MizFit RE-exposed (four year update).

20130906 072050 MizFit RE exposed (four year update).

When Michelle reached out and asked if Id do an EXPOSED! update I couldn’t believe it had been four years.

Not so much in the “Good gosh time flies! Can you believe it has been four years already?!” sense, but in the “That feels like a lifetime ago.  I feel like a different person.” way.

I went back and reread my initial post

I recognized much of that woman.

I remembered the moment the picture was taken (crack of dawn, rushing around, thrust husband’s phone at him and instructed SNAP ONE! FAST!!).

I still owned the bathing suit (something which amazed me. Im a swim-in-running-shorts-and-sports-bra misfit, hadnt worn it since the photo, and we’d moved).

I still immediately flashed back to college-aged women Id worked with & how they’d had no concept what their bodies looked like because they weren’t living fully *inside* them. (something which made me want to gather new Oakland girlfriends and do the butcher paper experiment).

And yet–at the same time–the post read as though it were an entirely different individual.

I look much the same.

I feel worlds different (partial photo credit above a VERY PROUD seven year old.  Left side four years ago.  Right side last week.).

Gone is the prideful:

I am thankful for my health, my strength & for making it to 40 without any major aches, pains or injuries.

Replaced at 44 with:

I am thankful Ive learned sitting IS the new smoking.  My piriformis seizes when I sit too much.  Im grateful Ive learned to move more.

Gone is the simplistic:

What Ive learned is when I give my body what it seeks it repays me ten-fold by being able to do pretty much anything I ask of it in return.

Replaced at 44 with:

At times my body hesitates before doing what I ask (hello back bend on command!) but it flat out refuses to comply when bombarded with old talk/thoughts.

Revisiting the EXPOSED! movement has been a painful experience for me.

As I blather about ad nauseam:

Healthy living and fitness for me is *not* about the vessel.  It’s about striving to live a longer more vibrant life.

I may not appear all that different from four years ago (insert awkward yet candid joke about wrinkles on my countenance) —yet I feel utterly changed.

Ive learned more.

Ive lost more.

Im wiser.

Im older in every sense of the word.

In the initial post I expressed gratitude for my eyes/ability to see.  Four years (& aging eyesight) later Ive learned seeing is much more than viewing whats before us.

As I created the wonky side-by-side photo above I pondered the definition of the word EXPOSED.

It occurred to me, at 44, I feel less EXPOSED “displayed for viewing” when posting a bathing suit picture than when I ‘display’ things more sacred than my vessel.

For me being EXPOSED! is sharing my words.

Sharing Im feeling off. 

Sharing Im stepping back, re-evaluating & trying to recover the joy Ive shed since that photo was taken four years ago.

For me EXPOSE!-ing through my words is far more revealing than a photo could ever be.

 

  • Did you participate in the EXPOSED! project?  How do you feel four years later?
  • Are words & thoughts more EXPOSE’ing for you than the physical?

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Comments

  1. says

    I didn’t do the exposed project 4 years ago but I can definitely say I would have felt more exposed showing my bikini body rather than my words. Now I’d say the opposite not because my body has changed but just I rarely put all my feelings out to the world. That is more fearful than being in a bikini!

  2. says

    Ahhh…as a fellow 40-something, this post really resonated on many levels. Thanks for sharing and giving me food for thought for today.

  3. says

    ohh interesting. I would say right now that exposing my body still feels like a lot. I love it and respect it, but I’m not always 100% comfortable with who I am. I’ve also decided that in my thirties I am actually ok with that as I know I am continuing to change and grow and choose differently every day.

    Love you and your bold life, you help us all to push our boundaries and use our words

  4. says

    i remember that post. and i have to admit, you’ve done a 180! but what i mean is that i’ve seen your inner wellness shine. You’ve gone through a lot over these past years and that vibrant life, yes, it’s healthier now. Well, at least from what i see. Priorities–> thank you for always reminding US!

