I won’t pretend I don’t deal with this. I thought I looked so great but then I saw a picture I didn’t know was taken.

Head to the bottom of this post to watch a Facebook Live with my favorite real-life strategies for regrouping after you see a photo of yourself you don’t like.

It was the perfect summer day. I love taking my kids on adventures, and this particular day, we’d ended up at a local gardens.

I had my phone out to capture photos, and my middle boy decided to be the photographer and started snapping.

Later, I grabbed my phone back and scrolled.

My thumb stopped on the picture and it felt like a truck had been rammed into my stomach.

THIS is what I look like?!?

I sat on the photo. Keep scrolling, I told myself. But I couldn’t.

I mean, I know I’m not a supermodel or anything.

But, at this point, I’d been working out hard for a few weeks. Eating a salad for lunch everyday. You know the drill.

I zoomed in to see my face and could not believe how bloated I looked.

Seriously?!? I stopped drinking almost 3 months ago and I look like this?! What’s the damn point?

My puckered body.

My puffy face.

I wish I could tell you I didn’t care.

I wish I could tell you I decided these are just photos, and that I am worth more than a photo.

I know that’s true but I don’t always live that out.

It’s embarrassing to admit, but these photos gutted me.

These images brought me down for weeks afterward.

We moved on, strolling through the gardens, and eventually we ended up at a proud pink building on the water.

It occurred to me that we’d taken a picture in this exact spot 6 years earlier, so I flagged someone down and we took our photo again.

My soul was low as we walked back to the car, my inner critic screaming at me as I buckled car seats.

Later that night, I gathered my courage and scrolled the photos again. This time, my eyes stalled on the image of the 5 of us in front of the building.

And I saw something different.

I saw a mom trying her best… smiling through the failures racing through her mind.

I saw 4 incredible, dynamic, healthy children… imperfect and messy.

Everyone heaped gloriously together… in front of a beautiful building in a beautiful place.

A healthy family. Smiling children. Blessing upon blessing.

Suddenly, that puckered face and body disappeared into the background.

JOY and GRATITUDE were all that was left.

Of course, I had to go and find the old picture too.

And again, all I saw was blessing.

And beauty.

And love.

Maybe, just maybe, I could find it in myself to allow some of that LOVE to be returned to me with as much ease as I slather it on my children and our memories together.

If you need help finding your way back to joy and gratitude in your own life, I get it. I’ve been there. I’ve dug out of it. And I’d love to help you. We can talk every week, every other week, or anything in between. I’m here to meet you where you’re at. Send me an email at janie@shejustglows.com, or head to my Coaching page to learn more.