MY BODY STORY

I was always a small girl. I weighed 98 lbs up until my freshman year of college when I gained the “freshman fifteen.” My god, I felt enormous. My whole life I had had nicknames like tiny, adorable, little girl, skinny mini, string bean, etc. The list goes on. My tiny frame felt like it held my identity and when the pounds began to pile on, I lost it. Then I had babies and I have to say, while being pregnant and a literal house for another human was magical…it was also awful. The number on the scale climbed higher than I had ever seen, but I was young and I had always been small, so I figured after I got these babies out, I would just shrink back down like I always had after eating big meals.

This was not the case. I had to WORK to get small. THE AUDACITY. I never in my life had to work for that. I had to work for money, friendships, relationships, and my mental health…but my body? Oh no no no, not happening. I was bitter about it.

My weight went up and down throughout the next few years.  At one of my heavier times, people started to comment about my weight. A family member even TOUCHED MY STOMACH and asked if I had any news to share. Another person made comments about how earlier in the year (when I was in a skinny period) I was the skinniest I had ever been and he loved that. I was 120 lbs. but I was only thin because I was too sad to eat. Too stressed to move. Too depressed to care. I was a bad mother, a bad friend and a sad person at this time in my life. I had nothing going on, nothing I was working toward, nothing to be proud of and I wasn’t taking care of myself…

BUT I WAS THIN.

Until those moments, I had never been called fat before. I had never had an outside source make comments on my body except to tell me how small I was. This was new territory and my head did not do well with it.

But then, I started to think about what caused this most recent weight gain. I stood and looked back at the time I was in and realized that I was chubby because was because I was happy…

The Club had just launched, the fundraising, the pins coming in, the women pouring out their hearts to me, telling me that my art helped them and made them feel brave and strong. I started working my ass off for those women. For you. FOR ME. What I did for you, you did for me times 10. For the first time in a long time I felt valued and worthy, like I was doing important work and most of all, I felt like I was swimming in love. I had love coming in from every side and I felt solid in it. This is when the weight started to pile on. I was busy, I was working hard at my craft, I was being a mom, I was being social, I was participating in events, I was taking my meds, I was celebrating success with dinner and drinks with friends, I felt like a person again…

BUT I WAS FAT.

HOW DARE I BE FAT? 

So, I wanted to change it. Duh right? Why wouldn’t I? All these months I was just fluffy and happy and how dare I, so I took these pictures to show a “before.” They didn’t have the desired effect though. 

LET ME EXPLAIN. 

A before photo is intended to stand as a snapshot of all the work you have to do, the problem areas of your body. You are expected to see them and feel gross and flawed and think to yourself, “Damn, how did I get so disgusting? I have got to do something.” Not me, bro. These photos motivated me to love myself.

I looked at these pics and thought “I look really cute and sweet and sexy in these” and a few years ago, I wouldn’t have said the same. I didn’t see these pics and instantly become appalled at my own body. I didn’t see them and feel ashamed. I saw them, and then I came here, and decided to share them with you.I have had people say they wish they were my size, at my smallest and at my biggest, and I always tell them “no, I like your size” because I do and so should you.

The first pic is me sucking in and posed.
The second one is all my squish leftover from having kids AND 2 C SECTIONS in 1 year. Literally guys November 3, 2009 I had one C-Section, November 15, 2010 I had another. Of course my flipping body was going to change.

All I am trying to convey here is that you are beautiful, exactly as you are because you are more than a body. Your body is of course beautiful in all is squishy, curvy greatness too, but you’re more than that. You are a beautiful brain with ideas and thoughts, a beautiful heart filled with love and feelings, a beautiful person with hope and perseverance and tenacity and moxie running through you. You are more than a number on a scale or another person’s opinion on your body.

Your body is allowed to be different than what society thinks and tells you is “beautiful.” It is still beautiful and freaking powerful too.

Take a step back like I did and look at all you have, all you’ve done, all you’ve still to do and you will see all of the things that make you an incredibly badass human. That makes the weight of your skin, organs, muscles and god forbid fat seem so small doesn’t it?

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What I Mean When I Say “I Don’t Care What Other People Think of Me”

“You should hear the things people say about you.”

No, I shouldn’t, because it is really none of my concern. However, life doesn’t always agree, so inevitably, you will hear bits and pieces of negative feedback on who you are as a human being from time to time. That is just how it goes.  Not everyone is going to like you. Not everyone will say nice things when your name is brought up. You are the villain in some peoples’ stories, so plant your feet and lean in. It is just the way it is sometimes. Just because someone else has a negative opinion of you doesn’t mean that they are correct. Of course, I am talking about people talking just to talk. If your friends or people close to you have something to say that is tough love or constructive criticism, of course you’d want to pay attention and take that into account. This is more directed towards that oh so high school way of people just talk, talk, talking shit without actually saying a thing.

You know you better than anyone. You are the one doing work every day to be a better you than the day before. You know all your mistakes, your triumphs, your intentions, your mind and your heart, so do not let it shake you that someone else doesn’t like you. They don’t know you. Everyone else only gets fragmented views in not always so flattering light, You live inside of you,  you have to feel good about you. Once you do that, it really doesn’t matter how the world perceives you.

Of course still try to be a good person! I am not saying go out and punch old ladies and destroy property, etc. and then smile and be all, “IT’S OK GUYS, I’M A GREAT PERSON INSIDE MY HEAD!”

Just do your best ok, love yourself, and then you can proudly say,
“I don’t care what other people think of me.”

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Feels Unisex Long Sleeve found here

 

Take Care with Self Care

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Self care is important whether you suffer from mental illness or not. Self care can be something as small as lighting your favourite candle or having a drink of water or as big as taking a solo road trip or buying a new pair of shoes. Personally, when I feel anxious or depressed, I find that distracting myself and trying to be productive can often ease the symptoms. This could be anything from re-reading my favourite books or sitting in bed to listen to my favourite playlist. Writing my thoughts and feelings down (even if nobody is going to read them) often helps me feel like they’re being lifted off my chest. Getting creative is helpful too. There are so many ways to cope. So many in fact, that sometimes it can get a bit overwhelming and difficult to know where to start!

Lucky for you, you have me, and I have CB and CB has this blog 🙂

Here are a few of my favorite forms of self care to help maintain mental wellness:

These are all ways of finding an activity that makes me feel at peace with myself and often makes me feel good about what I’ve accomplished. These activities are also great to do in groups, which is a perfect way of making new friends or reconnecting with old ones!

Sometimes, though, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. Depression and anxiety affect my concentration and ability to sit still  long enough to complete one task. Sometimes even reading or watching a show/movie is nearly impossible. There’s also nothing wrong with letting yourself feel things and doing the gross part of self care like having a nap or letting yourself cry. On days like these I try to clean. When I first started therapy, my therapist told me that I should start with cleaning the mirror in my bedroom, and then as I’m already cleaning I’ll feel obligated to clean other things too. I understand that for a lot of people, myself included, these tasks can be difficult. Starting small can help, because small steps forward are still steps forward, and steps forward are something to be proud of and celebrated!

What are some ways you deal/practice self care?
Tell us in the comments!

 

love, Lucy xo

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