I (like most women I know) am not comfortable with my body. This is entirely stupid. I hate that I feed into society and media's interpretation of what beauty is and give it more importance in my life than is necessary. Being thin or prettier would not make me a better friend, wife (to-be), employee, or anything else. I tell myself that it would make me happier, but I have been thinner and was not any happier.
At the end of the day, maybe it is just an easy way to hate myself and explain why other's might not like me as much as I want: "You didn't stick to your diet, you didn't lose weight, you suck, that's why you didn't nail that interview". This is completely absurd. As a rational woman, I know this. Yet I truly feel that if I was thinner then people would like me more, I would like me more, and life would be easier.
Mark and I plan to have a child some day and there is a good chance that said child will be a girl. I absolutely do not want her to think it's correct to judge herself (or other's) worth by her waist line. I want her to achieve real things in life, like becoming a judge, senator, scientist, author, or whatever. I want her to judge her worth on her contributions to society and her loved ones. I do not want her to feel like everything she has accomplished means nothing if she can't squeeze into a size 4. Therefore, I have to stop feeling that way as well. I have to show her that beauty and self-worth are not 100% linked to the body you inhabit.
This is a HUGE undertaking; even as I write this, a part of me screams "NO! You're wrong! You will only be worthy of love and success if you are thin and beautiful. Every sacrifice is worth that end, because it will give you everything you ever dreamed of". It scares me how much I believe that and still know that it is my own perception of the world, not (hopefully) reality.
Of course, it is very important to eat healthy and regularly exercise. I am not in any way trying to negate that. I am trying to assert that I should be doing those things in a healthy manner in order to be a healthy individual, not to be thin. I should not be judging my success of the day by whether or not I ate less than 1500 calories and worked out. I should be striving to be a more active individual who is conscious of the things I eat, but is not obsessed with them.
To this end, I decided to give Mark a present this year that I have put off for a long time: A Boudoir Shoot. I have never felt that I was thin enough to feel comfortable doing one and certainly didn't want digital evidence of what my body looked like. However, that is not OK. Mark loves me exactly as I am and I need to as well. So, I decided that even though I was not comfortable, I would do it anyway.
I worked with Megan Hannon Photography, who was recommended to me by a friend who recently completed a boudoir shoot with her. I absolutely loved the experience! I was not expecting that, at all. I really thought it would be awkward and humiliating. Megan was so sweet, relaxed, and encouraging that it made the entire experience a delight. I genuinely felt more empowered and in love with myself (body and all). I would work with her again in a millisecond.
Yesterday, I got back my photos. They are amazing! There were a few that I was not comfortable with (I should have remembered to suck in), because I am still not comfortable with me. However, 95% of them made me feel very good about my body and myself (which I know is still judging myself by how I feel about my body. However, let's face it, I need to feel good about my body and how it looks. I just need to make sure that's not the only (or most important) thing I am basing my worth on). Mark is still raving about them. Which I love. The entire experience is helping me on my way towards changing my personal view on beauty, worth, and myself.