The recent temps are making the beginning of Fall feel a lot more like the middle of Summer. Now, I usually spend every other season of the year wishing it were/looking forward to Fall, but this time, the prolonged summer is warmly welcomed. Why? Because it means I won’t look like a crazy person sharing the photos from the beach fun I had recently with my girls Anna, Alice, Carisa, and Jade! (But I’m firmly expecting temps to drop after I put up this post because I am SO ready for Fall!)
Our Spring collaborative shoot was a blast – you can find photos from it in my corresponding Baltimore Babes: Supporting Babes post where talked all about how supporting local people & their brands is a great way to become involved in the community, and in turn, grow your own. Plus, it’s a great way to make friends!
And that’s exactly what these beautiful, intelligent, and hard-working ladies have become to me – friends. We understand each others’ goals and respect others’ hustles, so teamed up again with Jade from Jade Nikkole Photography to have a little fun in the sun, the Baltimore Babes way — with a photoshoot, of course!
Some real talk though. I’ve never been into summer; the heat and humidity always leaves me feeling sticky and gross. But I think, deep down, a part of me has never really liked summer because with hot weather comes short + tight outfits. And I’ve always struggled with feeling comfortable with my body in such revealing clothing because I didn’t think I looked good in it.
I’ve taken steps in recent years, and invested a lot of time in recent months, to my health and fitness. It’s taken me awhile to get to this point – I’ve began saying no to food I know will make me feel bad, prioritizing keeping active, and amongst other things, forcing myself to drink a decent amount of water. Although I know my potential, and believe in it, I recognize I’ve not yet reached some of my personal goals. And I’m comfortable with it. I’ve started to feel good about myself in a new way. I still have days where I question the image in mirror, but I recognize that a bad day isn’t a true reflection of my journey. The days of doubt have reduced in number and impact, and for that, I am thankful.
Let me be 200% honest though, this shoot terrified me. I’ve been working really hard at getting my body into a routine, and I’ve seen a lot progress. But all it takes is a professional camera, a tight, cut-out bathing suit from ASOS, and some “time of the month” bloating to make a girl question 4+ months of hard work. Yet, I remind myself, it’s part of the process.
I’ve always thought that I was the “skinny fat” friend, who lies somewhere in the middle. I wasn’t blessed with the overactive metabolism, but I was blessed with a body that’s got curves. It’s taken me 24 years to accept that my thighs will never be small — but they can be muscular and toned. My abs are a work in progress – they’re under there. Bloating is enemy #1; but I’ve learned what foods my body agrees with, and those that it doesn’t like. Spoiler alert: this is one of the reasons why I don’t go out of my way to eat pasta, bread, etc. I’ve become hyper-aware of my alcohol consumption (being a social drinker really is a blessing when it comes to limiting consumption of unnecessary calories.)
Yet, the first places I gain weight, and similarly the first places I lose it, are in my backs of my thighs and what Ashley Graham calls “the side butt.” But oh well, that’s me! I literally don’t have any other options but curves, so I’ve begun to start highlighting them. And through it all, my attitude has become less “can I wear this” and more “I am wearing this” because life’s too short to be unhappy with yourself.
I’m comfortable in front of a camera, yet spending time with my friends – women who don’t judge, work hard, and laugh a lot – made me care a lot less about my insecurities in front of one. And helped me to just. be. myself.
So here’s to the journey and finding friends who support us through it.
Photos courtesy of Jade Nikkole Photography
Until next time, keep appreciating the journey. After all, it’s more important than the destination.