Photo Shoot - One of the most amazing days of my life!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

I went to do a photo shoot this past weekend with a group of my girlfriends - I thought it might be a giggle...I never thought that it might be a day of amazing growth and realization for me...

I was talked into it a week before after a few bottles of wine..."He is a fantastic photographer..." I was intrigued, and thought that I might enjoy the day out, even if the pictures turned out a bit rubbish.

All of the other girls were eagerly discussing the lingerie shots that they were planning, and how nervous they were to be considering nude shots, and all that I could think about was my saggy tummy... my sad, droopy breasts...the excess skin left over from losing over 100 lbs...not particularly sexy...maybe this wasn't such a great idea after all!! I am not a "lingerie" kind of girl. I tend to stick with comfort over fashion at the best of times, so I was really at a loss as to what I was going to do!

The other girls that I was going with were all slim and stunning - three of them had breast implants and one a tummy tuck (after significant weight loss), and there was me...once again the "fat girl" of the group...isn't it sad that even after all of my fantastic accomplishments regarding my weight and body image that my head automatically went there?? Crazy.

Anyhow, as the week wore on I felt sick every time I thought of what we were going to do, and the morning that we left for the studio, I was feeling faint and overcome completely with sheer terror. What on earth did I think I was doing??

Eventually we got to the studio, and one of the girls who had done a shoot with the photographer before went first, and let us all watch so that we knew what was coming. You do your nude shots first, so that you get the worst over with, and don't have any strap marks etc on your skin. She did some headshots first, then confidently dropped her robe and took a deep breath - it was over within minutes, and we were all admiring her amazing photos. She looked absolutely AMAZING!! I was so proud of her!

I retreated to the dressing room while the other girls took turns getting their first sets of shots taken...I sat and just stared at myself in the mirror. All I could see was fat thighs, stretch marks, rolls, flaws...just UGLY. I burst into tears and hid fro the other girls - what the hell was I thinking??? Who did I think I was trying to be?? I didn't feel like I had any right to be there, and just wanted to leave and forget the fact that I thought I could do this. It was horrible! I haven't felt that bad about myself since I started my weight loss journey.

Thank goodness for amazing friends!! The other girls took me in hand, dried my tears, got me a glass of wine ;) and got me take a few deep breaths. I took a few minutes to myself and just came to the conclusion that if I walked away from this now, then I would regret it for a very long time. breathe deep and get out there and tackle this just like I had tackled my weight loss issues, or my fear of going to the gym and exercising in public, or my fear of running...I COULD DO THIS!!

So, eventually I was the last one who had not taken my first set of pictures... The photographer was really kind, and said if I wasn't ready I could wait a bit more. I said "Nope. Let's do this." Trying to sound more confident than I actually was. I told the girls they could stay if they wanted to, but he kicked them out. I think he knew that I needed to do this one on my own.

We started out with some headshots...getting comfortable with being quite up close and personal with each other - he was BRILLIANT. Kind and encouraging...showing me the differences in the expressions that he was drawing out of me on the various pictures - small changes that affected the entire mood of a shot. It was amazing.

Then he said - "okay, I think we have it...what do you want now??" I explained about the weight loss - how uncomfortable I was with certain bits of my body, but that I wanted a shot for my husband, either of me wearing a sheet, or a sheer dressing gown. Before I knew it, I was on the floor, with my hips swathed in sheer black cloth, and he was snapping away.

I didn't feel embarrassed of my body...I didn't feel afraid of the camera...ME, who spent YEARS hiding my body behind anything available the minute I saw a camera - furniture, friends, children,,,whatever was available! There I was - completely naked on the floor of a studio, with some man taking pictures of me... SURREAL!!!

When he showed me the pictures, my immediate reaction was "Oh my god look at how fat I am still!!" Until the photographer started pointing out things like "See how the light hits your lips there, THAT is what is sexy about this picture"...then we called the other girls in to see... I am such a lucky woman to have such supportive and loving friends!! I will never forget the wonderful and kind things that they said about me when they saw those pictures...and suddenly, I wanted to do some more!!! After all, what was wearing some lingerie?? I had just done naked pictures - NAKED!!! ME!!!!!

By the end of the day I was on a high...running around the studio with the rest of the girls in my underwear...and somehow, in the course of 7 hours, I became PROUD of my body, and amazed at how by sheer will I had transformed it from a 280 lb+ giant couch potato to THIS:

That's me.
That's MY body.
My body that has grown and nurtured and fed three amazing babies.
My body that has been overfed and under loved for too many years.
My body that I had taken 107 lbs off of.
My body that I have pushed to breaking point on a spinning bike and an elliptical trainer and pounding the pavement.
My body that will carry me through a triathlon in 8 weeks time.
MY BODY that I am PROUD of.
My body that is BEAUTIFUL.

One rainy Sunday is all that it took for me to realize many things... that I am worth all of the hard work...that the results ARE showing...that I still have a ways to go...that I WILL get there...and that I had it in me the whole time....

I have always been beautiful... it has just been a long many years since I have loved myself enough to notice and actually believe it.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Wow. That's all I can say. Wow. *letting the tears flow and pride show*
    I am so very proud of all that you have accomplished. You are an amazing woman, mother, friend and wife.....and I can tell all that just from what you have accomplished. If you can do this for yourself, I can only imagine what you have done for your friends and loved ones.
    I now have a reward in mind for myself, when my goal has been get over myself and get a set of pictures done like you did! What an inspiration you are. Thank you for sharing your story, and pictures, they (and you) are amazing.
    PS--You don't happen to live in Southern ON, do you? *sheepish grin* I'd love to use the same photographer, if possible!
    2683 days ago
    That is just awe inspiring! You should be so proud. These are just amazing!
    2683 days ago
  • ALLEYCAT_ really - I have no word for how freaking PROUD I am of you and how incredible you look and what a great blog this was. Its ARE beautiful and that is YOUR body and its amazing and lovely and sexy and incredible.

