Our group picture at work was a few days ago and I survived it. Of course because I am a mere 5’0 tall I had to stand in the front. This meant no hiding behind someone else, no camouflage, just me in all my big girl glory. I was not happy about this and I initially wanted to sneak away behind a taller person. I am proud to say I did not do that. I stood in the front row and smiled a big smile all while ignoring the negative voices in my head.
A few hours later when the picture was emailed to all of us I shuttered at the thought of looking at it. I did not want to see how bad I looked or how fat I looked, how awful my hair looked, how my outfit did not look right. I just didn’t want to feel the rush of disappointment I always feel when I see a picture of myself. I have been working so hard to have a better self image, I knew something like this picture would set me back. All those nagging voices in my mind, the dark thoughts and negative feelings I have tried to silence often find ways to sneak back in and try to destroy my progress. I feared opening up this email and looking at the picture would send me back to a place I didn’t want to return to.
I opened the email, I looked at the picture. The first thing I did was start to talk negatively about how I looked. My God, I am so pale, my face and hands look bloated and doughy. My hair looks like straw, my head is so fat, my stomach is huge, my legs are thick and fat. Look even my feet are disgusting, they are pouring over the edges of my flats.
Then something happened. I stopped listening to all that negative talk and started focusing on positive things. My smile is honest and beautiful. It shows how caring and kind I am. My eyes are a unique blend of brown and blue, they are expressive and meaningful.
It was then that I realized I was in the front row of that picture not only because I’m short but because that is where I deserved to be. Upfront in plain view not hiding!