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My Biggest Fear or My Greatest Gift?

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If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that in the past (and even on my most insecure days now), I have battled with my legs. If you are new to the blog, read the history of the relationship here :)

Soooo, you can imagine my apprehension at being called by my agency to do a modeling job for Performance Bicycles, where all I will do is wear spandex bike shorts, and they will just take pictures of me from the waist down for their website. Hello. What???

At first, it was like, um, I think you have the wrong person. Me? A leg model? I don’t think so. I have massive muscular thighs, a round butt and thick knees and ankles (though they have not been officially labeled “cankles” quite yet :)).

I was faced with a decision: turn down the job, miss out on the good payday and never face my fears OR take my chances at showing up for it, thunder thighs and all. Hmm, I had to first think of what the worst-case scenario might be…would I show up, they would take a glance at my legs and immediately tell me to go home to my complete and utter embarrassment? Would my agency fire me because I was not up to par? Would I take the pics and they would have to throw them out because I suck and who was I to think I could successfully sell tight-as-hell bike shorts?  All possible outcomes in my mind.

My most prominent body part, even at 12% BF

Want to know what happened? First, I came to terms with all of the above scenarios. I pictured them in my mind and thought about what I would do in each case. Could I be “ok” if they came to pass? What would be the big deal? So what? Ultimately, I resolved that my ego could take it. Mostly because of all the work I have been doing on NOT linking my self-worth with my physique, or my legs more specifically :) I decided that I was worthy regardless of the possibility that I was a bad leg model. LOL…funny to say out loud, but honestly, isn’t that what it comes down to for a lot of us? Something someone says about us or about our physique—we take it to heart, as if it is the truth. We don’t stop to think about the reality of the situation, to equate our self-worth with something other than our weight or dress size.

And so, it was with that mental attitude that I headed to my leg shoot. And you know what? No one told me I was fat, big-boned or refused to shoot me. In fact, the photographer said it was “refreshing” to have a model who actually looked like she cycled! Go figure!

[Funny aside: If you have ever worn bike shorts or pants, you know how terribly uncomfortable they can be (hello, what’s that diaper thing they have in the crotch??) and how friggin’ TIGHT they are! I had a great time SWEATING my ass off in the dressing room putting on pair after pair of tight-as-hell shorts and pants lol! I must have tried on 100 pairs of shorts or pants in a span of 4 hours. Whoa. Good thing they weren’t shooting my face, as my hair was plastered to my FACE with sweat by the end of it! I actually called my mom from the dressing room (whose genes most certainly had something to do with my legs) to laugh with me at the irony of the whole situation :)]

All kidding aside, the whole experience represented a huge breakthrough for me. Though I was incredibly anxious about it, to the point of turning down the job, making myself go through with it and facing a huge fear of mine, knowing what the worst case scenario might have been, and still doing it, was ultimately a huge GIFT. How grateful I am for the experience of it—of course it is what I needed—my “lesson” if you will. In fact, I firmly believe that in life we get exactly what we need, regardless of how we feel about that. If it wasn’t this experience, it would have eventually been something else to help me see that I need to get over myself. My thighs? Really? What’s the big deal?? I do my best and that’s all I can do, and you know what, if that’s not good enough for someone else, what do I care? I don’t. I’m good!

So, I wanted to share with you my experience so that you might be able to turn the mirror on yourself. Where are you fearful? What demons do you try to hide from? And more importantly, where can you seek out opportunities to address those challenges?? And believe me, you want to face them. It’s like a parent showing a child that there’s nothing under the bed to be afraid of. Show yourself there’s no need to be fearful—because that’s the reality of it. Best of luck! ox Jill

Related: Learning to embrace imperfection

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