“That I would be good, even if I gained ten pounds.” — Alanis Morrissette.
Last night I read a post on Sister Wives Speak that could not have been more timely.
It was about a movement they are trying to start where women post real photos of themselves, unedited, unashamed, to celebrate their own personal beauty.
Whether it is with make up, with natural lighting, with fancy clothes, or in sweats. Whether it is after the gym, or while feeling sad, or when just sitting around channel surfing. We have been challenged to #BeReal.
At first I thought, I could NEVER do that!
Firstly because I do not post personal photos of myself or my family on my blog or Twitter (PS, you can find me @Momasteblog just saying’).
Second, I did not consider posting a “real” photo of myself because I am in, shall we say, a state of lacking confidence at the moment. I’ve gained about 8-10 pounds this summer.
I’m not sure if I am bloated from the heat, if it is the gelato, stress creating belly fat, or my aging metabolism slowing down. Whatever it is, it sure is making it hard for me to feel good and loving towards myself. And feeling icky about myself makes me feel like a failure at self acceptance. And that sense of failure makes me want to go hide and eat more gelato.
Round and round we go.
So, fuck all that. Challenge accepted.
This morning I put on a dress in which I felt beautiful last summer, minus 8-10 pounds. I adore the color and it is super cool and comfortable, but I’ve not been wearing it this summer because it makes me feel exposed and chubby.
I stood in front of my closet, waffling (mmmmmm…. waffles……) about putting it on.
Then I stood in front of the mirror and told myself I would wear this dress and fucking rock the shit out of it.
So here it is.
Here is me being #BeReal.
And YES, those are snotty nose, tongue, finger streaks from my precious daughter on the mirror, who for some reason loves to paint on my full length mirror in her spit. Could I have wiped them off for you, sure. But would that have been as “real”? (Hah! I’ll take any excuse to get out of cleaning first thing in the morning! Plus they hide my cellulite a little…)
I considered the photo and thought, I should have posed differently or I should have stood at a different angle. But I did not retake the photo. It wasn’t even that hard to leave it at the first shot, but it felt amazing!
Off I drove to work feeling like a badass, in the best way you can possibly feel like a badass. Liberated! Confident! Rebellious!
I was reminded of the health and strength of my body. I reminded myself that my body has grown two amazing children from scratch, nourished them of my own miraculous DNA. My body birthed a nine and a half pound baby in three pushes. My body is the place where my children feel safest, comforted, content. They haven’t a clue that I am 8-10 pounds heavier this summer.
It was a pretty cool exercise to #BeReal because it totally shifted my focus from feeling hyper-aware of that 8-10 pounds, to being gently aware of what a Righteous Babe I still am. And at the end of the day, if I am super focused on a number on a scale, it does not lead to overall health and well-being.
What are your thoughts on the movement? What do you look like when you are real?
As an aside, you should check out the Sister Wives (not to be confused with the train wreck poly fam on the TLC reality show). These ladies (and sometimes a gentleman or two) have created an amazing site geared towards helping people process and accept the “Big Uglies” in their lives. They also were gracious enough to publish a post I produced in January, in which I told for the first time the most difficult story of my life.