The story behind a picture

The Story behind the picture

Hello!

I posted this photo on social media the other day, in fact I made it into my profile picture. I am not a big “selfie” taker and honestly I generally dislike pictures of myself. I am frequently not photogenic. This is not me trying to put myself down I just have a knack for squinting or being caught making a weird facial expression in photographs.

I posted this photo because I really like it. It makes me feel confident. It makes me feel good about myself. And it showcases my strength and flexibility, which is something I have worked consistently on my entire life and I am proud of that. The act of posting it was all about me, I didn’t post it thinking of others. There was no weird message or hidden code I was trying to convey to people. It was simply a photo I liked of myself. Lots of people made really positive comments on the photograph, which was not what I was fishing for. However, it was certainly nice to receive positive comments (it always is).

A little while after a friend spoke to me about the picture, she was filled with mixed emotions. Nothing she said offended me or upset me, however, it did move me to think more deeply about things and write this post. The gist of the conversation was that she was feeling down about where she was at and even though she was really proud of where I was at (or where she guessed I was at based on this photograph), it had sort of made her feel even more down on herself.

I could actually completely relate. Social media can make you feel bad about yourself if you are in the wrong head space and I have certainly had moments where it has made me feel that way. There are definitely times where I think it is best to stay away from social media and I’d say we all tend to visit social media sites more often than we need.

They say a picture can paint a 1000 words and perhaps that is true. However, those words are subjective and abstract. They are created in the mind of the viewer and no doubts two people could look at the same picture and see completely different words. A picture can also leave out a lot.

I am going to share with you some of the story behind this picture. As I said it has told the story of confidence and strength that I felt in that moment (or maybe more so in the moment I looked at the picture). Here is what it doesn’t show.

The picture does not show:

1. My children running around in the background, including one who was very upset that I was not paying attention to her.

2. The other 100 photos that were taken that were not selected, because I was squinting, looked funny, were at a bad angle or revealed something of myself I didn’t like or find too flattering.

3. The constant effort I make to be physically active, to stretch, to keep up with my kids.

4. The gradual nature of my weight loss after having Summer, I didn’t bounce back in seconds or even weeks. It has taken me over a year to feel nearly back to normal.

5. The wrinkles, grey hairs or stretch marks I have gained over the years.

6. The years of training to hopefully become a Ballerina when I was younger and the disappointment when it all came crashing down due to injury.

7. The mess my house is in or the piles of laundry waiting for me to sort.

8. My car’s petrol tank on extra low and the funny smell it has had for weeks.

9. The challenges I have in some relationships.

10. My normal lack of confidence in my appearance which I have been working on.

I really like the picture but to be honest it doesn’t show a lot more than a fraction of a second of my life. It has been filtered to make it more flattering and less real. I am not trying to put down the picture at all, I really like. It is a fraction of a second of my life that I am proud of I guess you could say. But it was most definitely never intended to make anyone question their own achievements. It was not posted as a reference point or comparison point. I know I cannot control how others perceive me through my posts and that is okay. And I like to be “real” , but I can tell you for real I am not going to start posting the other hideous 100 photos for every good one taken.

My point is next time you feel down from social media step away, take a break and remind yourself a picture may tell a 1000 words but it doesn’t tell all the words. It is not showing life fluid, in motion. It is a brief, sometimes edited, sometimes filtered, snap shot. Our minds are powerful so next time you feel bad remind yourself that the picture is not the whole story and you have an awesome, worthy story to tell as well.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! (Anything fun planned?)

Jess xoxox

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Timeout

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Hello!

How have you all been? I have been away with the girls for a little timeout. We went to visit my Dad in Yamba (north coast NSW). After too many weeks of everyone sick and stressed it felt like well and truly time to escape.

 

 

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And it turned out we timed it perfectly as Sydney (well actually lots of Oz) had a cold snap. Yamba felt cold but nothing on Sydney. We even spent three of the days we were up there at the beach so yeah can’t complain.

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The only exercise I did was incidental, because it was just too hard to coordinate anything else with the girls. However, a break can be good for the body too and I am more motivated to get moving now I am back.

 

 

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My Dad is an amazing gardener and grows beautiful fresh fruit and vegies. We ate freshly picked salads with every meal. I have to admit I struggle to understand how eating food in its original form is more expensive, and less accessible then heavily processed and packaged foods. We also ate junk at times, so never fear no perfection over here! :)

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It was hard to come back home and I felt a wave of stress hit me as we walked off the plane. Dramatic and self inflicted I know, but honest. There is just something awesome about being somewhere else and not being able to deal with any of the drama or issues back home. And it is nice to be back too there are things I missed of course.

 

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Aussies, did the cold snap hit you where you were? Do you like coming home from Holidays? Is it just me or does this feel like a long winter? Not that I want to wish any time away or be depressing but it is cold this year!

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Jess xoxx

 

 

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5 Simple tips to improve your health today

VegetablesHello!

How are you all going? We are suffering along with this flu that never seems to end. Well actually the girls seem to have nearly kicked and unfortunately it caught up with me over the weekend. Sigh. However, I won’t bore you with cold and flu whinging talk, instead I will bore you with simple things you can do today to improve your health! (Kidding I promise you will love it :) )

So here we go:

1. Increase the amount of plant based whole foods in your diet.

In real words, eat more fruit and vegetables. Even if it is just an extra piece of fruit or an extra veggie, throw it in. Start small and build from there. My local newspaper had an article in it the other week suggesting that on a self reported study 7% of Australians were eating enough vegetables and 50% were eating enough fruit. 7% is pathetic and 50% whilst sounds  a lot better than 7% is actually still crazy high and a pretty poor effort. How accurate these stats are I don’t know, but honestly I don’t doubt that most people don’t eat enough fruit and veg. We all know they are packed full of the good stuff.

2. Drink Water more often.

Being hydrated is so important for our day to day functioning and long term health.  About 70% of our body is water! In winter it is easier to not drink enough, we are cold, and enjoy sipping on warm caffeinated drinks more often. Take a break and have a glass of water. You will feel refreshed.

3. Get out of the house. 

You will increase your incidental activity quite substantially just by getting out. Sitting down inside all day, is not only depressing but it is unhealthy. And you will probably increase your social interaction, which also another winner for us all!

4. Go to bed or take a nap.

Easier said than done if you suffer with insomnia, I realise. However, many of us just choose to stay up later to watch TV or because we work a bajillion hours or whatever it is and still have to be up early in the morning. Lack of sleep is tied to weight gain and depression. So if you can figure out a way to catch some extra ZZZs go for it!

5. Wear something that makes you feel good. 

How often do you feel exhausted, stressed, or can’t be bothered and you dress in a way to reflect that? We all have those days. However, try dressing in a way that makes you feel good sometime rather than a reflection of your mood. You may be surprised how a simple change an affect how you feel, your activity level and what you get done!

What are your simple tips for feeling better?

Jess xoxox

photo by: Martin Cathrae
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