One of the first blog posts I ever wrote was for our local Mom’s blog and it was a little manifesto about buying a bikini for the first time since high school. And not just the mommy tankini that is every body conscious Mom’s go to after having kids. But a real deal, show my belly, underwire bra cups bikini. I had just discovered one of my idols, Tess Holliday, the size 22 supermodel that was making huge (literal) waves in the fashion industry. She coined the hashtag, #effyourbeautystandards, and was the pinup girl for body positivity and fat acceptance.
At the time, I was probably a year post partum after having my youngest, Jamie. For the first time in my lifelong battle of the bulge, I had lost a significant amount of weight and managed to maintain it, which I had never done. A yo-yo dieter since my first Slim Fast at age 9, I had found success with Arbonne’s 30 Days to Healthy Living program, which essentially taught me how to get rid of processed crap, eat Whole Foods, and use some really great supplements that my body was LOVING. I had lost about 80 lbs and I felt amazing. Yet the world still saw me as an unhealthy, fat cow. I remember trying to find a regular doctor, just a good ol primary care physician now that I wasn’t at the OBGYN all the time. The condescending comments and looks of disgust from someone who was supposed to be helping me be my best self was actually one of the lowest points in my life, up until that point.
I would launch into my speech about how great I was feeling and what I was trying to do for my health and they would not only completely NOT listen, they would interrupt me with rude commentary and start forcing their healthy/skinny doctor bullshit down my throat. I remember one doctor asked me what I ate in a day and then told me I had to be lying and she was sure my diet consisted of lots of donuts and butter (chuckle, chuckle, like she was a stand up fucking comedian). Not one of them could fathom that this obese woman in their office might actually be healthy and had maybe done something right to lose 80 lbs. I was given brochures about weight loss surgery, prescribed Phen-Phen (essentially meth), and the HCG diet was recommended multiple times. I had done that diet after having my first kid, and after losing 20 lbs by starving myself, my hair was falling out and I passed out from walking up my own stairs, I gained every single pound back along with 15 more of their friends.
I actually did have one of those doctors call me after receiving my blood work to apologize for assuming how unhealthy I must be. She asked if I would like to be a patient in her practice and I gave her a very loud, “HELL NO!”. Anyway, back to the bikini. I bought it, I wore it, I had my husband take lots of photos of me in it, and I wrote a blog about how every body is a bikini body if you just put the damn bikini ON! I knew so many moms who refused to get out there with their kids in the summertime because of how they thought their bodies looked. They were missing out on these beautiful, key memories with their children because of how society taught them to feel about their looks. You only get 18 summers…18 summers full of pool and Tahoe time, sand castles, learning to swim, hiking, biking, traveling. Those are precious moments and I was sick of letting them pass me by because I have thick thighs. Do you think my kids gave a shit if my belly hung over my bottoms a bit? Or my arms might be a little flabby? Hell no, they just wanted to swim with me and fill my day with “Look what I can do!” moments.
I remember the amazing feedback I received after that blog came out. Soooooo many moms were not living their best mom lives because of the hatred of their bodies. The bodies that LITERALLY grew humans and birthed them! It was so fucking sad to me. And yet, it has been so indoctrinated into me, that even at the height of trying to embrace my new body I worked so hard for, I would still nitpick and put myself down. I honestly don’t know if I can ever fully heal from the years upon years of loathing myself.
After losing my best friend in 2019 and jumping right into pandemic life while my grief was in full force, I just did not care what I was doing to my body. I’ve put back on 40 lbs. I’ve eaten all the things, I’ve drank all the things. And then I started to slowly inch my way out of the fog and didn’t quite recognize this new body I have now created. For one, this body deals with chronic pain, so it’s very difficult to move it like I used to when I wanted to be a little healthier. Some days I am completely debilitated, and I know what you are thinking…Well, Megan, you should be exercising and doing yoga and physical therapy to help with your pain! To which I could give you the endless rundown of all the things I have physically tried, most of which made my condition worse because I was misdiagnosed. Yoga is actually one of the worst things for my pain. But that is an entire blog post unto itself, we will see if it ever gets written.
So during these last couple of years of self sabotage as I like to call it, I discovered a little thing the kids these days call TikTok. I know…I know…it’s horrible and yet…so eye opening. There is quite a large (pun intended), fat positive/body acceptance/body positivity movement happening. These people and videos started showing up on my feed…and for the first time in years, I started feeling a little inspired. This is a big deal after living in my grief or just being numb for literally YEARS. I’ve had to come to an acceptance that because of my trauma and loss, I am no longer the human I once was and that was extremely difficult for me. I really enjoyed who I was, I worked really fucking hard to become that person who lost everything in 2019. So having this little whisper of inspiration was a big deal.
Now the Queen of this movement in my eyes is 100% THAT BITCH, or you can call her Lizzo. She’s big, she’s outspoken, she’s sexy, she’s extremely intelligent and musically talented. And people are paying attention. Her newest song now has a viral dance, which I may or may not have attempted. She just came out with a shape wear and athletic wear clothing line that is very size inclusive. And she never apologizes for her body or size. She celebrates it and encourages others to do the same. The dancers on her tour are all gorgeous plus size ladies who can MOVE. And she just radiates beauty.
I have been wanting to do a sexy boudoir photo shoot with my friend, Sue Halliburton, who is an amazing photographer. I met Sue in 2017 and have always been a huge fan of her boudoir photography skills and she has always wanted to do a shoot with me. I’ve made her wait for the last 5 years because there was always something holding me back. I need to lose more weight, I need to get my breast reduction, I need to do it for my 40th birthday, excuses after excuses. I definitely didn’t want to do it after gaining 40 lbs. Then an opportunity came up and I thought to myself, “WTF are you waiting for?!?” I decided to unleash my inner Lizzo, I bought some gorgeous lingerie from Rihanna’s size inclusive lingerie line, plus I got to play in Sue’s extensive dress up closet. I even got naked! Well, topless ha ha!
As my photographer was walking me through all the amazing shots she took, she commented that she was so impressed that I wasn’t picking myself apart and pointing out every flaw. I honestly went in there with the mindset that I was going to really soak in the beauty that she was able to capture. I was blown away with this vixen on screen, this gorgeous, voluptuous embodiment of a woman that was looking back out at me. I know I will forever cherish the photos and the experience, especially when I’m really old ha ha! I recommend everyone stop what they are doing and take beautiful photos of themselves that they can look back on! Here are some of my favorites that are blog appropriate! And if you are wanting to give this gift to yourself or your partner, Sue provides a life changing experience! You can check out more of her stuff at www.nevadaboudoir.com!
Since that shoot, I have been working really hard to love this body I have right now. I don’t know if I will ever lose the weight, and I honestly don’t care right now. If I can see the beauty in what I am now, I hope that I will be able to always look at my ever changing meat suit and find things to love and celebrate. I hope that if you are struggling with yourself that my journey and experiences can give you a little inspiration to be nicer to yourself. Honestly, I would never say the hurtful things I was telling myself to my worst enemy, so why was I doing it to myself? Makes me so sad that I could be so hurtful to my beautiful soul.
I posted a little blurb in my insta stories wearing a crop top and talking a little bit about how my 39th year would be a year of love for myself. So many commented and reached out saying they were being so hard on themselves. I truly hope that this gives you that inkling to start the work of loving you. Because you are worth it, you are beautiful, and the only person you really need to love your body is yourself. Everyone else doesn’t matter or they are already loving you anyway.