Conversations on Confidence :: Molly

molly campaign for confidence

Campaign For Confidence is so much more than a mostly naked photo with strategically placed produce. It’s more than a Kale Yeah! Sticker stuck to a bathroom mirror. It’s more than a blog post… it’s a movement. It’s a celebration of our bodies + the journey to love them. The simple truth is that our insecurities run deep and it takes years of exploration, work and forgiveness to love + accept ourselves just the way we are. The path is flooded with tears, self-loathing and the ever present “I’ll start tomorrow” followed by one last pint of ice cream… sound familiar?

This blog series is devoted to telling the real life stories of the people behind the Campaign For Confidence photos.

Join the Campaign here.

Contact us to share your story in a future Conversation on Confidence! You must join the Campaign via a photo submission to get in on the conversation.

See all posts in this series here.

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molly lacy nyc
I first 'met' Molly in 2005 at the Yoga Journal conference in San Francisco. She was working a booth in the marketplace and I picked up her business card. I am not even sure if she was in the booth at the time. Just over two years later we began a friendship by seemingly happy accident (but we both know better). Molly is elegance infused with love. She's pragmatic but not over the top. She's the most excellent listener. The beach + yoga bring her home to herself and I love that she creates time for both in her life, it's seriously one of my favorite things about her... that unapologetic love for sea + sweat. She's the friend you share  secrets with because she can keep it locked so tightly in the vault she might even forget that she knows it. You can tell, I just adore her and you will too.
xo, Lacy

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union square mollyWork trip to NYC

THEN + NOW + TOMORROW

Q: Who were you before you joined the Campaign For Confidence? What early memories + experiences come to mind surrounding confidence + your body image?

A: If someone asked me 10 years ago what confidence in yourself meant I would have said "Not comparing yourself to others. Feeling great about your decisions - proud of the good ones and learning from the bad ones. Feeling great about your body and making choices that align with how you want your body to feel. Feeling good about your job" and a few other simple statements. However, what I have learned about confidence since joining Campaign For Confidence is that confidence isn't just about what the OUTSIDE world sees of you, it's about what your SPIRIT sees of you and that is HARD to put into simple statements. So, all that follows is not necessarily what confidence means to me, but my journey to define it for myself.

bar mollycirca 2005.  "Then" Molly. At a birthday party in a bar. Certainly happy looking but not real. Well on my way to being wasted and simply posing. Probably don't remember the night the next morning. Most likely got up and went to yoga hungover and stopped at McD's for a fountain diet coke after class!

In thinking about past events that have been part of my journey of defining confidence for myself, I thought back to one of the most significant emotional events in my early adult life. Break up with the first love. REAL love. In the months following that, I lost weight - too much. I couldn't eat and anything I did eat just seemed to vanish. I got down to a size 4 which at 5'9" is pretty waif-like. I felt HORRIBLE in my heart but I found comfort in watching my pant size drop. WHAT?!? After a year or so the pounds started to come back but the pain was still there. At that point I was suffering two kinds of pain - one heart pain, and one body image pain. I've never had an eating disorder but I certainly became disordered in my thinking about how I needed to treat my body in order to keep it "healthy."

At a much, much younger age on the beach during summer vacations, I used to hear my sisters and Mom say to each other "does my butt look like hers?" and other self comparative comments on the beach. I laugh about it now, but as an adult I see how those short moments started some subtle yet negative body image issues.

NOW

Q: Who are you now? What are you appreciating about your body lately?

A: I have been shy to talk about confidence as far as body image because I have heard more than once "What have you got to worry about? You have a near perfect body." I am grateful for the genes that gave me what I have, but the bottom line is EVERYONE suffers from body image issues. Society, psychology, chemistry of the brain - they all contribute to us wishing some things about ourselves our different. I wish I had bigger boobs, why have I had cellulite since I was 16 no matter how many pounds I lose?? I don't like my nose, my big hands, my pudgy toes or the way my eyes squint so much when I smile they look closed in 90% of the pictures I'm in. These are all thoughts that ran through my head constantly as a teenager, 20 something, 30 something. At 42, I appreciate my big hands (got those from my Dad who I LOVE beyond words), nothing I can do about cellulite and I can't see it unless I stare at my ass in a mirror so who cares, my toes are darn cute and it's another family trait to be proud of.

molly may dayProud of my squinty eyed smiles! They are giving me some crows feet that show a life full of smiles and well lived.

