Say Cheese!

Dealing with pictures without stress

Woman taking a picture in the snow

The holiday celebrations are coming and if you are one of those who always try to hide when it comes to photos, don’t worry, this article can help you!

Have you ever looked at yourself in a photo and immediately decided that you need to lose weight? Or do you remember a time when you liked to be photographed?

You’re having a special day, a family meeting, a dinner with friends, a party you’ve been awfully scheduled to go to, and when the opportunity to record that special moment appears, the records become a game of anguish, shame, and guilt.

And so, to avoid that discomfort again, whenever you have the opportunity to be in a picture with the ones you love, you hide behind people, wear clothes that hide your body and do everything to stay in the background.

Why do we hide?

First, we do this because we are afraid of judgment, not just of others but of our own.

We are afraid of what others will think about us. Maybe they are going to think that, because we are overweight, we are lazy, we don’t have willpower or discipline and that we “let ourselves go”.

And besides that, we feel ashamed of ourselves because it wasn’t in our plans to be out of shape again this year. We feel like the photo is proof of our failure for not being able to reach our dream body.

Along with the fear of other people’s judgments and our own, there is also the trap of comparison. We compare our current body with that of some other time in our life, when we had another routine, other habits, other priorities, another age, etc., and we criticize ourselves for not being able to maintain that shape anymore.

We are so concerned about all of this that we forget that photos are a way to record phases of our life, special moments, and important things we don’t want to forget. No matter if you are bigger or smaller, the photo is a record of a certain moment in your life not a record of your body size — unless you believe that.

Firecrackers celebrating the holidays

A stress-free way to deal with photos

I’m going to show you 4 simple and foolproof steps to live in peace with photos once and for all! No more despairing when someone suggests hitting that special record!

1. First, it’s important to cultivate a positive self-image!

It’s not about loving your body in every photo, it’s about being able to NOT love a photo and to go about your normal life without feeling miserable. Understand that the lens you are using to determine your body’s worth changes all the time. The cultural standard of beauty is an impossible game to win.

2. Next, you need to focus on the memories!

Focus on what you are feeling when the picture is taken: what makes this moment special? Why would you like to remember it one day?

Once that’s done, try not to look at the photo right away. First, reflect on the experience and memory you wanted to capture. Can you feel it again? Can you keep that in mind when you look at the photo?

3. It’s also important to commit to not punishing yourself!

No more planning a crazy diet or killing yourself on the treadmill after not liking yourself in a photo. Be kind to yourself.

4. And finally, understand that photos are not about your body, unless you believe it.

Looking at a photo and focusing solely on how you looked is your choice. People who really care for you will not look at the supposed “flaws” of your body, but rather at how fun it was to be with you.

In a time of the year full of special moments, remember to be compassionate with yourself. Remember the chaos we are (still) living in and realize how amazing your body has been for keeping you alive and healthy. May our photos register our strength and perseverance to deal with such a challenge and our hope for a better future.

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

I am a Brazilian girl (living in Sao Paulo with my fiancé — and other 20 million people). I love coffee, books, and good food. I also really enjoy studying and learning new things that allow me to further develop myself both professionally and personally. I have a degree in Food Science and hold a Ph.D. in Agri-food Marketing. In addition, I am a Certified Nutrition Coach and an enthusiastic Nutrition student.

After 15 years of living in war with my body and with food, I found freedom through mindfulness and intuitive eating, practices that allowed me to overcome yo-yo dieting and binge eating.

I’m passionate about helping women rewrite their food and body histories so they feel free and confident to live their lives to the fullest.

There is a power that comes alive when women free themselves from the food prison in which they have learned to live, when they realize that they are capable and deserving of feeling fantastic in their own bodies, and that confidence is a state of mind — not a body lotion which you get the right to use when you reach a weight-loss goal.

My work is dedicated to nurturing, celebrating and sharing this message.

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