There is a phenomenon which occurs for most brides (at least a lot of whom I’ve known), where you lose a ton of weight before the wedding. I have no formula for how it happens, but its inevitable. I think its a cocktail of the stress, lack of hunger and impending doom of fitting into expensive clothes, stitched to fit like a glove. Or just a little help from above. But the results are awe-inspiring and forever captured in multitudes of cameras in the hands of professionals, relatives and friends. And for me, I spent days excited at the prospect of seeing some new pictures of myself at my wedding, thanking the stars for pictures that turned out great. And then the wedding high/buzz ends and life goes on. You get caught up, getting back into the life that had been put on hold during that month of frenzy and forget those beautifully captured moments.
This same phenomenon exists for people who work hard to change their bodies. Suddenly it becomes your most prized commodity. Suddenly you’re lapping up compliments like a ravenous being.
However, as life proceeds, more moments come into light. And you begin scrutinizing them just as you did your ‘prized’ pictures. Do I look the same? That was the time I got a chance to shine. I must look as good as that camera made me look. Can I recapture that glow? Does it exist still? But then the scrutiny begins to drive you nuts. You nitpick every flaw, eating salads for days after seeing a double chin form in some picture. You now have a standard to follow and you are just not matching it. Friends and family tell you you look the same, but you don’t. And somehow you become your greatest critic.
And then after obsessing for days, you begin to let go. Because you’ve tired yourself out. You realize every moment in your life highlighted a different beautiful angle of you. Because that was a different time, a different moment and a different mood. Now you are someplace else in what i like to call, the timeline of life. But what you need to remember is, the camera captures moods more than it does the physical self. I wish someone would say that more. And you realize that pictures are hardly what matters, its how you felt. Its how in that moment you laughed so hard, you were glowing. And how the lights lit up someone’s eyes regardless of their makeup looking less than perfect. Its this moment you decide that pictures don’t document your life, your mind and the people in your life do. The smiles that greet you when you go home, the hugs your receive when you’ve been missed and the joy you feel exploring new things with your spouse. That’s all that matters. And its picture perfect:)