Last week a Facebook notification went off on my phone telling me someone had “tagged” me in a new photo. I opened my phone and a picture of me and my family popped up onto the screen. It took my breath away when I saw it.
There I was, smack in the middle of the picture. And I looked huge; the thighs, the muffin top, the chubby cheeks (seriously, why couldn’t I have gained any of this in my boobs?). I was just uncomfortable looking at myself. I didn’t look like me.
Now you have to understand, there was really no opportunity to pose for this picture. It was a natural, “in the moment” photo op, and I simply looked up from what I was doing and smiled at the camera. I didn’t have time to adjust my shirt and my shorts so that the extra parts of me would be properly tucked away, my hands were too dirty to fix my hair and, for heaven’s sake, it was 8 in the morning. It was not my prettiest moment. But there it was for all the Facebook world to see.
I quickly flipped through my phone trying to find the “remove tag” icon, but paused just as my finger hovered over it. Why was I so embarrassed about my friends seeing this picture of me? Was it really that important that I hide the insecurities of my recent chubbiness with the world? I mean, it was just a picture.
I was talking with a girl friend recently about our mom bods. It’s hard because we are in our full forced baby making years and our bodies are in a constant shift. Things are getting bigger then deflating (I have to ask why again with the boobs?), parts are widening and then never going back. And for so many of us, we feel like our bodies are in limbo. And that limbo stage is a hard one to have photographed. Choosing to be in the picture is the first step in embracing the stage of life we and our bodies are in. But deciding to not hide the pictures is the next.
Because if I would have hidden that photo and removed myself from it, I also would have hidden everything else that’s going on in my life right now. I would have hidden a puffy face from weeks of hanging my head in the toilet growing our next little baby and I’m a dang strong woman because of that. I would have hidden that I was there that day, doing one of my favorite family traditions. I would have hidden that this is a real phase of life that I’m going through. And without this uncomfortable, frumpy phase, I would never be the person I am.
So today I’m choosing to remain tagged in my big fat Facebook photo. Because one day when the shifting and manipulating of my body is done, I’m going to gaze at my grown children, look back and remember that these were the best thunder thigh, muffin top, chubby faced days of my life. And today I’m glad I choose to remain tagged.