Last week, I had my picture taken hoping to use the images for my website, and I hated them. I’ve come such a long way and have done so much healing work, yet when I got my pictures back. Regression. Many of the old voices that plagued me for years made a fierce comeback.
One evening after work, I met up with a young, bubbly photographer who was truly likable. She told me I looked pretty, and she took several pictures of me in front of a sparkly gold background and some outside. That day I felt tired, and I felt uncomfortable having my picture taken, but I thought it was all in my head, and I hoped that pictures would not reflect how I felt.
A few evenings later, I opened the email she sent with my photographs, and I was mortified. The next day, I ran miles at the track. The day after that, I ran more miles. My thighs hurt.
Right now I’m a little heavier than I’d like to be, and every part of it showed in these photographs. My first thought was that the images were a wakeup call, that I was kidding myself about the healthiness of my late night gluten free chips and salsa snacks. Okay. Got it. Run more. Eat less.
As the initial shock wears off, I remember that I do not want to measure my value and worth by how much I weigh. I know plenty of women who are not thin, and they are so beautiful. Why would I say things to myself that I would not say to them?
What are my goals? I like being strong. I like having muscles. I like eating foods that make me feel better not worse. I have a few food allergies, and some foods make me instantly look puffy and make my skin break out. My goal is not to be skinny. I used to be skinny, and I worked unnaturally hard to look that way, and I was more insecure then than I am now. I care much more about being healthy and strong.
As I look at the week ahead, what will I focus on? I’m lucky enough to have people in my life who love me as I am and who think I’m beautiful right now. Regardless of what the scale says, I will find some ways to be good to myself with good food and good words. I will not punish myself. Lastly, I give myself permission to have my pictures redone. It’s okay if I care about looking good in my pictures. Next time, I’ll get some more sleep, and I will think positive thoughts.
I hope my blog inspires you to believe in yourself more and feel less alone in the world. I, for one, am inspired by the imperfections of others who continue to rise up again and again despite life's challenges. May we find ways to inspire and support each other.