Today’s was a big day for me – It was photo shoot day! I’m lucky enough to have a very talented photographer friend who offered to take some professional fitness photos of me for my blog, Facebook page and business advertising needs. My living room turned into our ‘studio’ and I was patting myself on the back for not getting around to hanging any pictures! Lack of decorating = blank backdrop!
Two days ago to prep for the shoot, I went and had my first ever spray tan- per the orders of the photographer. He told me “go a level darker than you’d feel comfortable choosing for yourself”. Eek! Thanksgiving is less than a week away and I’m visiting relatives I haven’t seen in over a year… showing up orange would be hard to explain to my 97 year old Great Aunt! But I took his direction and I’m definitely tan – in a just came from the beach way- so not bad at all! If you are wondering, I chose the ‘clear’ finish level medium – 4 passes. All new to me but it seemed to work out.
While I was excited to get some professional shots, I was also kicking myself for not losing those 2-3 pounds I’d planned to lose. I could have run a few more miles, done more sit ups, worked harder at pilates and now it was too late. Too be honest, I was beating myself up and wonder how badly this was going to turn out this morning. I wondered just how much magic could be done with photoshop? I had already informed the photographer about a 9 inch scar running down my abdomen and assumed we’d be covering that up… preferably with a fleece jacket!!
He was kind enough to humor me in the beginning and we did several shots with a fitted longer sports bra top. I was surprised how good I actually looked… so differently than I’d seen myself in the mirror that morning. The right lighting, the right pose and words of encouragement gave me confidence and it showed. We did multiple poses and multiple outfits… and we even did quite a few in the dreaded sports bra – baring my abs for all to see! I’ve been self conscious about my abs for years after having surgery so this was a big step for me. And I’m shocked to admit – some of the shots looked darn good! I saw myself in a new light- not damaged goods – but fit, strong and healthy. And I realized this is how other people see me … not the scar, not the two pounds I haven’t lost… but a fit, healthy role model. Why as women are we so hard on ourselves? Why do we expect perfection? And why don’t we celebrate our own unique forms and the strength we have?
I left today feeling great about myself- excited to see my photos – and thinking who needs photoshop??
And I also learned – when in doubt- push your hips back, pull your belly button in, chest up, and shoulders slightly to the front… trust me on this one!!