At the start of this year I was determined to be a healthier person and I think I've come close to getting there when I think of the opposition this year has also thrown at me. I've battled with countless inner wars about the way I look, the way I speak, things I do (or do not do) and just generally fitting into too many moulds that made me unhappy.
So what does 'healthier' mean, exactly? Does it mean allowing your child to eat prawn cocktail crisps as part of a meal? Um well sometimes it happens. I think healthier means 'letting go.' Letting go of ideas of what perfect means and letting go of bad thoughts, habits and patterns of thinking. This includes being negative about my body around my child. I'm selective about the kind of language I use around him. He's a child, he doesn't see 'ugly', he doesn't see 'tired', he doesn't see 'fat thighs, bum, hips...' and so on. He only sees what we teach him to see right now.
There are particular sore points of my body I'm sensitive on but since having my child I've lost (and am losing) my hang ups. Why? Because his future is more important than my present choices - if I think one part of me is bigger than it should be, why wouldn't I do something about it? Yes I'm still sensitive to remarks and comments that revolve around my body, any woman's body, because the way the world is set up to view women's bodies is ridiculous and I don't want a part in being a negative voice to back all of this nonsense up...but I'm less hung up on it. The comments don't hurt so much because I see they are mostly untrue, unfounded, unwelcome and quite frankly; so what? If I'm happy with the progress I've made and I'm making, that's all that matters.
With all of this in mind I asked Bryan to take our photo - a photo to cherish and remember, a photo that will be printed and put into a photo book of memories and no doubt viewed by a lot of people. A photo that I hope, in time, will be one I look fondly back on and treasure for the time we spent together, for the love we felt for each other and for the two people in the photo who don't judge each one another on how they look. A photo, the first of many I hope, that I didn't judge myself on.