Ruining family photos.

Last month, we went back to Minneapolis for a weekend visit. I miss my sisters so much. For being only 5ish hours away, it feels like oceans.

While we were there, we were able to get a last minute photography session for family pictures with the photographer that did our wedding. We went to a fairly urban part of Minneapolis and I was excited for how they would turn out.

Flash forward to last week.

I got the link for the photos, typed in the password and began to scroll through each picture one by one. And as I scrolled to the pictures my heart sank deeper and deeper. As I looked at myself in each of the pictures, I realized the true depths of what I have done to myself over the past couple of years.

For as much as I had thought that nobody noticed. 
That it didn’t look that bad. 
That you couldn’t really tell. 
That I was hiding it well. 
That people weren’t noticing.
That it was just a little bit of weight.

All I could think about is how I ruined the pictures. I ruined the family photos – our first ever and they are ruined. Francisco looks so amazing, Carlos looks handsome and then there is me. Back to what I was. No longer what I had worked so hard to achieve.


For as much as I have been “trying” this last month, trying but failing. Every day waking up with good intentions. And then something happens followed by a series of poor health decisions. I decide to skip the gym. I decide to give in to one more serving. I decide to give in to the temptation of foods I know are unhealthy. Good intentions mean nothing when I don’t follow through with them. Trying means nothing when there are no results that are followed up with it. I can come up with all the excuses I want but it doesn’t matter when it just leads to covering up the reality that has become.

I can blog all I want, read all the positive you can do it comments and all the supportive feedback but none of it matters if it goes nowhere.

None of this matters if I just continue to allow myself to live in denial.

Until I see the pictures. Me starting at myself, the truth right in front of my eyes. How easy it is to quickly close the website and go back to pretending. How easy it is to quickly close the window and go back to hiding. How easy it is to not share the pictures with anyone. After all, if I don’t share the pictures, then no one will know. That’s how this works, right?

Then I can just come here and whine whine whine.




  1. It “seems” like it’s harder the second time around. I lost about 80 pounds around 12 years ago and have recently re-committed in the hopes of losing the 40 pounds that I “somehow” gained back since then. The first time around, I lost two pounds per week – like clockwork. But, I am two-plus months into this “re-commitment” and I’ve only lost about ten pounds – half of my two pound per week goal. I can make all the excuses in the world – I’m older now, I have more responsibilities, yada yada yada but in reality, I can see that my younger self was more committed. She was more serious about activity and she didn’t cheat – ever. I find myself doing a lot of comparing to twelve years ago and now – not sure whether I should be doing this comparing are not. Hang in there and take it one day at a time! You can do it! (and NO WAY did you ruin your family pictures!! Not possible!!)

  2. Gosh, I could have written your post. I am a yo-yo dieter and I hate it. Each time, the weight is harder to lose and quicker to come back. If I’m honest, the only thing standing in my way is myself and a truck load of excuses. When I lost 65 lbs after my first daughter was born, it was because I was totally committed to weight loss. Now, it’s easy to give in and I don’t know why. I just had more grit and determination back then, I guess. I have 20 more lbs to lose and I’m scared that when I get there, I won’t stay focused on keeping it off. Sigh.

  3. BJ Souders says:

    I know how you feel. My husband’s family are all gorgeous and super photogenic. I always tell them I don’t want to be in their pictures. I stand right out. I wish I could translate those feelings into better decisions. Wish I knew how we could do that.

  4. I don’t know you, but I’ve read your blog for a long time so hopefully that gives me the right to dish out some tough love. 🙂

    Don’t do this to yourself. Just don’t. Think about how many years you’ve been frustrated about your weight. Decide not to let that define you anymore. You are the weight you are. It’s a fact. You can actively work to change it, and I do believe that you can fall in love with healthy foods and exercise again. But please don’t waste the energy hating your body. Carlos loves you, Francisco loves you. Counting calories is such a drag. I know you want to be a fun, active mom but there’s nothing fun about a woman who hates her body and focuses all her attention on her perceived flaws.