TOMORROW

Q: What are you still working on? What are your goals in terms of self-confidence?

A: As I continue on this journey, one of my goals is to have one day where I look in the mirror and don't have ANY thoughts of what I wish was different about my body or guilt around the things I do to my body that don't honor it, but ONLY check in with how I FEEL. Do I feel sad? Mad about something that happened the day before or 3 months ago? Did I eat too much sugar last night? Too many glasses of wine? And if any of those answers are yes, make my goal of that day to turn it around. Revisit what I need to do to make choices that honor my body and spirit - not make them suffer. Another goal is to gain enough self-compassion that my "bad" habits are no longer needed. Enough that my body and mind will no longer welcome them.

TRANSFORMATION

Q: Was there a moment of truth in your life when everything changed?

A: August, 2000. I tried yoga for the first time because I hurt my knee from running but HAD to find some replacement exercise. I fell in love with it after the first class. I cannot possibly sum into a few paragraphs what a yoga practice has done for me in the last 13 years but one of the most important things is how it has taught me to take care of my mind, body and spirit. Those three are so intimately connected that they all need attention in order to feel WHOLE. To feel confident. To feel at peace with what was, what is and what will be. To trust that the path you are on is the right one, highs and lows and all. To trust YOURSELF.

BRAG

Q: Will you tell us about the experience of taking your photo... of going for it?

A: I got naked, put some fruit in front of my boobs and let Lacy take my picture because I love her and truly believe the work she is doing and putting into this world is so needed and EFFECTIVE. BUT, I also had a revelation when she asked me if I would. I didn't hesitate. I had no "oh my gosh, for the interweb?" thoughts or "what will my family, friends and boyfriend think?".NONE OF THAT. So that was an "ah ha!" moment for me. CONFIDENCE. I didn't care what anybody else thought. It had nothing to do with what I would would like in that picture or who would see it but that everything to do with my spirit saying YES to participating in a movement that sends love and encouragement to everyone who needs it. Was having that picture taken and SEEING it online another building block of my self confidence in the positive? Absolutely. But it started with the question from Lacy and a nurtured spirit that loves my body unconditionally.

5th room photogI am most alive, most myself near the ocean. Photo credit: Fifth Room Photography

ADVICE

Q: Is there one piece of advice you’d give someone who’s in need of encouragement regarding their body, body-image, self-confidence, food, or life in general?

A: My biggest piece of advice is to practice self-compassion and forgiveness (towards yourself and others). If you're not really sure what they mean, learn about them. These are utterly critical, I believe, in allowing yourself to do the work and stay on the path of reaching your goals. If you beat yourself down or blame someone or something else for every time you slip up or stray for a while, you will be spending more energy warding off those feelings than actually making any progress. It's a vicious cycle.

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Thank you, Molly! I am so honored to share some of your story and to have you in my life! Love you big time!

You can connect with Molly via: Facebook

post format inspired entirely by Kelly Rae's Possibiltarian Project Interviews.

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p.s. Want to change your relationship with sugar? Join me Oct 1 - 10 for the Sweet Surrender Sugar Detox! Completely affordable at $33 and filled with love. More info here. Register here.

Conversations on Confidence: Chariti

campaign-for-confidence-chariti

Campaign For Confidence is so much more than a mostly naked photo with strategically placed produce. It’s more than a Kale Yeah! Sticker stuck to a bathroom mirror. It’s more than a blog post… it’s a movement. It’s a celebration of our bodies + the journey to love them. The simple truth is that our insecurities run deep and it takes years of exploration, work and forgiveness to love + accept ourselves just the way we are. The path is flooded with tears, self-loathing and the ever present “I’ll start tomorrow” followed by one last pint of ice cream… sound familiar?

