To all the women,
So you don’t know me and I probably don’t know you either. But if you’re reading this we may have a few things in common, or we may have absolutely nothing in common. I’ll give you an opportunity to find out for yourself. So a little bit about me. I’m a 26 year old woman who has been married for a year to the most wonderful man in the world. His gift I got him (besides being married to me every day) was a boudoir photo shoot…but more about that later. I’m a fur mom to a dog and cat… no kids yet! I love to shoot and hunt (credit to my husband for both of those) and I love to play the piano. I have lots of other smaller hobbies too, but most of my free time is spent at home or with friends and family. So I’ve been looking at revolution boudoir for sometime now after a friend on my instagram recommended people follow the page. So I checked it out and was like “wow these photos are amazing.” “I wish I could look like that.” So for a few months I’d just see the posts in my story. Then our anniversary kept getting closer and closer and closer and I said to myself “if you don’t do this now, you probably never will.” So I took a leap, messaged Erica and scheduled a session. After this I was NERVOUS. I kept asking myself “what did you just do?” “You can’t be serious, can you?” “What if people judge you?” “What if you don’t like way you look?”
“You’re not 125 pounds anymore.”
I think that’s the one that struck a chord. Since college I’ve been struggling with weight…really since sophomore/junior year. I gained the famous freshman 15 and then some after that. When the sport I played was in season I’d drop the weight. Then came senior year.. I got Lyme disease, which was thankfully taken care of, but since it wasn’t taken care of as quick as it should have been my thyroid became under active and now it’s harder to lose weight than it was before. At the end of college I weighed probably 160/165. Then came the college boyfriend break up. Absolutely devastating. I lost weight due to not eating and being depressed which is absolutely not a healthy way to lose weight. I was 145. I was 145 when I met started dating my husband. When we got married I was 206. The heaviest I’ve been. He’s loved me at every weight I’ve been because as we all know.. weight is just a number. But it is a number that’s always in the back of your head or you’re reminded of it when you look in the mirror and can’t wear clothes you used to wear anymore. After we were married we both went on a fitness journey. He lost over 70 pounds and I lost 30. Since then I’ve been fluctuating but I’m pretty happy with where I’m at. I still struggle daily with the “you don’t look like you use to,” “you don’t look good in that outfit,” etc.
My problem is is I always compare myself to what my high school body was. The 125 athletic, abs, tan, no cellulite, no stretch marks, B cup, size small/medium body that no longer exists.
Now I have a stomach that can get super bloated, not as athletic, cellulite and stretch marks on my legs, 180 pounds, DD cup, large/extra large everything.
The worst part is when family points out those differences. I’m not the same person I was in high school physically or mentally. I’m a different, better version of myself. But when people who love you say how or what you need to eat, or that “you’d look better if you’d lose some weight,” those words really hurt. I’d be a liar to say if I didn’t always struggle with body image issues. Even when I was considered skinny, girls would still tell me I was fat for wearing a size 4 pants instead of 0. I’ve always been self conscious of my chin and thighs. But now I’m more self conscious of my stomach and thighs. No one really calls me flat out fat. They just say it kindly which doesn’t make it feel any better. So when I look in the mirror or at photos there are days where I hate what I see.
Society doesn’t help women as much either. We are made to worship the sexy skinny bodies that are always plastered everywhere. In movies, ads, magazines, clothing stores, etc. Some clothing stores I’ve been in don’t even carry XL things because “it affects their image.” Women also don’t always help women out.
We tear each other down instead of build each other up.
One reason I decided to do the boudoir photos with Erica is her message about empowering women. I think it’s inspiring what she wants to achieve in every women she comes across. She wants us to love ourselves and spread love to other women. During the photo shoot she was not judgmental at all. She didn’t push you past your limits. She was professional but very easy to get along with. She made you feel beautiful during the session and used flattering angles, props, and lighting. Since my hair and make up was on site it was also wonderful to talk to her beforehand and get to know her a little instead of just walking into the photo shoot not knowing anything about the person who is about to see you in ways that very few people have. I wanted to feel beautiful with my curves and flaws and she delivered. When I went for the reveal I was blown away by how amazing and dare I say how sexy I looked.
Honestly this was a gift for my husband, but it may be more of a gift for myself. When I look at the photos I see a woman who literally could probably model in some type of way. I see a woman who is beautiful. I see a woman who is confident. I see a woman who has a past, but isn’t letting that define her. I see a woman who has been through weight issues, but is embracing the body she has now.
I see me…and I love me.
I know full well that in the future I won’t look like the way I do now. Eventually I’d like kids and kids can take a toll on a body. I may weigh more. I may weigh less. But after this experience, regardless of what I look like in the future, I will still love me. And a plus is I will have these gorgeous photos to remind me of who I was at this point in my life.
A message for you reading this… please if you want to do boudoir do it. You won’t regret it. I promise. And please please please… if you know someone struggling with weight or how they look at themselves, build them up. Tell them they’re beautiful. Tell them they have a killer outfit on. Tell them they’re beautiful without make up or their hair done. We as women need to remind each other that we are all beautiful..inside and out. And if someone is truly unhappy with their weight, support them on their journey, support them when they need it most. Because I don’t know about you, but when you have that encouragement… when you have people who believe in you. Anything is possible.
We all struggle, we all have a past… but don’t let it define you beautiful for you only have one life to live so live it well and live it with love in your heart..for yourself and for others.
Go do your thing, beautiful.
To all the women,