When was the time you celebrated you?
The honest truth about why I do what I do.
When was the last time you did something for you? To make your self feel good, just because.
When was the last time you pampered yourself?
When was the last time you looked in the mirror and not only loved what you saw but fully accepted yourself?
When was the last time you looked at your body and thought, ‘HOTDAMN, I look good!’
It is said that people buy not what you do, but WHY you do it.
So when I was asked in a marketing group last summer to think about my ‘why,’ the answer was easy – because I believe EVERY woman deserves to feel beautiful. I truly do.
It was such an easy answer for me that I thought maybe I got it wrong, as I sat there watching everyone else in the class struggle with their ‘why.’
Over the last 8 months I’ve had even more time to think about this.
What you may not know about me is that I have been studying Traditional Native Medicine since 2008. I am always working on myself to better myself, to further myself, because I believe success is holistic.
You have to be fulfilled in every aspect of your life to be successful. At least that is my definition of success.
As I continued working on my Self in my own personal healing since the marketing workshop, I discovered even more about my ‘why.’
In the tradition that I study, we are all One.
Therefore if I heal, than you heal.
And if you heal, I heal.
So as I healed through some of my personal blocks related to my success in business, I learned that the reason I believe every woman deserves to feel beautiful was because I didn’t feel beautiful.
And I believed that if I was able to facilitate an experience for my clients whereby they began to change how they viewed themselves I would begin to change how I saw myself.
You see, all my life I have struggled with my weight. I’ve been dieting since I was 10 years old.
For my thirteenth birthday my mother bought me my first gym membership, because she didn’t want the bullying I experienced in elementary school to continue as I entered high school.
Having fluctuated in size my entire life, I never felt pretty, let alone beautiful. I remember in my early 20′s dating a guy, who said to me one day, “have you ever thought about losing a little bit of weight? You know you could be really gorgeous.”
And you know what the really sad part of that was, it didn’t even hurt when he said it, because in the past I had said way worse things to myself about my body.
To give you an idea of how bad my body image was, when I moved to Calgary in August 2009, I lost a significant amount of weight between then and Christmas.
When I came home for the holidays everyone was telling me how fantastic I looked. And I honestly didn’t see a change. I thought they just forgot what I looked like or something.
Then when I visited again in the summer of 2010, I had a wedding to attend, so I had to go shopping.
I remember grabbing a size 12 skirt from the rack – I was praying, and had every finger crossed, hoping it would fit.
At this point I knew I had lost some weight, but having given up on scales years past, I didn’t know how much I had lost.
So I tried it on, and thought, ‘well, it’s a little big,’ so the sales associate kindly smiles, and returns with a size 9. I must have looked at her like she was crazy.
In my mind, there was no way it was going to fit. To my surprise, I tried it on and it fit like a glove.
That was the smallest size I had ever worn comfortably. And I still didn’t realize how great I looked.
It wasn’t until the late 2011, and I ballooned back up to a size 16, that I realized how freaking great I had looked.
So then my vicious cycle of crash dieting started again, trying to get back to where I had been.
Then one evening in late December 2012, I was talking to a friend about how my new business was going, and he asked me “so when are YOU going to do a boudoir?”
Without hesitation, the first thought that popped into my head was “when I’m not such a fatty.” And in those exact words, that was my answer to him.
His response was one that I will never forget.
He said to me “no one wants to eat in kitchen where the chef won’t eat their own cooking.”
It was like a kick in the solar plexus. My heart sunk.
He was right.
I had been trying to convince women that they didn’t need to lose weight to love and celebrate themselves, when I didn’t believe it about my own body.
So in the New Year I began planning my first boudoir. I took myself from start to finish through the journey I take my clients on.
I remember so clearly, the day that I completed my questionnaire. I had been dreading it for weeks.
One of the exercises on it is, “Write one paragraph about what you love about your body.”
It was this question that I had been avoiding. I honestly didn’t think I liked anything about my body, never mind loved anything about it.
I went down to the sauna and spent 15-20min sweating out all of the resistance I had to writing up this paragraph. And when I came out, I stood in front of the mirror for a good 45 minutes.
I started at the top of my head and went to the tip of my toes, and made myself look for at least one thing I liked about each part of my body.
And for the first time that I can ever remember, I just took myself in. I consciously let go of all of the negative thoughts that used to plague my mind when I would look at myself in the mirror, and I was just present with my body.
It was difficult at first, very difficult, to look at my self and my body with love and acceptance, because I had spent so many years looking at my self with disappointment and disapproval.
But something amazing happened while I stood there releasing the negative thoughts that came up. For every negative thought that I released there was something beautiful waiting underneath.
I was finally able to see the beauty that had been there all along.
There were many tears shed that day, and when I was done I had written three pages on what I loved about my body.
And I meant every word on that paper.
That day forever changed how I look at my body. I don’t know how to explain it, other than something shifted in me that day.
I had spent most of my life hating my body, desperately fighting to shed the weight by crash dieting and trying every crazy new workout, thinking that one day, the ever elusive someday, I would be thin enough that I could finally stop hating how I looked. That I could stop punishing myself.
That day standing in front of the mirror sweaty, exhausted and with tears kissing my cheeks was the day that I finally saw how beautiful I really am.
I am a size 12, and I am beautiful. Today.
I am no longer waiting for a day, some day in the future when I hit a magic number on the scale, to deliver my happiness package.
And I am not saying that I never have a bad body image day anymore, because I do, but they are far less frequent, and when I do have them, I no longer I hate on myself.
Instead, I sit down with my images from my boudoir shoot, and I am instantly reminded of how much I actually do love my body.
I am brought back to that day in front of the mirror, and I see how beautiful I truly am.
When people ask what I do, I am now so clear on what it is.
I inspire women to love themselves, how they are right now. What I offer is a set of stunning images that will forever remind you of that. And I do it because I believe that you are beautiful right now, and you deserve to feel that way.
You don’t need to lose, 10, 15 or 50lbs. You are perfect, right here, and now. And I can help you see that.
P.S. If you’re interested in booking a session, we still have two appointments left for our Spring 2014 Ottawa dates, on June 1st. And if you have any questions at all, you can reach me directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 416-523-0661.