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Overcoming Body Issues

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There’s an old Cherokee legend about a grandfather talking to his grandson.

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil- he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued, “The other is good- he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you- and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.” 

Confidence is something you have to feed.

I know you’re thinking, “What? Andrea, I came here to overcome my body issues and see how I can feel good about having a boudoir session! What is this vague, fortune cookie sounding advice about?”

Ladybug, we can sit here and we can talk all day long about how you can feel better about yourself, or your extra pounds, or your cellulite, or I could sit here and be honest with you from the very core of my being and maybe, hopefully, possibly, we could just be honest with each other and start feeding good things. I’ll go first.

I’ve been a big girl my whole life. No literally, my whole life. I had cellulite when I was nine years old. In moments of being gracious with myself I like to think I’m big to accommodate a huge personality but moments of grace for myself tend to be rare and that, friend, is my point. We are so understanding and giving to the women around us and so very harsh and hard and critical of ourselves. Do you know why you should be kind to yourself? Because you have to live with yourself. If you wouldn’t talk the way you talk to yourself to another human being then you should say those things in your head.

Those lies about being unworthy, or too big or too small or too fat or not enough boobs or maybe if I could just get abs I’d be worth something. You should absolutely not be feeding those things in your head.

What if we spin it differently? What if we acknowledge that we all have things that we dislike about ourselves and instead of pretending they don’t exist or throwing an inspirational quote band-aid on a very real and painful problem, what if we fed them differently? 

What if I look at my cellulite and think how badass my legs are because they’re a powerhouse?

What if I look at my extra pounds and remember the amazing dinners with my husband that adores me?

What if I look at my stretch marks and think of the months and months of my body being a safe place for not one, but two, beautiful little girls to grow and think how wonderful it is that I was able to give them that?

What if I look at my stomach that I hate and the scars from my c-sections that will never ever completely heal and frankly make me want to never wear a swimsuit again and what if I remember how I got them instead of how I hate them? What if I think about how grateful I am that I and my eldest child together survived an almost fatal trauma when she was born and the price for our lives were those scars? And what if I also remember that those same scars are what gave me the gift of my youngest who had a safe and healing and redeeming delivery?

What if I feed gratitude?

What if I feed confidence?

What if I feed being freaking proud of my body for all it has been through because it has carried me through all of it and out to the other side?

These legs walk to the park with my beautiful girls. This stomach has incredible dinners with amazing friends and wonderful family. These arms hold my babies and hold my camera and allow me to literally live my dreams. 

In her book, Girl Wash Your Face, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hollis says “Whatever standard you’ve set for yourself is where you’ll end up… unless you fight through your instinct and change your pattern.”

Look in a mirror, go ahead, do it now. How can you change how you think and speak about even one thing you don’t like about yourself? How can you change this pattern of pain and self-loathing?

My body is a gift.

Your body is a gift.

Maybe having a boudoir session is a way you could honor that gift, but more than anything in the whole wide world I just want you to be able to see how much of a gift you are, how much of a gift your life is, and to delight and celebrate in that.

Boudoir photography is my way to show people what a wonderful gift they have, I want them to see and take joy in who they are and how they’ve been designed and I would absolutely love to be able to do that for you.

As always, call or email with questions, I can’t wait to talk with you. 

Andrea Murphy Luxury Boudoir Photographer

Andrea Murphy is a boudoir photographer for women who are ready to step into their beauty, confidence, and power so they can tranform the way they see themselves.

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