If you’ve followed me for any time at all you’ll notice that I am very passionate about helping women love themselves – body, mind, soul and spirit. One look at my Instagram feed you’ll notice that I’m very active. You’ll also notice that I love fashion and ‘feeling pretty’ but more importantly, when I post, I 99% of the time include an encouragement to my followers.
See once upon a time I legit hated myself. I hated the sound of my voice, my personality and I really, really hated everything about my body. The only thing I really loved was my hair. All that time and energy spent wasted on hating me compared to the freedom I live now is the exact reason I’m so passionate about helping women see their beauty, their value and their worth – beyond just the physical but also the physical too.
I only knew what a tortured mind felt like. I didn’t know what it was like to live in peace or to not feel tormented. I thought that was normal actually because it’s all I knew.
When I entered the Miss Plus Canada Pageant – it was really the culmination of all the work I put into healing and learning to love me. Because let’s face it, if I didn’t, there ain’t no way I would have got on a stage for a pageant. And although I’ve lost 70 pounds since the pageant, I can honestly say that when the pageant was happening, I felt like I do now on the inside – and actually being even more honest, I thought at 317 lbs that I looked like I do now – because I truly loved me.
In celebration of my hard work I am sharing this transformation Tuesday pic….but keep something in mind here….
Although I’ve lost some weight (70 lbs in the last 14 months) its more than just weight loss….
- I’ve avoided having gastric bypass (which I was scheduled to do on December 2, 2014)….
- I have been able to help manage my pain levels (although I still live in pain daily, it’s less and I have faith I’ll live pain free days in the future)….
- I am stronger physically – yes this girl can leg press close to 500 lbs….
- I sleep wayyyyy better …..
- I don’t have trouble breathing or moving around….
- I can work out (that means weights and cardio 5-6 days per week) and when I started I could barely walk for 20 minutes without being in pain (my back/neck/shoulders mainly from the accident)
- I have maintained balance in my life
- This process has not been difficult either….go figure
Not only do I love who God created me to be as a strong woman, I also love my body but now….I actually see that my body is in fact beautiful. That revelation isn’t because of weight loss. My body isn’t what they call ‘perfect’ but it’s perfect because it’s mine.
Those thunder thighs that I used to loathe….well I loveee them now. When I do photoshoots I love shooting ‘tunics’ as dresses – yup that means no tights. I still have cellulite, they are still lumpy but I love them!
My big butt that I hated before – well I love that now too….and heck with all these squats I actually have a booty now.
I used to have an issue with my big arms and covered them up and they are still big but you don’t see me hiding those babies do you? Nope, I wear what I want, whether there are sleeves or not
The last piece for me to not just accept but to love was my tummy. It doesn’t look like most peoples, and it has a bit of an overhang…not really sure why….but it’s mine and I finally see beauty in even what I thought was the ugliest part of me. This revelation came when I was looking at some photos of someone significantly smaller than I was who was modeling the same outfits I recently had. And my thought process used to be, ‘man I wish I looked like she did in that’ but this time I thought…wow, my curves fill that out really nice and wait a sec – I actually loveeee the way that looks and I’m quite happy with my body and my size. This was not about comparing myself and I don’t believe we should compare ourselves to others like this – but for me this was one of those ah-ha moments where I realized that my body is a beautiful masterpiece.
Since this revelation I have hidden my scale at home and my measuring tape and my focus will no longer be to workout to change my body. I think I had let my focus become that I was working out for my body to change but I’m going to have to workout the rest of my life as part of my healthy life style so why was I putting the pressure on myself to change when I need to just be the best me I can me, for today. My focus has completely shifted to getting stronger. How much more can I lift this workout. How much more intense can my cardio be? My body will sit where it’s meant to sit and I will love it today, and everyday right where it is, because….it’s beautiful!
So this Transformation Tuesday is 2 fold….a celebration of my hard work and how that’s impacted my body, but more importantly it’s about the transformation in my heart and mind about my body. That I don’t need to be a size 2 to be happy, that I don’t have to have a flat tummy to love this body and to see beauty in it.
I challenge you to start to appreciate the beauty of who you were created to be – body, mind soul and spirit.
In less than 2 weeks I’m headed to Cuba for vacation and all I’ve packed with me are bikinis – not high waisted ones….this trip will be the ‘free the belly’ trip. So stay tuned for that blog post and see which cute bikini’s I chose – I will likely have 1 for everyday I’m away
(I’ve included some recent photos from some photoshoots with SexyPlus Clothing located at 5100 Maingate Drive in Mississauga). Photographed by Stefanie Augustein.