I had this realisation a few months ago, but knew that the time would be right when I could blog about this and not be angry at myself.
When I first saw the picture of myself in a different light, I wept.
I was scrolling through pictures after I received the new HP printer and was given the fun task of printing out images from my Pinterest board for the #Printerest campaign. I absolutely loved the idea of printing and it's a dream of a printer, with photo quality results, so the hunt to print more than just pics of vision board dreams began.
If you take a stroll through my Facebook pictures it really is a roller coaster of varying weights, most of which I can always identify with as needing to "fix" something about myself.
But then I go to this one. It was taken just over a year ago and at that stage, on the very day that I took the pic, I was still commenting on the additional 10 or 15 or 20 kilos that I wanted to lose.
I remember, I was proud of myself and I did feel great, but it wasn't good enough.
This can't be the only moment when I was perfect in my own skin and I missed it. Most of the photographs that I had of myself burned in the family home fire in 2004 (the ironic start of my Project Me journey), so I don't have many left, but if I did, I'm sure this would be a recurring theme in my life.
I was just about to squeeze myself into a size 38 here and once upon a time I used to be a size 46 (or a size 20). That's a huge achievement but no matter how great I felt at any point, it just wasn't good enough. I have had this image of me being an ideal size 34 (at least) for an eternity and I got so fixated on that, that I totally missed the point we all wait to get to ... maintaining a happy, healthy weight!!
I think I unconsciously saddened myself when I missed this moment and it feels like, from that day, I slowly slipped back into old patterns and crept my way back into my 44's. It took about a year of repeated patterns, with the biggest one being downright means to myself.
Fast forward to staring at a picture of myself where all I could see was perfection!!
It took a while to calm down and not feel a thousand steps behind and then I started to shift my focus and my perception. The first thing I did was dig out the pair of jeans I wore in the pic and hold them against me. I stared at myself until I felt contentment that, when I got back into them I would feel perfect and it would be enough. I totally re framed what I expected of myself and now I see perfectionist when I look at the picture. Not what the world defines as perfect, but what I have!
I then took the picture and instead of making it a goal, I made it an achievement. I have done that with other pics, like finally buying the handbag I wanted or seeing the part of the world I have had on my vision board for ages. We get so stuck on plastering images of what we want all over the place that I really think we forget to print out and stick up the things we have achieved.
Gratitude ... well hasn't that been watered down to nothing. It's become as trendy as ... okay, let me not get distracted and start ranting, but it's hard to ignore that fact that we banter around with gratitude a little too much. Scrap the vision board of dreams and visions ... what would you print, that depicts how far you have come and how grateful you are? That became the burning questions as I sat with glossy photograph paper to print.
Me ... I printed me!
I printed me when I was perfect and I missed it!
I printed me as the compass that I have now set to head back to an achievable happiness!
I printed me as a token of gratitude for the love and care that I know I have the ability to give to my body!
In the few months since I had this realisation, I have gotten myself back into a size 42 and I am about to hop, skip and squeeze myself in a size 40 if I just keep doing what I'm doing ... simple, easy, calm, focused, grateful and purely heading back to one particular pair of jeans.
My vision for my body has never been attainable. I'm sure some fitness guru out there is going to freak or a weight loss diva is going to tell me that I'm in denial and I can lose more, achieve more, push more ... I have so been there, done that! There are thousands of us out there who have been there and exhausted ourselves trying to reach goals that break us more than fix us!!
Find yours ... it's out there!!