Thursday, October 21, 2010

Quick Update...

Lame, I know.  Things have been busier than ever for the last few weeks.

Weight:  Fluctuating between 157-159.
Work:  Crazy busy.
Engagement:  Should be choosing a date today and booking the venue soon!

In the mean-time, here's what I've been up to!

The Harder Family shoot!

Laurel and Ryan's kick ass Carnival style engagement session!

Really gorgeous Wood Nymph / Business Commercial shoot!

Holly and Scott's wedding!

Langston's gorgeous boudoir session!

JBe Photography featured on Style Me Pretty!

Keegan's boudoir session!

Sue and Asad's portrait session!

Nicole and Pako's engagement session!

Ellie and Chris' wedding at the botanical gardens!

Travis and Doug's engagement session!

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Exposed Anniversary.

Well, Michelle might find this to be a bit of a surprise because she's e-mailed me about the anniversary and hasn't heard back.  Because I suck at e-mailing back sometimes.  Because I wasn't even sure I'd participate.  But, I realized that I have to.

I'll back up.  Some of you who are newer might not know what I'm talking about.  My buddy Michelle over at Eating Journey started an awesome thing called "Exposed."  Click here to check out the original post that started the whole thing.  You can click here to see my participation in it last year.

It's pretty amazing to look back.  Firstly, to see that it's been a full year.  Secondly, to see the changes my body has gone through since that photo was taken.  And third, to see that I loved so much about my body, even though I was 22 pounds heavier than I am now.

That made me think back a little bit further.  This journey from being 225 to my current 158 (yes, two pounds up, and that's okay,) has taken a great deal of self reflection and adjusting to being me.  Adjusting to the fact that I have to be happy where I am, and be happy with where I'm going.  Getting used to being me in a different body, recognizing my face in the mirror every day, putting on size 8 jeans, and feeling someone put their arms all the way around me.  Going from feeling ultra fabulous, to self deprecating.  Being sassy at lap-dance fitness class, to the automatic self-comparison to other, skinnier girls in class.  Going wedding dress shopping with a friend, feeling pretty in a dress until I realize I can't quite zip it up, but she can.  It's just been a process.

I was thinking about this all... in terms of what I do for a living.  You all know that I'm a photographer.  Primarily, I shoot weddings, but I also specialize in Boudoir photography.  I spend my time bringing out the beauty that women naturally possess.  Showing them how gorgeous they are.  Encouraging them to let their sexy out, and using the whole process as a method to boost their confidence and help them love themselves even a little bit more.

And yet, people ask me if I've done one.  Nope.  I shrug back behind my camera and say, "It's my job to help capture YOU being fabulous, darling!"  And so, I effectively change the subject and move on.

But soon, I realized that the process isn't just about sometimes struggling, but ultimately learning to love my body and putting good food in or being active as a sign of that love.  As a photographer, I needed to also do the difficult thing.  So... it came at a good time - getting the disc from a photographer friend, and sharing this one with you all.


Monday, October 4, 2010

This Crap-cake journey with Awesome-sauce on it...

Hello everyone!

Once again, I'll start out with deepest apologies for my calloused neglect in blogging, updating and being present here. Life has been super busy the last few months (and will continue through October,) but... I'm here. I'm sitting in my Aunt's office while she finishes some work and I have a bit of time to chat.

I have so many thoughts running through my brain right now... this might sound / read / feel sporadic but I have no other way to get it out.

I feel like I've been really brought face to face with a lot of things going on in the Blogger world right now, as well as in my personal world regarding weight loss. Today I read the Marie Claire article on the "Big 6" bloggers, and I'm battling between being frustrated and offended, to being unsure if it's really all that bad. I personally don't read any of the blogs mentioned in that article. Let me clarify by saying that it's not because I don't want to... it's just that I didn't even know those blogs existed. (Okay, I've totally heard of Carrots N Cake, but I haven't subscribed or taken the time to delve in.) SO. After reading the article that so many of you (and others) were vehemently pissed about... I now want to go through those blogs, read and get to know those ladies. Funny, Marie Claire's article (it seems,) has garnered a new reader for all of those blogs. But then again, I also have a sneaking feeling in the back of my mind that maybe the author of the article wasn't all wrong. (Or was she!) -- Yes, most likely, she was. I spent a good amount of time this afternoon reading through hundreds and hundreds of comments from loyal readers and folks who were flat-out pissed off, sickened and saddened by the article. I can't get in line with those comments personally because I don't know that to be true. But as far as I'm concerned, that's a frack-load of evidence for their side.


