One of the biggest struggles in life for me is complete self-love. As I grow older, I am becoming me more and I am loving it. I am now trying to learn to accept and love my body, in pictures. Accepting me for me, perhaps, is a mature thing, and perhaps, it is about time.
Even though I am being a more authentic me, one struggle I still have is accepting and loving my body. I find myself always worrying about dieting, cheating on my diet, worrying about how I feel and look in my clothes, and sadly, how I think others think about how I look in my clothes.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do I care? Why does society tell me what size I need to be to be happy? Why, oh why, do I listen?
Lately, I am doing a bit of self-analyzing, and that isn’t always a great thing to do, but sometimes it is necessary. I realized not too long ago that I not only don’t like having my picture taken, but when I do, I rarely like the picture. In fact, often—I hate the picture. Real Often.
The only time I like pictures of me is if they are from afar or if one of my daughters takes a selfie of us. They know how to take the picture from up above, a better vantage point.
I need to learn to accept and love my body.
This epiphany hit me when I learned I would have headshots made, as a benefit of being a Contributing Writer of a new blog, Waco Moms Blog. I panicked a bit. I needed to lose weight first and I only had a month. I have dieted since January, (in all seriousness for more than 25 years!) but I needed to step the weight loss up.
So, I started this self-analysis thing and realized I had been taking more pictures, much more pictures, of those around me, instead of jumping in front of the camera. Behind the camera was more comfortable for me.
A few years ago, I attended a sweet friend’s funeral. The pictures in the slide show, before the funeral, were heartwarming. There were pictures with her husband, her kids, her sister, and her friends. As I was watching the slide show, I thought to myself, I need to get in more pictures. I need to get over myself and accept and love my body. I need to get in front of the camera more. I need to have pictures taken of my husband and I more. More with my children. More pictures with friends and family. I realized, if I don’t do this, when it is time to bury me, there won’t be much of a slide show. There won’t be many pictures of me, living my happy life, with my family and friends.
Why am I not in many pictures?
The sad, but true, answer is that I don’t like my weight. I, in no way, accept and love my body. When I pose for a picture, it is a workout. I suck in my stomach, make sure my chin is up, smile, but worry my eyes won’t be open, put a leg out front so I look thinner, and more. And what do I do with my hands? It’s exhausting. (You are most likely exhausted just reading that!)
Usually, I end up hating the picture. No matter the joyous occasion or the love I feel for those beside me.
“You can’t build joy on a feeling of self-loathing.”~ Ram Dass
I don’t think of myself as a vain person. But, I critique the picture of myself to death. Over analyze it and put myself down. Or I just stay out of the picture altogether. Self-doubting and self-loathing. NOT accepting and loving my body. I think, “why bother—I will hate it anyway?”
Other people probably don’t look at pictures of me more than a second, so why do I care? Strangely, sometimes I go to Target and the grocery store with little to no makeup. So, why do I care about how I look in a picture?
It isn’t healthy. And I know this. That doesn’t mean I don’t do it.
Learning to accept me for me.
Chrissy Metz, an actress on This Is Us, recently wrote, “If you can’t love who you are now, you can’t get to the place you want to be… It’s a daily lesson for all of us.” She continued, “I’m paving the way for other women and men who know they’re destined for greatness but they don’t believe it yet.”
Good for her. She is brave. And, blessed to be able to live a dream of acting. Her role on the TV show is a powerful one and is most likely helping others as her character deals with her weight, weight loss (or lack thereof) and self-love (or the lack thereof!). She is definitely in front of the camera even though, I’m sure, it is hard at times. The fact that she puts her anxiety and self-doubt aside is brave. Her overcoming any anxiety about being on TV, proves to me I should get over myself! Get on with it and take more pictures. Be brave!
And I need to accept—this is what I look like. This is what people see when they look at me.
So, why can’t I see me and love what I see? Love the person in the picture (or mirror) staring back at me?
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“The hardest challenge is to be yourself in a world where everyone is trying to make you be somebody else.”~ e.e. Cummings
Since I started writing three years ago, I have become a more authentic person (or perhaps since I turned 50?). I am the real me now, not what I think I need to be or what I think I want people to think about me. Accepting the real me in a picture is one more step towards not caring what others think, towards pleasing me, towards having a healthy self-love-self-image. This is the last step and I am working on it.
Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.-Unknown
I try to eat healthy, but honestly, I love life and love to eat and I enjoy food. I try to move a lot but I have Psoriatic Arthritis and that makes it hard. And then the 50-thing. Where did that metabolism go?
Ed Sheeran has a line in one of his songs that hit home with me. “…just remember life is more than fittin’ in your jeans. It’s love and understanding, positivity.” I knew I loved Ed.
Sing it, Ed!
Accepting and loving my body. Yes, I am working on this! “Say Cheese!”
I hope for you lots of pictures with friends and family and I hope that for me, as well.
love and blessings~dd
*Thank you for reading. This post was a bit personal and thought provoking. And hard to write. Follow my blog, by subscribing below, for more inspiring and thought provoking posts. I am blessed you’re here and I will be honored if you read more.