  5. says

    Thank you for participating again…four years later!

    I agree with you, it’s different this time. I’m glad that you were able to see those changes for yourself. I’ve enjoyed and felt lucky to have been able to follow you throughout it all over the years. xo

    • says

      EXPOSED – This is a great project. It is very inspiring and I’m sure it was a bit scary at first no matter how comfortable you are with how you look and who you are. Perspective is a great thing. Four years from now I hope I am still writing and can look back with that perspective.

  6. says

    This post is fascinating. I love your willingness to look beyond the body and see your true person. You are so inspiring in so many ways :)

  7. says

    I love this Carla – LOVE – I so get your thoughts & feelings especially as I close in on 56 – crap, it feels like I was just talking about 55 – time flies!!!

    WORDS & THOUGHTS ARE WAY MORE REVEALING & EXPOSED!!! Most do not know me – period – that is all – that says it…

  8. says

    I wish I had been blogging four years ago. I think it’d be fascinating to see how my thoughts/feelings on body/life have changed. I know they’ve changed A LOT — for the better. Thanks for reminding me to think more critically about what I am learning, doing, thinking.

  9. says

    While I’m 100% comfortable with WHO I am, I’m not quite there yet with what I look like. I’ve posted bare midsection picture of the blog a few times and it left me feeling very vulnerable. I’m not a fan, but practice makes better?
    Rock on with your badass self, Miz.

  10. says

    I didn’t do the exposed project 4 years ago…however as I am thinking about where I was 4 years ago I am physically almost in the same place (my oldest is 4.5!) but emotionally and maturity wise I am miles and miles different! What I have gone through in that time that has forever changed me and my relationships…amazing to me! I guess I never took the time (or rather was afraid to take the time) to look at where I was 4 years ago! Thank you for bringing that to my mind!

  11. says

    It’s funny when I look back at my blogs from four years ago. I have definitely learned so much and grown so much. I’m not nearly as restrictive. I don’t see the world in black and white so much anymore. I have a brand new appreciation for my body as well as others’. And I am definitely more comfortable exposing myself with photos than I am with words and feelings. Anyone can SEE who I am but I’m a little picky about who hears who I am.

  12. says

    Goodness – four years ago I was a recent college grad, newlywed, and had just moved away from family for the first time. Now, I am a toddler, mom, pregnant, have going through a husband’s deployment, and ready to start PA school.

    Who I am at my core is the same but I have learned so very much along the way.

  13. says

    Ive learned more.

    Ive lost more.

    Im wiser.

    Im older in every sense of the word.

    I love the above. I can very much relate to this post. I think I probably also look very similar on the outside but am so different on the inside and feeling the change in me even as I write this.

  14. Kellie says

    Awesome insights here, Carla! The fitness industry keeps me so focused on the outer vessel, as if the way I look most clearly defines my state of health (physical, mental, and emotional). Exposing myself in photo would have been no problem. But if you could somehow snap a photo of my inner demons and struggles from 4 years ago, I would never have sat still long enough for you to get a clear shot. Having the courage to expose your words, your inner, for better or worse, makes you way more fantastic in my book, because you’ve encouraged all of us to do the same. And for me, that’s finally more important than looking great in a bikini. You Rock!!!!

  15. says

    I loved the exposed movement then and I love it now. I did it three years ago and am planning on doing it again this week, but it will be very different and for many of the same reasons you write about.

  16. says

    Love it Carla! I love how you’ve grown over the past 4 years! 4 years ago I had a 2 and a 4 year old. I was teaching preschool (at a different school than where I am now) and they were attending it with me. I hadn’t started running yet and I still had baby weight that I was trying to lose. My self esteem was pretty low. I’m proud of where I am now…a runner, still a preschool teacher, but much healthier!

  17. says

    We’re close in age so I think you will understand… I have almost nothing to hide and I if I start to hide something, I often ask myself ” should I put it out there?” Not because I am some reckless, unedited crazy person, but because I know that someone else has gone through or feels the same way, and perhaps we can help each other. At my age, the meaning of life is having these deep connections with people.

