My fiance and all my girlfriends knew the drill. Heck, even strangers knew. Take a picture of me and it must be approved by me before any other human being sees it. If it doesn’t pass the test then it gets deleted automatically. Even if the moment cannot be recreated again, the idea of my imperfections showing was enough to delete the picture. Forever.
The problem is you’re deleting so much more than an image. You are sending a very significant message to your brain about yourself.
You are deletable.
Think about what it is you are saying about yourself and how powerful that message is. A precious memory somehow becomes less important than a perception. I won’t tell you that it doesn’t matter because its not like its going to end up in a magazine or that you’re not a model so what difference does it make. It has nothing to do with that. It has to do with the fact that YOU matter. Your memories matter. Your presence matters.
Imagine if we could accept that moment exactly as it was captured. What if we can simply learn to look at ourselves and say
This is how I look right at this moment.
It’s not who I am. It’s only physical. With each day that passes we are never the same anyway. We evolve. We grow. We learn. These pictures are to remind us of those times. They might remind us of a painful moment we overcame or a joyful moment that still brings a smile to our face. They are our history. They are not to investigate our “problem” areas or to pick ourselves apart like a crime scene investigator collecting evidence for why we are not “perfect”. Same goes for mirrors.
I am saddened by the fact that I have less than a dozen of pictures of me pregnant/postpartum. Or from middle school. Or from high school. Or from my early 20’s. Or the fact that I spent so much time looking at myself in any reflection just to make sure I looked ok or to make sure my belly roll wasn’t too obvious. I just couldn’t stand the fact that I never seemed to have that maternal glow or perfect belly or coolness factor so I kept deleting them hoping the next one would be better and every single time it was just… me.
I can’t get those moments back but I can reclaim my thoughts and my self-image today. I only delete pictures because I run out of storage so many times on my phone from taking so many.
I look at myself in pictures and no longer zero in on my “imperfections”. I look at the whole image and allow the memory to flood my brain realizing pictures capture moments and images not my essence or all of who I am. How? I had to retrain my brain. I posted about this before but the information is worth sharing again:
- Look at yourself in the mirror or a picture and say the words out loud that you long to hear automatically. I literally put up words ALLLLL over my bathroom mirror. Practice self love until it becomes a habit.
- Say something kind to someone else…like to their face. Knowing that many people are feeling insecure beat them to the delete button and say something to encourage them. It starts this amazingly wonderful cycle of positivity and support.
- Take pictures with family, friends, and any occasion. The more people involved the less likely you’ll want to let a moment go. If someone requests it be deleted then that’s your chance to spread the love and kindness.
- Super proud to have had another article published for Healthy Is The New Skinny! You can check that out right here: My First Topless 5K
- The kids and I will be doing a 5K in February. Hopefully it’s warm enough to go topless so I can normalize what healthy looks like by beating them to the finish line flabby belly and all!! Any Houstonians wanting to join me check out the info here: Kids Running For Kids