I have lived a life of pinching my stomach fat

I remember my first diet. It was the cabbage soup diet and I was 8. I have lived a life of pinching my stomach fat and hating what I see in the mirror. My body had the audacity to, not only be taller than most boys, but to be bigger than them too. I have never identified with women in magazines or on TV.

Looking down boudoir posesCompliments upset my stomach. It’s a lot to unpack in one post, but learning to love myself is something that I was only able to start in my 30’s. I recently lost a large amount of weight and that helped me be able to move toward self-acceptance. I still can’t take a compliment very well, but I have had a LOT of therapy. And managed to reach a place, mentally and physically, with my body that I don’t actively hate it. I am learning to love my strength and the story my body tells. Whether or not I will ever be “happy” with a weight or my stomach, is still out for deliberation. I don’t see my body the way other people do. It is very noticeable when I shop. The fact that I now fit into “normal size people” clothes still takes a lot of getting used to.

Enter the boudoir experience. I have a friend on social media who went through this with Kristen and her pictures were stunning. The confidence she talked about during the experience was envious.

I started following Kristen and looking at her work. I always thought boudoir was just for skinny people doing it for their significant others.

It was never something I was just like “YES! I WANT SEXY PICTURES OF MYSELF FOR MYSELF!!!” because when you don’t feel sexy or confident, why would you want to look at what you are and see what you are lacking?

What I began to realize about Kristen’s work is that it isn’t about another person at all. Kristen has a way of seeing women as they TRULY are.

She uses her camera to show you something about yourself that you would never see other-wise. This vision of yourself is transformative.

I fully admit that I was engaged and did this as a wedding gift for my fiancé, I couldn’t pull the trigger just for myself (although I wish now that I had done it MUCH sooner and before I lost the weight).

Kristen was so supportive and engaged from the first e-mail. She sent so much information that I couldn’t help but be Disney-level excited for my session. She gave advice on any aspect of the shoot that I was nervous about. My main concern was posing. Having never really felt inherently “sexy” or confident how was I supposed to come up with these alluring moves and facial expressions? Well those fears were left in the dust the second I walked in for my shoot. Kristen instantly manages to become your best friend and takes control of the shoot expertly. She makes you feel completely comfortable and relaxed and it becomes almost a fun slumber party like atmosphere. She tells you exactly where and how to place every part of your body, even where to look! The whole session was so fun it passed in what felt like 30 minutes!

Great, so you had a fun shoot, now what? My favorite part, by far, is viewing day. You think you know what to expect, I mean you were there for the shoot, you know what you did. But when that first picture comes up on the screen the moment is indescribable.

The revolving thoughts in my mind the first time seeing them all was “Oh my God, do I look like that?! That’s not me!! Holy crap, that’s ME!!!”

Kristen is a master of light and shadow and knows how to use angles and levels to make a woman’s body look amazing. But it is what she manages to capture in the faces of the women that she shoots, including mine that is so special. I saw a woman that is sexy, and confident, and strong. A woman who loves herself and accepts love from others. I saw what she saw in me and what others see in me. I saw what I actually looked like, not what my mind tricks me into seeing. And THAT is the true boudoir experience. Because if it wasn’t, then it would just be racy glamour shots.

If you are at all intrigued by what Kristen does, do NOT wait. Don’t wait to lose weight, don’t wait to have a significant other, and don’t wait for whatever excuses you will talk yourself into. We all need the confidence this process brings.

I had a large canvas print made of my favorite picture and hung it in my closet so I can see it every time I go to get dressed and remind myself of what I actually look like.

Because not every day can be a boudoir day, but every day you can feel that confidence and strength that Kirsten can show you is hidden inside.