About 6 months ago, I was not feeling good about myself. I was heavier than I've ever been, I was stressed from trying to do it ALL, but I felt like I was failing at everything...failing as a wife, mother, friend, business owner...nothing seemed to be where I wanted it to be. And if you know me, then you know that I am a HUGE control freak. So, when nothing was going the way I wanted it to I put all the blame on myself and bottled it up. One thing I'm really good at is keeping all my emotions bottled inside until it explodes and Brian is always the one who has to deal with the "brunt of Jen". Sorry about that Mr. Dirksen ;) but he is always there to keep me together and put a smile on my face.
3 months of this and I had to do something. I contacted my friend, Tiffany, who sells AdvoCare. I needed a change for myself, for Brian, for Keira (our daughter). I wasn't happy with my body and I felt like changing that would help everything else come together. And guess what?!?! It did...a little! It is amazing how one little change can help your whole life. Brian and I participated in the 24 day challenge and started eating better. We both lost a little weight, have so much energy, continue to try eating healthier and I have gained this whole new outlook on life. Not only do I see the beauty in myself more and more each day, but I also see the beauty in others so much more. It is so sad that we feel ashamed of our bodies...we need to embrace our bodies and compliment other women. Working with women has made me realize that no matter how beautiful everyone else thinks someone is, all they see when they look into the mirror are their own flaws. When did we start focusing so much on the bad rather than all the good in ourselves? When did it become wrong to say "I love my thighs", "I am proud that my stomach has stretched and shrank after having a baby", "I love my ass!"? I know if I tell someone else what I like about my body I start to feel vain and conceited. Brian takes FREAKING GORGEOUS pictures of me, but do I feel sexy everyday...no way! I still struggle with my body just like a lot of women do. But, I do feel pretty damn good though when I look at my boudoir pictures and see how fucking hot and sexy I can be.
Anyways, the point of hosting #BodyLove was to show women that no matter their age, shape or size, they should embrace their bodies and love where they are at this moment in their life. This wasn't about being sexy, it was a day about loving yourself and the journey your body has been through.
A few of the ladies wanted to share their stories with you...
Miss T ~ I had such a good time and it definitely made me realize some things about myself. "Sexy" is definitely different for everyone. I am not comfortable with the "normal" idea of sexy. And that's fine. What works for me is confident, silly, tough. What I find most sexy about me is my tattoos. I have always looked at my tattoos as a way to cope with my body issues and until I get the tone/strong/ft body I'm working for, I'm gonna rock my tattooed mommy body!!! I'm coming to accept that even though I'm not happy with how it looks it also in a way shows strength because I made two beautiful boys in this body!
Miss C ~ I'm ashamed of my body, my stomach looks like a road map. Between surgeries and being pregnant it's been through hell. I never had one stretch mark till I got pregnant, not one!!! My arms and legs are gross and I may be the only fat woman in this world with small boobs!! In the last few months I've learned that I shouldn't care what others think. I'm not the normal woman, but I'm my own kind of beautiful. I get up everyday and now look at the mirror and try to see what others may see. I'm proud of myself for doing the BodyLove project!! I may have not have bared it all, but I bared more than I ever thought I could!!!
Miss M ~ I'm a stay at home mom and wife. My husband and I have 4 beautiful children together. 3 here on earth and our first born in heaven. Our angel would have been 4 this past May. Our second turned 3 in March and our twins turned a year in January. Thank you for letting me be involved in #bodylove with you guys. I really enjoyed myself and I can't want to come back again.
Miss A ~ I have had body image issues since I can remember. I lost a ton of weight prior to getting married and was finally happy in my own skin and felt great. Following my wedding, I got pregnant and I loved every minute of being pregnant. I wasn't worried about the weight gain because I knew I was creating another human and the weight would melt off as I breast fed my son. Well, I breast fed my son for 14 months and didn't lose a pound! I was once again miserable with the way my body looked. Until one day, I was doing my hair at my bathroom mirror in my bra and panties. I looked up and for the first time in a long time actually saw myself in the mirror! After looking for a while and criticizing my body in my head I made myself STOP!! Since that day I have been working hard to find things I love about my body. I wanted to participate in the #BodyLove project because I knew it would help me in my journey to love my body. I did it in hopes that by loving myself, I can teach my children to love themselves! Thank you Brian+Jen for all that you do to help build woman up!
Miss J ~ #BodyLove is accepting the skin you’re in. It's easy to say and hard to actually accept. To me, my body has been through war and back. The everlasting war in every woman’s brain from the time of puberty. Looking back at all the pictures from High School I beg my body to go back to that size, yet when I was in High School that body wasn’t good enough. BodyLove makes me appreciate the body I have RIGHT this moment. This body has given birth two times, been through a surgery or two, and ate a crap load of chocolate and ice cream when I want it. As I grow I find myself actually appreciating what my body can do. I take the little steps instead of wishing for large leaps in making my body better. Sure, it might be chubby and I might have a few scars across my stomach but I am beautiful. How do I know that? My husband tells me every single day. Days like today when I get to appreciate my body for what it is and how it’s made help me get through the days where the magazines tell me I am not small enough. I am finally comfortable in the skin I am in.