    If I seem too invested in this it’s because I’m also preaching to myself a bit. 🙂 And I think you do look great, by the way. You can accept that compliment or reject it. Why not accept it? 🙂

    • Copy, what you just said may have just made me tear up a bit because, like Jen, I’ve been beating myself up for a long time for my weight and have chosen over and over not to be in pictures with my family/ friends. Last weekend, my 21yo daughter who (along with my 18yo son) is my world, was going through family pictures with me while I was trying to organize them and something she said made me burst into tears…”Mom, I wish we’d taken more pictures together when we were younger”. Heartbreaking. But in that moment it made me realize that while I hate the way I look, my kids don’t see a fat, tired woman, they simply see their mom, who they love. In that moment, I promised her,and myself,that I will stop taking the pictures and will start being in them with my “babies”…making memories for and with them. I am more motivated to stick to my plan to lose weight too but my focus has changed.

      Jen, your baby is still a baby so please use my experience as a lesson…your son, your husband and your family do not look at your pictures and see someone who needs to lose a few pounds, only you do. They see the mother,wife, sister, daughter and aunt they love making memories with them that will last a lifetime. Don’t let 21 years go by without taking pictures WITH your son not just OF your son. Don’t put yourself in the position I did then have to hear your child tell you he/ she is sad not to have pictures with you.

    • Jen, a priorfatgirl says:

      Oy – your comment made me tear up so much. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

      • Bridgette says:

        Oh Jen, I’m sorry.. I didn’t want to make you teary. I just wanted to tell you what happened to me so hopefully you don’t make the same mistakes I did when my kids were young. I definitely will be doing 2 things diversity…1. More pics WITH my kids, despite how I feel about my body and 2. Getting serious about my own journey to healthiness…no more excuses.

  5. Firstly, you are not ruining family photos. Your family love you no matter you shape, size, weight, BMI. What they see is a smart, loving, caring, beautiful wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend. Your photos has just bought to the surface your fears and the realisation of what has happened. When it’s on paper/in black and white (a coloured photo) it’s harder to suppress those images.

    Secondly, it’s ok to fail. We are human after all. Be kind to yourself, love yourself a little more. Don’t beat yourself up because you failed, acknowledge that you are making changes (they might be small and it might take a while) but you are doing something about it. You are kind, funny, tenacious, caring and loving. Those qualities you can’t instil from losing weight. You either have it or you don’t.

    When you started your journey I was just starting mine, I lost 60lbs. I was reading your blog at the same time to! Here I am years later and 15lbs away from being at my starting weight. I’ve eaten, gorged and stuffed my face to fill a void which food cannot fill. But without making those mistakes I can’t learn from them. I’ve been in denial. I’ve eaten in secret, I’ve eaten till I’ve thrown up. I’m not proud of those moments, but they happened and if I don’t acknowledge it then what was the point in them happening? Everything happens for a reason.

    Why don’t you read this page: – You wrote this and you believed it. Inside of you somewhere is a skinny girl wanting to face the world again. Don’t stop her, empower her.

    Lastly, be kind to yourself; celebrate your triumphs and learn from your downfalls.

    You can do this Jen x

  6. Hi Jen, I’ve read your blog since you started it, and loved it. I too needed to lose weight and it was inspiring to read what someone else was going through! Please please please do not go through Francisco’s childhood without taking pictures with him – you have all of these thoughts when you look at a picture of yourself and he will see the mommy he loves so very much! What I’ve learned (again) about weight loss is if you’re not all in, it won’t work. YOU have to tell yourself a new story about why you want to do this.

  7. That’s because traditional dieting doesn’t work. Look at Their approach to intuitive eating really works. I’m not affiliated with them in any way – just a happy customer.

  8. I am in the same boat. Knowing darn well what needs to be done and not following through. My son gets married next September. I have plenty of time to get healthy….but will I?

  9. I could have written this too. We lost our weight around the same time, and I find myself where you are now. I have gained 50 of the 90 pounds I worked so hard to lose. It seems impossible to ever get back there, and to complicate matters, I am now 8 weeks pregnant. I’m thrilled, but also terrified because I am so much heavier this time around than with my first pregnancy 6 years ago. It’s so hard, but I will echo what others said about putting yourself in the photos. My girl loves taking pictures with me, and I don’t ever want to shy away from giving her that joy. Much love to you, Jen.

  10. Ditto the other comments. ‘My kids are 16 and 13, I finally lost all my weight, 169 pounds, and I’m so sad that I don’t have pics with my babies.

Speak Your Mind