non-starlets, non-skinny girls scrutinizing our photos when one “bad” one pops up. But then how many of those diet-crazy skinny people have accomplished and can show off a half-marathon finish photo? :) You’re still beautiful and it shows through – keep all the pictures as evidence of your versatility.:)

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Gwen >> My Relationship Resume • August 29, 2008 at 11:36 am

I love how honest you are. I definitely know what you mean about being non-starlets, non-skinny girls scrutinizing our photos when one “bad” one pops up. But then how many of those diet-crazy skinny people have accomplished and can show off a half-marathon finish photo? :) You’re still beautiful and it shows through – keep all the pictures as evidence of your versatility.:)

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Gwen >> My Relationship Resume • August 29, 2008 at 11:36 am

I love how honest you are. I definitely know what you mean about being non-starlets, non-skinny girls scrutinizing our photos when one “bad” one pops up. But then how many of those diet-crazy skinny people have accomplished and can show off a half-marathon finish photo? :) You’re still beautiful and it shows through – keep all the pictures as evidence of your versatility.:)

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JEM • August 29, 2008 at 11:38 am

I haven’t allowed a full body shots in quite a while. From the waist up I don’t offend myself as much.

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Caffeinated • August 29, 2008 at 12:25 pm

“I’m sure some of you will comment that I look great in all these photos (or that I look like a bean bag chair if you’re a hater)”

Hee hee hee – this made me laugh out loud. You don’t look like a bean bag chair, needless to say, but you have a great sense of humor and you do crack me up. thanks for the laugh on a Friday morning! :-)

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Caffeinated • August 29, 2008 at 12:27 pm

For some reason the quote I put in the post got stripped out – I was referring to your comment about the bean bag chair, naturally… :-)

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Little Warrior's Mom • August 29, 2008 at 12:38 pm

It seems like how we look, or how we see ourselves is so fluid, isn’t it? It boggles my mind that the two things we can never do are a) See your own face and b) Hear your own voice. You can see a reflection of your face — which is backwards from reality — you can see a photo or a video, but you can’t actually see your own face. And your voice … when you hear a recording and go ewwww … well, that’s actually what your voice sounds like. We’re used to hearing our voice as it echos through our skull. So we can hear a recording of our voice, or we can hear it “filtered” through our heads, but we can’t hear it, pure and unrecorded.

Okay, I need a cup of coffee. I’m edging into Philosophy navel-gazing stuff …

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G.G. • August 29, 2008 at 1:12 pm

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, too–found an old photo album I’d forgotten about and have been looking at myself from 20+ years ago and wondering why my perception of my body (and honestly, other’s perception of it) was so skewed. I think what’s finally dawning on me was that I’ve wasted so much of my life caring about something so superficial and subjective as how our appearances are judged. I let it eat me up on the inside, instead of just taking care of the body I was born with, and working hard at presenting it in a way that made the best of my advantages and downplayed my percieved flaws. If I had worked on being happy with myself and becoming confident in myself as a person, I would have felt more natural and smiled more, and that would have made a huge difference.

Eek. Sorry to have written my own little post here. You struck a bit of a nerve:-)

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Pubsgal • August 29, 2008 at 1:54 pm

I know what you mean! (Er, except for the thinking-I-look-fat-despite-being-skinny part, but I’m workin’ on it. :)

While I understand being reluctant to take photos–I much prefer to be behind the camera snapping shots of my little cuties–I don’t shy away from it anymore. I give my best smile and tell the inner critic to shaddup, just SHADDUP already. (I’ll have to add the pose, now that I know about it!) Maybe it’s being a parent, my kids’ childhood is flying past and I’d like for them to be able to see that (1) yes, mom was around even way back when! And (2), she sure looked like she was having fun with us!