This blog series is devoted to telling the real life stories of the people behind the Campaign For Confidence photos.

Join the Campaign here.

Contact us to share your story in a future Conversation on Confidence! You must join the Campaign via a photo submission to get in on the conversation.

See all posts in this series here.

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I met Chariti at a retreat earlier this year. From the moment we met I liked her. Quite simply she GLOWS! AND OMG her laugh will fill a room with undeniably joy. About 2/3 of the way through the retreat we shared how we see ourselves... Chariti held up her notebook with a picture that she had drawn of herself. It was this beautiful Bohemian woman with a long skirt and bangle bracelets, sparkles everywhere. The room went quiet as she talked about wearing what she called "Chariti length sweaters" and cardigans. She'd created a wardrobe of dark colored, "sensible" clothing to cover her body. Right then she vowed to get rid of them as soon as she went home (she made good on that promise). The next day she came to the circle with a scarf in her hair and a long sleeve button down rolled up to her elbows and left unbuttoned to reveal her white tank under. She was so clearly already starting to embody that girl in the picture. I'll remember that moment for a long time. It was freaking great!

I'm so proud to introduce you to Chariti! She posed with pitty-pat squash for her Campaign photo and I can't think of anything better. Of course she'd pick a veggie with a cute name to pose with! Even her sweetheart sunburn line makes me smile.

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Chariti

THEN + NOW + TOMORROW

THEN

Q: Who were you before you joined the Campaign For Confidence?

A: Before joining the Campaign For Confidence, I was the woman who would stand in front of the mirror and say “I’m so fat-ass” (but I would pronounce it fuh-tass, as if saying in that way would somehow lessen the pain of what I was saying). Ugh. I would literally stand in front of a full-length mirror naked, hunch my shoulders and stick out my gut so I looked like I was 5 months pregnant and then think: you’re just never gonna be thin and beautiful. I used to collapse the two ideas of “thin” and “beautiful” together. At age 40, I’m finally learning and practicing how to untangle those two ideas.

NOW

Q: Who are you now?

A: I am now a woman who is learning to LOVE her body—every inch, crease, curve, and sunspot. Now, when I stand in front of the mirror, I try to change the story and say instead “Girl! You’ve got some beautiful collar bones!”

I’ve always been disconnected from my body, seeing it as something separate from my mind and my soul. I’m really trying to work on seeing it as a CRITICAL PART of the whole me, of my health and well-being. I am not great at it yet, but I am trying to honor its needs and be more mindful of how I’m treating it. Just last night, I ate some pizza and ice cream because I was feeling the need for comfort, and it gave me really bad gas the next morning. The “new” me cradled my belly and rubbed it and said “I’m sorry belly…I promise to treat you better from here on out.” I pictured the inside of my stomach, working on overdrive to chew up and digest that junk that I’d put inside it.

All day I’m very good at giving my body what it needs—lots of water, green food, lean protein, and moderate exercise (most days). But at night, my alter-ego emerges and it’s not pretty. I eat and drink things that cause abuse of my body and, ultimately, my soul. It’s like I hang with the wrong “inner” crowd at nighttime. My daytime inner crowd is pure and helpful and wise and sweet. But not the nighttime ones, oh not so much…they are little devils who like to tempt me with all of my favorite “bad things.” And they know that I’m particularly vulnerable at nighttime because I’m tired. They beat me up when I’m down. That’s one I’m still struggling with.

TOMORROW

Q: What are you still working on?

A: I am confident in my abilities as a mother, as a wife, as a friend, and as a coach. I am confident in my abilities as a writer, a speaker, a listener, and a businesswoman. I am confident in SO MANY AREAS of my life—except my ability to treat my body with the respect and love it deserves. It seems I can always do it “for a time” (whether that’s 10 minutes or 10 months) but at some point I always retreat back to “the old way” of doing things (i.e., mindless eating, comfort eating, forgetting that what I put in my body really matters, etc.).

