Why I didn’t lose weight for a photo shoot
Now that might not be a sentence you hear very often but it is true. I didn’t lose weight for a photo shoot I did last week (I literally write this with a massive smile on my face “I did not lose weight for a photo shoot I did last week”) I wanted to write a blog on this because it was a massive deal for me and it made me feel seriously empowered and happy.
I want to ask you a question honestly, what do you think your first thought would be of you knew you had a photo shoot? that you were going to be in underwear? Would it be……oh gosh I need to lose X amount of weight then I will be ok and went on a crash diet? Even if it was not a photo shoot, how many of you have lost weight for that event you want to look good at? For that holiday? or just lost weight and gained weight throughout the year and gone up and down like a yoyo? How many of us have restricted ourselves to do it? Cut out entire food groups like carbs, gone on crazy diets, trained like a crazy person or just lived on shakes to attain that ultimate weight when a particular item of clothing fitted you? Or the weight you were when you were 18? This simply is not sustainable and will only end in you not feeling good about yourself.
That way of living and that thought process would have been me a few years ago. Especially if I had a photo shoot coming up, I would have cut out carbs, trained like crazy, missed meals. “Must lose weight, must lose weight” I used to say to myself grabbing at my stomach in the mirror, “No one will want me looking like this”. Sound familiar to anyone? I will be happy when I get to this weight, then I will be accepted, then everything will be ok.
Living loving your body now.
How nice would it be to find a weight where you ate good food freely, you worked out but did not over exercise and you were kind to your body and you allowed yourself to drink wine and have fun
and feel good? Well I am so incredibly proud to say that that was me.
I have to admit, I did hear the faint little whisper from the devil I used to hear so often on my shoulder, saying I needed to lose weight to look good enough for the shoot. How would potential clients look at you? I am pleased to say the faint whisper that used to be as loud as a fog horn years ago was promptly swept off my shoulder, thrown on the floor and trampled on!! “NO” I said to the little devil “I am perfect as I am right now, and if they do not want me at this size then I do not want to do the job” BOOM! I thought to myself! Yet another hurdle jumped and another mountain climbed.
That is why I not only wanted to share this message with you but also to show you my real before and after retouching photo of me at the top of the page that shows you that I have not been chopped and changed and belly cut out, just the skin smoothed as my skin has a habit of going blue lol.
Also I wanted to share a very imperfect image with you that I was initially nervous about sharing with you. It is the photo that I am sure you have already noticed on the right. I have roles on my stomach….yes I do!! And guess what so does everyone else when they sit down!! So I share this with you to show you everyone has them and I am owning the roles on my stomach and I want others to own there’s!!
It is nice to look at myself as a healthy, curvy, woman and feel happy with myself. I am proud that I now will not be anything other than my most authentic, happy, healthy self for a photo shoot, for an event, or for a holiday, never again will I cut out food groups, lose weight for that special day and live a restricted life. Why?? because I have learnt to “OWN IT” yeah baby! I am talking about loving me for the girl and for the body I have right now. Not when I get to a certain weight.
“I am the girl who loves a glass or two of good wine with friends, who knows how to have fun, who eats carbs, who loves food, who works out because she cares for her body but does not over do it.”
I am no longer the girl who worries, who compares myself to others, who cuts out food groups and makes me miserable, who lives restricted and feels like something is missing, who lives an unsustainable life, who does not love themselves for who they are right now and who will continue to repeat this up and down cycle probably for the rest of her life unless something changes. Any of this ringing true to you? Which girl do you think you are and which girl would you want to be?
So why do I tell you this? Some of you may know I started modelling when I was around 17/18. I was going through a difficult time with things at home, with my relationship at the time was very negative and I just entered the modelling industry where it was all about how small you were. This combination of things led to me suffering from something known as Anorexia. To cut a long story short I left the modelling industry due to weight loss at a terrible 7stone 4lbs, the photo on the left shows you a picture of when I was still ok, I got smaller than that, My bones protruded, I was sick all the time, I had no energy, I looked horrendous, like a teenage skinny boy with no shape.
I lost my periods, I had effected relationships around me, I was a shadow of my former self and not a happy one. My whole life had become a restriction and I lived in fear of food.
After a long and tough journey over the last 10 years am so happy and proud to say I am now 2 stone heavier than I was at my lightest, the heaviest I have been in a long time, I have my periods back naturally, my body is telling me it is healthy and also the happiest and sexiest I have felt about my body. I cannot tell you how nice it is to say that and mean the words that I write to you and how nice it is to come back to the modelling industry feeling stronger and more powerful than ever before, something I would not have been able to do years ago.
A few years ago it would have been a very different story, I would have been riddled with worry, I would have restricted everything in my diet, I would probably not have eaten all day or the day before for fear of it making my stomach look big. But not this time and it felt GREAT!!! I have realised when you find that place with your body where you are balanced, where your eyes light up with health that shines out of you, when you do not have to restrict, that is when you look sexy! That is when you start living!!
Live a balanced, beautiful life.
So the point of my story is if you have been through an eating disorder you may still face obstacles further down the line, sometimes even years later. But those challenges are there to make us stronger. Also the main point of the story for everyone is that we all need to find that place with our bodies and our minds where we are balanced. Where we no longer feel we have to lose weight then put it on then lose it again. To live a life that is unrestricted, that is healthy and happy where you can start to own who you are and feel totally sexy that way! To start to give it the love it deserves. It is not easy to do this (I know), it takes time, respect, love and practice but when you get there I promise it is so worth it.
If you would like to find balance, perhaps you would like to discuss how I could help you on your own journey? I would be happy to help. As a qualified NLP coach and training with the institute of integrative nutrition as a health coach, I work with and coach clients on a one to one basis and as a very wise teacher Rebecca Cambell says- “Those who struggle most with the lesson are the best teachers” and I certainly have learnt very valuable lessons.
I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me to find out more about my coaching plans- firstname.lastname@example.org .
All photos by the fabulous John Barone.