Your body changes a lot when you train regularly, especially if you weren't previously active. Rougher skin, more muscle, less fat, more flexibility...and that's not to mention all the changes that can come from injury.
Several weeks back, I went out with my best friend to test out her newest photography gear. This is a sample of what resulted.
Trudy's photographed me many times before, but usually under more prepared circumstances...either I'd done my makeup and hair or my appearance was softened by the happiness of travel or peace of restedness. I'd never before been photographed wearing regular clothes, the emotional weight of a day's work and no makeup. On the way downtown, I had brief apprehensions, but I thought to myself that there was no reason I shouldn't be able to handle being photographed in my "natural" state, even knowing the pictures would be up for public viewing. For the first time, I didn't try to undo the strain of a day staring at spreadsheets, highlight my eyes or wear a top that camouflaged my short leg to torso ratio.
Once I saw this photo (my current Facebook profile pic) the very first thing that struck me was how much of jiu jitsu I could see on myself. I've always been self-conscious about my mid-section, and I saw a trunk that had been thickened through months of hip escapes. I saw short nails and thighs that are the thickest they've been in a long time.
I'm not gonna lie, I'm not 100% happy with where my fat content stands right now, but jiu jitsu has allowed me to accept my body in ways I haven't before.