The message is that our bodies are wonderful just the way they are and we should celebrate what we can do with them instead of focusing on perceived flaws and imperfections.
I'm going to walk the walk and share a few of my own "bad" pictures, just because I can.
This was taken at my friend's wedding. My initial reaction was, "oh, damn, my neck is fat and my eyes have bags. I look terrible."
What the hell is wrong with me? This photo captured a moment of pure joy and silliness with a friend that I adore. It's a perfect summary of the amazing experience I had as part of his Steam Punk Wedding. How did I miss all that the first time I saw the picture? Because I was caught up in the supposed flaws of my body instead of seeing the magic of two friends together.
And another picture, even more recent.
My friend, Rik, took this photo as we were waiting to start our California 10/20 Run a couple of weeks ago. What did I see when he showed this to me? I saw my belly sticking out, back fat, a puffy face, and eyes hidden that disappeared behind the bags. Surprised to learn that I'm that critical of myself? Well, it's true. I am. It's something I work on constantly.
What did I miss? This moment was just before an amazing woman sang the National Anthem, before Rik and I started our trek into the mist, and before we enjoyed ten miles of running together, something we rarely get to do since we live on opposite sides of the country. This photo should have brought all that to mind. Instead, I chose to see the bad.
One more, from September.
This is me finishing the first leg of the Ragnar Relay Napa. I had just run across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco at sunrise, a true highlight of my running career. I was handing off to our next runner, my dear friend Tammy. This photo captured so many amazing memories for me. But what did I see? My fat stomach, my short legs, and my round face.
Sheesh, what was I thinking? I just finished running nearly five miles, including a portion through soft sand and another section of straight-up stair climbing. I kicked ass and had such a great run. What a fool I was to see this as a bad picture instead of proof of my awesomeness!
I can't explain how much this article from Runner's World has smacked me around this morning. From now on, I'm going to try to see the good that is captured in a photo and not focus on the silly things that don't really matter.
I'm going to work on seeing the real me. The amazing me. The me that runs relays and up hills and across bridges and full marathons. I'm going to see ME!