The Real Me Photo Shoot
August 9, 2012 by Robyn Hussa Farrell
Filed under Body Image, Eating Disorders, Empowerment, Fat Acceptance, Featured, Finding Your Voice, Freedom, HAES, Healthy Coping, Livin in the Moment, Loving Your Body, Mindfulness, Recovery, Role Models, Self Esteem, Self-Acceptance, Self-Care, Self-Compassion, Sharing Feelings, Yoga, Yoga Therapy
So, over the last year, I embarked on a challenge for myself … to experience more “yield” in my life and less “push.” In so doing, I resisted going to the gym for an entire year (read more about that here). Going to the gym (for me) means “pushing” — running, sweating, grunting to lift weights. Pushing.
In support of the yoga clients I teach who are in recovery from eating disorders, I wanted to explore letting go of my “gym thing” for one entire year. But I also did it because I wanted to see if I could … learn more about myself.
One of the results of my challenge is that I gained weight.
I don’t think it matters that I talk about how much weight I have gained — the point is that I have gained weight. For the first time in my life, I don’t fit in a certain size. I look different. I feel different. In many ways, I actually am different.
In going through all of this, I realized that I was a person who was much more hung up on my body than I realized. I never had an eating disorder, but my being an athlete and having an athletic body to support the things I love to do in life has been important to me.
Exploring this new sense of myself in my body has been a really amazing spiritual, emotional and physical journey.
This July, for my 43rd birthday I asked my fiance to treat me to a sunrise yoga practice on the beach. He offered to take photos of me practicing so that I could use them to support yoga for recovery teachings.
The photo shoot was particularly important for me because I haven’t allowed myself to be photographed (to speak of) since I embarked on this challenge. My body is far from perfect so I have been afraid, I suppose.
I was really treating myself to a beautiful practice (and because I believe that yoga practices should never been “seen” they should be “felt”) I have never photographed myself experiencing a whole practice. I wasn’t really aware of what I “looked” like during the photos. I was just breathing, moving and BEing on the beach.
It was an added bonus that when the photo shoot was over, I was able to actually explore my sense of myself and my body as I looked over the finished photos. I’m not gonna lie, I had judgments going through my head when I looked at some of the pictures, but mostly I was surprised that what I actually saw in the photos was the real me.
Someone who was in the present moment, enjoying a yoga practice on her birthday. Someone who tried not “pushing” for one year. Someone who is genuinely trying to give over and listen and explore “surrendering” and “yielding” — rather than always pushing.
The final step in this process is posting the photos here … so … here I am.
The real me.