No, this photograph was not altered in any way; although, I realize it looks that way. It's just old--from 2005 to be exact.
No questions asked, my body is 500% my biggest insecurity. This "challenge" is definitely the most difficult for me to discuss (after all, why wouldn't 'your biggest insecurity' be?). I have struggled with my body image for as long as I can remember. If I had to pin-point when it began, I'd say it was in 3rd grade when this fat boy (yeah, ironic, I know) started calling me "Fanny Mae Brown Cow." Whew! Feels good to admit that, surprisingly! From 3rd grade on . . . whether I was a size 18 or a size 2 (yes, I actually been both), I was self-conscious about my body. I can remember making my mother snap this photograph numerous times because "I had a fat roll on my stomach" (you know, just below my friggin' 25'' waist!).
I think having a baby has helped me a little bit with this lifelong struggle. Don't get me wrong--it is certainly still ongoing--but, I think carrying a child changes your perspective on your "hott bod" a bit. It's not that I don't want to be sexy anymore . . . trust me . . . I don't work out 6 days/week for nothing! Rather, it's that I see my body as having more of a purpose than I used to before Jackson. I am thankful that I never fell victim to an eating disorder that prevented me from bearing children, and I am proud of my wide hips' God-given, baby-birthin' ability. Ha!
That being said, however, I am also thankful that God blessed me with a son. My husband was both a string-bean and a cubby cherub at times growing up, but he doesn't remember being picked on in school about his body the way I was. I think girls become obsessed with weight and body image at a sickeningly young age, and I rejoyce in the hope that Jackson will not have to stuggle with this insecurity as I have and still do.