2016 was definitely a year of transition. There have been a lot of changes in our little family and in our business and to be honest it’s been stressful. On the outside it looks like I handle stress fairly well but the truth is I don’t have an outlet for it. Instead I eat it. And this year my stress tasted like fast food and sugary snacks. Lots of it. I stopped stepping on the scales because I didn’t like what they said. I stopped wearing jeans because they didn’t fit. Opting instead for shorts, leggings and yoga pants. Then winter hit and none of my cold weather clothes fit. NONE. My first reaction was to tell myself how awful I am. How stupid of me to eat all of that and avoid the scales. I said all kinds of mean things to myself. And then, I didn’t eat at all. Well, for a few hours anyway then I would be so hungry I ate everything in sight telling myself “I’ll do better tomorrow.” Then the next day I would start the circle all over again.
Through listening to a series of business education videos I finally realized what was happening. I was constantly telling myself everything I do wrong. I found that I didn’t love anything about myself. This was starting to spill over into my studio as well causing me to worry I wasn’t doing anything right and second guessing myself constantly. The speaker on the business videos asked the question, “Would you say that to your best friend? Your daughter? Would you tell them they are fat, or not good enough? Then why are you doing it to yourself?”
That really hit home with me. I’m in a business where everyday I strive to make people feel good about themselves. I am trained in posing and lighting to enhance their natural beauty. I strive to connect with my subjects and reassure them that they look beautiful in their portraits and yet I would berate myself on a regular basis. I tell my daughter constantly that she is beautiful just the way she is. There’s not one thing wrong with her. And yet I tell myself I’m too fat, my hair is always a problem and I wish I looked better in my glasses. What on earth have I been thinking? How can I expect my daughter or my clients to believe in themselves and see their own beauty when I refuse to acknowledge it in myself?
2017 is going to be different. I’ve decided to put an end to negative self talk. I’m not going to do that to myself anymore. And I want to help others stop doing it to themselves as well. Every one of us looks in the mirror and thinks, “geez I really need to loose some weight.” or “Wow where did all those wrinkles come from?” Or “I hate my double chin!” Would you ever say that to a friend? What about your daughter? Would you tell her she’s not pretty enough or thin enough? I didn’t think so. So why do we do it to ourselves?
This week I am starting on a new journey toward loving myself and I would love it if all of you would join me. If you are interested please comment below so we can keep each other on track as well. As part of the process I’m going to create and post a selfie a week for 52 weeks. No rules other than a selfie a week. You can wear whatever you like, you can do it in a different place every week if you want, you can be as creative or as simple as you wish. Just post a selfie a week and find something you love about yourself in the process. Lets inspire and empower one another. Let’s start creating an environment of positive self talk. After all, our children are listening.