The Last Known Photo
by Charlotte Siems
“What would you do if a tornado destroyed everything you owned?” This question came up in a discussion of the recent tragic tornadoes throughout the South. We tried to imagine where you would turn in such a catastrophe, and how you would start over if your home and vehicles were suddenly gone. Someone mentioned the fact that insurance companies often require a list of belongings, and sometimes photos to document items of value. Even in an age of easy photo editing, a picture is worth a thousand words.
When I began my T-Tapp journey four years ago I had no way of knowing where it would end up. Landing in a national magazine, showing up on the home page of an international fitness website and being featured in a full two-page spread in the local newspaper weren’t exactly on the radar. As time passed and I reached a much smaller size, the hunt was on for “before” pictures. The problem is, there weren’t very many.
As a general rule, overweight people avoid the camera. They hide on the back row behind other people and try to shrink as small as possible. Children on the lap are a good camouflage, as well as large purses and shopping bags. When all else fails, a sudden responsibility in the next room solves the problem. I spent most of my adult life hiding and camouflaging and avoiding, and apparently did a pretty good job as evidenced by the shortage of photos.
Last night my husband sent me an email with this photo attached:
It is probably the last known photo taken before I started T-Tapping. The cake had been presented to me as an early birthday present, which would have put the photo in January before I found T-Tapp in February. The brown outfit was a size 22/24W top and skirt. The heavy coat hides a good bit of me, but you can tell by my face that I was carrying 258 pounds on my small-boned frame. I remember the left arm on that coat being particularly tight, as that arm was a couple of inches bigger than my right arm before T-Tapp.
By the following winter my husband sat in the car and watched me walk across a parking lot wearing that coat. When I opened the car door he insisted that I turn right around and go into a nearby store to buy a new winter coat. The gray coat was hanging off of me so loosely that he said I looked homeless. I bought a brown size 10 coat (which was later replaced by my current burgundy size 4 coat). But I kept the old gray coat as a reminder and keepsake of my journey. That coat and one pair of Capri pants were the only items of clothing I kept.
Maybe you’re in a place of avoiding the camera. I understand that space. But let me encourage you to close your eyes and take at least one photo. Your “before” photo. No one else has to see it but you. I wish I had taken a true “before” photo the day I started my first T-Tapp Instructional #1 workout. The only revealing “before” photo I have was taken after I had already lost 37” and two sizes.
Someday you’re going to be glad you have a “before” picture taken at the beginning of your inch loss journey. It will be the last known photo of the old you, taken before your transformation with T-Tapp.