This is for a good friend…..you know who you are. And for all the other women out there who struggle with being comfortable in your bodies. Especially when we look at pictures of ourselves.
Here is a picture I would not normally post….and here is why…..
Remember the days when we would take a pictures with our camera (note I said camera and not phone) and it would take days, sometimes weeks to get the pictures back? The days when we would turn in rolls of film…..(”rolls of films?” our kids ask “what are those?”). The days when flipping through the printed pictures we would see an unflattering picture of ourselves and move on to the next or even throw it away (I’m totally guilty here!)
Not today. Today we can take a picture, look at it within seconds, and post it for all the world to see less than a minute later.
This works in our favor if we get to decide whether or not our hair is acceptable that day, our smile isn’t creepy or strange, and if the camera got our “good side”. This instant review works in our favor when we get to choose if we want others to see these pictures or not.
But what happens when someone else posts a picture of us? We open up our social media and are horrified there is a picture posted of us. Horrified or maybe embarrassed, ashamed, disappointed…….we thought we looked better than this? Look at those arms, those legs, that stomach!!! And then it ruins or day…….it gets us down. The negative self-talk starts as we express our disappointment in ourselves. We may stay in this negative place for a while or we use it to fuel a fire to make a change. But how do we get there? How did our friend, coworker, sibling get their ideal body and why doesn’t it work for us?
Well this is to my lovely friend and to everyone else reading this….my career thus far has been dedicated in some way to helping people change their bodies. NEVER and I am serious when I say I have NEVER come across someone who feels 100% happy with their body. Put a picture in front of them and they will pick out something they would like to change. It may not turn their day upside down but I can say with confidence they glanced at the picture and picked out something.
This includes myself. My husband recently took pictures and video for a workout. Looking at the picture and video there were lots of thoughts going through my head….I immediately saw all the parts of me that are bigger…thighs, stomach, butt, arms…..I didn’t like my hair. Basically I am not a fan of what I saw. And I thought “maybe we should wait to record these videos until after I lose weight”. As much as I didn’t like what I saw I reminded myself that this is only my outer shell. It is not who I am as a person. It doesn’t represent who I am as a mother, wife, sister, daughter. What I have to give to the world, what I believe in, and what is in my heart.
And let’s not forget the outer shell can be changed if I wanted. It will take some work to do it the hard way through diet and exercise and even with change I know I will never be completely happy. Its our human nature to always want more. Sometimes that works in our favor and sometimes it doesn’t. I reminded myself that even in these other pictures within seconds I can tell you something I didn’t like. My thighs look too big, my hair is too dry, my eyes look ‘squinty’… I really don’t think you want to hear me go on with my list of things I don’t approve of.
So forget the “if only I looked like her I would be happy” thinking or the “If I lost 10lbs I would be ok with pictures” thoughts. In everyone the feelings are there. It is so important to be happy in our own skin exactly where we are in the moment but if we are being honest with ourselves there is a moment even if it for a split second that we see something we don’t like.
If those feelings will always be there, how about we work on shutting down those thoughts as soon as we can? Before they ruin or day and we waist our time giving power to these thoughts. Let’s remind ourselves that no matter what….20 lbs lighter, different hair color, better skin, less stretch marks….that there will always be something. Move on with the day and give your time to things that truly matter.
Life begins………and life ends. The time in between is totally up to us. Spend it on thoughts and things that make you happy. Where you are now is exactly where you should be.
Whether I get a vocal “This is sooo true” or a silent “…