The first thing my eyes draw to when I see this gorgeous photo are the rolls around my belly, my thighs, my boobs. I can’t help it. Even with my new found (supposed!) body confidence and “who gives a fuck attitude?” I can’t help but gaze at myself with a critical, judging eye. It is almost 42 years of practice contained in that first gaze – hone in on the flaws, seek out what you don’t like and then focus, focus, focus… It’s a hard habit to break.
But break it I will.
Because my second, third and fourth looks see so much more.
I see a happy family. A family who loves and cares for each other. I see a moment of joy, affection and tenderness captured perfectly. I see fun and spontaneity. I see a father adoring his daughter and a mother sneaking a kiss that otherwise might not be given. I see connection and togetherness. I see a vibrant, happy little girl feeling safe and loved and celebrated.
I was actually dreading this photo shoot and almost even cancelled it. The day leading up to it had been a kind of hell. Major meltdowns and tantrums, frustrations boiling over, feelings of inadequacy as a parent – why couldn’t I make her happy? Why was she so angry? I said to Dave as we were trying to get dressed and ready in the midst of screaming and tears, “I don’t even want this photo shoot, all it’s going to show is an unhappy, pissed off family!”.
But, I took a deep breath, threw on the first clothes I came across, let Miss Sweet Pea choose clothes from the dirty pile – and walked out the door.
Look what I would have missed if I hadn’t pushed through?? A moment in time that reminds me there is deep, beautiful love and happiness in my life amongst the loud, chaotic and turbulent mess it often feels like. I’m not going to let a few rolls make me miss that.