HUMAN NATURE CONNECTIONS – Say Hello to Erin

Here is a the next installment in my HUMAN NATURE Connections project. Erin Walior saw my post on the West Seattle blog and responded that she would like to participate in my project. We made these portraits of her at Lincoln Park in West Seattle where Erin likes to walk, read, and enjoy the natural beauty of one of the gems of Seattle’s City Parks. Erin especially loves the area down by the water. Thanks Erin. It was a pleasure working with you.

HUMAN NATURE Connections - Erin Walior

I asked Erin if she would like to make a guest post on this blog. I figured she could tell her story better than I could. Her post is below along with some of the pictures we made and a link to Erin’s blog.

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I saw Tim’s request for models for his Human/Nature Connection project on the West Seattle Blog.  I thought “That sounds like fun, I should do that…” and then kept thinking I should do it without actually making any effort towards it.  I tend to do that a lot…I find new opportunities and experiences that sound fun and interesting, but never actually approach them.  Either I think I’m too fat, or that I’ll fail somehow, or that it’s just not “for me.”  I had to convince myself to email Tim and volunteer for his project.

I emailed Tim, and sent him a link to my blog.  I described myself as being overweight, because I wanted him to know exactly what I looked like and not be surprised or disappointed.  When he emailed me back, I was surprised. I actually thought maybe he didn’t look at my blog or realize that I was overweight, but he did.

After we had set up a time to meet and do the photos, I started to get very nervous, and I almost cancelled on him.  I still fight every day with 2 differing self-esteems – I love myself and who I am, and I am beautiful right now and I am fat and need to lose weight and unhappy with my appearance.  Asking someone to take my photo when I feel both of these emotions seemed almost crazy.

I convinced myself to go, even though I was extremely nervous.  I have a bad habit of assuming people will judge me negatively because I’m overweight.  Tim put me at ease right away, and it was actually a great experience.  We talked a lot about my blog, and I told Tim how my blog is about body acceptance, self love,  weight awareness, self hate, and all the things that go along with it.

I struggle every single day with who I am.  I struggle with liking myself, and it’s not all about the weight.  I struggle to accept that I might never lose weight, and so I need to learn to be happy with who I truly am, not just my appearance.  I struggle to make the right choices for my health, and to be okay with the fact that it is a hard battle to lose weight.  It’s all very conflicting and difficult, but it’s who I am. I mean, how do you say “I like who I am but I need to make changes and still like who I am?”  Really, it’s not all fun and “Woohoo!  Self discovery is AWESOME!!”  Trust me, I haven’t had that reaction yet. But…I’m slowly beginning to like myself a bit more each day.

I am so happy I did Tim’s project.  As I looked through the pictures, there were ones I really liked and ones that I was not so happy with.  But not once did I think “I would like this better if I was thinner” or “I wish my thighs were smaller in that picture” or anything like that.  The issues I had were with my expression or the way I was standing or some such nonsense, but nothing about my entire being.  That’s a new experience for me.  Even my blog pictures can provoke some self loathing, so I was quite surprised at my reaction.  I think it’s due to some great photography (thanks Tim!) and a growing self-acceptance.  – Erin Walior

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See Erins favorite shots here: http://rubenesquesmoothie.wordpress.com/2011/07/25/putting-myself-out-there-for-some-human-nature-connections/

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One Response to “HUMAN NATURE CONNECTIONS – Say Hello to Erin”

  1. […] It was definitely outside of my comfort zone, but in a good way.  Pictures can be found here and […]

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