Why I Don't Do Before-and-After Photos Anymore
I'm not into before-and-after photos, because I don't believe in comparison.
Not even of the "#youvsyou" variety.
I've found them to be damaging for many people: implying that smaller is always better, or that the "after" version of you is somehow more worthy, the new standard against which you should measure from now on.
I'm constantly changing, and the past iteration of myself isn't bad or wrong or less evolved. She's just different.
She was dealing with different stressors and had different goals.
When the words, "fat," "skinny," "too much," "diet," "sexy," "strength," or "confidence" turned over in her mouth, they meant different things than they do to the me that stands here today.
She stayed in the gym and at the coolest parties (ones she didn't even really want to attend, tbh), hustling for her worthiness, hoping to receive external validation.
Some may see her as more outwardly confident, a force to be reckoned with, and some may see her as an insecure young woman, but I see someone who didn't know what she didn't know.
Someone focused on herself, who didn't yet know her place in the world and how she played into (and benefitted from) a larger oppressive system.
Someone who had empathy for those in front of her, but didn't comprehend the depth of compassion needed to see the larger picture, and whose compassion didn't extend to herself.
But also someone who worked hard, who kept her word, who tried her best, who was brilliant, and who didn't quit.
Her resolve was admirable, and she always kept a sense of humor. She kept learning, and failing, and growing, no matter the obstacles in her path. I owe her one, because without her, I wouldn't be me.
I learn from her daily, picking up the lessons I thought I had forgotten. Constantly coming back to myself: to knowing that what I want is within my grasp, even when I'm scared or unsure. That uncertainty may have less to do with the size of my waist than with the way I wield my words these days, but it's all the same. It all comes back around, and it always has something to teach.
Not better or worse; just different.
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Enrollment officially opens at the end of the month, but you can learn more here.
As always, reply with any questions! <3