My goal is to look at my body and say “WOW! YOU ARE GORGEOUS, you know that?” And to hear the answer “Duh! I thought we were past this!”

I still don’t feel that way.

I want to walk down the street and catch a glimpse of myself in a storefront window and think “I bet people look at me and think I’m sexy.” I’m far from that. Instead, I still think “I bet people look at me and think my ass jiggles too much in these pants.”

Parts of my body that I really want to love: my arms, my belly, my boobs, and my insides, especially my stomach and digestive system. I feel that if I could learn to love the inside, the outside would take care of itself. I’ve never really thought about the inside before…or at least I’ve never really prioritized taking care of it—not REALLY anyway.

chariti

TRANSFORMATION

Q: Was there a moment of truth in your life when everything changed?

A: I wouldn’t say that there was “one moment” exactly, but when I was on the verge of turning 40, I started thinking about what kind of life I wanted for myself for the NEXT 40 years. And I realized how EXHAUSTED I was of constantly worrying about and feeling guilty about my body size, shape, etc. I decided I want that monkey off my back. I’m ready to embrace my beauty inside and out. I’m now figuring out HOW to do that. It’s hard.

FOOD

Q: Food is a powerful vehicle for change. When you change what goes into your body you change what comes out. I love the question that Wayne Dyer often talks about “What do you get when you squeeze an orange? Orange juice of course! And so what do you get when you squeeze you?” Anger? Self loathing? Greasy pizza with extra cheese? OR maybe it’s Love? Kale? Possibility? Speak to being squeezed and how you’ve changed. What role does food play in your life now?

A: Food is still my “go to” for comfort. You squeeze me and you get a longing for retreat and release from the responsibilities of life. I get so bored with my day to day domestic duties. I adore my hubby and daughter, but sometimes taking care of them all of the time means there’s not much left for me. I’m MUCH BETTER at taking care of me than I used to be. But food is still there as my “go to” when I’m feeling sorry for myself. Food is what I turn to when I’m bored, anxious, excited, needing a break, feeling blue, feeling happy, feeling celebratory, or feeling like I need a big hug. I can remember being a 10 or 12 year old kid and looking forward to coming home from school…and then, ironically, being BORED out of my skull once I got there. SO, I’d open the refrigerator and make a sandwich (my “second lunch”) or mix up a batch of brownie mix (and eat it raw with a spoon—ALL of it) or eat a bag of chips…all while watching TV.

I numbed out at age 12 to ease the pain of feeling sadness, I guess. Sadness that my parents were getting divorced, that my mom was always stressed out and working two jobs, that I could never “go and do with everyone else” because I had to stay home and take care of my younger sister, that my dad really didn’t want a whole lot to do with us. I developed the eating of food as a coping mechanism. And it never left me. Some people turn to sex, extreme exercise, gambling…I turn to food. And for a while I turned to drinking alcohol. That had to stop. And now, when I catch myself eating out of anything other than hunger, I try to remember to gently guide my thinking to “do you really want this?” And then I get really mad inside if I tell myself I can’t have it. And then I eat twice as much. I still use food as a reward. I use it as an avoidance technique all the way around, I guess. Avoid the pain, avoid the boredom, avoid the sadness. I’ve been through years of therapy and have done a whole lot of internal work around forgiving others, but the habit of food still sticks. My habit of coping with the unpleasantries of life is still very present in my life.

beauty

BRAG

Q: What have you created in yourself, in your life that you’re proud of? How has changing your relationship with yourself changed the other relationships in your life? Let us celebrate with you!

A: I am so proud of the life I’ve created overall. I truly am living my dream in so many ways. Are things perfect? No. Will they ever be? Probably not. Mainly because my version of “ideal” seems to be an ever-evolving target! BUT—by and large—I am someone who is full of love and compassion, empathy and understanding, and I am using my talents and gifts to the fullest in this world, making a positive impact on the lives of individuals EVERY SINGLE DAY, and I know that I shine a very bright light on this earth. My life purpose statement: I am the sparkling floodlight that lights up your soul! Day to day, I live pretty damn close to that! It doesn’t matter what shape or size I come in, it’s the inside that matters most—and then sharing that with the world!

chariti

ADVICE

Q: Is there one piece of advice you’d give someone who’s in need of encouragement regarding their body, body-image, self-confidence, food, or life in general?

