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  • Jason Wood

Jason's Journal: Picture It

My husband Matt loves taking pictures. It’s his way of capturing a moment forever. Considering his memory, it’s not a bad idea! I often feel I’m in at a photoshoot when we go anywhere. Our last pup Daisy got excited every time Matt pulled out his iPhone as she posed for her glamour shot. In other words, if you’re around Matt, get ready to smile!

I used to get frustrated when we’d be out somewhere, and he’d force us to take a selfie or ask me to wait while he took the same photo from ten different angles. “Could you at least try to smile?” he’d plead with me often to no avail. I hated the camera because I hated what it captured.

Flipping through old photo albums proved a constant reminder of my childhood awkwardness and fatness. Even more recent pictures hurt me because I could instantly point to something I didn’t like about myself. Oh no, you can see a slight bump over my waist, or yikes, are those man-boobs coming back again? Look at how fat your face looks in this one!

My eating disorder blinded me from the memories captured in those photos. The snapshots of fun vacations, sporting events, and Christmas mornings served simply as backdrops to my insecurities. The love and joy in those photos faded into obscurity when my inner judge found something he didn’t like.

During the height of my disease, I avoided pictures as much as I could. Going as far as suggesting we skip having a wedding photographer. I refused to even look at myself in the mirror, often showering in the dark to avoid the ugly monster.

It wasn’t until two weeks ago, when I asked Matt to take a picture of me for a submission bio, that I realized how much I used to hate getting my photo taken.

This time felt, however, felt different. Confidence coursed through my veins. My lips curled into a visible smile rather than my typical resting b*tch face look. I eagerly ran up to Matt to see what he captured. I couldn’t wait to see myself. Wait a minute, did I just say that?

My eyes fixated on the image on the screen. I saw a man, a strong man, a healthy man who finally loved himself. Imperfections, there were none. I realized I am perfectly imperfect, and I love that about myself. The camera captured the authentic Jason, someone I am now proud to call myself.

The picture that changed my life!

Imagine being able to gain back your memories. Now, I get to do that every time I open an old photo album or scroll through my social media feeds. The emotions and the love of those moments now take center stage. It’s no longer painful to reflect upon the fun times I’ve shared with Matt and friends.

I’m lucky to have an in-house photographer. He’s captured some genuinely magical times I can finally reflect upon and cherish. Best of all, we have many more opportunities ahead. And this time I promise to smile big!

Say Cheese!


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