I haven’t written a proper introduction to a blog in quite sometime, and I think today is a good day to do so. I recently have had a few experiences that have been quite eye opening for me. One of them was when I was asked to be a panelist on the screening of the documentary for Embrace. The film dons the hashtag #bodyimagemovement, but through watching it I found alot of what it did was tear down one woman type of woman to lift up another. It started to shame even naturally thinner women, and women who were fully motivated and impassioned by their fitness journeys. I know from the work we do here, that no matter what you see on the outside, all of us as women, are on one type of journey or another for body acceptance. When it came my turn to speak and introduce myself on the panel, I was pretty nervous that I was about to sort of rip a giant hole into a movie that so many of the viewers were quite passionate about. But I couldn’t just sit there and say nothing. So…I spoke up.
I gave my honest feelings about the film and how although I appreciate trying to help women with a little extra weight love their bodies, we couldn’t shame those who’s bodies and journies are so very different from our own.
I gave my honest feelings about the film and how although I appreciate trying to help women with a little extra weight love their bodies, we couldn’t shame those who’s bodies and journies are so very different from our own. As I spoke with the fire I always do, (you can see a little clip from the panel at the end of this blog) I had this gorgeous babe in the back of my mind, and so many of the other incredibly beautiful and vulnerable women who have opened their hearts to Erin and I about their own body struggles. I spoke for them and I spoke for me.
Now, I think I will let her speak for herself…
“I’m not sure what I’m about to write or the direction it will take; but what I do know is that I am excited to share a little bit of me; what this experience has meant to, and done for, me; and the emotions that have run through my body since the moment I stepped through Lindsay’s door.
I have a tattoo on my back that means self-confidence, I got it to remind me there’s no reason I shouldn’t feel confident or secure in my body and with the person I am, but there are many times since I got this that I have…too many times in fact. However, this experience has reminded me of why I got it and I can honestly and wholeheartedly say I have never felt so strong, confident, happy with who I am, and proud of the person I am and the way I look. So much so that I want to show it off to the world.
I took a few big steps in doing this shoot, some I knew I was taking and some I did not realize I was.
For me to share personal feelings about myself is one of those big steps. I have a tendency to keep things inside. I don’t want people to know the bad or struggles I face or see the insecurities inside. I was always worried I’d be seen as weak or ridiculous for feeling how I felt. But when something makes me feel as incredible as my session with LRP has I want to shout about it from the rooftops and share everything with everyone.
A boudoir shoot is something I have wanted to do for a very long time, no one knew this, it was just one of those things I knew I’d love to do someday…someday when I felt I was physically ready to. No doubt I was ready physically at other times, but not in my eyes. I’d even pose in the mirror and envision myself doing it, but never actually made the leap to do it. I know partially because mentally and emotionally I wasn’t ready and also because I hadn’t found the right person to entrust and expose myself to both physically and emotionally. When I found Lindsay and looked at the work she and Erin do I was instantly in love; I felt they themselves and their work were breathtaking. After reading what all the incredible women were feeling and doing and the journey’s they had been on to get there themselves, it put a fire inside me. I had to be part of such an amazing group of women. I had found the people who could bring something out in me I had wanted to show and felt for so long.
So, I had to do it; I had to just book my session, stop making excuses why I couldn’t. I knew with LRP I was in good hands and could do anything. I just felt it. I was beyond excited from the moment I did.
I decided I was going to give the end product to my fiancé for Christmas, but ultimately this was something I was doing for me, the experience was for me…and Oh My God was it the experience of a lifetime. Life changing!
I planned to keep the fact I was doing this to myself till after I did it, I wanted it all for me, but that only lasted a couple days till I had to share, my excitement was too high, so I told my mom and a friend. It was what my mom said that really opened my eyes; she was shocked that out of her three daughters I was the one doing this. She also told me how incredibly proud she was of me for doing this. In my eyes though I was the one who was most likely to do it; it’s something I had wanted to do for such a long time, I had even wanted to get into modeling when I was younger; but she doesn’t see me posing in the mirror at home, however, what she has always seen are my insecurities, she’s one of the few people who I have always shown or expressed them to. I just never realized to what extent.
I have always been very judgmental of myself; telling myself I couldn’t do something, wear something, or show something, till I felt ‘perfect’. I’ve always been insecure about certain parts of my body; particularly my legs. There is nothing wrong with them and I see and know that now, but I have always had fuller thighs and a butt. And I didn’t like it. It bothered me. I wouldn’t even put on a bathing suit at my folks pool because in my eyes my body wasn’t perfect. I didn’t like this, I didn’t like that…and I didn’t want to show it, not even to my family.
What I heard from people was “you’re so thin”, what I saw was full thighs, cellulite on my legs, a bloated belly…how could I show that?!?! I was ashamed. I thought everyone would be so critical, not believe that I worked out, see the real me, and not like what they saw. All crazy thoughts I know, especially to think my family or fiancé would think this, but they were my thoughts and I knew there really wasn’t anything to be ashamed of but it’s how I felt and I couldn’t get over it. This has gone on in my head my entire life, no matter who said what, whether it was family, a love, or friend.
After my session I was telling my mom all about it and the excitement was pouring out of me. She was still surprised I did it and still incredibly proud of me. I admit I am surprised and proud of me too. But this experience has forever changed my life, I wish everyone could know this feeling…it truly is empowering and the self love that comes from it is indescribable. I love the way I feel, the way I look, and the person I am. I am proud of the way I look and am proud to show it off and if someone doesn’t like it that doesn’t bother me..to each their own…but I love who I am and it’s incredible.
For me, there are many end products that came out of this…the incredible photos are one, and that feeling of empowerment and true self love that I feel are another; both so amazingly beautiful and things I will have and hold close to me forever.
Whenever I think about this whole experience, talk about, or see one of my photos a huge smile comes across my face, my heart fills with love, a rush goes through my body, and I am on cloud nine. It’s such an incredible high! I feel I could go on forever talking about this, just ask my mom, anytime I talk to her about it I can’t stop. I truly believe everyone should do this and not wait!! If I could do a shoot with Lindsay and Erin everyday I would; and I cannot wait to do this again!!!
When I first reached out to Lindsay she asked me for the three words that define my version of sexy…I told her Strong, Confident, and Happy…well what do you know, this is me! Thank you Lindsay for helping me find and bring to life what I have admired in others for so long. Thank you for helping me fall in love with myself!!!”