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Why I am a Body Positivity Crusader

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I wrote this caption on IG the other day based on the photo above:

“There are a handful of insecurities I have about my appearance in this photo. I start seeing the parts of me I was made fun of as a child. So insecure I didn’t want to share. BUT…I was laughing so hard with new friends in this photo and felt SOOOO good in that bathing suit and loved @singlewithahappyheart was snapping photos of me. I felt gorgeous! And I am. I don’t have to let what kids and adults said about me when I was 7-HS determine how I feel about myself. I can proudly show off my ears, forehead, white-as-heck legs and my scar running down my chest because I LOVE WHO I AM. Friend, if you don’t love yourself, and you struggle with your body, you’re not going to win the battle. Dig deep and find yourself. And don’t be afraid to let your body insecurities shine for YOU to see.”

It’s a blessing when it finally clicks for you…what your purpose is in this world.

Obviously, I know I am a wife and mother and I hold these roles as THE MOST important (although I feel as though I fail here and there…don’t we all?).

But I’ve seen the story God has written for me, lived it these last 32 years of life, and finally realize why He’s created me to love the passions I have.  Let me explain.

I grew up loving to draw.  I knew no matter what, I’d always be an artist.  I also always wanted to dance but was never put in any kind of dance class.  However, I was in colorguard all four years of high school (huge nerd over here people!) so I credit any of my proper dance training to that 😀 . Yoga found me in college and was a way for me to express myself with my body and also find my communion with God.

I majored in Psychology and Art Education to become an art therapist or teacher.  Teaching was what I ended up doing and impacting the self-esteem of my students was more precious than their finished projects.  Teaching yoga and a love for our bodies and souls is a passion.

And it’s all because I really wanted someone to teach me these things when I was growing up.

My mom is wonderful.  She wants to make sure I’m happy and safe and if she can she will help me if I need her.  Yet we all struggle with areas in our lives, and my mom struggled with body image.

I remember hearing my stepdad or other family members comment on her size, and sadly I participated in this.  I remember hearing the sounds of her “being sick” in the bathroom at night.  There were times when I knew she was confident and dressed well and looked beautiful on the outside.  And there were times when she just let herself go.

This is where my love for beauty comes from.  Not out of vanity.  It’s out of making sure the cycle ends.  I want to be a role model, a crusader, for those who’s inward beauty isn’t free to shine outwardly because of past and current hurts.  When your self-esteem is so low, or you are taking care of everyone and everything around you you barely recognize the face staring right back at you in the bathroom mirror before bed.

I do this for my mom.  It all comes down to her.  Maybe it’s because I’m trying to be the positive feminine role model for her I maybe needed growing up (because this girl right here has had major issues with body image for FAR TOO LONG).

Lots of inner work, counseling, praying, yoga-ing, art therapy, retreats, have helped me come to love myself.  And that’s what it is.  Once we love ourselves…then we are freed up to love our AMAZING BEAUTIFUL BODIES.

We take care of ourselves.

We show up for ourselves.

We can look at ourselves and LOVE what we see…no matter what.

And my mom?  I think she is so beautiful.  She has olive skin, baby blonde hair, a gorgeous smile, and I think looks great when she’s wearing golf clothes!  She’s happiest outside, relaxed, especially with a book in her hand…and getting real honest here, a rum and coke!  I love her and am thankful she loves me so well.  She inspires me to be my best self…and she’s the reason I want to help others love themselves as much as I do.

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