    • cheryl says

      You can still have deep connections with people without “putting it all out there”- There are some things that should not be shared with the “world” (blog world) or even you dearest friends. Whatever happened to privacy? THere are certain aspects of those I admire I have no desire in knowing.
      Think of meeting a favorite actor/author/athlete and he/she turns out to be the biggest douche bag you have ever met. I don’t understand why people these days think they have to “bear all” (body and mind) in order to WHAT? Connect? Help others? I don’t buy it. Mostly it’s for gratification from fellow “blah”gets who are saying things like …”You look amazing”. and “It’s OK that you ate the entire bag of chips…I do that too! You still rock”.- when the comments are indeed false and meaningless for the most part. I don’t get it, don’t pretend to and glad I never will.

  18. says

    It’s nice to read your reflections, Carla! Once we hit forty, it seems, we have a great opportunity to find and refine ourselves!

  19. says

    I remember that post, really, it was FOUR YEARS ago? Love that you are exploring the growth and changes with such honesty.

    And now you have me all curious to see where I was at myself four years ago… I’m pretty sure I was lusting after baked goods and whining about exercising, but will have to go take a look. :)

  20. says

    I remember all of these original posts. I can’t believe I’ve been blogging this long, lol.
    Like you I have changed SO much in this four years.
    Reading between the lines I feel you you need a HUG. :) I’m always here if you need me.

  21. says

    I’m agreeing with Lisa. At 46, I’m so much more about connections and relationships than I was even 4 short years ago.

    Exposing ourselves by being honest and vulnerable with each other helps to create bonds and friendships. Exactly like our very-treasured one!

    Thanks so much for being there for me; this past week and every day we get a chance to expose ourselves to one another! xo

  22. says

    I love you so much! Ps. “I am thankful Ive learned sitting IS the new smoking. My piriformis seizes when I sit too much. Im grateful Ive learned to move more.” <— My piraformis is just one of my leg issues I have now. Oh do expect a text in the near future:) xo

  23. says

    I have a really hard time with photos of myself.I would say it is much more raw and horrifying to put a pic of myself up on my blog than to write honestly. Love that you revisited this. Very powerful.

  24. says

    I like this “Healthy living and fitness for me is *not* about the vessel. It’s about striving to live a longer more vibrant life.” I am not an exposer but I work diligently to get the best out of my body to so I can experience more of the vibrance of life. I am also in my forties (45) and I am actually in the best shape of my life now by keeping my body active and by feeding my body the right foods. Peace and blessings be with you.

  25. says

    I’m with you – I don’t mind wearing a bikini but really exposing my innermost self is hard. I have only done it a handful of times on my blog and I sort of stress about it for days (both before and after).

  26. says

    I have to say that while I am pretty comfortable with my 55 year old body, at least when I’m at home with my husband, exposing it is something I tend to do less and less each year. I did a beach workout post a year ago, in a bikini, and I felt quite brave and even somewhat confident about it.

    I think that I still hold back in my writing, don’t expose myself as much as I could. It is something that I want to work on, because I think great writing, especially in this genre, is and should be personal. I’m still try8ing, as I learned from Bo Eason, to tell my story.

    Sorry for the ramble, you always get me thinking :-)

  27. says

    Darn it 4 years! Gosh time flies. I feel like I was SUCH a different person then. Like I didn’t know how GOOD it was. Makes me take stock of NOW and KNOW how GOOD it IS!

  28. says

    So interesting. Thanks for sharing all your honesty. You are looking so dang good!!
    And it’s amazing at what can change in a short 4 years. It sounds like you’ve grown so much as a person and that’s awesome.
    When I look back 4 years ago on my life I almost can’t believe the person I was. I was basically in hospitals weekly because I was so ill and depressed. Wow, it’s hard to remember those times.

