I’ve always loved taking photos to capture the moment or the experience at hand. I have a picture of my beautiful Siamese cat named Jeffrey on my bookshelf. He is laying on my bed under the warm sun looking content in his dreams. I captured a shot of his face up close so that I can see his markings around his mouth, the colorings of his gray fur with a purplish hue, and his deep black eyes. I love this photo. Shortly after I took it, Jeffrey passed away from kitty cancer. He was my love for 15 years, before I met my husband. It’s been over 15 years since I lost him, but that photo will always remain on my bookshelf. Why?
Because it reminds me of the feelings I had for my beloved cat for so many years – feelings of warmth, happiness, joy, and overall… love. I can look at that photo and stir up those feelings all over again even after all this time.
I believe pictures can tell a story, if captured correctly. They can help a person “feel” empathy, sadness, joy, love, courage, gratitude, silliness. They can connect people together. Photos can show how others experience the same joys and struggles, even if they are miles apart.
Pictures can also show where someone is struggling, losing faith, fighting for his or her life.
Here is my story.
I was overweight and uncomfortable in my own skin, who through her own self-doubts and negative mindset, created this ugly miserable person who didn’t believe in herself and wondered what was the point of life.
I began to put others down to make myself feel better, but it only made me feel worse inside because I knew that was wrong.
I blamed others for my failures, never accepting that I was the one making these mistakes.
I was arguing and complaining in my own home with my husband and children because nothing was going right.
I couldn’t handle the person I was seeing. I hated what I looked like physically and was miserable with the person I became. It was apparent too that no one wanted to be around me. Who would? Life was miserable in my eyes. So, I stopped taking pictures. Not capturing my experiences of my family and me on film anymore stopped me from telling my story. I loved creating scrapbooks for all the major events in my life, and even the everyday mundane to show who I really was. I wasn’t doing this anymore.
What happened though, I began to notice that I wasn’t able to “see” me anymore and therefore, I wasn’t able to “feel”. I was void of all emotions. I became numb inside living each day in a fog; I was depressed. My mind couldn’t focus on the joy of life, instead it rested in sadness, loneliness, and misery.
I needed to do something. This wasn’t me.
I discovered a group of people who thrived on living healthy, positive lifestyles. They looked like their were having a great time in their photos, telling their stories of overcoming all battles like depression, anxiety, diabetes, illnesses, loss, and more. They were very open and transparent in their stories, knowing that their’s could potentially connect with someone, maybe more, and make a difference in another’s life.
I wanted to BE one of them.
I started my journey in December 2013 very scared and vulnerable. I was still depressed, still fighting my weight, and hearing those negative voices in my head. But I took my first step. I knew that I needed to be honest with myself, and those around me, in order for others to believe in me. I realized I had to take some risks.
My turning point was when I signed my first coach to my team. I realized then, that even on my own journey to happiness, it didn’t matter where I was on the path, someone took a chance on ME to be her guidance on her own journey. This experience changed my mind completely. I was worthy. I could be someone important. Suddenly, life began to have meaning again.
So here I am today, back to taking photos of me, my family, and my journey — telling MY story of a life filled with happiness — full circle. It’s a life filled with joy and gratitude and all because someone who cared, reached out to me in concern, and asked if I wanted to begin a journey of health and fitness.
I ask you.
Do you want to begin your own journey, to gain back good health in a life filled with joy and gratitude? Then I WANT you!! I invite you to join me.
Together, we can make a difference.