A Shift in Perspective: Embracing the Beauty of Now

September 21, 2023

When nostalgia hits and I take the time to flip through pictures of younger me, there's a voice inside that never fails to exclaim, 'Oh my goodness, I looked GOOD! Just look at how skinny I was! And my hair, it was so beautiful!' As my eyes glide over the frozen moments of my past, I can't help but admire the person I used to be, captured in the glossy surface of photos. But then, I remember how that person, the younger me, never really saw herself the way I do now. She was constantly critical of her looks, always wishing to be better, to lose more weight. It's a stark reminder of how we tend to be our own harshest critics, often overlooking our own beauty and worth.

The self criticism intesified for me once I became a mom. In a short four years I've weighed 160-220 pounds and the fast and permanent changes to my body was a lot for me to come to terms with. I didn't like how I looked, I didn't really want to be in photos. Once in a while Tyler would just snap some pictures of me with the kiddos and I would just dismiss them because I didn't like the way I looked. One day when Axel was around 2 years old, I decided to go through his photos and do some organizing. Everything changed for me when I came across this photo.

I really didn't like the photo at all at the time it was taken. But looking at it after 2 years, I fully experienced the "you'll look at it with kinder eyes someday" feeling and I loved everything about it. Yes, my babies are my whole world and it's amazing to see them grow and have so many beautiful photos that capture their lives and adventures. But when I look back at photos of myself from those early days, I'm reminded that I really changed too! I've changed physically and mentally. I've learned so much on my motherhood journey. Like most mothers, I am constantly documenting my kids' lives in an attempt to tell them their life story when they are older. But the reality is that their life story is incomplete if I'm nowhere to be found in those photos. I want them to see who I was, what I looked like, and how much I've loved them all along.

I also know that kids are incredibly observant. How I talk about myself as I look in the mirror or look at photos of myself will inevitably shape their views of not just me, but women in general. My aim is to raise boys who are kind, respectful, and loving to the people in their lives. Some of that is done through the conversations I have with them. Even more of these values are passed on through modeling how I conduct ourselves in the world and how I choose to talk about myself and others.

Over the last year or so, I have shifted my perspective. I've chosen to look at my photos through the eyes of my future self - let's call her 'Future Mary'. I imagine Future Mary admiring the woman in those photos, reminiscing fondly and thinking, 'WOW! Look at how good I looked.' This change in perspective, this conscious decision to appreciate myself as I am in the moment, has brought about a noticeable change. I truly believe that I look happier in pictures now, no longer shadowed by the cloud of self-doubt and constant self-improvement.

Life, as they say, is too short. It's too short to hide behind layers of self-criticism and unattainable ideals of perfection. So, I've decided to step out, to bask in the sunlight and let myself shine. I've decided to love myself, to appreciate the beauty of my present, and to look forward to the wisdom of my future.


To my fellow mamas, you are so much more than your physical appearance. You are a collection of your experiences, your thoughts, your dreams, and your passions. You are important, you are worthy, you are BEAUTIFUL! So, the next time you are in a photo with the people you love, just imagine future you looking back to that moment. Because that woman will look at you with so much love.

Like what you see?

Let's do this.

A Shift in Perspective: Embracing the Beauty of Now

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