Baltimore Babes: Summer Lovin’

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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!

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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.

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Photos courtesy of Jade Nikkole Photography

WEBSITE // INSTAGRAM

 

Until next time, keep appreciating the journey. After all, it’s more important than the destination.

Xoxo,

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