Monday, August 16, 2010

My "trust fall" at the falls......a professional photo shoot.....

In the last year I have done many things that have amazed me, merely by doing them, but today took the cake. For someone who a few months ago would delete every picture of myself I could find, hiring a professional photographer to take 100's of pictures of me was even more foreign than standing on home plate. But just like my Twins adventure, I did it.

Let me back the story up to how this really started. As with so many other things, this too is Gui's fault *grin*. Many months ago during one of our workouts we were talking about my photos on facebook. One that I use quite often is my professional head shot. I had this done in 2003 for a conference I was presenting at. It was only the second time in my life I had had a professional photo taken (the first being my yearbook picture). I had just the one I needed done, nothing more. At the time I was 285 pounds. Despite how heavy I was in that picture, it is just one I just really like of myself and use a lot. Gui felt it should be retired and I wasn't ready for that. So I told him when I weighed 50 lbs less than I did in the picture I would have another one done.

That put an end to the conversation which was all I really wanted at that moment. But when I made the promise to him, I really made it to myself. I stored it away as one of my milestone moments to deal with later. Truth, I never thought I would see 235 so why would it matter, but if it did I would deal with it then.

Just like the Twins thing, I have got to stop saying yes and hoping fate plays along *grin* it never does! Two weeks ago I hit 235 and decided to fulfill the promise (even though I am sure he doesn't even remember the conversation). I keep my promises and I needed to keep this one for myself as well as for what I had promised him. I decided I wanted not only head shots but a really great set of photos. Something to celebrate the amazing, strong body I have developed. That even though I am no where near my goal weight, I still look really good and wanted to document that (and do plan to do another shoot when I get to my goal weight).

With the help of the LTF Eagan personal training department head, Tiffany, who recently had a photo shoot of her own done, I hired Dave Puente ( to do my photos. I couldn't have made a better choice (thanks Tiff!!!!)

We were supposed to shoot a week ago, but the weather was horrible (hot and humid) and this was my first clue what a pro Dave was. He suggested we postpone because even though we would have the photos, he knew I wouldn't have a good time in the heat and really cared about this being a positive experience for me.

We rescheduled for this morning and the day turned out  PERFECT. The weather, the sun, everything cooperated.

We met for the shoot at Minnihaha Falls Park in Minneapolis. I have lived here almost 3 years and had no clue this gorgeous place existed. We spent about an hour taking 100's of photos in different parts of the park...near the waterfall, on the stairs, under the gazebo, on the bridge.

For as nervous as I had come into the day, I have to say Dave immediately set me at ease. I ended up feeling so gorgeous and special, even before seeing the pictures. It was everything I had hoped the day would end up and more.

It truly was the celebration of what I have accomplished so far that I wanted taking the pictures to be.

It will be about a week before I have all the photos (should end up with between 50 and 100) but Dave was kind enough to rush one photo to me so I could share it.....

I have thought alot about these pictures since we finished the shoot this morning. I mentioned yesterday the views I was raised with, that thinking highly of yourself is a negative. My mother would in no way approve of me thinking I looked good enough to hire a professional to photograph me, not to mention what she would say about spending the money. But I have to say, doing this today made me as proud of myself as losing the weight has, if not more. For once I did something for myself and because I believe in myself and didn't let all those old filters stop me.

This is one of the first times in my life I have stood up, said I am a beautiful person and worthy of being seen. I may still be considered morbidly obese at 235 lbs, but I am incredibly proud of my body, of how strong it is, how far I have brought it in such a short time and how many odds I have overcome physically. These photos are a celebration of ever day in the last 8 months, of every sore muscle, of every drop of sweat and ever tear I have cried to get here!

I have lived the life of the ugly ducking for 40 years. I let kids growing up, my parents, others I have met along the wrong convince me to be ashamed of myself and my looks. But as of today that is no more! There is no more hiding myself from the world and today was the documentation of that!

The butterfly has left the out world!!!!!