Over the weekend the A-Team celebrated the first Selfie Saturday. I wish I could show you the pictures because it frankly shifted my whole perspective. Seeing so many of the beautiful faces who are on this road with me caused me to tear up. But as we are a group who respects privacy and confidentiality, those pictures are just for us. It was just so moving to see so many wherever they were in time, wherever they were in their weight loss journey. Just exactly where they were. For some it was a very difficult task taking that selfie. And yet, they jumped off the cliff. They held that camera in the best possible position, they hit upload, and bam, there it was. They felt safe enough to risk showing up in a bigger way, and the power of that really hit me.
What started out as a “just for fun” request turned into a whole lot more. Why? Taking a selfie lays claim to where you are in time. Some are better than others at capturing their good side, the better light, the correct angle. Some snapped pictures in no make-up at all. The pictures filled the page, and the comments lit up, many of us really seeing each other for the first time. These pictures aren’t the perfect profile picture. These are pictures taken from the road. A small few have reached their goal, but most of us, we’re still not at that finish line yet. As I looked at these pictures and read the comments, I began to think a lot about the image we have of ourselves. We look at others and compare ourselves…body, face, hair, age, and yes, weight. The little experiment triggered a conversation or two about acceptance. And it made me think. Have I accepted where I am at this moment? Have I really truly taken a look in the mirror and embraced and accepted all that is there in front of me? I used to think acceptance meant you were giving up the fight. That to accept my body where it is in this moment in time meant I had given up getting to any sort of goal. When it comes to my body image, the answer was always “not enough.” I hadn’t lost enough weight, I wasn’t pretty enough, I wasn’t photogenic. The negativity often swept me away with deep dark feelings of inadequacy. In the age of the selfie, I was feeling pretty unequipped. I didn’t have the instagram body. I didn’t look fabulous at any angle. It’s only when I think about where I was last summer, that I can very slowly start to cut myself a break. In that moment I had a good cry.
We are so incredibly hard on ourselves. Why the hell is that?? Why are we so bent on judging ourselves and others for our imperfections. Why, when I’m closer to my goal than I’ve ever been, can’t I just accept that I’m moving in the right direction, and trust that I will get there? Why can’t I enjoy the ride a bit more? Why is taking a self-portrait so terrifying?
68 pounds ago, the camera lens was a brutal reminder that I wasn’t the physical being I longed to be. And now, I think it’s a fear that I won’t get all the way to my goal. And if I do, what happens if I STILL don’t look the way I hoped? I see the loose skin, the glaring reminder that I had blown up. My body bears the scars of all that has happened in my life. This body has given birth to two amazing humans. It’s taken me through some amazing experiences. It’s had its share of trauma, a little bit of surgery, cuts and bruises. It’s also been in the warm embrace of many who have loved me, warts and all. It has climbed and repelled down mountains. It has walked me into some amazing opportunities. It has made things. It has carried me to beautiful places in the world, and it has borne the sadness and despair during the dark times.
The thing that helps me move through some of the muck of judgment is a phrase that has always rung true for me: “If you don’t know where you are, how will you know where you’re going?” Forgive me, whoever first said that, I don’t know your name. It’s ringing true for me looking at all of those pictures on Saturday. My heart went out to those who had such a tough time looking into the lens. My heart grieved for how critical we can be about where we are or where we aren’t. I’m having a tough time staying in the present some days. I’m finding it tough to embrace all of the really amazing things happening for me at this moment in time. I want to believe I am worthy of the new opportunities, of this new body, and of all the good that is yet to come. I want to squash the twisted crazy thoughts that pop into my head about how it all might be taken away. I want to be at peace exactly where I am. I want to manifest more of my dreams and shed the old ways of thinking. I want to shed that feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop, that simmering pot of negativity that boils ever so gently beneath my surface.
This mind and body are still a work in progress. But this week, I’m focusing on cutting myself a freaking break. Someone once said to me, “Can you just try on the possibility that everything will work out?” I may have to fake it ’til I make it. I’ve got a few trust issues, in case you haven’t noticed. The only way I know to reinforce all of this is to connect, to keep doing things differently. To make the leap even when I don’t feel like it, sometimes questioning whether I’m ready for it. I take the selfie. I open myself up to the world in a way that feels rather terrifying. But there is good that comes back. Little by little, I’m coming out of the last few years of darkness, and I’m standing in the white hot light of change.