|ALL PHOTOS courtesy of the BEAUTIFUL, TALENTED, SWEET, SOULFUL Stephanie Ramsey Photography|
Here are the pictures from the Pilates photo shoot I had two weeks ago.
My beloved Synergy Yoga was kind enough to let me use their studio and Stephanie Ramsey (the sweet, beautiful soul in this last picture) took all of the photographs.
These pictures turned out just as I had hoped. Simple. Strong. Classic. Artsty. Real.
I don't have the body of a ballerina. I'm far from a skinny-mini. I don't have a stereotypical "yogi" bod, that of a fitness competitor, or a model... but as I look at these photographs I feel immense pride.
I'm proud of my progress. Proud of my strength. Fortitude. Proud that I didn't listen to the voice in my head telling me that I don't "look the part" of a Pilates teacher and therefore shouldn't try to play it.
I took my first Pilates class (here at Synergy Yoga with my beloved teacher and friend, Gayle Stefanelli) two years and three months ago.
I have been teaching for the last one year and three months and in that time my whole world has completely changed.
Some of us have a moment.
A moment when a switch clicks for us. Someone we love gets sick, or passes... or maybe we can't walk a few flights of stairs without being winded. We feel self-conscious, sad, mad, hopeless. Maybe it's as simple as a pair of pants that no longer fit, or we see a picture of ourselves that we don't like. No matter what it is, something shifts in that moment. We don't want to just "stay the course". We have to change. We commit. We give up the fads, the unrealistic expectations of perfection, and the quick fixes. We just start to show up. We start to do the work. It is not pretty at first. In fact... it sucks. Bad. Even at our "best" our bodies may not ever look like ones in fitness magazines, but we become the version of OUR own best selves. Proud. Strong. Accepting. Happy.
These pictures represent that journey for me. A journey from doubt and fear to happiness and acceptance.
By the way... these are the pictures that did it for me. The ones I could not ignore and ones I cannot believe I am sharing. My "AH-HA" moment .They were taken at an event (two and a half years ago) that I was speaking at. When I was tagged in then on Facebook I cried. Well, I IMMEDIATELY (faster than a speeding friggin' bullet) untagged myself and THEN I cried. I didn't like what I saw. So I changed. Not overnight (I didn't even take my first Pilates class until months later), but eventually... I changed. Not into something I am not and not by unsustainable means, but slowly, and imperfectly. Complete with setbacks and meltdowns.
I am a different person than I was in these pictures.
From the inside, out.
So, if you're reading this and you want to feel better... start now. Start where you are and with what you have. Throw "perfection" out the effing window and do it. You don't need a "buddy'. You don't need people to "get it". No one needs to believe in you, to encourage you, or do it with you. It's your life. It's on you. Do it now. Do it for the person you want to be. Make yourself proud.