One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

JOURNAL

Sometimes It’s Just a Bad Picture

43 Comments 4192 views

We’re HOME! The beach was great but I’m ready to get back to a routine. As soon as we got through the door we started unpacking. Laundry was started and mail was organized. I was excited to get a letter from the Salvation Army’s Christmas in July 5k. Jen mentioned she got a picture of herself crossing the finish so I assumed this was mine.

I opened it up to find this…

I have to admit as soon as I saw it I got a little depressed. It reminded me of the email I got a few weeks ago about why I keep trying. Seeing a picture like that does affect me more than I like to admit. I really wish I didn’t have body image issues but I still do and I probably always will.

So I’m taking my own advice and ignoring the inner negative voice.

Why should a stupid picture take away the sense of accomplishment after finishing an awesome 5k? A.) Who cares what I look like? B.) I’m in the best shape of my life and C.) I had an amazing time at that event.

I refuse to let a random snap shot strip me of my happiness, confidence and momentum.

Sometimes…. it’s just a bad picture.



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Discussion

There are 43 comments so far.

    jen (@jeninRL)

    August 21, 2010

    I personally think its a great picture! But I am biased….that awesome chick in the picture taught me a lot about running and friendship and shared sorbet with me post-race! That chick in the picture totally ROCKS!!

    Cynthia (It All Changes)

    August 21, 2010

    First off YEAH for running the Salvation Army 5K (I’m a Salvation Army pastor). Secondly the picture doesn’t take away from your accomplishment. I love that you acknowledge you have body issues still, so do I, but you are putting them aside and that is an amazing accomplishment.

    Kelly

    August 21, 2010

    Absolutely. I have a million of these. I think we will always have to “remind” ourselves of the fact that it IS “just a picture”. Crazy, how we can FEEL so fat, then look in the mirror an see fit and healthy, then the opposite, we FEEL fit and healthy and we see “fat”. Sigh. ‘Tis the journey of recovery after a lifetime of negative self-talk and insecurity. Glad we can be here to encourage each other. : )

    Charity Froggenhall

    August 21, 2010

    Wow, look at the muscles in your legs! Lookin’ good!

    Lindsey

    August 21, 2010

    Dude, I’ve totally been there. I wish I could link you to some of my bad pictures. (Wait, maybe I can…. http://gallery.triduo.com/p/sprint_finish_b_patriots_sprint_international_triathlon_2009/1756-5099-0201-40d_26_28_13 )
    I saw that pic and thought OMG!!! WHEN did my butt grow to be the size of South America?!

    Then I remembered.

    Oh yeah. That’s a shot of me finishing a triathlon. A freaking triathlon! Who cares what I look like!

    If a picture is worth a thousand words, those are a thousand words about how awesome it felt crossing that finish line, hands in the air, so proud of myself. Who cares how big my booty looks!

    Jen @ KUrunner

    August 21, 2010

    I don’t think we always see ourselves accurately because that’s not a bad picture. And even if it was (which it’s not), um… you just finished running a 5k. If you weren’t a little unphotogenic, you weren’t running hard enough. ;~P

    Besides, you crossed the finish line with a smile!

    Liz

    August 21, 2010

    You are crazy – you look great. You can tell the picture was taken from a bad angle. I know what you mean though. Seeing a bad picture can really send me into a tailspin. Thanks for all of your hard work and encouragement.

    jord

    August 21, 2010

    I have definitely let a bad race photo detract from the overall experience in the past. (I blame photogs that sit on the ground and aim the camera up. It’s simply not flattering to anyone.) I’m going to start taking my camera and taking my own end-of-race pictures. And I’m really going to work on not letting it get to me when the official photos are less than what I hope for. Thank you for posting this. :)

    Sana

    August 21, 2010

    Your legs look so strong!! I am so proud of you for posting this :)

    Reinaldo

    August 21, 2010

    They just took the pic when the air bag thing happened. Like when you’re landing in your foot and a second later your shirt lands after you, but in that second it creates a bag of air under the shirt, as it goes down… do I make any sense? Probably not ¬¬

    AJ

    August 21, 2010

    I am just checking out those awesome gams!!!;-) I always thing you look awesome, Roni. But I totally understand the self esteem stuff regarding pictures. I untag myself on FB alot. :-)

    Melissa (@MelGetsFit)

    August 21, 2010

    Good for you, Roni! As you say, sometimes it’s just a bad pic. I’ve got pics from about a dozen races and there’s not a single one that I really like. I’m convinced race photographs have cameras designed to purposefully take bad pics. :lol:

    AJ – I’m right there with you. I untag myself a lot as well. ;)

    Renee

    August 21, 2010

    Look at your face, your neck, YOUR AMAZING LEGS! It just looks like just a baggy shirt hiding the svelte you underneath! Next time you’ll just have to wear spandex, LOL!

