I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Picture Project

Shortly after I went on my big shopping spree (you know, the one which is years overdue, the one I'll probably not do again for a looonnngggg while), I both sent a text to a friend and posted a status update which said, "I look so fucking cute today, I almost want to marry myself."

Modesty is just so becoming, isn't it?

On facebook this started a riot of people wanting to see pictures (and bizarrely some matchmaking, but anyway...) and the friend texted back, "Picture?" Taking pictures of myself is really not something I'm into, and surely not full-body pictures which would show off what I'm wearing. It's just not my thing, but then I think you would be hard pressed to find a fat female for whom full body pictures IS her thing.

But...you know, this year, it's all about progress, remember? And frankly, I'm feeling chuffed that I not only OWN a cute outfit, but I can totally ROCK that cute outfit, AND I'm feeling brave enough to announce it to the people I hold near and dear. So I took  a picture. Yes, one of those annoying 'in a mirror' pics where you are holding your phone up at about waist height and trying to remember to look ahead and not look at the camera (which results in a photo of you looking kinda skew-eyed.) I even then sent the picture off...and the next day, I did it again. The day after that, I did it again. In part it was to prove to myself that I can get through a week not wearing jeans and t-shirts, in part because it just kinda became entertaining...but it's now about 10 days later and I've got 10 days worth of pictures of me. Full figured. In a mirror. (Holding up a phone.)

What started as a total lark has actually become a really useful, fascinating exercise. How often do we look at full body photos of ourselves? How often do we make an extra effort to look nice (okay for some people, every day - for me, nearly never)? How often do we just really LOOK at ourselves, truly LOOK? It was like my own personal Trinny and Susannah moment...and I've got to say, it's made a MAJOR difference to the way I see myself, and it's made me aware of so many things I think I just never really thought about before.

Firstly, I'm a goddamn giraffe. Seriously. I know that I'm a hair shy of 6'0"...but in these pics, I've got really, really long legs. Lily white legs which desperately need to see some sun, but still a decent set of pins. I've also got a pretty decent waist line - in the right clothes, my body actually does 'nip in at the waist' to give me a reasonable shape. I've got killer clavicles - which again, in the right clothes are shown to their advantage. I can get away with horizontal stripes. Pale colours don't suit me all that well, they wash me out. The bras I'm wearing are decent ones, and that's actually more important than we realise. You get the idea - I've suddenly come to realise that there is a body in that mirror which, while FAR from perfect - is a body worth looking at.

For so long my body was the excuse I had for not doing things, for being afraid of things, for not pushing myself, for...hiding from life a bit. Now that I've got (to some degree) a body which I can't hide behind - just IMAGINE how far I've come and how far I've yet to go.

I'm standing taller (that's another thing I've learned, my posture sucks), I'm bothering to accessorise (at least a bit!), I'm learning which bits I'd like to work a little harder on, I'm realising how much going to a circuit gym has made a difference in terms of muscle tone. In short, I'm actually *liking* what I see in that mirror.

I've spent the last 30+ years of my life hating every part of my body - with the possible exception of my eyes...and I've spent the last 10 days discovering the very same body isn't so terrible, is worth showing off, and is something to be pretty damn proud of. I LIKE this emzee, and I'm going to continue to work damn hard in order to keep her. I'd like "the new normal" to also be about having not a single qualm about taking a full-body photo.

Not sure how brave - or not - you're feeling about yourself at the moment, but I'd encourage you to try this exercise, even if only for a few days. You don't even need to send the photo to anyone - just take it, and really LOOK at it, and see what you learn. Maybe you won't like what you see and it will motivate you. Maybe you'll love what you see and will affirm to yourself that you're worth loving. Maybe it won't have any impact on you at all, and you'll look at it and think, "Meh, I don't get what she's on about," ... but I'd still encourage you to do it. What have you got to lose? (except possibly the ten pounds which sits RIGHT on your hips in the most unflattering way...which you only know about because you took a photo of it, and photos do not lie.)

1 comment:

Jewel said...

Now I don't have to tell you that I take those pouting self portraits.. although I must say I was much happier looking at them 2 years ago when I was 4 kilos lighter.

This explains my current hot yoga and Chinese medicine routine - only 6 weeks until I need to face Australia in the summertime!

But, the real question is.. WHY didn't I get sent any of those 10 photographs? :(((