I’ve spent most of my life battling body-image issues and insecurities about my figure. I’m 5’1 and have a naturally stocky build with broad shoulders. One ex-boyfriend and his entire family used to call me Stumps because of my “big thighs.” He also once told me I look like a running back because I’m so short and stout. I’m sure you can imagine how I wasn’t too pleased to receive that kind of feedback from a guy who was supposed to be my greatest support.
Having been teased at school for many years as well, I entered my adult years with some emotional baggage. But the last few years have helped me regain my confidence, and I owe a lot of that to my dedication to fitness and clean eating.
Self-care practices also played a huge role in my growth of self-confidence and body acceptance. From meditating daily to journaling to attending wellness retreats, I’ve found all sorts of ways to take care of my mind as well as my body. One unexpected thing I did this year that contributed to better self-care was participate in a boudoir photo shoot.
It sounds strange, but posing in lingerie was an incredible way to heal my past wounds and feel stronger and more beautiful than ever. I worked with Tonhya Wysong, a professional photographer who created the project La Femme Forte, an initiative that’s dedicated to helping women feel more confident in their bodies. This is how La Femme Forte acted as the ultimate self-care for me.