Tomorrow, along with 10 other very brave women, I shall be taking all my clothes off to be photographed for a charity calendar. Like many (most?) other Western women, I have “issues” with my body – it’s not how I would like it to be, there are bits I sometimes loathe and if I could lose 3 stone between now and tomorrow morning I would be delighted.
When I was younger there were times when it really got me down and I used to beat myself up about it – obviously, I was lazy and greedy and generally a bad person because I didn’t look like I was “supposed” to. There were years when I wouldn’t wear trousers because skirts provided better camouflage, and years when I dressed in oversized, baggy clothes for the same reason.
I’m pretty comfortable in my body now – I’ve learned how to dress to suit my shape (thank you Gok Wan, you are my hero) and I’ve long realised that there is no “right” or “wrong” human shape, we are all beautiful in our own way. I’ve learnt to focus on the bits I do like, not the bits I don’t like, and I’ve learnt that it’s what’s inside that counts.
And yet, despite all that, I still go shopping sometimes and come back in a bad mood because every time I looked in the mirror all I saw was a sack of potatoes. I don’t always have a realistic view of what my body actually looks like – I see myself (apparently) as much bigger than I really am and, try as I might, I can’t seem to shake that view of myself as a rather large baby elephant.
So it may seem strange that I’m going to pose for this naked calendar – and the closer it gets, the stranger it appears to me. But the reason I leapt at the chance is that I hope it might, once and for all, cure me of my hang ups. I’ve become much more likely, over the past year, to grab the chance to do things that frighten me and taking my clothes off in front of a group of strangers is really quite scary. The thing that’s keeping me going is that, every other time I’ve done something that scared me, it’s been absolutely BRILLIANT and taught me so much about myself.
I just found this quote on Susan Jeffers‘ (the author of Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway) webpage:
Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced
So tomorrow I’m facing my fears in the hope that it will make a change to my life. How often do you face your fears?