As I wrote these words a few short weeks ago, I was preparing to be photographed for updated headshots.
A mess of feelings have come up over the last several weeks. Feelings of inadequacy, fear, need to control. My face, my body – it doesn’t look the same in the year 2023 as it did in the year 2018, the last time I had professional photographs.
5 years have come with a lot, and my body has lived it. A pandemic (aka anxiety, isolation, uncertainty), political strife, racial justice, physical injuries, family evolution – illnesses, growth and lots of change; MENOPAUSE (sorry, did I scream that?) I have said a few times over the past few years that it has felt as though my body has been revolting against me.
All of the same insecurities surface for me – even though professionally, I live in this world of body neutrality and intuitive eating. I literally coach other people on this very issue. I am not immune.
So how have I fought off those voices?
The Judge that says that I am not enough, the Controller that says that maybe I should just do a couple more spin classes this week, the Stickler who tells me that I need to be a perfect version of myself in this specific situation, the Victim who says that if all of these aforementioned “issues” wouldn’t have happened I would be in such a better place.
I practice every day, multiple times per day – catching those negative thoughts, intercepting them. I get out of my head and into my body. And then I choose differently. I choose empathy for myself and others. I choose to look at all of the gifts that I have been given through each of these changes. I CHOOSE to present the most authentic version of myself. No apologies, no shame, with pride and excitement for what I bring to the world.
This authentic version? She still colors her hair and wears makeup (most of the time). She also stays in her PJ’s till 5 some days and doesn’t worry about it. She has moved into a space that listens to and respects her “right now” body. She eats bagels and sandwiches and whatever else and moves in a way that feels best for her body. She bought new clothes that fit her “right now” body. She goes to therapy, does things that scare her every week, and connects with her family and friends. She is so much more than a body or a face. She is empowered to be a force – live life to the fullest and be THAT example.