I also think it’s my own mom & step-mom’s reactions to being photographed that helped me choose a better attitude. Sad to say, my mom (whom we all agree is TOO skinny, yes there is such a thing) is very self-conscious about taking photographs, but in this case due to age. Every once in awhile I can coax her to pose with the grandkids, but she’ll leave her sunglasses on. Whereas my step-mom, who’s much plumper and only 4 years younger, joyfully poses and makes funny faces with the grandkids. Guess whose photos are more pleasant to view?

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Lilbet • August 29, 2008 at 4:33 pm

We are our worst critics aren’t we?

I think you look beautiful in all of the pictures.

Wonderful topic and I love the how to stand to look thin like the red carpet stars trick. I’ll have to try that one. Best practice getting into it quick as it might slow down the picture process!

Sadly, I’ve kept myself out of pictures for a long time. It’s as if I was never at any events or on any vacations. How sad. My son deserves to see that I was a part of the action and I intend to start getting in the pictures again.

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Gwen >> My Relationship Resume • August 29, 2008 at 11:36 am

I love how honest you are. I definitely know what you mean about being non-starlets, non-skinny girls scrutinizing our photos when one “bad” one pops up. But then how many of those diet-crazy skinny people have accomplished and can show off a half-marathon finish photo? :) You’re still beautiful and it shows through – keep all the pictures as evidence of your versatility.:)

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Quix • August 29, 2008 at 5:55 pm

At first glance you look great in all of them, but as you asked us to be critical – yes, the first and third look better than the second. At parties and outings there is always someone taking pictures, usually many people, so I see that all the time – a good picture that’s happy and flattering and then a horrid picture where my stomach is sticking out and I have a puffy face and look 20 lbs heavier, and they were taken minutes apart. I just take comfort in the fact that I finally like at least SOME of the pictures now, and it’s actually made a good way for me to track my weight loss. As long as I think the good pictures from a few months ago look like fat pictures, that means I’m doing good, right? :)

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nofunlatte • August 29, 2008 at 7:32 pm

I ran that same half-marathon (the Indy Mini, have done it 4 years in a row now) and I really want to congratulate you! I LOVE the post-race pics, but I think you look great in the others, too.

Regarding looking fat, I almost didn’t get any photos of the race last year because I thought I looked too fat and too yucky. But I ran over 13 miles and I decided to get the picture anyway to commemorate the event. And I don’t think you look fat in pic #2.

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Lydia • August 29, 2008 at 10:04 pm

Wow had no idea about the movie star pose! You are right I see it all the time! You look great in all those pictures, wait till you are 45 and then you’ll say wow how pretty and young I look there!

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Lydia • August 30, 2008 at 1:00 am

Yes! I learned the “skinny pose” when I got married, and the wedding photographer had me point my toes (under the dress) in one direction, and pivot my torso to face him, or in another direction. Twisting my upper body around a few degrees. It DOES work! I have recommended that at least once or twice to others. It is really effective when you’re wearing a gown. So remember that, Pasta Queen, when you’re next in a wedding or some occasion when someone’s taking your picture and you’re in a formal gown or something. You can be doing the mambo with your feet and as long as your torso’s pointing in the right direction and making you look really skinny, no one has to know!

And I think those darker photos where the light is indirect or shaded are really interesting pictures — like the one where you’re in front of the juice place. I’ve taken pictures of my children when the flash didn’t go off, and part of their faces end up being slightly shadowed, and it does indeed make for a more interesting, somehow more realistic picture.

You have a lovely face! Enjoy it!

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Kathy W. • August 30, 2008 at 1:12 am

You look drop-dead gorgeous in the Jamba Juice pic! You look smart and interesting, not irked… I agree with whoever said that this should be the photo for your website or profile. It’s a “New York writer girl” shot (even if you are from Indiana…)

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kathyj333 • August 30, 2008 at 6:40 am

It’s funny. Everyone hates photos of themselves. We look at them and find all kinds of flaws that really don’t exist. True, some photos are better than others. The photo you think you fat in is obviously a bad camera angle. When you take a photo straight on, it flattens you out–photos are, after all, two dimensional. But to the rest of the world, you do not look fat. You look beautiful.

