I’ve heard it all before -every excuse a woman can throw out there about why she isn’t ready to come and do a session with me (or anyone else)-but, by far, the most common is the dreaded, “I have to lose five pounds before I’ll feel comfortable enough to get in front of a camera.”
This makes me want to stab myself in the eye with a fork to detract from my frustration at hearing any woman insist she needs to change something about herself before she’ll be beautiful enough to warrant photographing. It especially aggravates me when the skinniest ladies say this to me, and they are perfectly serious, because I just can’t understand what causes women to be so ridiculously hard on themselves. I always try to be patient and positive and leave them feeling confident that I can work with any woman, of any size or shape, and make her feel amazing, beautiful, confident and in love with herself by the time our session is finished. But, honestly, on the inside I want to grab them by the hair, march them up to a mirror, strip them naked and point out every part of them that is absolutely beautiful JUST THE WAY IT IS FOR EFF SAKES.
Insert sound of frustration here: Arrrrrrrrrrrghhhhh!
I know, I’m yelling a lot in this post, but if you had heard people say this to you hundreds of times in your career, you’d be ready to take some drastic measures to keep it from getting to you too. So, short of pulling my potential clients’ hair and stripping them naked (which probably wouldn’t go over that well because they hadn’t actually hired me yet), I’ll just yell on my blog instead and hope it gets through to some of them.
OR, they can read this post about Christina and then sit and reflect for a little while because I’m more than willing to bet the farm that she can put that last five pounds into perspective for anyone and take you out of your fear zone and into the fearless zone where she now spends much of her time.
Christina recently came to me for a shoot. And she got naked. Not so remarkable, considering about 95% of my clients get naked, but there’s a lot more to this story.
How much do you weigh right now? Are you one of those women who obsessively weighs yourself, frets about gaining an inch or two, feels down and sad if your pants feel a little tighter than usual? Well, imagine for a moment, that you stepped on a scale one day and saw 399 staring back at you. That is what Christina used to weigh before she made the life-changing decision to start working toward a healthier version of herself. 399 pounds. How’s that five pounds looking to you now, skinny ladies?
Christina used to weigh 399 pounds. I remember meeting her the first time and thinking that she was larger than life – not because she was obese, but because she stands at over six feet tall and she is friendly and vivacious and has the most kick ass British accent. She stands out. Not only that, but there is something about her that draws people in and makes us feel at ease – a light, if you will. It shines from her without her even noticing it, but anyone who has spent any time around her will agree that she is just the kind of person that you will find yourself wanting to spend time with, even if you can’t quite put your finger on it. I love conversations with Christina because she’s intelligent and hilarious. She’s one of the only people I know who can leave my sides aching from having a serious conversation. Perhaps Larger Than Life wasn’t quite right and Full of Life would have been better.
Another thing I noticed about her was that she had a hard time getting around easily. She got out of breath coming up my stairs and was slow to stand up from a seated position. It was obvious to me that her weight was affecting her quality of life and I secretly hoped she would decide to do something about it before it was too late. Excess fat on a person is never healthy and can lead to so many life-threatening conditions and, honestly, I didn’t want to think about what life would be like for her family if they didn’t have her smile or her laughter around to comfort them on a daily basis.
One day, while surfing Facebook, I noticed a pic of Christina in one of Sabrina Sinclair’s Fit By Design classes and I, literally, squealed with delight and fist pumped! I was ecstatic to see Christina working hard to make a healthy change in her life. I messaged her and she told me that she’d been working out with Sabrina for a few months and she had started to build muscle and lose inches and weight. That was all good, but the best part was that she was starting to feel healthier and she was starting to actually, GASP, enjoy exercising (something she attributes to Sabrina’s teaching methods and encouraging ways). It was really great to hear and I kept in touch with her every once in awhile to see how she was doing and to encourage her if she needed it. And, selfishly, I hoped that someday this lovely woman would come to me for a shoot.
Imagine how excited I was when Christina contacted me and asked me if I would shoot her. Uhm…DUH! I waited for a few months until she found the perfect outfit and was ready to come and see me, but I honestly was not prepared for what I saw when she showed up at my door.
She looked like a different person to me. Not just thinner, but even more radiant and light-filled than usual. This lady was radiating positive energy and I immediately felt the urge to giggle uncontrollably.
I gasped, “How much weight have you lost?” and then my jaw hit the floor like it had been ripped off and thrown to the ground.
“80 pounds and 80 inches.”
Uhm, Holy Shitsnacks, Batman! That’s a pound per inch. A POUND PER INCH.
And she’s not done, by any means. Her goal is to lose 200 pounds and although she says it doesn’t put her at her “ideal weight” by clinical standards – she would actually need to shift an additional 30lbs – but she figures 200 pounds seems like a nice round number and she “doesn’t want to be a bone rack”. LMAO.
Here we have this amazeballs woman who is around the half way mark of her weight loss goal, which still puts her in a heavier weight category than probably 95% of my regular clients, and she still came to me for a shoot.
No excuses about not being good enough, pretty enough, etc..
Was she nervous? Hell yes, it took her months to contact me about the shoot. But did she give me any excuses as to why she couldn’t do it? Did she tell me she wasn’t thin enough, wasn’t pretty enough, her skin wasn’t clear enough, she had cellulite, etc., etc., etc.? Nope. She just swallowed that fear and stepped out on the ledge into the abyss of fearlessness that awaits all of us if we can just find the courage to step out.
I am so proud to know this woman and so privileged that she trusted me enough to shoot her and share her story will all of you.
It was one of the best shooting days I’ve ever had and, later that evening, when I was telling Greg about how much the experience moved me, I teared up when I thought of how the pics turned out and how blessed I feel to be able to photograph such a diversity of women in my line of work.
So, for all of you out there who are constantly striving to lose that five pounds so you can look prettier or sexier or whatever, I implore you to take a page out of Christina’s book (but, not literally, because that book will be for her husband, Kelly) and love yourself RIGHT NOW -just the way you are – and let me help you to see the best of what you have.
Thank you, so much, Christina, for being everything that you are – courageous, witty as hell, and oh so beautiful on so many levels. Much love to you, my friend.
Special thanks for fantastic Hair and Makeup going out to Dana Shaw (250-318-4757)!
Happy Tuesday, peeps. I wish you all enough…