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December 17, 2013

Picture This

by Tracy Jensen

It’s a holiday gathering. Friends and family get together to celebrate the magic of the season with food, gifts, games, and memories in the making. Then someone gets out a camera and starts snapping away. But invariably, someone says, “Oh no, not me, I look terrible!” and either ducks out or offers to take the pictures. Or, someone sees the final product and declares they look fat. “Can’t we just delete that one?”

I have to wonder: When we avoid the camera or over-criticize our appearance, what kind of message do we send to our kids?

In 2012, one mom blogger asked that question and also challenged moms everywhere to get in the picture. Ladies, and even you men, I’d like to extend that same challenge to you this holiday season.

By getting in the picture, you do two amazing things for your kids. First, you show them that you think you’re valuable, a part of the memories being made, and not just the historian taking it all down. Personally, at this phase of my role as parent, I feel like it is critically important to demonstrate to my daughter how she should think of herself. And I would never want her to think that she didn’t look good enough to be remembered.

Second, while it’s hard to imagine, or even painful to think about, these pictures of you will have incredible meaning for your family in the future. I remember several years before my mom passed having a bit of an argument with her about this whole deferring the photo-op thing. I said, “When you are gone, we are not going to look back and say you look fat in the pictures. We’ll just be glad we have them!” She really made an effort after that, but in truth, my daughter was 4 years old when we lost my mom, and I have about six pictures of the two of them.

While this kind of makes me sad, it is also my inspiration for hanging up my hang-ups and being in the moment with my daughter. This holiday, I will most definitely be in the picture, and I hope you will, too. Share your holiday fun via Instagram by hashtagging with #Fit4Families and look for your pictures here on our blog. Happy Holidays!

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