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    The Low Carb Luxury Online Magazine   Keto Hot Cereal
 
    December 18, 2003    PAGE 1       > About LCL Magazine      > Cover Page      > Inside Cover      Feature Pages:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12    

 
Featured Articles
 Photographs: Proof of Life?
 The Perfect Gift
 A Homemade Christmas
 Jo Cordi's  Lifestyle Series
 Snapshot: Ruby Tuesday
 Baking Up Holiday Sweets
 Wrench That Stole Christmas
 But For The Grace of God
 Travel: Memories of Madrid
 Party Food!
 Cooking with Jarret Hughes
 Holiday Treats or Traps?


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                   Photographs: Proof of Life? by Tracey Haider-Sprague

Tracey Haider-Sprague, a home-schooling mother of two, is also the Training Director for Small Beginnings, a Lay Ministry Training Organization in Seattle, Washington where she researches, writes, teaches and counsels. She, along with her entire family, began their low-carb lifestyle in April 2003.

                                                     "He who has not Christmas in his heart
                                                             will never find it under a tree."
                                                                                         Roy L. Smith


I was flipping through my family's photo albums, searching for a picture of my mother. There were a few amber-hued photos of her holding me as a newborn, but after that, she was conspicuously absent. Since I was busy groaning and rolling my eyes every time she pulled the camera out, it never occurred to me that she was always behind the lens, and rarely in front of it.

Once, I found her sitting on the floor, buried in a myriad of family photos, attempting to sort them. I saw a pile of torn ones off to the side, and never thought to look at which ones were being discarded. I asked why she was throwing them away. She said they were "duplicates", and trusting her, I didn't doubt her answer.

Several months after she died, I went looking for some photos of her, fearful I couldn't recall her face or her familiar expressions. I couldn't remember her voice either, and we had talked nearly every other day on the phone! My mother had documented virtually every moment of our lives on film, so I had no lack of photo albums to pore through. After several hours…after hundreds of photographs of my family…I closed the album.

She wasn't there.

How could this be? Perhaps there were more photos at her and dad's house? I exhaustively searched through those, and came away with next to nothing. I gave up, realizing I'd have to be content with what little I had found.

I sat on my bed, missing her even more. It was almost as though she had never lived.

I had already been a mother for seven years at this point, and had turned into the maniacal mommy-photographer myself. I thoroughly enjoyed capturing my firstborn's every move. Little did I know that I was duplicating my mother's habit of escaping the camera lens. There was no end of excuses why I should not be photographed, and my husband finally gave up trying after being married to me for a few years. It wasn't until I tried to find photos of my mother that it all fell into place.

One day I realized that if I kept this up, my children would have very little to remember me by. Sure, they'd have memories (good ones, I hope), but pictures are wonderful reminders when the memory inevitably fades. I didn't want my kids to experience the same loss I felt, searching for those non-existent photos.

For me, the aversion to being photographed was always about my weight. And thinking back, it was the same for my mom. I have known women who would literally run at the sight of a camera aimed in their direction. My thoughts were that I didn't want to be remembered that way… at that size. I always had it in my mind that someday I would look "better," and then I would submit to the camera. But that day was forever in the future. I decided the best way to avoid being photographed was to be the photographer. I was able to successfully avoid all photos, and look like the devoted mother and wife taking snapshots of everyone else.

Before I had even heard of Atkins, I joined one of those weight loss clubs that require you to buy their food at enormous prices. On my first visit, the "counselor" asked what my goals were. I broke down and cried (which I just DON'T do) and said that I wanted there to be proof that I had lived, that I had walked this planet, that I had had a family and that I had been loved. I wanted to be able to find myself in pictures, and not be ashamed of myself. I wanted my children to be able to remember me.

Even though that particular program worked only for as long as the money lasted, it was a breakthrough for me to realize I'd been keeping myself hidden because I was so ashamed of myself. I was not doing my family or myself any favors by attempting to be invisible.

This is a time of year when the camera comes out a great deal. We've just had Thanksgiving. Chanukah, Christmas, and New Years are soon to come, complete with parties, families sitting around the dining table, and children ripping their presents open.

No matter where we all are in our weight loss journey, no matter what our issues may be with how we look, I hope that we can all relax a bit, not run from the camera, and let there be some proof — no matter how small — that...

yes, we were here

yes, we did walk the planet

yes, we did have friends and family

and yes...

we were loved.

Copyright © December 2003  Tracey Haider-Sprague and Low Carb Luxury
Title photo Copyright © 2003 Neil Beaty and Low Carb Luxury


                                                          





       

 
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