If you spend Sunday nights with your stomach in knots and your mind racing about all the possible, terrible things that might happen to you in the week ahead, chances are that there's an area of your life that you're unhappy with.
Confession: I'm not in this for the clothes. Or the pampering, or the possibility of Instagram fame. Although all of that stuff is really fun!
Two days before my wedding, I was laying in the bathtub, crying because I felt bad about my body. "I am bad, I am wrong, I don't deserve the love of a great man, I don't deserve a spectacular wedding day," was the thought reel playing on loop in my head. Talking to my fiancé that night, something finally clicked.
I've shared before that I'm in my first year of modeling, having finally decided to buck tradition and pursue my lifelong dream.
But how many of us are really feeling free this Fourth of July? And how many of us are feeling ashamed to get out there and be who we are because of the number on the scale? Shouldn't we all feel free to rock our stars-and-stripes bikini, even if we don't have the perfect "bikini body?"
Confidence is aqueous and ever-changing. Just when you think you're grasping it in your hands, it can trickle through your fingers. I am reminded of this as I awkwardly haul a leg over the torso of my lover and sink into his chest as we sink deeper into the soft mattress in our room at the W.
After Ashley showed off all of her magazine covers that the people in the fashion industry told her she'd never get, she left the audience with these inspiring words: "Be you. Be real. Be authentic. Be your favorite kind of woman. And remember, this is the generation of body diversity."
I was often the largest woman in the room, but off the mat, I was welcoming in my own revolution of body acceptance. I decided to feel more committed to my own well-being than to a number on a scale. As I went deeper into yoga, I went deeper into the connection with my body.
People are often baffled when they see happy fat people. And when you add in the idea that we are not addicted to dieting or working out or obsessed with the notion that we should become some thin version of ourselves, well, that really throws the shamers and haters for a loop.
If your inner voice does not build you up, then you need to shut it down. When you let go and love yourself for exactly how you look right now, you will be able to enjoy a deeper level of intimacy with your partner.
My body is a unique form of beauty -- it's large, fat, curvy, and deliciously feminine, and as a body positivity activist and model, I am more than happy to show it off to the public with pride.
Here is the most shocking news of my life: I bought a bathing suit. What's even more shocking? I plan on wearing it. In public. Willingly. And here's why: I'm tired of missing out. It's time to throw fear over the pool gate, get into that water and start making those memories.
Everyone deserves to feel beautiful and to be able to value their own bodies whether they are a size two or a size 32. Knowing your value and your own worth does not need to correlate in any way with the number on the scale. We all are worthy of love and most importantly, loving ourselves.
Hikers typically work under the premise of leaving no trace, but I wanted to drop my metaphorical rubbish all over the mountain and let it float away in the wind. But maybe it wouldn't work that way. Maybe my weight would always be part of my story.
My point is simple. Not easy, but simple. "They" can tell you whatever they want. But so can you. You can tell yourself whatever YOU want. Longer, louder and in a way more connected to your powerful brain than anything else can be.