Queen B's Journey to Loving Herself
A few weeks ago around midnight I was wasting time on Facebook when all of a sudden I received a message from a girl I hadn't heard from in YEARS! It was unexpected, and I was curious to read what she had to say. As I started to scroll through her message I began crying there in my bed in the middle of the night. This is what she said.
I know you haven’t not taken any boudoir photos of me but I wanted to share some of my positive body image story.
At the beginning of high school I was a size 2 but by my senior year I was a size 5. One day my father was doing my sisters laundry and held up a size 5 pair of shorts and gagged at them saying she was so big and it was repulsive. I will never forget that day because what he doesn’t know was that the shorts were mine. From that day on I thought a size 5 was “big”. I went to college and I gained more than the freshman 15 but easily the freshman 50. By the time I graduated college I was a size 12 and weighed roundly 170. I met my husband in college and he would tell me I would beautiful to him no matter what I weighed. I would roll my eyes and think “he’s just saying that”. I was stressing out about getting a job and was breaking out all over my body in acne and stress eating. I wasn’t happy about the acne on my face or back or chest and would do everything to cover it up as well as my fat.
Prior to our marriage my husband was deployed and I wanted to surprise him with a boudoir shoot. I booked the session and I was excited. I was hesitant because I felt fat and had a chunky face. When I voiced those concerns to the photographer she said that she would touch the photos up and I’d lose 10-15 pounds in the pictures. That sounded really great since I felt fat. We did the photo shoot and I felt like an awkward whale the whole time. When I got the pictures back I felt like I looked like a freaking ship. I looked huge! Then I remembered her saying I’d lose 10-15 pounds in editing. I thought to myself that if I looked that fat and she made me look smaller than what did I actually look like?!
I refused to send them to my husband but when he returned I showed them to him and as always he said I was beautiful.
Fast forward to this past October. My husband deployed again and at this point I weighed between 185 &190. I’d spend countless nights alone watching movies and feeling guilty for eating popcorn or wishing I had gotten off the couch and gone for a walk or done something. I’d go to the bathroom to take a shower at night. I’d run the water and while it was getting warm I’d get undressed and nit pick at my body. I’d pinch my fat or suck it in. Id pop my pimples and pick at the scabs from the bumps on my skin that I picked at the night prior. I’d spend hours degrading my body to the point that I’d run out of hot water before even getting into the shower. I fell into a deep depression and allowed my mind to go places I’d never wish on my worst enemy. One night I told myself I was going to lose weight because then I would be skinny and happy and that would solve all of my problems. I contacted a personal trainer and set up my first few sessions. At first I would walk into the gym and feel extremely self conscious. I’d see all of the girls who were tall, skinny, tan, and beautiful and then look at myself and see a short, fat, and insanely pale troll. I told my trainer and she told me to use that as motivation. I’ve been seeing my trainer for roughly two months, twice a week, every week. When I get on the scale the numbers haven’t changed much. They fluctuate between 180&185. It is progress I keep telling myself. “Someday if you just work harder and eat shitty food you’ll look like the other girls at the gym and you’ll be happy.
Fast forward to tonight. I got undressed to get in the shower and I looked at myself in the mirror. For the first time in over 10 years I looked at myself and said “DAYYYUMM you are beautiful!” My stomach is not flat my any means and my boobs look like deflated balloons but I am beautiful. For the first time in my life, I let the water run cold looking at my body in a positive way. This is not a story about losing weight and feeling better. This is a story about confidence and beauty. Looking at my body tonight weighing 185 I feel more beautiful than I did when I weighed 170 and saw my boudoir photos. I saw my body and fell in love with it again. I saw the scars from picking at my acne, I saw the stretch marks on my stomach and butt and thighs and arms, I saw all of those things and yet I’m beautiful. The “flaws” in my body tell my life story. They tell who I am and an amazing story of my journey to get to this point in my life. Where I use to be and where I am now mentally could not be any different but I am still the same person in the same body.
For the first time tonight, I saw my beauty. I may not be skinny but I am beautiful.
I think what you are doing is amazing and is helping women feel beautiful and confident no matter what size they are. I see your photos and I know they are professional quality and I know that the women in your photos are real. Their bodies haven’t been touched up to lose 10-15 pounds, your photos are enhancing the woman’s beauty.
They are real women who are embracing every inch of their body and I love it!
Thank you for helping me realize my beauty even from a distance.”