Colbie Caillat started it with her recent song and video called TRY. My blogging friend Megan of Brassy Apple wanted to push this movement along and invited women from all over to share what they looked like without make up and I joined in!!
A few years ago I would have cringed at this image and deleted it outright (or at least erased the lines, softened the bags, deleted the blemishes and filled out the lips). Today, though, I LOVE this picture because it’s the very first one I’ve ever taken that captures what my children love so much:
the mother they see everyday.
It’s been a slow process, but over the last few years my children have helped me see how much I am loved and valued–not because of how I look or what I’ve accomplished–but simply because I am theirs.
And oh what that love has done.
When my children smile up at me, they don’t see the hair and enamel that are thinning and brittle after a decade of rampant bulimia in my teens and twenties like I sometimes do. They see their Momma who is calming them after a bad dream and rocking them to sleep with a lullaby.
When they throw their arms around my neck, they don’t see my double chin and extra moles they way I sometimes do. They feel love for the one who cares for and protects them.
When they climb up onto my lap and ask for their favorite story to be read ‘just one more time Momma,’ they don’t see the soft stomach or the chubby thighs the way I sometimes do. They feel the love of someone who made time just for them.
I have struggled with weight my whole life and have spent years destroying myself with powerful self loathing, hiding from cameras and depressively fantasizing about all of the amazing things that I could accomplish once the weight came off. But as I’ve slowly allowed to see myself the way my children see me … as my Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ see me … and how my husband, family and friends see me … I’ve realized that I don’t have to wait for anything to be happy, loved or accepted.
The truth is that I’ve accomplished more in the last few years of my life than I have in decades–just the way I am. And while taking better care of myself and becoming more healthy are still goals that I work towards, I’ve realized how hollow the world’s standard of perfect-beauty-acceptance is.
I was elected to a prominent position witin our city not long ago that seemed so utterly out of my league a few years ago. After the vote came down, I realized that I’d sacrificed years of progress waiting for a version of perfection that was so destructive. The talent and abilities that landed me my new position were always there; I’d just bought into the lie that said that nothing short of perfect could ever be loved or valued.
How wrong I was.
So something funny has begun to happen ….
I am okay with seeing this girl in the mirror, all made up for a night out …