Smile! Cheese! One more photo x4, because everyone has to have that group picture on their own phone. We are a society that loves to take pictures and these days less than a minute later those pictures are posted somewhere on social media. The winter holiday season has already started and we will intentionally and accidentally be part of many pictures. For those who are in the process of losing weight or have dislike their body, these pictures can feel like torture.
This evening I took some pictures of a group of acquaintances as we filled a bunch of Samaritan’s Shoeboxes. I decided that I should probably be in one of the pictures, and that is when all the self imposed mind games began. I asked someone to take a picture of me and my friend posing with our shoe box, and after looking at the pictures I was horrified. How many chins do I have? Is my waist really that wide? Gross, I really need to head to the hair dresser because my hair is uneven and beyond the point of overgrown! I made the person take several more pictures, none of which I was satisfied with. I finally asked another person to take the pictures and after three attempts I was marginally o.k. with how it turned out.
Upon returning home I realized that worrying about how “badly” I looked in those pictures nearly ruined my evening. Hanging out with your friends and capturing good times on camera should be filled with happiness instead of worrying about how “fat” you look in a picture. I can’t help but notice that men who do strength training don’t usually complain about how they hate looking slim instead of muscular in pictures.
Of course we want to look good in pictures, but the issue isn’t whether or not you actually look good. What people are worried about is looking fat and out of shape; this is not the same as looking bad. If you wait until you are at your ideal weight and size, you’ll be missing out on a lot of pictures. I realized there are missing years of my life where I have zero pictures because I didn’t want to take pictures that would capture how heavy I was. Not only do I not have pictures, I also don’t have visual reminders of a lot of people I care about and a lot of the activities I have participated in, all because I didn’t want my fat self to be in a picture.
Love and enjoy who you are right now. Don’t wait weeks, months, or years to “like” the person who you are. Your body shape, size, and fitness level shouldn’t determine whether or not you want to capture fun or important moments in your life. Say cheese, and have fun!