self portrait

my first tat

This is my first tattoo. 

I got it when I was 20.  I remember showing it off for the first time, out in front of the Troubador in Hollywood, and having the reaction of my friends be either "Damn!" or "Whoa!" (leaning back, eyes wide, mouths covered).  That made me smile from ear to ear.  When I got this tattoo that's the reaction I wanted.  I wanted something about me to be impressive. 

As I have written about in the past my self esteem as a child and teenager was very low.  Looking back now on getting this tattoo I would have to say that it altered my body in such a way that I lessened my shame of what I looked like.  If I had a shirt on I didn't stand out but when I did I definately stood out.  It gave me a reason to take my shirt off while running around the mosh pit or at the pool.  I no longer worried about what people said about my extra wieght (at the time I wieghed 280+ pounds) because they wouldn't talk about that they would talk about the tattoo.

When I got the tattoo I got it to identify myself strongly with the group of friends  that I had at the time.  When I got it I wanted something that said something about me and my friends would be impressed with.  I'm glad with what I chose for so many reasons as these two words define me on so many levels.  I've had a job either with my father or on my own since I was 10.  I'm very grateful, now, to my father for teaching my a good work ethic which has paid so many dividends.  This tattoo reminds me daily that a job well done is it's own biggest reward.  If my only claim to fame is being a hard worker that's just find by me.  Even while doing yoga this tattoo is my focus point as I look in the mirror.  So even though now that I'm older and the meaning of the tattoo has changed it's still my favorite. 

To see other's tat's check out self portrait challenge.



So this is probably my most favorite picture of myself that I know of.  It's simple honest and every time I look at it I smile and feel better about myself in some small way.  I've never considered myself a very vain person, until recently with my accident I guess that I've taken for granted my attactiveness.  Growing up I was very over wieght and felt very unatractive due to that, it also didn't help that I would reinforce that thinking every time looking into the mirror, sometimes out loud sometimes not.  So when I moved out of my parents home for the final time, weighing 290 pounds, I was resolute in losing some weight.  I spent the next 10 months on the low carb diet, all the rage at the time, losing 100 pounds by the end.  I remember very vividly looking in the mirror about 4 or 5 months into that and seeing a different face and saying OUT LOUD "It don't matter your still ugly".  I've beeen able to keep most of that wieght off for the last 5 years and I feel so much more comfortable with my body and my looks it's insane for me to think back and on those times, when I was over wieght, and see the harm that I was doing to myself physically, emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually. 

Those ten months changed my life on so many levels.  Physically I changed dramatically my body and face looked different.  It was now easier and painless to sit, stand, move, run, play, and work.  I went from noticing girls frown and gawk in my direction to returning a smile or "check" me out.  Those ten months were also very transformative for me mentally as well.  It proved to me how that if I set my mind and actions to something, anything I could accomplish it.  It proved to me that my body is a product of my food and my enviroment; if I put junk food in I feel and look like crap, if I put in food prepared by me with the intention of nurturing and sustaining myself I feel better and look better.  I also learned to cook.  I even learned to appreciate it and then to love it and now I'm addicted. 

Over the last five years many things have changed in my life, but the love and appreciation of food and the care it takes to make it are never lost on me.  I have also become a million times more accepting of myself and the way I look.  I guess I've almost taken it for granted.  So I'm grateful for the lessons that I obviously had to learn from my accident: Appreciate and safe gaurd my life, health and looks they are wonderful asset that can be lost in a split second;  Use my job as it was meant to be used, as a way to have a life worth experiencing not a life full of collecting expensive things;  Fully appreciate the now as it is all I have and it's gone never to be reclaimed or relived.

Now after my current accident I try hard to accept deep down that I'm still attractive.  I accept that some may give me a double take on the street, and still return a smile.  I accept that this to shall pass.  I accept that I enjoy feeling good about my self and part of that starts in my food.  I accept that if I do exercise I will live a longer, happier, sexier life. I accept that I must take care of my self in all aspects of life. 

Thank you for your time and energy in reading this.  To read and look at others pictures go to the self portrait challenge.

Pipe 1 - Face 0

Pipe 1 – Face 0

I don't even know what to say about the above picture and how it relates to me.  I look at it and it quite doesn't register that it's me, it almost looks like some sort of crazy super hero ( look out villans here comes captain swoll with his side kick gauze). 

How do you spend your weekdays?  

         This week recovering and getting ready to go back to school

Who lives in your house? 

         Me, two fish, and Mr. Blacktail (a anole lizard)

Favourite pastime and worst job? 

         Hiking,  working for my dad as a kid

Why are you doing self portraits? 

         To see what it brings up for me in my journalling and as a way to keep this blogging thing interesting. 

What does this picture say to me? 

         Beyond the initial F'ing OW!  This reminds me how fragile my body is compared to my work surroundings,  that me and my partner are the softest things on that ship.  This also brings up for me how I have for most of my life thought of myself as unattractive and how I have worked hard for the last 4-5 years to become more comfortable with my body.  That work has led to me being able to keep 80+ pounds off and to wear a smile on a regular basis, two big contributors to better self image.  While I don't feel less attractive now because I realize that this to shall pass, I also realize that continuing to do what I do at work may need to change if I want to keep my self from serious harm. 

A part of me is kinda excited to see what I look like after all the swelling goes down and only the scar is left.  It should be a doozy (13 stitches) and contribute to that tough exterior that I try to put up. 😛

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