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.