Two years ago I never would have let my friend and photographer Darcy Austin take this photo of me. I would have told her there was no way in hell. There would ever be a photo of me full length, silhouette, or anything like it. This weekend I stretched myself once again. I have embraced that I was beautiful. I was two years ago and I am now but every day I fight to make self doubt and loathing go away.
Loving myself has been so very hard. When you have spent most of your life being told how fat and ugly you are, how are we expected to love ourselves? But we must. We absolutely must love ourselves. Because all those assholes who called me fat, ugly, cow, pig, whale, fat bitch because bitch wasn't enough and even the ones that shamed me for eating- they poisoned me against me. Made life hurtful and desperate. I hated myself. I wanted to die because my self loathing was so intense. Being obese is no picnic, literally. I have a desperation of acceptance that enslaves me even today. When I tell people I have 100 more pounds to lose and they say "Oh no way, you look amazing", I am mortified and appreciative in the same moment. Because these are some of the people who would have body shamed me two years ago. The voices in my head have left deeper scars then any bruise or cut I ever got. I struggle to silence them.
If I can stay positive 85% of my day I am winning and beating them. Let's face it, we will always think there is something we can improve or change. I know, and you know, that we will never be totally positive all the time, every day. But if we can do it most of the time, be happy more days then we are sad, be kind to ourselves and others more times than not, we win. WE WIN! But we must try. All the time, every day.
So today I embrace this photo because it says so much. It says to be I trusted Darcy to make me look good. It says I love my husband. It says he loves me. It says he steadied me as I balanced on one foot (which is not that easy by the way) and he balances my life. It says I have come so far in my journey. It says love. And that is what we need more of - LOVE.
Photo by Darcy Austin Photography.