March has been a reset month for me both mentally and physically.
I think my birthday had something to do with it. You know how much I adore my birthday, right? But it also reminds me that I'm here and that I need a solid plan to make sure I stay as long as possible.
As of today, I've already logged 23 miles running and yesterday, I hit the pool for some lap swimming for the first time since January. January!
And while it would have been helpful to remember to shave my legs, the workout went fairly well.
I took a photo of myself before heading off to the gym yesterday morning, posted it to Facebook and got a bunch of nice compliments on how fit and trim I looked.
Sure, I felt all warm and fuzzy after reading the words of friends, but I'm going to tell you this, and it has absolutely zero to do with any body dismorphic issues: I don't look like this in reality.
You know how you can put one leg forward, angle the camera just so, and then drape your bag so it hits right in front of your hip, effectively reducing your size visually? Yeah, me too.
All I could think to myself was, "It's all smoke and mirrors, people."
And I don't say that to demean my efforts or myself. It just is a fact.
Maybe it's because earlier in the day I had read an article about a photographer in Minneapolis who is responsible for The Nu Project (Note: there is full nudity on this site so if you're offended by that sort of thing, it's not for you).
The Nu Project is all about photographing women in their homes and other environments and yes, it's all done without clothes.
As I clicked through the images yesterday, I couldn't help but feel empowered as I saw womens' bodies that reminded me of my own body. The stretch marks, the imperfections, the extra chub, the breasts that look nothing like ones you see in the movies, and so on.
It simply celebrates the truth of female bodies, and I found that incredibly inspiring.
There are no smoke and mirrors used in the photos you'll see there.
I shared this site with my daughter and we had a conversation about body image and nudity and she told me, "I actually feel my best without clothes on."
This post isn't to say I'm going to track down this local photographer and get naked anytime soon, but it definitely made me want to embrace what is real and true.
And to start moving away from the smoke and mirrors.
Thanks to Nisa for posting about The Nu Project on Facebook the other day.