  29. cheryl says

    Oh my god…what century is this? I just did my last tri in a bathing suit-I guess that’s being exposed. And it’s for speed not for saying “look at me I am 60 and can still rock a bathing suit”- WHAT is this all about anyway?
    I have been the same person really since I made my decisions to be who I am today at about age 16. I was “only” 56 four years ago, and training for my second Ironman. Four years later I am competing in my 116th tri in two weeks (a half IM) and will pretty much be exposed the whole way…but will I post pix on a website? No. Why would I DO that?

  30. says

    I love this sentence “For me EXPOSE!-ing through my words is far more revealing than a photo could ever be.”

    It makes sense to me. When I share more I do more for myself. It’s funny how that works. But I also get back more and that makes all the difference.

  31. says

    I didn’t participate in the Exposed! challenge but I have had my own epiphanies with regard to my own body and my thoughts about it. There was a time years ago that I wouldn’t even wear sleeveless shirts because I was so self-conscious! Not that my body is where I’d like it to be but I’m a hell of a lot more comfortable in my own skin now.

    This post is a good reminder to about how far I’ve come. Recently, I’ve been feeling a bit down in the dumps and old at 43 but on the flip side, I’ve also realized that there’s a wisdom that comes along with age and time that really is priceless.

  32. says

    a picture of myself four years ago versus today would say a lot, but there’s also so much more that i could say! and i feel i have said it on my blog, but there’s other things i’d rather run around naked in front everyone than say to anyone. thankfully i dont have to do either :)

  33. says

    I didn’t participate in this but I do remember it! I know what you mean about exposing through words feeling far more revealing that a picture. It’s amazing how much can change in 4 years.

  34. says

    thank you so much for sharing this. Lately I have been really hard on myself. Not sure why. Lori keeps me in check, which is nice to have some believe in you especially when you don’t always believe in yourself. So thank you for the reminder to look more inside me!!

    xoxo
    M

  35. says

    I missed the original round of Exposed posts, but participated on the 1 year anniversary in 2010…on my now defunct website (R.I.P. joggerslife.com).

    I just skimmed through the post that I wrote, as well as a follow-up that I wrote 8 months later. First, I cried like a baby. Then, I read this line and cracked up laughing, “I don’t HAVE to fit “YOUR” cookie-cutter molded version of what “YOU” think I should look like in this bikini. Because your vision is impaired by your own insecurity. Stop projecting on me.”

    Hahaha…man…that was kind of aggressive, no?! =)

    So in reflection, I am in a TOTALLY (totally…AND did I mention TOTAL.LY) different body-life place now. Since I exposed myself, I’ve got married, battled infertility, had 4 miscarriages, one healthy baby, and now I’m 9 months pregnant with my second (last) child. Let’s just say that Mama’s body is not looking like it did when I slapped on that bikini.

    However, I’m so round and pregnant and ready to pop at the moment that it might be clouding my brain…but I’m BETTER. My body is better…it’s a baby-grower right now. I’d take the changes that came along with it again and again if I just get my healthy baby at the end of the baby growing process. It’s strange how your perspective changes when your body becomes not **really** yours for a period of time.

    That’s not to say that when this baby pops out it’s not GAME ON again…but my perspective has completely changed with time and (baby) growth and personal maturity. I want my best body not just for me these days, but for my children. Mama is no fun if she’s hobbling around with a walker, or sitting on the sofa all day. =)

  36. says

    Interesting thoughts, Miz! How neat you have this post to compare to the other 4 years ago – so much can happen in 4 years! I like that you’ve taken note of those changes. I put a lot of photos up of myself, but not so many so exposed like that (unless I like the angle – just being honest!)… So to see the body AND all that’s going on inside is pretty cool. Thanks for sharing and being an example of someone who’s continuing to change, to grow and to be open.

  37. says

    I love, love, love this post. I think it’s *mindblowing* how to the outside world, our bodies can betray how we really feel.

