When I see these amazing BOPO warriors posting on instagram, their “don’t hate the shake” videos and their cellulite Saturday posts I am in awe. In awe of their strength and beauty and self acceptance but somehow I find myself sometimes unable to find that in me.

Don’t get me wrong, I am awesome BUT I am also learning and growing at my own pace. I don’t have a good day everyday and most don’t but I am often on my good days not inclined to be vulnerable on social media or take pictures of the body I am finding comfort in. I am pretty comfortable with my rolls and my love handles and what not but I stress out when trying to document just all the awesomeness of my body. I guess some of it is the anxiety kicking in and my past of needing reassurance but I am getting better in my embrace of myself, photos or not.

I wanted to fill this blog with pure me. Sometimes that means that it is mental health related and sometimes it will be body positive or related to my self-love journey but I make sure to only post the stuff that feels genuine and purposeful. This post I wanted to really open up about how my view of others has changed as well as my view of myself.

I follow amazing women who are shattering societal expectations of what is beautiful and telling the beauty industry to fuck off with their Photoshop and unrealistic expectations of women and their bodies. I like to think I am becoming one of these women. I am less scared of food, I am embracing the body I have VS. waiting for my “ideal” body to come around and I am saying hey I have anxiety and it sucks and that’s okay. I am not scared to be myself, I am not afraid to tell people they aren’t worthy of my time or to be sarcastic or to believe whatever I want to. I have no fear in loving the shit out of my husband and animals and family. I am flawed and I know that and it makes me fabulous. I fully believe that I am not for everyone and I don’t let that bother me. I may not be charismatic enough to be a social media icon in the BOPO world but if I can help someone reading my blog enjoy their body a little more, that’s a win.

I find that my mindset has changed in regards to other people so much. I believe I was extremely judgemental before starting my self-love journey, because of insecurity or not, I would whisper snarky remarks to Andrew about people without reason. I am not proud of that fact but I am proud that now it is a behaviour I have been able to change so drastically. It was no benefit to me to negatively talk about others or myself, so why do either, right?

I have talked about my stretch marks and my belly and my thighs and any other “uncomfortable” parts of me that I am embracing. In the morning I wake up and I love my body. Our full length mirror is on the wall next to my side of the bed on the way to the bathroom and I stop and see myself, raw. I love the softness of a bare face and messy hair and the way my skin feels. I am not bloated or in bad lighting or over thinking, I am just content. On bad days if that’s the only time I love my body in a day, it’s more than I used to love it. I am feminine and strong at the same time, I am able to go eat the shit out of a bagel or whatever else i feel like and not feel guilt attached to my food more often than I feel guilty anymore.

I am not everyone’s cup of tea but I no longer care.

I have learned the benefit to spending time appreciating my body as it is. I encourage anyone to do the same, it’s the only one you’ve got. Find beauty in the things that make you unique and stop caring how you THINK you need to look or act. If you hate salads, don’t eat them for every meal. If you follow a lot of celebs and “fitspos” on social media and it makes you feel negative in any way, stop following them. When I got rid of a lot of the accounts on Instagram I was following that posted their 6 meals a day of chicken and asparagus I felt like a weight was lifted. I have tried that lifestyle and it isn’t for me. Yes I need to add in some more veggies in my life but I don’t need to be below 20% body fat to be happy anymore. I enjoy working out but I don’t enjoy sprinting or crazy HIIT circuits every workout so guess what? I don’t do them when I don’t feel like it! That’s why I found so many body positive babes to follow on IG instead. Women of all sizes doing and saying the same thing: my body rocks and I love me because why wouldn’t I? It’s been an empowering switch.

Life is hard enough, let’s spend more time lifting each other up and less time tearing ourselves down.

Imagine opening your social media and seeing so much positivity in a day that you feel better in your skin because of strangers who have their size 22 bodies in a bikini because they know they’re hot and don’t need societal approval. Since starting this blog I have looked for the positive, I have found inspiring people to follow and read their thoughts on life and love and have discussions with. I have sought out positive quotes, I have friends tagging me in body positive quotes or comics etc. basically saying “hey you rock, read this.” I listen to throwback songs that make me feel good and dance in the middle of sets while I workout because I can. I laugh more, I focus on more important things and I am spending more time healing myself than ever before. I spend less time wishing I was as brave or beautiful as someone and instead I’m spending that time on allowing myself to be brave and recognize my own beauty.

Some days I don’t have the strength to be vulnerable with my friends or with strangers by posting a blog or a selfie or whatever. Some days I have so much inspiration I could write a book about how amazing fucking everyone and everything is.

Bottom line? there are good days. I am amazing and although my husband makes me feel stunning, I feel beautiful without his words too. Maybe my next blog will be happy or maybe it will be sad or angry or something else but today, today is good and today I have strength.

Today I am willing to show off this body that I have been learning to love, marks and all.