Two years ago I did a thing ... I did a boudoir shoot. For ME. As a way to acknowledge and honor all the hard work I've done to learn to love myself and my body better. I used to look at my body and only see the flaws. I'd replay all the things that various people have said to me over the years about my body... most of which I internalized in negative ways. I got to the point where I didn't even want to wear a bikini, preferring to cover as much of my body as possible.
My daughter is actually the one who helped me change that, at the young age of 7. I had put a bikini on to go to the pool with her and was standing there looking in the mirror with tears in my eyes, replaying a comment someone once said about me not being "bikini ready." I was just getting ready to change into my one piece when she walked in and said "Mommy, you look so beautiful!" I thanked her and when she walked away, I bawled.
How could I change out of my bikini after that? What kind of message would that send her about body image?
That was the turning point for me to start accepting my body as it was and to start seeing the beautiful parts, too. My trainer Autumn said the other day, true body positivity is accepting our body as it is, AND doing the work to get healthier. That really resonates with me. That's been my focus the last few years. Working to be my healthiest self rather than focusing on losing weight. In fact, I don't even own a scale anymore.
Even more important than shifting my perception of my own external beauty, I've come to love the qualities that make me who I am. My photographer did an amazing job capturing my different aspects... my introspective and reflective side, my strong confidence, my courage, my playfulness, my flirty and sensual side, my laugh, and a little bit of sexy. I remember crying when I went in to view and choose my photos. I saw myself in a whole new light.
Two years later I still have my photos on display in my bedroom. They remind me of all the healing and growth I've done and what I want to model for my daughter as we approach teenage years.
When I was working to schedule my boudoir session two years ago, I briefly contemplated waiting until I "got rid" of my belly. But then I remembered why I was doing it.
It wasn't about having a perfect body. It was about being comfortable in my own skin.