Can we get a little personal here for a few minutes? Like REALLY personal. I’m talking BFF status. I hate the way I look. Not in an “OMG I’m so fat I can barely button my size 0 jeans” kind of way, but like an “I look like an Umpa Lumpa and I could totally shed 50 pounds and still look healthy” kind of way.
The truth is, like so many women, I have never really liked the way I look. I’ve always wanted to be taller and less hippy. Even in high school when I weighed in at a whooping 112 pound I felt inadequate. Over the years I have delt with everything from eating disorders to negative comments from friends and family. So it’s no surprise that last year it took all the courage I had to get pictures done.
Over the last year I have given birth to a beautiful baby girl and managed to lose all the baby weight and…gain it all right back. There are so many reason why I gained it all back: laziness, slow metabolism, PCOS, stress, depression, the list goes on. The fact is I am 4-foot 11-inches tall and weigh almost 170 pounds. (WOW! Did I just write that for the world to see?!? I can’t believe I wrote that!) The same weight as when I was 40 weeks pregnant with a 8 pound baby.
When I look in the mirror I see boobs that are way too big for my body, flabby arms, a huge, icky, saggy stomach that hangs over my sweatpants and ginormous, gross thighs. The last think I wanted to do was to immortalize this for my daughter and future grandchildren to see. Then I had an epiphany! It doesn’t matter how I look! What matters it that I was there, in the pictures.
Like most moms, and most photographers, I know, I’m not in very many pictures. I stay behind the camera because that’s where I’m comfortable. I literally have thousands of pictures of my daughter and hundreds of her and Nick, but very few have me in them. This lead to a scary thought; If I died tomorrow, there would be no pictures of me with the people I that mean the most to me.
I couldn’t stand that thought! I found a fabulous photographer, whose work I just adore and I emailed her set up and appointment. A little over a month later, I pulled on my most comfortable, fat hiding jeans and boobie camouflaging over shirt bought just for this shoot and off we went.
Let me tell you, that was the BEST photo shoot of my life! Liz, our photographer made me feel so comfortable and relaxed that I actually forgot we were having pictures taken! I was so caught up in interacting with Nick and Anora that I barely noticed the camera. Of coarse, there were moments where I kept tugging at my shirt, trying to keep teh girls covered of hide a tummy roll, but that was the most discomfort I felt.
I was so nervous to see our pictures. I was sure I looked horrible and kept mentally talking down to myself about it. Then, the day of truth came- our gallery was ready. As i brought up the pictures, I was stunned! I didn’t see short fat lady; I saw a mommy and a wife with her family smiling genuine smiles. My only comment about my looks was “Wow! Is my hair really that dark now?”
The best thing about our pictures is that they show us, the real us. They show the true bond that is our little family. I may not be a super model, but I am a mommy, a wife, a friend. That’s what these pictures show. The love and joy that is our life and the people we are today. We have pictures of us as children, teenagers, sailors and as a couple. There are pictures from football games, drill meets, wrestling matches, vacations, port calls and parties. But these are the first picture of us as a family.