I am the new me. Rotating Header Image

Documenting change.

A long time ago, in another life, before I started running, I used to be a hobby photographer.

I used to enjoy all the behind the scenes stuff. Planning the photoshoots, organizing models, make up artists & hair stylists. I loved taking pretty pictures of pretty girls.

Probably because I wasn’t a pretty girl.

When I look back now, I can remember always wishing I could be in front of the camera, wishing I could have all these cool images of myself, wishing I looked that good.

Sometimes, my photographer buddies would take my picture.  It was always an eye opener.

You see, I never thought I was as large as I looked.  In my head, I was always ‘average’, but the camera doesn’t lie, and each time I had my picture taken, it was like a stab in the heart to see what I really looked like.  It was always an eye opener to see the photographs.  I remember feeling like a million bucks getting ready to have my picture taken, having this idea in my head about how I looked. That idea was never what I saw in the finished product.

I was fat.

Once I joined WeightWatchers I started to feel better about myself, so I asked my friend to take another picture, to do a ‘progress report’.

This was one of the first times I remember liking what I saw in a picture. It still wasn’t what I thought I would see, but it was getting closer, and it really showed me how far I had come.

It was always great to have a friendship with the photographer, so that I could relax. I think it helped get some quality images each time.

In 2008, when I finally reached my goal weight, I decided to do it again. After having been over weight for the better part of a decade, I wanted to have evidence that I had been ‘skinny’ once in my life. I mean, after all the years of my weight fluctuating, I really had no idea how long this new body was going to stick around.

(Looking at this picture, I just realized that I still own that top & those jeans and they still fit, 4 years later!)


All the images so far have been taken by the same photographer, and since we had built a friendship & trust, I decided to do something a little more risqué!  By this point I had been running for over a year, and I felt like I was in great shape, so with the same mind set as I previous mentioned, I thought I would show off my body, not knowing how long it would be around for. Afterall, I’m not getting any younger! 😉

The one thing I notice in this picture is the fact that, while I was proud of my body & wanted to show it off, I wasn’t confident enough in myself to have my face showing in the picture. I was, however, confident enough to hang a 12X18 print of this image in my house!

A couple years passed before I got my picture taken again.  This time it was with a new photographer, and the goal was to have something more “family friendly”, since the only ‘current’ pictures of me at my mom’s house were sweaty, gross, crossing the finish line, running pictures. Yet my brother had all these lovely pictures of himself & his wife at their wedding.

This time I had to seek out a new photographer, and came across Derek Ford Photography. We hit it off when we met to talk about pictures, so about a month later we met on a Saturday afternoon to do some outdoor shots around the Victoria waterfront & Beacon Hill park.  The objective of “family friendly” was met, and I was very happy with the results.

I find it interesting how the way I look at myself in pictures has changed over time.  When I first started getting my picture taken, all I would see is the flaws in each image. I would pick out every blemish, every scar, every bump, every roll.  Now when I look at pictures of myself, while I still see the ‘flaws’, what I tend to focus on more is what is behind the physical. What I see is the hours of running, and the years of watching what I eat, I see the dedication and self control it has taken to become the person I am now. I see the running medals hanging on my wall, and the WeightWatchers 5lbs stars. I see someone who has put in the physical, mental and emotional effort to make positive changes to create a better, healthier life for herself.

What I see now is that the outward appearance is a reflection of the inner hard work.

So recently, I did it again. After working with Al Smith on the #yyjrun for Cancer Calendar, I started chatting with him about an idea for something I always wanted to do.  At first, it was to be a surprise for N, since he is really in to old school pin up art work, but then we broke up. So then it fell on to the back burner, until I decided to still do it for myself, with a side of ‘in your face’ for N.

I have to tell you that I am absolutely thrilled with the images.  The whole process of the shoot was so much fun. From the collaborating, to getting my hair & make up done, to the actual shoot.   I highly recommend that everyone get professional pictures taken of themselves at least once, if not more.  And you don’t have to be in peak physical shape to do it. No matter where you are in your life, document it. It can be eye opening down the road, to look back on the images and see how far you have come.

So, now… after all there, for those of you who haven’t seem them already.  here is a selection of images from my photo shoot with Al.

(Click to see the next image)

So there it is, the #supersecretproject, and the reasoning behind it.




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One Comment

  1. Sheila says:

    You look really gorgeous, Kirsty! Good for you for doing those pictures!

    I did a nude photo shoot with Rob at Destrube Photography when I was fat – it was my first step at re-claiming my body, attempting to live with it, own it, and thereby understand it, and myself. Oddly, I haven’t been tempted to re-do my photos, but then I take pictures of myself nearly every day. I too have lost my critical eye on my perceived flaws – now, I think I can finally see what everyone else sees when they look at me. I’m not so bad, ha ha.

    Feel very proud of yourself, girl!