Recently, one of my very dear friends asked me to do something. Something I wouldn’t in a billion years dream of doing. Or of being asked to do. More on that later.
So this friend…She’s very good at pushing me. She pushes me in workouts and in reminding me of how strong mentally and physically I am. When I am doubting anything, she’s quick to tell me to suck it up and start believing all of the things in myself that everyone around me knows to be true. Great friend, right? Right. So when this friend said she needed a favor, my brain told me it doesn’t matter what it is..I’M DOING IT!
So that favor…To model for her and a group of people she networks with. She’s an incredibly talented hair dresser and was going to be doing a shoot in collaboration with a make up artist, local boutique, and photographer…Oh and yours truly! I was honestly flattered to be asked, but also FREAKING OUT INSIDE. To be continued…
So, when you lose as much weight as I have it’s easy to be hard on yourself. At least for me. While I know how far I’ve come and celebrate my good health and that I FEEL so much better…I find myself struggling to fully accept my new body and see the person other people do when they look at me. My extra skin plays a huge role in this. I often think back to former 290 lb Grace and laugh to myself thinking about how that version of me would feel knowing I wasn’t fully happy with my body as it is now. But for me, it’s reality.
I find myself thinking about other people and how their thighs don’t have so much extra skin…Or how their arms don’t jiggle when they move…Or that their abs (Yup I’ve got pretty rockin’ ones) aren’t hidden by excess skin. I feel SO SILLY comparing myself to others and it’s not something that controls my life by any means…But I dream about the day when the skin is gone and I can finally wear tank tops and shorts and SEE the me other people do. I want to see my muscles and not just be able to feel them.
So back to this photo shoot. We had a message thread between everyone involved, including the other models. We were supposed to give our sizes (something that used to TERRIFY me!!)…”Oh you need to know my shirt size?? Well I really wear a 2X, but I will squeeze myself into a large so I don’t have to actually order a 2X”…This time I was like ok, ok I can do this…I’m an 8-10 usually in pants and really a S-M-L in shirts, just depends. Well everyone started sending in their sizes…2-4 in pants and S in shirts. Oh great. Back to being the biggest one in the room…again. But I laughed it off and remind myself who I am doing this for…bucked up and sent in my sizes.
So day of…We are all there (most of the models I met for the first time that day) and they are all BEAUTIFUL. And look so natural and comfortable in front of the camera. I felt my insecurities oozing out of me like a bad infection. Everyone was being SO supportive of me and reminding me to just have fun…And I tried. I really did. I just felt so…uncomfortable.
That being said, I am so happy I did it. I think one of the most important things you can do for yourself in life is to leave your comfort zone. Mentally and physically. It teaches you so much about yourself and allows you to grow in ways nothing else can. I am so lucky and thankful to have people (even strangers!) be so supportive of me. It’s not something everyone is lucky enough to experience and I never take for granted how blessed I am.
To my friend who pushed me to do this…You have no idea how much you continue to help me grow. The universe knew I needed a pusher like you in my life and I’m just lucky enough that it chose you =D
Clothes: Southern Blu Style
Make up: Ashley Nelson Studios
Photographer: Lux et Amor