Sunday, July 27, 2014

How Do You Feel About Your Photographs?

Something I saw on Facebook (attribution at end of article) that was quite refreshing. And brave.  And something we should ponder.  It touched my heart.  I am guilty of this. Always wishing for being physically different is not healthy.  I'm betting God gets pretty tired of our ungrateful thoughts for all the ways our bodies bless us even in our imperfections.   I'm not saying don't try to be as healthy as possible.  I'm just saying we need to stop beating ourselves up and be more grateful and we should allow ourselves to be happy just as we are. We need to focus outward and make a positive contribution to our society.  Success does not get measured in body size or type. We need to quit swallowing this nonsense and get on with living life authentically and purposefully and with joy. 
"Flipping through the pictures on my phone, I see it."
My first reaction is shock. Who took this hideous picture of me?
Self-loathing and disgust swell up and threaten to bring me to tears.
Just as I am about to hit delete, my boy walks in the room.
“Do you know anything about this picture?” I ask him.
I turn the screen so he can see it. He smiles huge.
“I took that of you in Tahoe,” he says. “You looked so beautiful laying there. I couldn’t help it mom.”
“You need to ask me before using my phone to take pictures,” I say.
“I know,” he says. “But mom, seriously, look how pretty you look?”
I look at the picture again and try to see what he sees.
My daughter walks over and takes a look.
“That could be a postcard mom,” she says smiling. “Your so beautiful. I love it.
I take a deep breath.
This is exactly what I needed.
My default mode is to see and focus on the flaws and imperfections. I’m starting to see a bit more.
I still see my dimply, fat thighs.
I also see a mom collapsed on the shore that just explored the lake for hours with her children.
I still see chubby arms.
I also see the arms of a mom that just helped her kids across the rocks and hot sand so their feet wouldn’t hurt.
I still see a fat woman wearing a black dress bathing suit to try to hide her weight issue.
I also see an adventurous mom that loves her children something fierce.
Like many women, I have struggled with my weight most of my life. It’s not something that will ever go away for me. I don’t have a naturally slim body. Never have.
Right now I’m the heaviest I’ve been in 10 years. Yet…
I have not let my weight stop me this time. I am wearing tank tops, sundresses and bathing suits in public. I’m running around playing with my kids this summer and I sometimes even feel attractive.
Yes. You heard me.
“I feel pretty. Oh so pretty. I feel pretty, and witty and bright.”
Well…not exactly. But something like that.
Is it because I’m getting older? Is it that I have more to worry about than just how I look? Or maybe it’s because my kids look at me with such adoring eyes.
Really, it doesn’t matter.
I don’t hate my body anymore.
That’s huge for me to admit and hard to even wrap my mind around.
I’m not giving up on exercising and getting healthy. Those are things I will continue to strive for because I want to be around awhile.
Right now though, I just want to love my body where it is. I want it to be OK to see myself the way my kids do.
Thank you kids.
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Sister Susie Says said...

Hi, Bonnie. I have always been on the same "sandy shore!" For most of my life I was on that yo-yo of losing and gaining! I always shared with my doctors that I had never been a compulsive eater, a binge eater, and when I got upset, I DIDN'T eat! I practically starved myself to lose what few pounds I did lose. (The doctors would say I wasn't trying hard enough - 800 calories a day isn't trying hard enough!) That's when I said, "LORD, I'm satisfied with my body. You know I am not abusing it. And, I'm not going to let others' opinions of me make me feel bad about myself. If they don't want to take me for who I am, then it's their problem. I've been retired for three years now and have lost 22 pounds!!! It must have been the load of stress for working all my years (from 16) and not having any years off! I haven't change anything except from being in the work force to retirement! What joy can do for us, ha! Even weight loss!

I am loved by my family, church, and friends. But most of all Jesus Loves me and died for my sins! One Day, not even my weight will keep me from rising to meet Him in the air, Hallelujah! Love, Susan

Nellie's Cozy place said...

Hi Miss Bonnie,
I saw this too, and thought it was
fantastic. That was so precious for her to hear that from her children. Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. I think we are our own worst enemies really.......
This society we live in just lays a lot of guilt on everyone to feel like they have to look perfect.
I remember being in the grocery store when I was probably 38 yrs. old and looking at a magazine cover and seeing a lady that looked about my age and I thought man, I look old compared to her. It was Brook Shields, didn't know anything about her at the time, then later
I found out she was about 18 or so, then I thought Oh my heavens,
no wonder we think we look bad,
they put teenagers on the cover of these magazines and they are made up to look like they are in their late 30's............or early 40's
no wonder we think we look old.
That sort of cured me..........
cause our society is just sick when it comes to stuff like that.

We just need to be the best we can be and be happy with that.........
I think it is more important to have a beautiful spirit than a beautiful face or body anyday.

This was a grea thing to share tho.
Love and Blessings my friend,
Hope all is well with you,

Marie Rayner said...

Bonnie, this struck a chord with me. How many pleasures and things have I denied myself because I am too fat. Punishing myself for being fat and probably judging myself far harsher than anyone else does. Much food for thought here. I am in hardly any photographs from when my children were growing up etc. all because I did not like having my photograph taken. I am going to change all that. Thank you! xxoo