Big Girl : Self Portrait January

back in 2011 i began a meager attempt at a self portrait series. i did one for january, february, march & april.... and then just like every summer, i got completely swamped with the undeniable wedding season and of course put 'me' on hold & off to the side. ...i'm realizing that I'm pretty good at doing that.

i kept thinking i would get back to my series, seeing it was both inspiring & healing to my artistic soul, but as the months flashed by, my wish became seemingly more & more distant. almost ungraspable. i just couldn't figure out how to pick up where i last left off -- especially when there had been such a big lull in time.

then i got engaged & started planning a wedding on top of working like crazy, so time became almost non-existent. i literally began getting up at 4:30am every other morning for my 5:30am workouts. my friends thought i was totally crazy but i absolutely c h e r i s h e d every sleepy to extremely energized moment of these mornings.

you see, it was MY time. all mine. i got to drive in the darkness with the lyrics of Amos Lee guiding my way & drive back home in the fresh early morning light, feeling beyond ready to tackle the day.

exercising has always been a MUST in my life. it recharges & rebalances me - it makes me feel A L I V E.
last year was filled with my 5:30am Art of Strength killer workouts (ask for Mike Knight or Lisa Fresard - both AMAZING trainers), yoga classes at the Yoga Shelter (Xflowsion with Becky Siden being my TOP favorite ever), kickboxing at Bad Boy Gym with trainer Ice (absolutely LOVE the feeling of kickboxing) & of course just being my normal active self... whether its my daily walk with Jones, or a run, or volleyball, or tennis, or documenting anything (much more work & strain on the body then people realize).

on top of alllllll this, i have ALWAYS been intrigued with nutrition & feeding your mind, body & spirit with goodness. i do a pretty darn good job of being aware of what i eat, how it is cooked & where it is from... all the while finding a healthy balance. some books that i enjoyed this past year were The 17 Day Diet & The Lean. i also did an amazing cleanse through Isagenix, which made me fall in love with protein shakes all over again.

needless to say, 2012 was a year i can say i worked really hard, lost weight & gained a ton of muscle.... yet somehow i can't help but notice that I've been using the phrase 'big girl' to describe myself. "i cant believe they were able to pick me up! I'm a big girl" or when feeling bloated recently, Mark said, "but you have such a flat stomach!" to which I replied, "yeah, but I'm still a big girl" ... just to name a few.

it made me really start thinking... why am i saying this??? i've ALWAYS been the tallest (ahem biggest in my mind) girl of my class, the 'biggest' girl of all my friends, bigger & stronger than my older sister,,,, & i would be lying if i said i never struggled with this need to 'be' physically something that i am not. {sigh}.

as hard as i work at it, my body is content & happiest AS IT IS.
my bones are 'big' & you know what?!
so are my EYES, my SMILE, my HAIR... & my H E A R T!!!

for the first time in my 33 years, & ironically enough as a married woman (biggest thanks to my incredibly loving & supportive husband), i am realizing that there are many different definitions & ideas on what a 'big girl' is. Mark keeps reminding me that Marilyn Monroe these days would be considered a 'big girl' & the thought of that is so funny to me... to me she is an iconic beauty!

so with it being a brand new year, i have to ask --
why are we so hard on ourselves?
why are we so critical of ourselves?
have you ever noticed how when you look back at pictures of yourself from a time you thought you were 'bigger'... you really weren't?

i don't know what tomorrow may bring, but today,,,
TODAY I choose to see myself as a strong, bold & beautyFULL woman.
i choose to live in this thought today. to exude it & not shame myself for something that i am not, nor could ever be... a 'small girl', a 'short girl',
a 'whatever my ego wants me to be girl'.
...& no matter what tomorrow brings,
i smile in relief that we always, always, always have the power & choice to choose.

here's to whatever you may 'be'

loving 2013 already,
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