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MizFit • August 30, 2008 at 7:03 am

it is funny and, as always, I love how your post made me stop and mull my own life.

what do I see above? AMAMAMAMAZING HAIR. in every photo.

we all see what we wish we had I guess.

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Lisa • August 30, 2008 at 11:05 am

I agree with MizFit, your hair does look awesome in the all the pics. That’s how I sort my pics, fat/thin, and good hair/bad hair. Not that I want to add more confusion to your life.

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chidame • August 30, 2008 at 12:13 pm

Personally, I think you look your fittest but also widest in #2, your slenderest but also unhealthiest in #1, and your heaviest but also most rested in #3. My favorite pic of you is #2, because in it you look like you know you just accomplished something significant and are proud of yourself. In #1 you look like you are posing and in #3, you look self-conscious.

I’m being kinda blunt? But I have to figure that if you didn’t want comments you wouldn’t have put your photos up.

Pictures are crazy, especially after you’ve lost a significant amount of weight. If you put a reminder on your calendar to dig these photos out a year from now and look again, I guarantee you’ll see something else in them than what you see now.

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Kate • August 30, 2008 at 5:16 pm

Ok, I try not to comment, because I know you must spend half your life dealing with the comments, and everyone always says what I meant to say anyway… But this struck a chord with me. I have lost almost 60 lbs (yay me) which, at 5 foot 2, is quite dramatic. I always thought that I would not be one of those people who, when looking at a photo from my 200+ days would say “I looked so fat.” I thought I would remember the good time the photo represented, and the great person I was, and be kind to myself. Not so. I see those old photos, and think “I was sooo fat!” That’s all I think!!

But the flip side of this is: my aunt was looking at an old photo of me, and she said “Look at that girl! You are so different now!” and I got ruffled. I answered testily “I am exactly the same person. That is me. This is me. I was a cool person then, and I am now.”

I can dish it out, but I can’t take it!!

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Kate • August 30, 2008 at 5:26 pm

Me too! I wasted so much time as a healthy shaped youth wishing I was something else, hating myself, and trying to fix a non existing problem. Now, having been as big as 220 lbs, I look back at that young girl, and I just want to shake her! “You’re just fine! As a matter of fact, you are lovely. Now stop reading those idiotic magazines that only want to give you more reasons to hate yourself and spend money trying to fix it and get a life!!” Now I just tell my daughters. The sad thing? They don’t really believe me!

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Inny • August 30, 2008 at 7:10 pm

Kate, congrats on your amazing loss! I’m 5 feet 2 as well, and you are such an inspiration. I agree with you, I wish I could go back to my 10-year old self and tell her: “DON’T start dieting! It will only make you gain weight!” Don’t you think there should be some educational programs in high schools that tech teen girls how to lose weight the right way? PastaQueen, I have a mission for you. With all your popularity, maybe you could visit schools and tell children not to crash diet.

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Heather • August 30, 2008 at 9:13 pm

Ha! I’ll have to try the pose.

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Asianmommy • August 30, 2008 at 9:40 pm

That’s so funny, but you’re right. You do look totally different in each of your photos. I like the Jamba Juice photo the best.

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budicca • August 30, 2008 at 11:13 pm

I like the Jamba photo. You’ve got Nancy Ann Story Book Doll hair (eyes and mouth, too!) in that one! See http://www.nancyanndolls.com/PhotoAlbum/150SnowWhite.htm

for an example.

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Kate • August 31, 2008 at 1:11 am

Here I go again – this is an issue close to my heart! Of course I’m such a computer klutz that although I am trying to reply to Inny (who replied to me) and to have my post show up indented under hers, it will probably just get added on to the end… like my second one did earlier, which was a response to GG….).

