Apr 15, 2010

Before & After

After seeing some pictures of myself that I didn't so much enjoy, I decided to do something about it... of course, this was after I threw a "I hate Jen" pity party and ate enormous amounts of chocolate which instantly made me feel better and then worse because then, not only did I not like my hair and face, but now I was "fat" too.

I wish every women could walk outside their own body for one day. I wish every women could see themselves the way other people see them for one day. I think we would definitely see ourselves differently after ward. We are so critical of ourselves when we look in the mirror or see ourselves in pictures. For example, take this picture of Jane and I. This was the day that I threw the pity party. I hated the way I looked in these pictures. I went through them all and criticized the messiness of my hair, the chubbiness of my arms, the fatness of my face, everything (I'm being 100% honest here people so don't bother commenting to refute my points as, to me, they are completely true - that's assuming you'd want to make me feel better of course). This was the only picture of myself from that day that I posted on Facebook and I got comments like this "must be hard being so beautiful" and "gorgeous" (from girlfriends of course). I was like WTF - I pay you guys too much cause I look like a**. But this is exactly my point, to others we look completely different than we do to ourselves... of course it helps when these people love you but you get my point.

After these pictures I did what any girl would do to redeem some of her confidence and I choose one thing about myself that I hated to blame my self-hate on... this month it was my hair. I haven't had my hair cut since Jane was 3 months old (that's 7 months for the math "experts" out there). It was long, drab, lifeless, volume-less (which says a lot as my hair is insanely thick), boring, dull, messy, crappy... you get the point. I immediately called my fabulous hair guy to book an appt.

Not only was my hour and a half long hair appt fabulous because I got a great cut and eliminated my reason for my current self-hate but it was also an awesome break for me. I mean, I take "breaks" all the time... to run, to hit the grocery store, etc. Does any of that sound like a break to you? Yeah, that's what I thought. It was awesome to sit, relax, make fun of celebrities and forget about all of the things I had to do when I got home.

I'm sure most Moms do things like this for themselves and, technically, my running would have to be my favourite "me-time" right now. But my hair appt was completely selfish, all about me, and it was AWESOME! :p I may just get my hair cut monthly 'cause it was so great for my spirit (ok, I hate this word because it makes me sound like some birkenstock-wearing-yoga-loving-natural-healer person - not that there's anything wrong with that but it just ain't me).

SO here's my recommendation for all the Moms out there, if you're not already doing it... take a couple hours each month to do something totally SELFISH! I don't mean exercise, I don't mean shopping (unless it's shopping for you ONLY and not because your hubby needs new undies), I mean something completely for you - a massage, hair appt, belly dancing class (this is my friend Steph's "thang"), etc.

I will admit, for the first time in 7 or 8 months I felt a little guilty leaving... perhaps because I knew I was being completely selfish or the fact that Jane chased me across the room towards the door and then stood herself up on the gate, peaking through the holes at me LEAVING. Regardless, I smiled, kissed her on the forehead and took off! :)

Post hair-cut, I'm back to my old self again... content with my appearance (as if anyone is ever completely satisfied - I bet even Gisele hates something, (like her elbows or something completely stupid that normal people don't even think about cause we have too much other crap to be grouchy about) and happy overall.

Here's the before and after - just to be clear, the "after" hair is prettied up and my typical day-to-day style will be much less cool.

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hatjunkie said...

Actually you look gorgeous in both photos. It's awful how self critical we can be. After I had my son and really had lost most of my weight, but just wasn't the skeleton I used to be. I went into a clothes store to try things on. The owner who was about 60 said I looked great, but I couldn't deal. she said, "Oh, HOw I wish we could live our lives backwards, so we would know how good we really looked." I look at photos from 20 years ago and I think how pretty I was, but at the time I never thought so. I'm still critical of myself and I know that when I'm 60 I'll mourn the fact that I never appreciated how I looked at 40. OH, well. We can only keep trying.

Lena! said...

Sizzling Jen! And I hear ya about being over-critical: my husband complains all the time that he hardly has any pictures of me from the last two years, but it's really because I'm trying to pretend they never happened (weight-wise)... I just hope that after I slim down again we can go back to pretending I was skinny all along, LOL.

You're absolutely beautiful, and I'm sure your elbows are fab too :)

Daleen said...

You look beautiful! The hair really suits you :)I feel like you do, there is so many things I hate about my body, which my husband adores again *sigh* I know for a fact that I am very critical about my appearance, and I'm trying my best not to be so, but sometimes it is just one of those days. Let me just say you are a gorgeous woman, and many people would give anything to look like you :)

Unknown said...

As always darling, you are beautiful!

I made a promise to myself that I would follow thumpers rule...not only for those around me but me included!! So if I have nothing nice to say about myself...well...you got it...i saw nothing at all!

I don't know if Brad has really taken notice...but he does tend to compliment me more lately....hummm thinks its a coincedence?? Could be the tan (Mexico in 2 days = couple trips to tanning bed = more "healthy looking" - by healthy I surely do NOT mean fat :)

I have to say...noth verbalizing my few comments, makes me more positive....focus on the good thing...like my stunning elbow's ;)

You should tell yourself how freaking hot you are every day sista...and trust me ...everyone else is thinking it so get on the bandwagon.

Remember when we were preggers and we looked back at pictures wishing we had apprecitaed what we had.....don't do that again in 10 years!

Love you,

Marisa said...

You are so bang on about us all being so critical of ourselves. I will say, despite it sounding like marshmallow fluff, that I have always found you to be incredibly pretty in your pictures, and these ones are no exception of course. As a fellow self-hater more often than not, I have my own list of 'things about me that suck' (wink) which of course I look at on everyone else and notice how much better these said items are for them - case and point - I must tell you, you have a beautiful smile with great teeth, and fabulously shaped eyebrows. Work it, sister. ;)

Unknown said...

Very proud of you Jen for taking some "me-time"!! I firmly believe in the importance of this (as you can tell since I'm the belly-dance girl). Though I think you should bump it up to at least one hour a week. I think it makes us much better moms. We are happier and feel better about our selves. This can only translate to our kids. It shows them the importance of looking after ourselves and doing things that we enjoy. Also I think it is good for them to learn to be with other people (find a sitter and get Dan in on the one hour a week even if you don't do something together). Lucas has learned to love his sitter, he used to get a bit upset when I left now as soon as she comes in he says "bye Mommy, love you, go!" And I know longer feel guilty about it. So go for it girl and enjoy something for YOU!!

trac54 said...

Jenn everytime this happens I try try try to look at pictures of said person that is complaining and try to see what they see. I was stearing at that photo that you hated and I was trying to see your fat arms and your messy hair.

But I can't! I really can't! I always try to focus in and say "oh, I never would have noticed that but now that I'm looking for it, i really can see how fat her arms are"

I try to do this to myself so that I can somehow turn it around and think maybe all these critical things I say about myself other people can't see whatsoever!

Most times when I analize photos to try and find the flaws the only ones I see are pimples that are so insignificant. I think this is a great way to boost your own confidence.