In the creation of this blog, I knew I was going to need some pictures that weren’t the typical selfies. So I set up a little photoshoot spot for myself and got to work.
I wasn’t expecting to have as much fun in front of the camera as I did. I was even more surprised at how many of the pictures I actually really liked.
I’ve hated my body for as long as I could remember. Even when I hustled in high school and lost over 60 pounds. I was thinner than I am now, but a lot less healthy. I’ll spare the details, but I’ll suffice it to say that I worked myself into an eating disorder and an exercise addiction. After gaining weight, going through pregnancy and being a mom, my self hate didn’t dissipate. Add on a nasty divorce and being thrust into the world of single momhood, I had pretty much given up on any hope that I would ever love myself.
A few months ago I got very real with myself about my life and my goals and what I was going to do with it all. I realized that continuing to sit here and hate myself wasn’t going to do me or Axel any good. So I got serious. I committed to my fitness goals, I cleaned up my eating, I dove head first into personal development (I realize how cheesy that sounds – but it was necessary), and I changed my life.
From there a miraculous shift happened in my life. I woke up one day, sore as heck from the workout I did the day prior, and I didn’t hate myself. As sore as I was, I was so proud. I realized that instead of focusing on everything my body couldn’t do, everything that I hated about it, my body was capable. It was capable of kicking major butt in the gym. It was capable of retaining major amounts of information. It was getting stronger. For the first time in my life, I realized that I didn’t have to live hating myself.
Fast forward to my mini photoshoot yesterday. As I was changing clothes for the next round of photos, I saw the crop top that I had made from my favorite pair of unwearable leggings. I hadn’t ever worn it, and I’m not sure what prompted me to put it on for pictures. But I slid it on, put on my hat, and went outside (yes – OUTSIDE!) on my porch to take the pictures.
It was the most ridiculous, adrenaline inducing, heart pounding experience. With all of my stretch marks, sagging stomach, back rolls (those freaking back rolls, man), I didn’t hate myself. That isn’t to say I’m ready to wear such things in public, but taking pictures like that was remarkably empowering. Not feeling like I’m trapped inside of a body that I hate but instead I have a body that I’m able to sculpt and mold into exactly what I want. Not feeling like I have to hate myself until I reach a goal, but instead learn to love and appreciate what my body can do while it’s on it’s way to being what I want it to be.
Taking the pictures for myself was one thing – but I really felt like I needed to share it on Instagram. I try very hard to stay as transparent and inspirational as possible. So if I’m going on this journey for myself, I feel it’s my responsibility to share these moments to inspire others. So I collaged my favorite pictures, typed up my caption, held my breath and hit post.
I expected a handful of likes, a couple of comments from some of my amazing followers, and that was that.
But guys – the outpouring of love and support I’ve received has filled my cup so much. It has the most likes I’ve ever received on a post which is the least important part. The comments surprised me the most. So much support and positivity – I was in tears over it.
Guys – it is an amazing feeling to love yourself so completely. That doesn’t mean there aren’t days where I wish my stomach was smaller and I hate my wide hips. But it means that I don’t constantly wish that I was in a different body. It means that I see what it can do and I push it to its limits. I’m literally building my body into something spectacular by accepting that it has more ability than I ever thought possible.
The light at the end of the tunnel for me is knowing that not only do I have the ability to achieve my goals, but that I WILL.
The journey to self love isn’t an easy one. It is hard and bumpy and full of so much guilt along the way. But it is worth it, y’all. It is SO worth it.
I didn’t realize a simple picture with my stomach showing would affect me so much. But it was what I needed to do. I needed to release myself from the prison I had created. The prison of expectation and needing to be perfect. The prison of fear, of being so afraid of what other people may think.
I didn’t just release myself, guys. I ripped the door clean off. I still struggle, I have hard days, I let things get to me. But I don’t let those days rule me anymore. My self worth isn’t tied to those things anymore. I run the show. I own my body. I own my life and I will do amazing things with it.
If you struggle with self worth, then I urge you to join my free 5 day Confidence Builders Challenge. It will lay the ground work for you to begin your confidence journey and go after your biggest goals while letting go of the feeling that you’re not good enough. Click here to start your journey!