• why I was embarrassed by my after photos •

IMG_5178The first set of photos is me one week post competition.

The way I was eating was totally unsustainable for me, and one I won’t ever be doing again, because it’s honestly been a really hard road finding normal again.

The bottom set of photos is me 3 weeks into my new program, which I am LOVING. It makes me feel fast, like an athlete. I feel very strong and capable.

But as it’s been a hard road, I didn’t commit to the nutrition and was surprised I had any results to show at all, which goes to show you it’s about showing up and doing the best you can and just committing to get better every day.

What I didn’t expect was my reaction to my after photo … specifically the bottom right. I was 100% going to change clothes and “fix” what I saw before sharing these outside of my private VIP community, but there’s a lesson here, so underwear and all *sorry* here’s my biggest insecurity.

Love handles.

Now, let me explain.

I believe fitness is a feeling, not a size.

If you’re 300lbs now and you can’t find it within yourself to love and speak kindness to yourself, you’ll feel and see yourself as 300lbs no matter how much weight you’ll lose.

And you’ll continue to speak that way to yourself forever, and you’ll be heavy of heart, even if your body is light. Yes, you’ll have more confidence, but freedom comes from loving yourself in the journey.

I am on my own journey of self acceptance, and I get a lot of flack for NOT being 100% confident in my body because hey, I’m skinny. *ps don’t call people that*

But everyone thinks their problems will be magically solved when their body looks the way they think it should look.

After all, isn’t having a six pack everything?

Well I was really confident and happy in my competition body for one reason, the area I have highlighted in the bottom photo, what I see as love handles, was finally gone.

I had figured it out, and it was unsustainable.

I have had a really hard time accepting my post competition body, more than I did my post baby body  because I know I don’t ever want to live restricted, just to look a certain way.

Why does this matter? Why say anything?

I look at this photo and in my head I KNOW it’s nothing because I’ve done the mind work.

I love myself more now than I ever have, but one day over 10 years ago, someone changed how I saw my body, and now I choose to love what I see, but I’m not sure I’ll ever unsee it.

You see, I did a photo shoot for a local boutique and modelled a bikini, and my photos were photoshopped.

That area I’ve highlighted was so neatly “smoothed out” as she put it.

She put a nice little gap in between my thighs, touched up the imperfect razor burns I had, and it felt icky.

I had no voice then. I had no idea this wasn’t OK.

I remember being SO confident with my body until that day. I was never this fit in high school, but I never once recall being embarrassed by my body. Maybe because my dad has called me beautiful every day for as long as I can remember that I never questioned my worth in that way, but that changed in an instant.

I remember feeling shame as she showed me what she did. I don’t know that I could have described it then but I now know it as a violation.

• My eyes were robbed of seeing the beauty •

That day I became a mean girl to myself.

I have since then always hated my love handles. Hated my lower belly. I started comparing myself to others.

I STILL catch myself, to this day and THIS SIZE sucking in my belly in an effort to reduce attention to that area of my body.

What this means for you? Someone who is maybe bigger than me hoping to one day be fit, toned, thin?

This means your answer to self loathing lies within.

This means you need to re-format your thinking.

It’s time for a shift.

It’s time we rise up and STOP setting these insane standards for our kids, for each OTHER.

It’s time we ACCEPT every body type and every insecurity that comes with each one.

I love being fit.

I love exercising and the power it gives me, heart body and soul. I love connecting to my inner warrior and letting her out as fierce as she can be.

And what I do with that warrior is I fight all the negative thoughts that come my way and I begin to stand in my freaking power and choose to believe that I am beautiful.

I refuse to continue to see my body in a negative light.

• For we are fearfully and wonderfully made •

This has not only helped me with how I see myself, it’s helped me how I see others.

I truthfully didn’t believe fitness was a feeling not a size two years ago.

I judged.

I cringed at certain body types.

I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart, because now that I see women with a healed heart and healing eyes it breaks me that they don’t see their beauty.

To end, I ask that when you work with me, or any other fitness coach, that you do the work.

I ask that you sweat.

That you track your food and that you stay committed to choosing food that fuels the long energetic life you want to live.

I ask that you stay committed and connected to your WHY.

But mostly, I ask that you learn to love yourself.

So that when you look at your photos all you have is love, pride and joy.

With love and grit,
Xoxo
Braids & Brass

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