Don't Believe Everything You See (Just Everything You Feel)
Don’t believe everything you see on Intstagram (or social media platform).
A few weeks ago, the hubby and I finally got away for a couple of nights without the kiddos. He took these shots of me after I took a refreshing dip in the Pacific Ocean.
Carefree and happy.
I had no idea how different these 2 photos would look until I was scrolling through on his phone later that afternoon.
How could my body look so different within a couple of minutes in the same bathing suit?
My initial reaction to these two photos was really interesting to say the least.
To be completely honest, I wasn’t too trilled with the way I looked in the photo on the left. My first thought was “Wow… is that really me? I guess I have a much different perception of my body… I thought my body was smaller than this” But at the same time I also felt badly about the photo on the right and thought, “wow… I don’t look very healthy in this photo. I thought I bigger than this.”
This is why I very rarely take full body photos in a swimsuit let alone fully clothed. It just messes with my brain, self-perception and body image. I limit my time around mirrors for this reason and I’ve found that when I do this it keeps me sane and helps my body image.
After my initial, crappy reaction I began to get curios about how I felt toward these photos and asked myself this question:
“How did I feel in each of these photo?”
I felt joy, bliss and peace within my body. The ocean water was refreshing and liberating. I felt alive and free in the middle of the crashing waves and on the beach. I felt beautiful.
We all have those photos where we’re like “Oh good lord! I can’t show this to anyone” because we feel like it doesn’t show our face or our body in a “get a ton of positive comments and likes” way. I’ve come to realize when I feel that reaction it might be best to post the photo anyway and observe what happens internally (how do I feel regardless of the reaction I get from social media). Can I let go of my fear of being judged? Can I let go of perfectionism? Can I allow a photo that shows my joy regardless of how my body looks to be part of my collection of photos? Can I feel good about how I look even if other people may have a different opinion? By posting the photo, I’m moving into my fear knowing that no matter what people may say, I felt beautiful in that moment and that is all that truly matters.
You may be thinking “what the hell is this chick talking about?” and I get it. I should have great body image by now right? But the truth is although I’m a little over a month away from celebrating a decade of recovery from an eating disorder that nearly cost me my life, I still struggle with negative body image from time to time. And although I’ve been told that I have the “yoga body” as defined by the media, there are many times I have a hard time believing this and even if I do, don’t I have an expectation to live up to if I already have “the body”? This is one of the main reasons I don’t take many photos of my body. It’s easier to avoid judgment and feedback about my body if I never put it out there. But at the same time, shouldn’t I be able to post photos of me loving the body I’m in? Which is why I decided to post these photos.
I love the saying “do one thing each day that scares you”. Well, today was a doozy.
How do you feel about posting photos of yourself when you don’t think you look “good enough”? Can you post them anyway? What are do you think you’re really scared of?