A: I think one piece of advice that I’ve found helpful and that I’m trying to really internalize is this:

Your body is right-sized for YOU right now. Just like everything else in your life, it is perfectly YOU for this moment in time. Learn to really love it from the inside out and watch the changes that happen!

Another piece of advice I like:

What would my stomach say if I put this in my mouth and then asked it to digest it? Would it smile up happy as a clam, or would it fall down in despair and exhaustion? Learn the connection between food and mood. For someone like me who is so driven by emotion, that’s a big one. When I put an Oreo in my mouth, it may taste good in my mouth but my tummy is going to ache in pain (Oreos do that to me so I can’t eat them anymore)…and if I am physically feeling bad, even if it’s temporary, how “good” can the overall quality of my life be? That’s the disconnect for me. I intellectually “get it,” but in the moment when I’m feeling sad or down or bored, I get mad if I stop and think “I shouldn’t eat this.” And then I reach for another one.

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Chariti! Thank you so much for sharing so openly. I am so honored to share some of your story and to have you in my life! I'm just so happy I went to that retreat and I'm so happy that we met!

You can connect with Chariti via her Website | Facebook.

p.s. ready to boost your CONFIDENCE? Join us for Group Health Coaching starting Sept 3. Today is the last day for the earlybird rate of $349.

 

post format inspired entirely by Kelly Rae’s Possibiltarian Project Interviews.

Conversations on Confidence: Roz

Campaign-For-Confidence-Roz

Campaign For Confidence is so much more than a mostly naked photo with strategically placed produce. It’s more than a Kale Yeah! Sticker stuck to a bathroom mirror. It’s more than a blog post… it’s a movement. It’s a celebration of our bodies + the journey to love them. The simple truth is that our insecurities run deep and it takes years of exploration, work and forgiveness to love + accept ourselves just the way we are. The path is flooded with tears, self-loathing and the ever present “I’ll start tomorrow” followed by one last pint of ice cream… sound familiar?

This blog series is devoted to telling the real life stories of the people behind the Campaign For Confidence photos.

Join the Campaign here.

Contact us to share your story in a future Conversation on Confidence! You must join the Campaign via a photo submission to get in on the conversation.

See all posts in this series here.

lacy-young-color-bar-01

Roz. Roz and I met in a yoga studio. And then in another. I wanted to hug her before I knew her. I was drawn to her open heart and unapologetic quirky nature. She's among the Campaign For Confidence submissions that I photographed myself. In fact... in the middle of packing and getting ready to move from California to Texas (though at the time we had NO idea where we were moving to) Roz came over to celebrate the REALness that we were experiencing. She came over to say... I see you, I've been here. It's going to be ok -- pack your favorite coffee cup and ditch the rest and CHEERS to your adventures ahead! And so in the midst of boxes, rampant emotion and controlled chaos we marched up the stairs into the "good light" and took her Campaign photo. And it made my whole day.

When I think of getting REAL Roz is top of the charts. She's lived it. Tried it. Learned from it. AND chosen to live from the center of love in the most practical + moving way. I'm honored to introduce you to Roz + share some of her story here with you!

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THEN + NOW + TOMORROW

THEN

Q: Who were you before you joined the Campaign For Confidence? Were you told or taught things early on in childhood that contributed to your self-confidence or lack thereof?

 Roz-babyLittle me.

