12 September 2013

Revelations and realizations...

When I turned thirty my world changed...I settled into being me I cared less and less what those on the outside thought or said about me and I found a new sense of self. Now as I approach my fortieth birthday I am feeling a further awakening or embracing of who I am and who I want to be.

My whole life my weight has been an issue for me. I always thought my life would begin if I could just lose the weight...and we are not talking a little weight, we are talking about 75-100 pounds at different points in my life. Then I met my husband and he fell in love with me...curves and all. It was powerful and maybe should have ended my fixation on my weight, but it did not. Together he and I struggle and while we generally eat healthily, we are both stress eaters and he in particular tends to nurture others (read me) through food as he loves to cook. I have devoted so much time and energy to thoughts of my weight and longing to change it, willing the scale to move in my direction, cheering when it did, scowling when it didn't. Too much energy...energy that I can and should be directing elsewhere.

I came across a wonderful photographer who is compiling a book called the 'A Beautiful Body Project'. Jade Beal is an Arizona photographer and mother who is essentially wanting to show the world and it's women just how beautiful our bodies are no matter our size. The images she is compiling are compelling and I will admit, difficult for me to look at at first. I have never seen a real body represented in mainstream media. I have never seen images of real bodies in magazines, or in the movies. I grew up with the Molly Ringwald's the Julia Roberts', the Gwenyth Paltrow's...the apparent ideal body type and image, the one we all strive to become. The one we all relate to as beautiful and sexy. I will never be a Julia Roberts, though I do have a killer smile that could giver her a run for her money... So after I came across Jade's project and read a quote (I do not remember if it was Jade or another photographer and I am paraphrasing) about how he/she has photographed many many women naked and all of them whether a size 0 or a 22...all of them have rolls when they sit down, I realized that perhaps it was time to find a way to embrace this body of mine.

Following Jade on Facebook led me to The Militant Baker who is the fierce young women who took on Abercrombie and Fitch via her own photo-shoot and subsequent media popularity (check her out here), which started a slow paradigm shift in my own mind. I looked at her images and thought why can't that body, not dissimilar to my own be considered sexy? But still it is not what I had been hardwired to consider as appealing and so I continued to fight with the scale, and my wardrobe...or desired wardrobe. I would continually go to my Pinterest board 'Personal Style' and pin outfits like this

via my pinterest

As you can well see this beautiful woman is no where near a size 18-20. All of the fashion on my board is of this nature, so far from my reality that all I could do was continue to try to reach that ideal. And then slowly something started to change...slowly I started to see a shift in the fashions showing up on Pinterest for repinning...slowly I started to see this

also via my pinterest
And then I had the thought to search plus size fashion on Pinterest and whole new world flooded in to me. It had me starting (just last night) a new board called Embracing Me... and I have vowed to immerse myself in this board regularly so that I may see the image of myself, the kind of woman I am beautiful in all my curves.

both images via my pinterest

And so as I move into my forties I will let the number on the scale go...it won't be easy it has been my nemesis for so long. I will focus on my current beauty not an unattainable beauty, and I will focus on making this body, the healthiest it can be, because...
via my pinterest

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