Okay, in other blog-related news... I read The Anti-Jared's blog post today. It immediately freaked me out, making me think, "Fuck, am I a Paper Tiger?" ... I feel like (particularly compared to our honest, amazing and inspiring Jewlia Goulia,) I have been lately.

I've been conveniently leaving out of my blog my cake-binge episode from about six weeks ago. (Yes, MizFit says there's a difference between a planned indulgence and a binge, but...) This started out as "planned" the day of, and turned into six...SIX pieces of cake. It subsequently turned into the shakeyshakes, the in-my-mouth-bad-taste, and the "I can't sleep because my mind is going 2304980239 miles an hour, holy crap!"

I also let you all believe that I don't eat sugar (98% of the time this is true, but...), when Dan and I both had a piece of cake to celebrate our engagement on Sunday, I decided you didn't really need to know.  I admitted that to him, but not to you.  I also am pretty sure I don't tell you about the intense food-guilt I experience... all...the...time.

I used to talk about my food addiction, overeating, carb attacks and scale obsession. These days I quietly hide in my busy-assed-schedule, and while my good friends go through horrible bouts with food issues, I'm quiet in the corner, telling them I love them. I don't really relate out loud, and I certainly can't offer up any gems of advice on how to get through it.

The only way I know how to lose weight is to categorically and strictly monitor my food intake.  The level at which I do this, particularly compared to some more balanced eaters, could very well seem a bit extreme.  I make sure to put it out there to you that I don't like working out, and I don't go to a gym or ride a bike or jump rope (though those last two things I still want to start because they sort of sound fun, though the cold is almost here, so just like this guy is waiting for winter to start getting his shit together, I'm gonna conveniently wait for next spring.)

So where does that leave me? When people I know and love are struggling with weight loss, or more committed to their losing weight, and I watch the things they eat and feel superior to them? That my Mother makes healthy choices in her diet, but when she says she had a peach for a snack or a sweet potato (as Beth does all the time, and she's amazing,) -- I can still hear the little bitchy voice inside my head say, "I would NEVER do that."  That when I'm spending time with Wes, and I watch him eat chips and salsa and a piece of pizza, I glare at him, or scold him?  (We've had the type of relationship where this behavior from either of us would garner that type of response, and it's not a bad or mean thing between us,) - but still.. why do I feel the need to be his keeper?  Why do I feel like it's my job to wag my finger at his little eating indiscretions, and yet if a different friend is going through a full-on, multi-day binge, I can calmly and sweetly tell her that it'll get better?  Is it because Wes is my low-carb eating buddy?  That we've (somewhat silently but have nevertheless) made a friendly agreement to be each others accountability partner?  So, should that make me support him, or kick him in the ass with stern looks and disappointed sighs?

I know, KNOW that different plans work for different people. I know that others are successful while eating more than I eat and being more active than I am.  So, maybe it's fear that I really don't do this the right way. That maybe not today or tomorrow, but in a few weeks or months I could easily binge for a week because my body has had it with me. Or my mind will become totally sick of lean meat and spinach hand over fist.  Could it be the fear that all the kudos and "Wow's" and "You look great's" that I've gotten over the last few months will only require further and further dedication?  That I'm terrified of losing ground?  That the very, very last thing I want is to ever be fat again?  That I'd rather struggle against food the way I do...forever?

I don't really know where all of this is going, or what I am trying to say. Basically, I'm trying to be a little more transparent. I want you to know that I'm not doing this or working through the Ex Hot Girl blog to be an example, but I feel more like I am part of a community. Like... we're all a big family, and we screw up and live life and breathe and fall and succeed together.

I value and respect each one of you, even though I don't always have time or make time to read/comment/email you. With that, I leave you my pledge:

I, Jennifer Brindley, hereby make the commitment to blog more often, be balls-to-the-wall honest, and stop being a pansy-ass Paper Tiger.