Saturday, December 17, 2016

Pictures of Me

Today my coach texted me asking for pictures from my first Olympic Triathlon last summer.  I asked why and he said he was putting together a project for the team and wanted to use the pictures in that.

I actually hesitated.

I almost said no.

This is going to sound really silly.  Especially since I post pictures from my events here in my blog and on social media all the time.

But it has taken me a long time to be okay with doing that much.

I still don't like myself in pictures.

I still look at them and see all my faults and fat rolls and places that wiggle and jiggle.

I have made a very conscious decision to be in pictures, to post pictures and to try and not comment on my true thoughts about how I look in pictures.  I don't want to be gone someday and not have many pictures for my family to look at and remember all of our adventures.

We had this happen when my aunt passed away from breast cancer.  She was always a heavy lady, and looked even heavier than she probably was because she was very short.  When she passed away and my cousins were putting together a slideshow to show during her memorial they had a hard time finding very many recent pictures to use.  Most of the pictures she was in she would make a face because she wasn't happy someone was pointing a camera in her direction.  But when I think of my memories of my aunt they are full of laughter and love. She had a huge heart and a quick wit and I loved her so much.  I decided then, even before I started working on being a healthier me that I would not leave that as my legacy to my kids.  "She didn't want to have her picture taken because she was fat."

As a mom I always tried to do whatever was fun with my kids when they were growing up.  Even if I was terrible at it or looked ridiculous.  If my kids wanted me to swim with them, I swam.  If they wanted me to run around a softball field with them after their dad played a game, I ran.  If they wanted me to swing with them, hang on the monkey bars or do an obstacle course I gave it a shot.  I didn't want to be the mom that just watched them.  I wanted to be the mom that played with them.

But the pictures didn't reflect that for a long time.  I avoided being in pictures by being the one who took the pictures.  Before cell phones and selfies this was an easy way to hide behind the camera.  I would play and goof off and then go grab the camera and take pictures of everyone else.  I never asked anyone to take pictures for me because I secretly didn't want to be in them.

I decided to get over it.

Mostly I do okay.  Every once in a while that self-conscious side of me rears its head again.  If I'm looking at pictures and I make a comment about my tummy or some other flaw, my husband is all over it.  He hates that I do that and shuts me down immediately.  He seems to think I'm pretty no matter what, he may be a little biased.  😉

Today when my coach asked me for pictures I really wanted to say no.  It seriously makes me anxious to think that pictures of me are being used to show off what a bunch of athletes are up to.

I feel more like an athlete than I used to.  I know my body is doing more than it's ever done before and I'm learning to take joy in that.

But that doesn't mean that old hang ups and issues don't resurface on occasion.

There are victories here on a couple of levels.

First, that I take my picture or have my picture taken often.  I try to focus on the adventure and fun that I'm having and not how I look.

Second, that I said yes to Jon about using my pictures.  Big win there.

One of the things I have learned is that what my eyes immediately go to is not even close to what everyone else sees.

It seems, if you can believe it, that most people don't look at my tummy.  They look at my smile.  Go figure.  😏
Strong & Smiling.  I like that description.  😄
Get your picture taken!

Accept the compliments!

Learn to see yourself through the eyes of people that love you.

Being a healthier person doesn't mean just working on the body but also working on the mind and heart.

Sometimes that is harder but like most things in life, the hard things have the biggest rewards.

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