In four months I will be sitting captive in front of a camera. For only the second time ever, we are having family photos professionally taken. (And both times it coincided with a son’s senior portraits or it may never have happened.) I am, of course, already obsessing over planning for it. What to wear and how to coordinate four people’s outfits; if I will change my hair style; perfecting “natural looking yet enhancing” makeup application since I rarely use it; how much I hope to weigh.
I should not only be at my goal weight by then, but well on my way to a lifelong practice of maintenance:) I know that I have been been preaching that the journey for me is not about the weight anymore, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I will feel better on picture day if the scale reflects a lower number. That’s just the reality. And me being honest (with myself and with you).
Coincidentally, the photos will be taken almost a year after I posted (only my fourth post ever) about how I had avoided being in pictures in the past and how I was trying to change that. What I said then still holds true, so, since most of you had not discovered my blog back when I first posted these words, here they are again:
From December 31st, 2009
Yesterday I was choosing pictures for my scrapbook. I tried hard not to pick any that made me look (particularly) fat and to find some that were (most) flattering.
I have always hated having my picture taken; not liking how I look. Too old, too fat, too tired, too pimply, too frizzy, too something. There are certainly photos of me as a kid, smiling and mugging for the camera. Probably I was too young to be self-conscious yet. I remember a conversation at a holiday gathering when I was in my teens and my uncle was trying to photograph me but I kept avoiding him. He told me, “Someday you are going to wish you were in the pictures.” He was right! I don’t know when the light bulb went off – probably when I had kids or when I started scrapbooking and realized how few family photos we had. But just because I want to be IN pictures doesn’t mean I like how I look in them!
A few years ago we had our first professional family photos taken while my son was having his senior portrait done. (Pathetic, I know.) I honestly told the photographer that my husband and I were both self-conscious about our weight and that we wouldn’t buy any shots that made us look fat. Can you believe that she actually told us how to hold our heads to minimize any double chin?
Over the years I have relied on various tricks to make myself look more acceptable (to me) in photos – stand with one leg in front of the other, hug closely to another person, actually put on mascara and eye liner, sit. Sometimes the tricks work; sometimes they don’t.
I suspect that I am too sensitive about what I perceive as my un-photographic self and a bit skewed in my perception of reality. My guess is that my family would look at pictures of me and see me differently than I see myself. I see the flaws before I see the memories. The new and improved me is going to just smile for the camera and say “(low-fat) cheese.”