“I’m not good at before + after pictures.” That’s what I told my husband this morning when I sent him the following transformation image.
Here’s what I saw in these pictures:
- I am not good enough because there is no change here.
- You can’t see my muscles when I don’t flex, and that’s just ridiculous.
- The shirt looks a little loose, but it’s probably just a fluke.
- I should see a bigger difference in 5 months.
(ETA: why do we say these things to ourselves, ladies? If I said them to one of my friends, she would punch me in the throat and run away forever.)
I texted those things to my husband, who – I’m sure! – was thrilled to be receiving them while he is hard at work. Nevertheless, he took a few quick seconds to message me back. He immediately sent me an encouraging “duh, there’s change” kind of text….and that’s all it took for me to fall madly in love with my husband again today and look at everything differently.
So then I saw that there is change. They may look slight here, but I know that they matter.
The biggest thing Brett’s text helped me remember? Two days after the mid-May picture, I suffered a very unexpected setback that required I stay out of the gym for two weeks. In fact, it required that I stay away from exercise altogether. (That setback was completely out of my control and an external factor unrelated to weightlifting and nutrition). But pure fear turned two weeks into two months. I refused to go to the gym, use workout dvds or even so much as do a sit-up. Walking up three flights of stairs to our apartment was enough exercise for this girl!
But when I decided fear couldn’t control my life, I also knew that my body deserved more. By that time, I hadn’t given it what it needed for a full two months and had somewhat regressed in the nutrition + health arena. What I had gained though was a renewed spirit and a changed heart.
That is life though, right? We encounter unexpected circumstances, we let fear win, and then we come out it knowing how to be even better.
So really this transformation says A LOT more than just visual differences. Between the two, there is a changed person - a happier heart, a more joyful spirit and a stronger lady. There is a man that isn’t shown here who was created in the image of God and uses it as a husband…to encourage, to affirm worthiness, to help me see how I am also created in the image of God.
It’s not about the list above that details all of the changes. It’s about being confident enough to make the list. It’s about being sure that even the slightest changes are progress, that they are for ME and no one else, and that they are REAL.
But also that it doesn’t matter because I am still so very loved by a God whose grace I do not deserve.
And all of that? I will take it any day over “being great at before + after pictures.”
At least I didn’t manipulate them with Photoshop and call it a day, right?