It is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Although I’ve come a very very long way, I still struggle from time to time. Whether it’s the feeling I get when I eat, the negative self-talk I aloud myself, or my relationship to my body, it still creeps up on me. So I share.
I just got home from a Yoga Retreat in Nicaragua. It was magical. It was life-changing. It was filled with revelations. In this series, I want to share with you my process, my crazy, my growth. Take it. Leave it. Come back when you’re ready. Love all of you.
For the first one, I need to talk about bathing suits, social media, body image, and love.
Revelation #1 MY BODY NEEDS TO BE CELEBRATED. I AM ENOUGH
I used to see photos of girls on Instagram in bathing suits or anything sexy and judge them.
I know. I’m sorry. I confess.
I used to think they craved male attention. They needed it to feel loved.
I used to think they were filling a void, an emptiness. They were exposing themselves because It would get a lot of likes or followers. And that it would fill that void for a minute.
I used to think they were insecure and had low self-esteem, that they were looking for people to tell them they were pretty.
I used to think they were looking for validation, and that exposing themselves was the quickest way to validation, definitely quicker than obtaining it through actual achievements, or well thought posts.
I used to think they would regret it.
I used to think they “could” do it only because they had perfect bodies.
Revelation #1 part 2: I WAS THINKING ALL THAT BECAUSE I WAS ALL OF THAT.
I craved attention. I wanted to be seen and appreciated. I was insecure. I had low self-esteem. I felt empty inside. I looked to others for validation. I PROJECTED MY TRUTH ON THEM.
The issue is that…
I never considered the celebration of the body. Of what it went through. What is overcame.
I never considered the freedom. The letting go of fear, judgment or shame. I never considered the empowerment. The decision you take, no matter what other people think. I never considered the honesty and the strength in the vulnerability.
I never consider that a body, an image of a body could be art. Could be beautiful, touching, eye-opening, no matter what the subject actually looked like.
Sadly, I knew what I knew from experience. I
n the past… My body had been through violence, sickness and trauma.
My body had been the subject of shame, discuss, anger and sadness.
My body had been seen as weak. I’ve considered myself weak.
Revelation #1 part 3: THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO CELEBRATE YOUR BODY, TO EMPOWER YOURSELF, TO FREE YOURSELF.
During this trip, I explored the following:
– I DIDN’T WEAR ANY MAKE UP/I DID DO MY HAIR. This might seem simple, easy or silly for some of you, but for me, it wasn’t. I was that girl who would wake up before the guy to put makeup on. I was that girl who never went out of the house without makeup. Never. Even to go to the beach, the gym or the spa. (Full disclosure I wore makeup and did my hair the day of this photoshoot, but all 7 other days, I didn’t, which was a huge step.)
– I WENT SKINNY DIPPING under the light of the moon, with other people. And didn’t even go very deep in the water. Didn’t try to hide. First time ever. Also stupid for some of you but not for me. I’m the girl in the locker that changes in a closed room, that keeps her towel in the sauna, that showers behind the curtain.
– I SPEND MOST OF MY DAYS IN MY BATHING SUIT. I was the girl who covered up after getting out of the water. Who wore a dress or a pareo when I walk around.
– I TOOK PHOTOS IN MY BATHING SUIT. Do I need to say more?
– I WAS ACTIVE FOR THE FUN OF IT. I left my watch behind. Didn’t count steps, or calories. I had fun. I swam, surfed, body boarded, hiked, I relaxed. I eat amazing food.
– I OPENED MYSELF. I SHARED. I ACCEPTED WAS IS. I was open and vulnerable to other people in the retreat. Sharing my thoughts, my words, my stories and my images here might help you celebrate your body. It might ripple, it might explode. I don’t have that perfect body. And I still can post photos online.
I am filled with gratitude and love for the environment, the conditions, and the people around me that helped me take a few steps on that path.
I’m now home, and things feel different. I need to continue my reflection. I need to see how I can transfer these revelations to my everyday life. How about you? How do you feel about posting bathing suit/sexy/exposed photos of yourself? Any suggestions? How can I further celebrate my body? How do you celebrate your body every day?
Amazing photos by @loveactuallyphotography