The Battle...

I have always had issues with my body. At about 12, I started to really struggle with my body image. I appeared really confident. That was a lie. That was a personification of who I thought everyone expected me to be. It was who I thought I had to be.

I spent over 27 years at war in my mind. You know the one. The silent battle that consumes you. Sometimes its dieting, sometimes its working out, sometimes its food but...

Its. Always. Something.

I'm not good enough. I need to lose weight. I can't wear that.I can't eat that. How much will I have to workout to burn that off?That wont look good on me. I can't buy that. I can't go there. I can't do that. If only my body looked like ....

hers. or hers. or hers. or hers.

It was a constant struggle. There were times when it would be better and times when it got worse. And there were times I couldn't think past it.

Some days were better, some decades were worse.

After I had Zeek (16 yrs ago)...I was going thru what I now recognize as postpartum depression. I can remember being totally disgusted with my body when I looked in the mirror. And because of that...My husband covered every mirror in our house. Each and every mirror was covered with butcher paper. He had written positive sayings and affirmations on the paper, so that I would see that instead of myself. It helped...

a little.

I'll be honest...I wanted it to work. I wanted it to be over. So I faked it...and I had 3 more kids.Part of my internal struggle was that I knew it was something that people didn't understand. I knew it was small in comparison to things others were facing.

So I kept smiling...

And secretly fighting a battle that held me hostage. Chained to a thought process that devoured every part of my life that it could.

It stole years from my marriage.

For over 15 years I wouldn't let my husband see me completely naked. You know the deal:

"only when its dark"

or you do the whole "drop the towel and jump under the covers" routine

or you only change in the closet and hurry before he gets back game.

It's sad and lonely.

And it robbed me. Until about a year and a 1/2 ago when I started to realize that Maybe it wasn't worth wasting my whole life over.

Maybe..I was the only one who thought about my FUPA. Maybe I was the only one who cared about my belly and my thighs. Maybe..just maybe- It wasn't worth it.

At about that time, only 1 year ago...

I started Blush.

I knew that by pushing others see themselves truly.. I would see myself more truly. I knew that by helping women to claw thru the struggle in their minds.....I would start healing mine.

I was right. But- It is not a overnight sort of healing... Its more of a daily drip. Its something that you have to get to slow and steady. We have listened to negative self talk for so long that it takes a minute for the new whisper to be heard. It takes a second to recognize the voice.

That is why I always say, "I am on this journey WITH you." That is truth. I am. And now..I try to push myself just past my fears. Now I make a choice as to who I listen to. I make a choice to try and ignore the negative banter. And It has been working, but it is a daily process.

PART of that process throughout this year has been to get in front of the camera. To stretch my mind and see myself. So I did.. every time I shot in a different spot in Texas I did a session of self portraits. Every few months I would do a self portrait session in my studio. And every time..I felt something change. I felt the negativity and self hate fade just a bit more. It has been an amazing, private, self healing process.

I did these sessions with an idea in mind...I wanted to give my husband something. I wanted to give him doubt, no fear, less pain, more fire, more brave.

So ...I did.

I used the images from every session and made him two little books..two little books that represent my journey ...a struggle that has affected him for years.

I ignored the bully inside my mind and ignored the fear. I put myself out there. and he loved it.

I love that he loves them, but more importantly..I love what they represent.

Bravery, healing, fighting back and self love. These tiny books are HUGE reminders of the process and the fight. They prove to me that sometimes winning the small battles are just steps towards winning the big war....

In Our Minds.

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