Saturday, September 29, 2012

Finding Body Confidence

This week we had no regular Biggest Winners workouts as it is our week between sessions. Some may look at this as an excuse to "cheat" but I look at it more as a way to regroup myself and prep for another session. I felt completely on track this week, saying no to temptations, getting my workouts in, getting over laryngitis. Unlike last week where I was feeling frustrated, I got myself back to a place of at least looking at things day by day and not worrying about the number so much.

I had a couple body image successes that I wanted to share with all of you. First, I have had this issue with wearing shirts that don't cover my stomach/skin flap. Even though I am always told that the outfit looks great, I always feel uncomfortable and try to pull the shirt down. I have not gone out in public in a shirt that showed the zipper of my jeans probably ever. This week I wore a shirt that was shorter, it doesn't show any skin, its just shorter and I looked at myself in the mirror and that feeling of being "off" was not there. It was like, ok I like this - I look good. I felt confident walking down the street. And of coarse no one said "look at that girl, that shirt is way too short". Even better, I didn't say that in my head! I'm not going to say i'll be comfortable all the time in shorter shirts, but this is a huge step for me.

Second, in my efforts to try to fall asleep last night I was reading some blogs and came across a post called half which is a self portrait post by Julia Kozerski who is an artist based in Milwaukee. This is an exert from the post: "These photographs are self-portraits. They serve as reflections of my experience and address and explore my physically and emotionally painful, private struggles with food, obsession, self-control, and self-image". Please note before viewing the post there is nudity, so be forewarned.

So in viewing this post I looked at the images of this beautiful and confident woman who was so brave to put herself out there for the world. I looked at these images and though, wow I am not alone! I knew other people had excess skin from significant weight loss, but seeing pictures of it is not common place. I have had a hard time separating my thoughts of my body being "overweight/heavy" with it just being what it is with excess skin. Literally I felt like those pictures were me, that is what I look like, I look in the mirror and that is what I see. But what I realized when I looked at these pictures was that it is ok. It doesn't matter that I have excess skin, the skin makes me who I am, it is my tattoo of my journey. Without this skin I would have never been heavy, I would have never walked this journey, I would never have met the people I met or done the things I've done. Who would I be without my skin? I wouldn't be who I am today. The decision I made last night was to just be one with my body, to accept it the way it is, not worry about the skin, and embrace it's beauty just the way it is. I can only hope that everyone can come to their own self realization about their body image. We are all beautiful and unique just the way we are, regardless of what shape/size we are.

In honor of my new found confidence I wanted to share a very personal picture that I have shown few people. A few months ago I had boudoir photos taken, I posted one photo, not very revealing. The following is an unedited/untouched photo that I asked the photographer to take. I am not ashamed of it, it is who I am and today I am celebrating that.

1 comment:

Pat Liesch said...

Dear Bri,

Thank you for your open and honest blog. I am sitting here first thing this morning catching up on emails. I just had a shower and finished examining my stretch marks,floppy upper arm skin and still excess rolls. I still have excess weight to lose and as you know am still healing my Achilles(which is currently a real pain). Your blog came at the right moment for me to reflect on how far I have come and managed to not back slide. You are so right, we are who we are and need to be proud of what we have accomplished. Thanks again for you inspiration.