It’s not too often you’re right smack in the middle of a life-changing day that you actually possess the awareness to note that something huge has shifted and will forever be altered. I mean there are those days like landing a big job or account, your wedding day, or having a child. But what about the other days? The days that just seem to wash into our lives and wash out? I guess in reality our lives are comprised of a whole lot of regular, inconsequential days that all blur together; punctuated by those few life-altering days that come in a variety of forms for the good, bad, and sometimes ugly. And while we know experiences and days that can shape us are not always positive, in this case I am electing to discuss the consciousness of an uplifting and empowering life-changing day I had yesterday. That’s not to say bad things don’t exist—they do. But for the sake of this post, I am keeping this aimed at inspiring my readers.
Yesterday my husband Greg and I hosted our very first fitness shoot for ourselves and our business. I know what you are thinking, a photo shoot?! You guys must be fancy! That’s where you are wrong—we couldn’t be anymore at the mercy of friends and loved ones who donate their services and time to help our business come to fruition. For example, I found a warehouse space on Craigslist that cost us less than $200 to rent for the 4-hour shoot. We either owned all the props and equipment we used in the shoot or borrowed it. Friends graciously donated their time to populate background shots and serve as models, and finally, a yoga student offered to shoot us out of the kindness of his heart. Check out Craig Stubing, our photographer’s work here, he is AMAZING. So when they say it takes a village, in our case it took almost an army to make this thing happen!
Shooting with my husband was amazing. Second to our wedding day, I have never loved my husband more or been more proud of him. This day was a culmination of our efforts thus far to live our truth and create something worth leaving behind. It was damn special and so much more than just a bunch of staged snaps in cool gear. It was the launching of our business for the world, and a vessel to embrace my body—a body that I am proud of and finally love to empower others to love themselves.
Recently, I mentioned I took on the endeavor of committing to train for a body building competition. So I have been eating very clean (aka meal prepping), lifting weights, and lifting more weights. This photo shoot was not my time to even show off the best shape I have ever ever been in because that’s all relative—4 years ago I was waif-like thin, but I wasn’t nearly as strong and powerful as I am today. So I hate that saying ‘the best shape of my life,’ because for everyone that’s going to look and feel completely different and frankly has little to do with aesthetics. Simply, I have been working hard, but regardless of whether I have or not; it is time for women to embrace their bodies and love the skin they are in.
I took all my photos in sports bras. Yes, you are reading that correctly. I took my head shots, yoga shots, and fitness shots in various bra-tops and I felt amazing. I have said this before and I will say it again, taking off my shirts to revel my sports bras while shooting for social media has liberated me and empowered others to embrace their bodies. I felt so beautiful for those 4 hours, nothing could make me feel otherwise. Even when looking at the images on the photographer’s camera, if I didn’t like the photo or the angle, I refused to let myself think I was fat or hate myself. So, not every shot is good and there are bad angles—and? And nothing. As a matter of fact, not once did any negative thoughts about my body even creep into my mind. When the models showed up, I didn’t compare myself nor feel the need to cover up. I guess for the first time in my life I was finally free from measuring myself against others and it allowed me to be present and enjoy the shoot on a level I couldn’t have imagined.
So it seems as I rapidly approach my 34th birthday I am filled to the brim with love. Love for my incredible husband and partner in our new business venture but love for my physical-self. In a world where others try to dictate sanctions on beauty, I hope that through being me and showing others it’s ok to love every inch of yourself that together we can start to change how others think and perceive beauty. For me, this photo shoot was a metamorphosis of sorts allowing me to emerge in my power and beauty. I hope that the raw, unedited images I have shared with you inspire you to look in the mirror, take off your shirt, and love yourself.
Now it’s your turn to Empower All Bodies, don’t let yourself down—for you never know who you are inspiring just by loving yourself.