Why I Need Pictures Of My Fat Years
I have a decorative cork board in my bedroom. It’s full of photos of me and my husband. All of our various adventures in 12 years of marriage.
Walking down the aisle. The teeny, TINY elevator in Brussels. Dinner in Paris. A kiss in Chicago. So many fun adventures.
I was looking at it the other day, when my kids were in our room, and it sort of made me sad. I realized all the pictures were before kids. Before our current life. Before the extra pounds and extra wear and tear.
My kids see this board every single day. They glance up at it and point at mom and dad. My son asks where we were and what we were doing. And, as much as I want him to know of the relationship we built before he was born, I want him to know that the love didn’t stop there. The adventures didn’t end with parenthood and extra pounds. That fat people are happy, too.
I don’t know about you, but I carry around plenty of body image baggage.
The expectations of…
…adults from my childhood, girlfriends from school, boys I dated (or who I WISHED would ask me out). Comparing myself to women around me or on magazines or TV. Worst of all, comparing myself to… myself. My PAST self.
This, more than anything, is the battle that I want my daughters to win. Idolizing my teen or 20-something body for all the decades to follow is just a sad way to live. I want to embrace my body and imagine who I am becoming, rather than longing for who I was. I want to measure my self-image based on God’s truth, not man’s ever-changing ideals. I want to live a life based on the truth that happiness is not reserved for the thin and tan, or healthy and young, or affluent and comfortable. Happiness, joy, contentment is found in Christ, regardless of the number of wrinkles on my face or the number on the scale.
I need to take pictures during my fat years and put them up in my home because these years are fat and happy ones. While carrying these extra pounds, we welcomed 3 children into our home. We made countless, amazing friends. We went on weekend getaways, and had glorious date nights. We laughed and teased and sang silly songs. These have been wonderful, blessed years, even if not picture perfect by the world’s standards. And the more I hide from the camera, the more I tuck away those pictures, the more I idolize my youth, small size, and childless freedom as the ideal. I need to bounce my eyes from the Marie of the past, and see the blessing and contentment to be found in the Marie of the present.
I want my children to grow up seeing pictures as beautiful snapshots of memories, not only worth looking at if the image is ideal. What better way than to display “unflattering” photos of wonderful memories. After all, life isn’t only lived in milestones like weddings and graduations. It isn’t only joyful on vacation abroad. Life is delicious and glorious in the ordinary suburb on the average Tuesday while packing those postpartum pounds.
So, I’m going through my photos today, selecting new memories to display. I may not look my best in all of them, but I’m living a pretty great life in every single one. And that’s worth capturing.
Marie is a die hard coffee drinker, unabashed loud laugher, and whole-hearted Jesus follower. When she’s not laughing (loudly) with her husband, chatting (loudly) with her girlfriends, singing (loudly) with her son, or wrangling her loud twin girls (#genetics), you can find her on her blog, helping women find hope and humor in this messy life. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.