I'm a wedding and portrait photographer living in Vancouver, BC with my husband Randy.  I photographed my first wedding when I was only 17 years old - and I've photographed over 200 weddings since! I am an avid bookworm, lover of green tea, pretty nail polish & my Labradoodle Harley. Thanks for visiting!

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Leave the Mirror, Change the World

December 10, 2014

personal

We were sitting outside after dinner in Phoenix, my shoulders enjoying the warm desert air. My husband, mother-in-law and I had picked out our favourite flavours of sorbet or gelato at the, according to Yelp, #1 rated ice cream spot in the city. I dug into my second scoop of chocolate sorbet, savouring the texture and flavour.

I paused, sticking my little plastic spoon back into my scoop. “It’s surreal to be doing this right now.”

They looked over with surprise.

“I mean, sitting here, enjoying my sorbet, really truly enjoying it without guilt. I never used to be able to do that. It still blows my mind that I can do that. That I’m doing this. It’s amazing.”

My overexercising and calorie counting days are long past – that’s been no secret to me. I haven’t “struggled” with body image or self esteem since about the age of seventeen or eighteen. And I know that fact may make me a very rare creature. But I’m learning, there’s a difference between feeling ugly or fat (aka. having a completely distorted view of yourself) and feeling guilt over food choices.

Guilt robs us of joy. Why should we feel guilt over food – something created to be enjoyed, in moderation like every other good gift, by God? The last couple of years have been incredibly healing for me. I’ve gone through times where I’ve been to the gym 5-6 days a week. I’ve been through times where I’ve gone to the gym once a month and tried to walk a couple times a week with my mom.

Guess what? God doesn’t love me any less.
My husband doesn’t love me any less.
My friends don’t love me any less.

Here’s a secret… when I went 4 weeks without hitting the gym, my pants still FIT.
Shocker.

Maybe it comes with age, with maturity, with being loved, who knows. But ten pounds isn’t the end of the world. This would have flabbergasted my 15-year-old self but… I don’t want to lose 10 pounds. I know how – the “how” is not a mystery to me. It would take more dedication, work, time. But guess what? I exercise 3-4 days a week. I eat healthy. I wear a healthy size. My husband thinks I’m sexy. I don’t need to lose 10 pounds. I’m happy. And I’m saving a lot of time in the process.

Young woman, there is a world out there. A big bright, shining world, full of opportunity for you to explore and learn and grow. That world is also full of hurt, depression, needs and brokenness. Don’t make your body the centre of your world. The world needs MORE from you than your body.

Yes, let’s take care of our bodies. Let’s eat healthy. Let’s live in moderation. (I’d really recommend you skip fast food.) But life is bigger than our bodies. Let that body be an instrument for God’s purposes. He gave you a body so you could move – so you could move mountains! Don’t make perfecting your body, thinking about your body, analyzing your body your hobby. He’s called you to more.

Be healthy, live in moderation, walk away from the mirror.
Go and change the world.

Love,
Jamie.

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