I have been sorting through my online photo folders for weeks, trying to get them organized and cut down to a manageable folder. I have approximately one million photos spread between my phone, IG, Facebook and now this app.
The photos span a time period from my birth until now. I am a bit overwhelmed. I can logically delete a tree from God knows where, the hilarious coffee urn photo from 1996, bad memes I have created, and all the online stuff I’ve shared trying to be funny.
The photos of myself are harder to send to a trash bin. I look at the photos and think I sure do wish I still looked like that, yet at the time any photo was taken I perceived myself as absolutely disgusting, fat, lumpy, and gross. I have always thought of myself as short and fat, not once over the years did I say “looking good!”.
I suppose the only time I perceived myself at a good weight was during the worst of my drug addiction, those photos at 83 lbs. or so are truly disturbing. That period is really the only time in my 48 years that at the time I thought I looked good, and absolutely did not. I looked sickly, malnourished, with sunk in eyes.
How do women go through life like this? Only feeling positive about their bodies in retrospect? It is such a distorted view of reality.
Two photos struck me more than any others. One is a photo of me hiking in Colorado at 15( with high heals, a cigarette, and spandex no less…shut up, it was the 80’s). The other my husband took this week in a new shirt I like. It has been 33 years between the two photos, and snapped me into reality.
I need to start appreciating the here and now. I need to understand that my perception of myself is wrong. I think we all do.
How can we live daily with such negative self talk about the thing that carries us through this world? The reality of our bodies is so much better than our twisted perception. We are beautiful.
I am certainly not saying accept being unhealthy, but if you’re eating well, staying active, and living a positive life, chances are you’re looking far better than you think.
It’s time for women to take an objective look at ourselves instead of looking back at photos knowing we were ripping ourselves apart in that time period, and wishing we’d known how good we looked.
Loving myself and the body I have is a struggle. I have concrete evidence that I am wrong with these two photos. My perception is changing. I urge others to change your perception as well. We are perfect, and from now on I will thank this amazing body for carrying me through these years, good and bad. It’s not the mirror that is the liar, it’s ourselves.