Last Sunday afternoon was awesome. It was such a great Spring day. We’ve been out cross country skiing this winter, but mostly we have been watching Netflix and waiting for the snow to melt. We packed up a lunch, drove a few minutes out of town, met our friends and did a short hike. We talked, we laughed, we tripped, we swore, we sweated, we picked rocks, we got muddy, we lost a kid and we took photos.
“Want me to take one with you in it?” I said to my friend as she was lining up her kids for a photo with the rocky mountains behind them.
I grabbed her phone, told her to shut up and took some great photos.
“You want one, too?” She asked.
For a second I debated saying no, but thought that would be pretty hypocritical.
We posed and then continued our hike.
We talked a lot on the hike about how nice it was to get outside. How great it was to walk with another family because the kids complain a lot less. We talked about Facebook ruining our real life conversations. We all just really enjoyed ourselves.
Everything was truly perfect.
A few hours later, I remembered that I wanted to post the photo. I love posting mountain photos of my family since we aren’t original mountain dwellers. I love how our Ontario and Manitoba friends react to our photos of wintery mountain peaks. I love bragging about where we live.
Then I looked at the photo I was about to post.
Look at my hair. Look at my breasts. Look at how my coat doesn’t wrap around my waist. Look at my weak looking shoulders. Look at my washed out face.
I’m not posting that.
So I didn’t.
And then I thought, fuck it. POST THE PHOTO.
I should be celebrating all the great things about the day.
How about the fact that my strong fucking body hiked me up that stupid hill?
How about my kids were smiling the entire time?
How about the great time I had with our friends and their family?
How about what a beautiful day it was?
So I posted it on Instagram.
View this post on Instagram
You know what’s complete fucking bullshit?! I wasn’t going to post this photo because I didn’t like how I looked in it. Isn’t that fucking ridiculous?! That I would look at this amazing time with my family and make it about how my hair looked, how my breasts look and how my clothes fit. I wonder why?! Because my social media friends are constantly posting about how drinking a substance and counting points puts value on who I am as a woman!? Because the magazine at the grocery store shows me that I too can walk away my extra 50lbs?! So I’m unloveable and not worthy of this moment because I need to lose 75 lbs by summer?! Fuck you. I’m posting this photo. And I’m probably eating salad for supper. 🤷🏼♀️ #hiking #family #getoutside #welovethebluejays #springbreak #kootenaylife #niceday #mypeople #happy #mountains #notusingyourbullshitbodyhashtags
I honestly wasn’t fishing for all the compliments that I got.
Hell, I know it’s not the best photo of me.
I just couldn’t believe that I would let how I look in a photo take away how I felt about that afternoon. I had an amazing day until I looked at that photo just seconds before I was going to share it.
It broke my fucking heart.
I’m 4o years old. I’ve been playing this stupid body image game with myself since I was first called “Fat Kyla” in Grade 4. Since I was kissing a boy in Grade 11 and a boy who had graduated highschool saw us and told him to stop kissing me because “she’s too fat”. Since the message last month in my Facebook Inbox wondering if I have ever thought about drinking ketone supplements to change my life.
When is this going to stop?
Would losing 30 to 90 lbs make me feel better about how I look in this photo?
That’s not the fucking point.
I am smiling. My kids are smiling. My husband is smiling.
Post the photo, Momma.
These are the memories I want to remember.