Why I Start Every Day With A Full-Body Selfie —​ And So Should You!

Photo: Brooke Lark
day 1
Self

Most mornings, I walk straight into the bathroom. Lift shirt, turn sideways, check the thickness of my silhouette. Frown and stick out tongue. Pull shirt down hard to hide it all. Wash face. Try to forget about the fatness I feel at the side of my thighs.

I don't remember the last time I woke up and smiled at that body. Or the last time I took the advice for how to love yourself.

That body has birthed four beautiful babies. That body curls every night 'round the man I love. That body has fueled a hundred rides through fall-leaved forests. That body has laughed loud, and relaxed into booths with friends and beer on Friday nights.

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Why do I detest it daily? Why do I protest against this precious skin?

Perhaps culture. Perhaps media. Perhaps a million years of anti-feminist brainstuffs.

I suppose I could write it off to other things, but I think it's smaller than that — it's more personal. It's because I've been before where I want to be. I've felt my own flat belly. Have slid into size three skinny jeans. Have been a "has been." And I beat myself up for losing the me that once was.

I don't tell myself the story of where I've been. I don't bow down in sacred splendor at the journeys I've made. I don't rejoice in the stretch marks and struggles. I see only the lack of, the gap, the What I Am Not.

And I'm so tired of doing that to me.

When I shot this photo today, it was to be the start of my ten-pound weight loss plan. I'm currently 131.1 pounds, and started my day with that stuck out tongue. Hid the saddlebags beneath flow-y tee. Derided myself because I can't seem to make it even one damn day without carbs.

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Uploading the photo, I expected to cringe. Instead, I saw moon-shaped curves at the sides of my stomach. A glint of morning sun outlining my tiny breasts. Two freckled moles above a polka-dotted belly button.

And seeing it as an outside observer, suddenly I loved that body. And I pledged to be good to it.

And I encourage you to do the same. Snap a photo of you. Look at your curves and your crumples and your cottage cheese. Then, let them be. Throw on whatever jeans fit and embrace the day with that body.

That body is so much better than you think.

Love,

39-Year-Old Me

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Brooke Lark is a recovering overacheiver turned minimalist chef and healthy lifestyle simplist. She's a photographer, cookbook writer, and mama, but also writes about relationships