Taking photos and taking back control

Guest post by Andrea Shirey

Listen, I get it. We live in a culture where if we don't look exactly the way we want, we say no to the picture. We make comments about "putting the skinny people up front" and "sucking it in for the camera" while we silently wish we things were different. We take endless photos of our kids, our families, and our friends and yet we hide in the back hoping to not be seen.

And yet, don't so many of us stop to linger over that photo of our parents from their younger days? We marvel at their smile -  their moment of history preserved for us to see today. I've looked at countless photos of my mom in her younger days and never once did I criticize, or even notice, her weight. I cherish being able to see a glimpse of her life then - before I knew her as simply mom. 

Will our kids have that? Will they find photos of us, imperfect and all, smiling next to their daddy? Holding them up and kissing their cheeks, even if we're wearing an old, baggy t-shirt that makes us a look a little bigger than we are. Playing on the floor with them, even if that not-so-flat stomach stares back into the camera in full view. 

Friends, we have to get in the photo. We have to stand confidently in who we are and whose we are. We have to take that picture so that 10, 20, or 30 years from now, our children will see we lived a life worth living. And if that photo today isn't who you want to be? Guess what. You alone have the power to change it. You can decide today that you want things to be different. 

Here's what you do. Today, in the privacy of your own home, or with a trusted friend or spouse, put on a pair of shorts and a snug-fitting shirt and take a full-length photo of yourself. Even if you never plan to share it with the world, take the photo. Save it somewhere safe but remember where, because I promise you that you'll want to look it at again. 

Next, head on over the Temple Challenge Class Schedule and pick one class. Just one. Find one time that will work for you. There are 44 classes every week!  Commit to going to one, 60-minute class. That's it. And then do me a favor. Send us an email or a FB message and tell us what you thought. How did you feel? How did it feel to take a little bit of control over something you can change? I remember my first class. It was the worst-kept secret of TC 6 that I threw up on day one. Yup. Ran to the bathroom, cried, and threw up. My body was in shock. I wanted to give up. I considered running outside and straight to my car. Instead, I walked outside and started praying. I asked God to give me the strength to just finish the workout. And then sweetest lady (Hi Marta) came out and checked on me. She convinced me to come back in and just do what I could to finish. And I did. And I came back two days later for another class. And another.

Now, 18 months later, I've hit many of my goals and I've made new ones. I've had some bad days (okay, weeks) and I've had some of the best times of my life with new Temple Challenge friends (Hey Squat Squad). I've discovered that I am stronger than I thought I was (physically and mentally) and that while losing weight didn't solve all my problems, it gave me a new perspective on life. And now, I stand in the front row of the photos sometimes.  

Did you know Temple Challenge features Transformation Tuesday posts each week? Send us your before/after TC photos and we might feature you! Here are some quick tips to help you as take the before photo.

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Andrea Shirey

One Nine Design, 112 Canterbury Drive, Parkersburg, WV, 26104