Its an Internal Job : Self Acceptance

This process has been so therapeutic both as a photographer and as my own client via selfies lol. I had all these ideas of what my body looked it. And I was so scared to look at it (and TERRIFIED to share it) because maybe it would validate what I believed. That I was what people said I was- ugly ("the only way I'd fuck that is if it had a bag over its head"). I've always been hard on myself, harder on myself than others have been that's why I was always juggling diets, exercise regimes and never getting anywhere or worse yet- getting somewhere and still feeling the same. The thing is- we might focus on the weight, on our perceived appearance but its our mindset that needs attention, its our hearts that need healing first and foremost. And no ridiculous fad diet or exercise regime will fix that. If you cant love yourself right now- whatever size you are- then you sure as fuck wont find acceptance and love for yourself later. 
I've done the yo-yo dieting, the shame game (where you shame yourself into doing something usually terrible), had fits of bulimia (where I binge ate and EXCESSIVELY exercised it off FOR HOURS ON END), you name it I have most definitely done it. After my second baby- I had gained quite a bit of weight. And I remember just how ashamed I was of that. Not proud that I had just birthed a beautiful, healthy human but shame that I had "let myself go". So, I immediately started a ridiculous diet, exercise far too much and lost a shit tonne. I was down to 98 pounds. A scary 98 pounds and still I thought I was disgusting. How sad is that? What I mean is- that's absolutely heartbreaking I felt that way- looking back at it now I want to wrap my arms around that person and tell her "you are enough as you are and you have always been enough, stop this". I've been a 2, I've been a 16- and I felt no difference between the two. There was NO DIFFERENCE IN MY HEART. I knew then, it wasn't about the weight. It wasn't about my physical appearance; it had everything to do with how I felt about myself, it had everything to do with how much love I didn't have for myself. Love that wasn't going to obtained by simply following a fad diet or gruelling exercise regime. That focus- doesn't include the mindset work; it doesn't include self acceptance. You need all three- mind, body (this includes exercise & feeding your body nutritious foods), and soul to have balance & acceptance. If you can find a way to love yourself- accept WHO you are now, all the other pieces fall into place. Eating becomes enjoyment (not something to fear or feel shame over) and exercise becomes love (something you gift your body rather than punishment). I feel like this message needs to be talked about, shared more often because we are constantly bombarded with diet ads, beauty ads and manipulated into believing we aren’t enough and we should go out and buy something to “fix” it. Love starts at home- within you & with your perceptions. I’ve tossed around the idea of calling my boudoir sessions- empowerment sessions because that’s EXACTLY what they truly are. I have witnessed how powerful they are. What do you think? Maybe you need to experience it to believe it? We need to start de-bunking some of that shit that's been grilled into us. I hope that we can all come together and create a new reality for ourselves, our daughters, our friends, etc. A collective of acceptance, soul nourishment & gushy love. #loveon#itstartswithyou #womenempowerwomen #stopbeingnastytooneanother

Kimberly Exshaw