I truly believe that crash dieting in my pre pubescent and teen years set me up for my 100+ lbs of extra fat. The body is establishing patterns at that time that it will follow for life, and if you establish a pattern of very little caloric intake followed by major binges, it will interpret that as “Food is not reliable; better store up lots of fat for the lean times.” Basically, a prescreption for insulinemia, prediabetes, and obesity. Thanks for saying I am an inspiration – no one has ever said that to me before!! What a great feeling.

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Helen • August 31, 2008 at 6:49 am

I started a discussion about this phenomena not to long ago in an online weight loss thread I belong to. I had to go through some old pictures looking for something for my daughter. By the time I got done I was weeping because I realized I never appreciated how beautiful I was at one time. I wanted to reach back in time and slap that girl silly for not just enjoying herself the way she was. I still don’t like getting my picture taken and yesterday was the super critic saying how chubby I looked in some recent photos – but I never say no when when a camera is pointed at me any more. Because 20 years from NOW I’ll see them and think “that girl was so beautiful, why didn’t she just enjoy it.”

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Mary Jean • August 31, 2008 at 10:21 am

The Jamba Juice photo is my favorite. I might post it on MY fridge as inspiration! OK, I can’t believe I’m going to say this because I’ll be channeling my mother but…. You have to stand up straight!! As a long time sloucher, I’m now feeling the effects on my spine. So, pull that head up and walk tall!!

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Kate • August 31, 2008 at 11:40 am

Prescription. Sorry. Spelling.

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Esmeralda Rupp- Spangle • August 31, 2008 at 2:59 pm

Am I fat? Am I thin?

I’ll tell you… you’re bloody awesome, that’s what you are.

I feel your photo-pain.

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Nina • August 31, 2008 at 7:49 pm

We are our own worst critics! It is such a shame that we berate ourselves for tiny flaws that no one else sees or cares about! Imagine actually living with real defects and disabilities! We are so blessed for the most part and don’t appreciate it!

You are lovely in all of the pictures I have seen of you, even the heavier ones!

Thank you for your inspirational and entertaining writing, you are a true wordsmith!!!

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RG • September 1, 2008 at 1:33 pm

I think this post shows a point I’ve tried to make about the BMI project: it can be pretty difficult to gauge someone’e size (height and weight) in a picture, esp. wearing non-athletic clothes and standing next to a giant pumpkin or wearing a skin-tight white top.

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Ash • September 1, 2008 at 7:02 pm

Hi there!

You do look nice in all these photos. But I know what you mean- I have decided not to be excited about seing post-race photos now because I know I will usually be disappointed with the result!

I definately like to strike a pose when I can!

xox

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PK • September 1, 2008 at 8:01 pm

I’m in the middle of your book. I just did ten sit-ups. Thank you!

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Shelley • September 1, 2008 at 8:16 pm

It’s funny to me also how photos can look so different. What’s really funny is that even though I’m heavy, I can look at myself in the mirror and think I look pretty good. But a picture of myself? BLECH. I will never understand why the two are so different.

And you DO look great in that Jamba Juice photo. And reading your book.

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Liz Remus • September 2, 2008 at 5:17 am

I hate looking at pictures of myself. I used to be slender but now I am fat so that is really hard because I know that I am fat, I see in the mirror but seeing in actual proof in the form of a picture is heartbreaking. Sometimes I forget I am a fat girl because I’ve been slender most of my life so when I see pictures of myself I don’t believe it.

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Moeller • September 2, 2008 at 9:23 am

I’d eat tacos out of your asscrack. You have no idea.

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Marste • September 2, 2008 at 2:35 pm

HA! I love that pose: the skinny pose. I did a blog post on that thing FOREVER ago and it’s still one of the first hits Google comes up with. Too funny. It’s amazing how many of us want to look thinner in pictures – no matter whether we’re thin or not!

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MB • September 2, 2008 at 8:16 pm

Being a photographer I know all those little tricks of the trade to make you look thinner but somehow they never work for me. Maybe it has something to do with the 80 pounds I have yet to lose. :)

I love all the pictures but you definitely look the thinnest in the first shot.

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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.

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