Photos by Ainsley Rose
These are my hips. The very first part of my body that I wished would disappear. The reason I went on my first diet at age 15. The point of comparison with every girl in every magazine. There is nothing wrong with them but at the time I managed to find a million problems with them. If only I understood then how trivial the appearance of my legs is compared to other things happening in the world. If only then I felt the gratitude I feel for them now.
These faint marks tell a story of a time in life when I was lost. A time when I placed immense value on the size of my legs and the number on the scale. They are a map of years when I starved myself, then stuffed myself, and counted calories and found my worth in the distance I ran on the treadmill and the size of my jeans. My body shrank down and then stretched out as food provided an easy outlet for whatever emotion I was feeling. Luckily I never lost sight of a bigger vision for myself, so after years of struggle I got down to the very difficult work of rebuilding the mind, body and soul that is now my home. Aside from the acute care I received in the hospital, working with a wellness life coach was the most pivotal step in helping me get to the place I am now.
I went from constantly feeling unsettled in my body, unsure of my purpose, fluctuating in weight, obsessing over food and exercise, lacking confidence, dating all the wrong people and never feeling like I was living the life I imagined for myself to being married, having two beautiful babes, a dream job and tools to help me navigate those difficult days, hard conversations and times of transition (because despite what you see on your Instagram feed life just isn’t picture perfect).
When I look at this photo of my legs today I feel proud. Five years ago I never would have shared it because I only would have seen imperfection. Now I see legs that helped me carry two babies for 9 months and deliver them safely into the world. Legs that have taken me on a thousand adventures. Legs that will take me on a million more. I feel grateful that I’m no longer fighting the battle that left these faint marks. But I am also grateful for the battle. It made me stronger than I ever could have imagined being.
Here’s what I want you to know…
- It’s not your body’s fault. Whatever it is that you’re trying to blame it for. Whatever you’re using it for. It only wants love.
- Your body will only start working with you, when you start showing it kindness, love, patience and gratitude. When you learn to listen to it. That’s when you’ll land at a happy weight. That’s where you’ll find your energy. That is how you release anxiety. That is how you get the most out of your beautiful body for this short time that you’ve been given it.
- From the countless conversations I’ve had with women I’ve come to realize that the way we look has very little to do with the amount of self esteem we have. That comes from something much more than skin deep.
I desperately want anyone who is reading this and struggling to feel at home in their body to know that life can be better. SO MUCH BETTER. The way I feel now in comparison to how I felt then is what inspires me to do the work I do. I want EVERY woman to feel the same way. I want you to be free of negative self talk and the battle with your body. I want you to see your unique strengths so you can step into your power. I want you to walk through life operating as your best self so that you too can live the life that you dream of. That’s why I created Raw Beauty Talks and why we’re working hard behind-the-scenes right now to create a program unlike any other designed to help you step into your happiest, healthiest, most confident self.
We will be releasing the course exclusively to our private Raw Facebook Tribe in the next couple of months so if you’re interested in stepping into your best life click the link above and join a rad group of supportive women who are on the same journey.