  38. says

    This is a pretty cool experiment. Both before and now show what a strong person you are in how you see yourself in such a positive light. And sitting is def the new smoking!

  39. says

    I have never heard of this project before today.

    I’m in my 40′s and after 6 pregnancies and 4 babies I’m not a big fan of having my picture taken in my swim suit…. as a matter of fact if I know I’ll be in a pic I make sure that I look really good ahead of time.

  40. says

    If you are growing, you won’t believe, every time you look back, how far you have come. It’s part of what growing means.

    “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

  41. says

    Thank you for sharing. I didn’t participate in the exposed because I wasn’t comfortable with having a creeper decide he wanted my photo for private viewing.

    I have learned a lot in the last 4 years. I think I am in a better place mentally, even if my body is not post injury.

    I hope you do find your happy place again.

  42. says

    I’ve never participated in a exposed project, but if I were to look at myself 4 years ago, I would have noticed a heck of a lot of changes, and I can honestly say that most of them are good ones. Still living and learning, but making baby steps toward feeling full comfortable exposing myself physically and emotionally. :)

  43. says

    I’m sorry you’re not in your happiest place right now, but I hope you know I’m here if you need a set of shoulders.

    Exploring thoughts and sharing them is much more revealing than a picture could ever be. We expose our hearts through our words…and there’s almost some idiotic stalker-type person who doesn’t get that connection and tries to stomple all over them. (Stomple is a heart word.)

  44. says

    I’ve been thinking about this post since I saw you post about it on Facebook. I am a different person inside and out and I just have to get all my thoughts on the changes together. They really are all over the place

  45. says

    Loving the honesty here and how it’s really not about the photos… though I must honestly say that I am so impressed at how similar and actually a tiny bit more defined you look!
    Went bowling with 90 year old friends this weekend and so want to get better with time!

  46. says

    Great Article – I’ve been trying to get my wife on board the fitness train for almost a year now since we aren’t planning on having any more kiddos. This post might give her some extra motivation!

  47. says

    Your words on this are so profound and what an amazing place you are in now. I agree with Lindsay in that your inner wellness and health and happiness shines through. I felt very exposed being in Hawaii all summer and on the beach but that was one of the realizations I came to – I didn’t so much care about the external (much more accepting and comfortable). I mean, there’s still work there but it’s a much different starting point than before.

  48. says

    Mine is done. and yes! we are all different now. and as for your question….

    harder to expose with words…I can write words each and every day…but most of those are hidden in brightly covered journals….its harder, for me, to dig deep and produce the words that convey my truth….

    often heard is the argument…its the food, no its the exercise..but the deeper emotional journey is the most difficult because it is so personal xoxo

  49. says

    I had a little expose moment last night at the gym. I walked around the locker room in my boxer briefs and a tshirt… I have never done that before :)

  50. says

    For some reason it surprises me that revisiting the Exposed! exercise was difficult for you – you’re such an open and introspective person already. But reading through your now-then thoughts, it made a lot of sense. And I love THOSE kind of before-afters way more than i like the physical kind;) Thanks for sharing this – you’ve given me a lot to think about.

  51. says

    It is so great that even after four years you are still continue doing things to make yourself even better. Age doesn’t define who we are but our goals. Keep it up!

  52. says

    Exposing my body is still a bit hard for me, but I totally agree that being completely honest and open with your words, especially in tough or embarrassing situations, can be way more exposure.

  53. says

    Wow, my life has changed A LOT in the last four years and during that four years. Sadly for the better and worse! Overall though, I’m significantly happier than I was 4 years ago!

    xxxx

  54. says

    Wow! Look at you! You look the same but life has changed so much! I wish I could do an exposed… I would hate it, but it would be helpful.
    Being a middle school teacher, that would be seriously frowned upon though. Those kids would eat me alive!

  55. says

    So true. Exposed is about sharing the words, and the words represent who we are, what we think – and that is the scariest thing to put out there. Thanks for sharing, as always. <3

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