For as long as I can remember, I wanted what I didn’t have or wanted to look like what was “popular” at the time. I remember in college wanting to be bone thin. Seeing your collar bone protruding was “in.”
I never thought about what I considered to be a desirable body type.
And I definitely never thought about loving my current physique.
This week, a photo of me taken in May was posted on social media. My dear friend, Amanda Freick, owner of AmandaLouise Swimwear, had a social to show her new line, AmandaLouise Beach. I fell in love with all the suits but especially the Bridgette top and bottom. Sarah Lyons was there to take photos of the guests, should they choose, in Amanda’s fab ‘kinis. Letting go of my past “photo shoot ready” criteria, I jumped in front of the camera. (There isn’t much I won’t do for Amanda, anyways.)
Here are the photos.
After competing, and associating photo shoots with being competition lean, it can be challenging to be loving toward a softer physique. I notice this with many of my clients and in conversation with other competitors. Distorted Body Image (DBI) is common in the competitive world and fitness industry.
When I received the photos, I noticed my lack of striations and “lines” that indicate how lean I am and I stopped myself in my tracks. I recalled an IG post by my friend, Jessi Jean, where she described her stomach as a “cute belly, ” and I, in a similar fashion, refused to say a single, solitary negative thing about my shape.
All too often I have found myself saying or thinking something negative about my body.
The photos were posted on Facebook by Sarah [see below] with the sweetest caption. (thank you, Sarah!) Underneath the caption were a variety of comments, all supportive of the photography and my physique, including one that touted, “soft and fit is so feminine!”
Being deemed soft used to be something I would dread. Seeing this in a compliment, plus focusing on my new found mindset of self-love, helped to continue to forge the way for acceptance of my body in all its forms.
Will I compete again? Possibly. Will I fight the transition my body takes to a softer look? Absolutely not.
Soft and fit IS so feminine.