    Foodie McBody

    August 22, 2010

    You look amazing to me. But on the other hand I can SO SO relate to this. My own 5k pics from See Jane Run are hideous. And they keep sending them to me over and over! Agh!

    Lyn

    August 22, 2010

    You are SO awesome, Roni. Be proud of yourself :) You would want your boy to love his little self even in a bad picture, right? You do rock!

    Krista S.

    August 22, 2010

    We are always our own worst critic. I agree with Lyn, who said, “You would want your boy to love his little self even in a bad picture, right?” Honestly, though….take a gander at those strong muscles in your legs! You are so beautiful…inside and out, but it is nice to know that even someone I look up to has those same self-doubt issues.

    Michelle

    August 22, 2010

    Thanks for this post today. I got a picture in the mail of myself 1/2 way through my 5th full marathon (a hard trail marathon) and the first thing I thought was “Look at that horrible roll around my middle”. That roll has run 5 marathon, numerous other races, birthed 2 kids (age 5 and 2), works, cleans, etc.

    So – I appreciate your honesty – because it helped me look back at the picture and say “Look at that awesome accomplishment!”

    Nina

    August 22, 2010

    Remember the video of the models and how their pictures were tweaked until they did not look like themselves anymore? It’s the same effect here with your PICTURE, not with yourself: You are running a marathon in sports gear, you are not on a runway, no makeup, the light in the picture is fully focussing on you and might be hitting the wrong spots – and light is the essential thing in pictures. So much about the picture.

    About the person I can see in that picture: It’s a sunny day, she is feeling happy and healthy, running a marathon she would not even have dreamed about two years ago, and for which she has worked so hard to get there. And she is in incredible shape and brave enough to share her doubts with all of us here most of the overfit TV gals would never even dream of admitting.

    Pictures, no matter how good or bad, lie to us as we project things into them. No person sees the same picture, as no person sees the same artwork. You better focus on how your body feels.

    Love!

    Jeanette

    August 22, 2010

    You need to look at more of those celebrity mags! You’ll see that bad photos can be taken of the most gorgeous women! Look at how gorgeous you are in your About photo. I won’t go into the “inside beauty and strength” thing because you are certainly well aware of all that. That said, I’m not sure what you think is wrong with the photo…I don’t think there is anything “off” about it. But I also know from lots of experience that we see things so much differently than others when we see ourselves.

    Helen

    August 22, 2010

    Roni,
    I totally blame the t-shirt for what you THINK you see. You are slim, fit and beautiful now, chuck the baggy shirts, get yourself a fitted tank top and try to tell me you aren’t one of the cutest runners out there next time.
    Thank you for sharing and always inspiring.

    KCLAnderson (Karen)

    August 22, 2010

    Yep…bad pictures happen and so do good ones. And the funny thing is, we assume that the bad pictures are really us and that the good ones are a trick, like smoke a mirrors. Not really us. It’s hard not to have that visceral reaction though. I recently wrote an article about a woman who provides a sort of What Not To Wear service locally and we decided that I’d write it from a first-person perspective and “model” for the article. The print copy had two AWESOME photos of me…the the online version had several photos that they used in rotation. A couple of them were horrible and I cringed and told the editor to take them down immediately! But just like I’ve learned to look at my naked body in the mirror and truly love my reflection, it’s time to do the same with those unanticipated photos…there really is no point in giving myself that negative energy. I don’t need it!!

    mery

    August 22, 2010

    the first thing i noticed of your picture were your muscly legs and how strong they look!

    Lisa

    August 22, 2010

    I know it’s hard to find the good in something that you, personally, think sucks. But…look at your left thigh. See that ridge of muscle? I only wish I could see that. That ridge shows how far you have come, not the wind that is blowing under your t-shirt and inflating it. Thank you for being real enough to share your true feelings and acknowledging that the process really doesn’t stop. You are an inspiration. I wish you lived next door!

    mousearoo

    August 22, 2010

    I would kill for your legs.

    CRB

    August 22, 2010

    Wow we just got back from OBX yesterday too! We were in Corolla, 3rd year there and love it!! Nothing is more relaxing. We love running on the beach first thing in the morning, hope you did too!

    Sunny

    August 22, 2010

    Thanks for share the photo with us. I experience these feeling a million times. But I see your photo different than mine and you know what? you have legs that I always dream. This is a running Roni, great as always.

    Charlie H.

