Prior to Christmas, I had a professional photo shoot done by my friend Lauren. She is incredibly talented. She usually shoots models and actors, and then there was me. That was a bit intimidating. But this was something I desperately wanted to do for myself. The day turned out to be fun, relaxed and I totally got to feel like a model. There were costume changes and different locations. And I got to be the centre of attention. I had a day of feeling really special. As the day progresses the photos also capture how much more relaxed I became with the process. My days as a model are numbered though as I still can't pull off any expression or pose other than smiley.
Nearly all my of my life I have been overweight to varying degrees. I have PCOS which makes it hard to lose weight, and through doing keto I have learned just how bad carbs and inflammatory foods are for me. During my late teens/early 20's I lost a pretty big amount of weight (although now I have no idea how much), and I have very few photos from that time. This is one of my biggest regrets. The weight loss didn't last long, because I did it through the conventional method of eat less and move more. I obsessively exercised and was always hungry. As soon as I ate any treat meals I spiralled and it all came back on. I couldn't live like that long term. At the time I had a professional shoot and I have about 10 pictures from that, but that's all. It's almost like a dream, did that actually happen, did I really look like that? Honestly, I barely remember what it was like to look like that.
This time, up until now I mostly have pictures taken standing in front of my mirror in my bedroom. I'm usually the one taking the photos when we are out.
When I first saw these photos I thought "wow I'm gorgeous" and then I thought "I wish I looked like that in real life". Of course everyone said that is what you look like in real life, but I still don't believe them. I wasn't edited in the photos, but it still didn't seem real to me. In my head that isn't how I look. My head hasn't caught up with my body yet, and combine that with the fact I'm still carrying some excess Christmas weight and I kind of can't believe that's me. But that's part of why these photos are so valuable to me. Surely they will help my mind catch up to this rapid transformation.
On the day they were taken, I got to feel incredibly good about myself. That's important. Every time I look at the pictures, I am reminded of that feeling and can capture a bit of that again. I intend to put them around my house and for them to serve as inspiration every time I'm tempted by something I know isn't good for me.
It's was my mum's birthday a couple of weeks ago and I gave her a couple of these photos and framed them as part of her birthday present. She loved them, she's so proud of how far I've come.
I was sent two pictures as a sneak peek before I got the whole collection. I must have looked at each photo 10 times a day each day. I can't believe how much I love them. This is probably the best thing I could have done for myself, to reward myself for achieving such a massive life change. No matter what happens, I will have these forever. When I'm old, I'll have them. In years to come my family will have them to look back on.
Lauren has very kindly put together a package for anyone in Sydney doing keto who would like to have a photo shoot done. I can't recommend it highly enough, she and her work will make you feel amazing about yourself. Prior to receiving the photos I couldn't even imagine how good they would turn out. I've been showing everyone I can. These are something I will treasure and value until the day I die, and I will definitely be having another shoot with Lauren sometime in the future (ok who am I kidding there will be multiple photo shoots over the years, why not).
This has been a great step in the journey to loving myself and my new body. I'm not completely there yet but this has helped.
If you want photos done, contact Lauren on firstname.lastname@example.org or look her up on Instagram @laurenskye001