    Now finish the story. Did your hubby go bonkers over those shots or WHAT? emoticon
    2785 days ago
    Simply Amazing! You are such an inspiration to me! I hope to be where you are at some point in the not to distant future! Keep it up!
    2810 days ago
    Your story made me cry - happiness for you, and a bit of fear and regret for myself... BEAUTIFUL shots! I'm so impressed and happy for you that you got over your fear and leaped into freedom!
    2810 days ago
    AMAZING!! YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2810 days ago
    Beautiful you are. Wow what courage you have, I cried thru this entire blog. I hope someday I have the same courage you have. At this point I still hide behind everyone and everything, something I have been working on. THanks to your blogg I will be working even harder to stand out in the pictures. YOU ROCK GIRL
    2810 days ago
    What an amazing story! You're husband will LOVE these photos, as I found them beautiful myself. Congratulations on all of your success, and conquering of fears! I hope to be in that situation one day, the situation of embracing the body God gave me, and to love it!
    2811 days ago
    OMG! Wow! First of! You look amazing! And second of all thank you for sharing your experience. What an amazing blog. Your emotion is one we can all relate to, that feeling of not being good enough, thin enough, pretty enough, fit enough, when infact we all are. We just have to be comfortable with who we are and take good care of what God gave us. You are an beautiful, inspiring and amazing woman! Thanks again for sharing!
    2811 days ago
    Amazing! Congratulations on your awareness and self discovery! You are a beatiful woman and I am so proud of you. How brave you really are. Kuddos!
    2811 days ago
    Picture my mouth hanging open in awe at how awesome you look!!!

    I came over to visit you to say the curls in your profile pic so suits you and softens your features nicely... BUT THIS!!!! WOW is an understatement!!

    I was so floored by your pics I did not read till after I commented above! You look amazing for a woman who was moments before crying from fright!

    I must say... while I am not excited about stripping for another man to see besided hubby.... This is DEFINITELY on my TO DO LIST!

    The nude of Serena williams on my vision collage has been inspiring me for some time now. See the background to my page!
    2815 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/7/2010 9:46:33 PM
    You should be very proud of yourself. You've done an amazing job. I applaud you! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2815 days ago
    YOUR pictures and BODY are exquisite!!! Absolutely breath taking and BEAUTIFUL!!! So glad to see those that conquer!!! And you girlfriend, are doing just that!!!

    Thanks for sharing your journey with all of us!!!

    Big Hugs and Smiles,
    2815 days ago
  • LULU1959
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    You look amazing BD and should be so proud of yourself. Great pictures. Thanks for sharing. Here's a toast to you and all you have accomplished! emoticon
    2817 days ago
    What a GREAT blog. I've still got tears in my eyes too!! Its funny because I wanted to do a photo shoot like this when I lose weight and hopefully do it for my hubbys b-day by the end of the year. Thanks. You've given me the inspiration to continue my journey and enjoy it when I get there. Thanks!! You look beautiful and just amazing!! Hugs!
    2818 days ago
  • LIZZYP609
    I have tears in my eyes! Thanks so much for sharing! I hope to be where you are one day...I only had 20 pounds to lose...I feel the same way as you DID.
    2818 days ago
  • BLK2010
    Absolutley stunning! Wow, thanks for sharing!
    2818 days ago
    you left me with tears in my eyes. I want pictures like that. I too have lost over 100 pounds. I too have the stretch marks, the saggy belly and bust...I too would burst into tears......the shot of your back is amazing, feminine, beautiful....I would like to do this someday. Thanks so very much for sharing your I said I have tears in my eyes, I will be saving this post....
    2818 days ago
    You look AMAZING and so beautiful in the pictures! Such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing this!!!
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    2818 days ago
    WOW!!! THAT IS SO AMAZING!!! I am so proud of you for doing that,pushing through your fear and conquering it!!!! reading your blog brought tears to my eyes as I can relate on how I feel about my body.Congratulations!!!!
    2818 days ago
    So inspirational!!
    2818 days ago
    Way to Go! So proud of you. You have conquered something I never will, nor many others. You are gorgeous! emoticon
    2818 days ago
  • NIXIE27
    How amazing! You are beautiful inside and out! It brought tears to my eyes!
    2819 days ago
    oh, my...I'm still crying! You are a beautiful, strong, amazing woman! As I read your description of how your feelings were building up to the photo shoot, I could feel your anxiety...I too, would have such similar feelings. But, just as you overcame your weight, and your negative feelings about yourself, you overcame your fears of the photo shoot and WOW! What beauty! Your inner strength, determination and what makes you an amazing woman just shines through. You are an inspiration!

    Thank you so much for sharing and for allowing all of us to have a glimpse of your strength and beauty.
    2819 days ago
    2819 days ago
  • KIMH239
    Your blog brought me to tears!!! Isn't it amazing what we women do to ourselves? All of the self loathing, never feeling happy about ourselves, never feeling like we have ever done enough or are worth the accolades we so richly deserve. And no matter how many women I have ever talked to, no matter what their size, hair color or college degree they have....we can always find something about ourselves that is less than perfect.

    It is so nice to see that you finally see yourself as the beautiful accomplished women that you are!!! And the best part is that you have those wonderful photos to prove it. They (and you) are stunning!

    Congrats to you! Enjoy YOU!!!
    2819 days ago
    This is amazing!!! Congrats and you are an inspiration!!!! I think everyone should read this :)
    2819 days ago
    2819 days ago
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