    August 22, 2010

    I am amazed at how one picture with a double chin from a bad angle sends me into such a frenzy. I need to write this in Sharpie on top of my computer screen. I started the whole diet bit because of my own bad picture in 2008. (On Christmas morning, no less, without sleep and makeup and hairspray making my fat look acceptable) It’s a hard habit to break, but I think it needs to be done! Thanks for the reminder!!!

    Jen

    August 22, 2010

    You look great in that photo – it’s an action shot of you achieving a great accomplishment. What could be better!

    Karen in Tally

    August 22, 2010

    Whaaaaaat??? Please switch legs with me. I learned to wear long running pants for races because my legs were not meant for photographic consumption. In fact, I’d trade lots of things with you. You’re so hard on yourself. You rock. Great picture.

    nora

    August 23, 2010

    Congrats on finishing! This photo is cool becasue I see so much of your son in you in this shot. Btw, I’m convinced that nobody looks good in blaring sunshine.

    Della

    August 23, 2010

    Roni, I haven’t read everyone’s comments about your post. I just want to say that I’m nearly 60 years of age and it’s still tough to accept the body that I’ve been given. Even when I was my fittest, nothing was ever good enough. I look back at photos and wonder why I couldn’t see myself as others saw me. Sometimes, I believe, we experience situations so that we can understand and help other people. You’ve been blessed with the gift of understanding and helping others. If you aren’t happy with the photo, tear it up so that you will never have to feel that way again. Bring out your favorite photos and look at how far you’ve come. You’re a gorgeous young lady, you’ve touched so many lives and people love you because you’ve been where they are, and you understand their feelings. You will never know how many lives you’ve been a blessing to. “Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again!!!”

    Lisa

    August 23, 2010

    I’ve yet to have a good race picture taken of me. Which is disappointing because I want some good pics!

    BigTickles

    August 23, 2010

    Roni, the only thing I see is someone finishing a race I wish I had the courage to run. Other than your clothes being a little big, your leg and thigh muscles mocking me…I think it is the lighting. The reason I say this is because I cannot even see where your number ends…it looks like a blur.

    sonia

    August 23, 2010

    Sorry, but I can’t tell what is wrong with the picture.

    roni

    August 23, 2010

    That’s the point. There is nothing wrong with it. It’s all in my head.

    Rebekah

    August 23, 2010

    You rock…

    marilia

    August 23, 2010

    Once I threw a dinner party at my place and few friends had cameras. I looked great in a set from one friend and horrible in a set from another friend. It made me think of the photographer behind the lens. As a filmmaker I know how cameras can be misleading. Your legs are great, you are great…the photographer? not so much… he wasn’t lucky. As Rebekah said “you rock, roni”!

    sherijung

    August 23, 2010

    Welcome to the world of bad race pictures. There are several hilarious blog threads on Mark Remy’s Runner’s World blog about them. They leave me in tears. Check them out next time you need to forget a bad race pic.

    I’m particularly distressed by my loose skin that is caught forever in time in multiple pics just as my foot strikes and gravity is pulling D-O-W-N. But it is what it is. I’m proud to be a runner.

    Kim

    August 23, 2010

    I saw this post earlier today, in the midst of being bombarded at work. When I got home I couldn’t get it out of my head. When I saw your picture the first thing I thought was how awesome the muscles in your legs look. I thought how inspiring it was that you can run for longer than five minutes (like this girl sitting over here writing to ya). I love that you were smiling and that you had the guts to cut your hair so short (someone over here in CT is forever attached to hers).

    It amazes me how so many of us can quite easily pick out our faults. Some of us do it more than others. Believe me, I am my own worst critic. I had bullies growing up, but I’m bigger and badder than they ever were to me.

    I’m glad that you didn’t let the photo get the best of you. What I see when I look at you is beauty, strength and inspiration. The best part is that it isn’t only on the outside, it shines from within you.

    Christena

    August 23, 2010

    Gosh, I think the picture looks fine. The lighting/shadows is terrible, though, so maybe that’s throwing you off. You are right, though – sometimes it really is a bad picture.

    Michelle

    August 25, 2010

    I just don’t see anything bad about this picture, I don’t get it. I think it comes back to the idea of perfection, but there’s no such thing. Even a cheetah would have parts that wobble while its running, it’s the way we’re made.

    roni

    August 25, 2010

    Michelle – see my previous comment…

    “That’s the point. There is nothing wrong with it. It’s all in my head.”

    Michelle

    September 9, 2010

    Sorry, I did understand your point. It just seemed like some people were agreeing with you as if it were a bad picture, I think that just cements the problem. I was trying to put a positive spin on it. :)