A: The Sunday Funnies spread out over the floor I sat and tried to decipher the pictures to see if I could make out the story. I could not wait until I knew how to read. My grandmother sat while my mother put curlers in her hair. “Rozzie come here!” my mother said sternly. I pull myself to my feet, and place myself at her side. Reaching her hand out to grab for my mid-waste mother states boldly “Rozzie you’re getting fat!” At that time my head could not compute FAT what is that? So I began the stomach grabbing exercise as the meter for FAT. Mom started me on Aid’s Candy with coffee in Kindergarten, restricted food diet when I did eat. I believe mom was trying to groom me into what society decided was perfect.

Roz-little-lady

Kindergarten photo, my fat age.

I spent most/all my life wishing I could be someone other. Never accepting or knowing myself. I learned early that people could not be trusted and being “me” was not enough to be acceptable. Those early lessons served as the foundation for my beliefs and direction of my attitudes about self and others. In school I loved those girls, the popular ones who got good grades easily. They giggled on the bus huddled together, making plans of fun. They were the ones who became cheerleaders, class presidents and married well. I could be their friend, but we were not cut from the same cloth. You see I bought into the Ego chatter and discounted my gifts. I didn’t even know what my gifts were.

I was a troubled teen, self-hate, Alcohol, Bulimia & thoughts of suicide fueled my daily existence from my teen years well into my thirty’s. Multiple repeated cycles of abuse, addictive relationships, and disconnect with what I hoped for and what my life was.

Roz-methMy meth picture, 1993

In March 1993 I live in a home with my daughter, parents, brother, my sister and niece. I just got home from work, I am exhausted and I had been on Meth for a month. I weighed a little over ninety pounds with my 5’2” frame if I ate or slept it was minimal. My mother looks at me, and says, “You look so lovely.” I drug myself up the stairs and slink into the shower. The warmth of the water softly caresses my sore skull, softening my shoulders, and healing my spin. I thought to myself, “I am going to die.” My feet are numb and my limbs are blue, all the veins are showing, my heart wants to stop. “Enough…this is enough”, I tell myself. It is not our fault that this society values thin, youth or status. I clearly remember crying while driving, (my only private place) cringing with an over whelming guilt that what I was doing to be “gorgeous” was killing me, and associating my interior to the stinky, black mold that sludge that cakes the inside of the sink drain. That should have been the teller that I was not living a congruent life. That was an experience fueled by misdirected beliefs.

NOW

Q: Who are you now?

A: Now. I love myself. I love myself more than any other person can or ever will. That is a huge gift of the work I have done.

TOMORROW

Q: What are you still working on?

A: I'm always learning to be patient with my body. I had a hysterectomy in January and shoulder repair surgery in May. My body has been through so much and there are things I came to recognize that I just could not do. As a means of not fighting to be beauty bound, I colored my fun platinum hair with sassy long bangs to a short, brown pixie. I just could not lift my arm to do my hair. I tell myself to keep it simple… my inner beauty is not defined by my exterior appearance.

I am still learning to listen to myself. And I know when I don’t, I feel stuck in the mud. It is hard to wake up in the morning, I become congested, or I get the ever awful migraine.

I'm also learning to ask for help. Of course, in the process of learning limitations, I see where I put too much of myself out and then resented that others did not naturally step up to assist me. I had to recognize that I set myself and others up for disappointment, less so than just saying, “Can you please help me?” It felt like jumping off a bridge at times. So the practice and path is still ahead of me. There is no such thing as done, good or bad, right or wrong, each bumping of the head leads to the next experience. Really I'm just learning to see the miracles that are in each lesson.

Roz-blondeBlonde me.

TRANSFORMATION

Q: Was there a moment of truth in your life when everything changed?

A: It took divorce from a violent man for me to get into Yoga. The path to health and healing began there. It was through Yoga that I came to want to change my beliefs and life direction. What I have found is that each person’s path is different. We can learn something, we can then come to believe something, and we continue to practice something, then it will become your own.

Loving myself has increased my sense of self. When I practice Yoga in all areas of my life my experience is one of peace. I know an internal peace. My Internal Self is Timeless in contrast to the reflection of the mirror that is a time bound forty-nine year old with wrinkles and flaws, a clear contradiction to the internal scenery when I feel present. My Internal Self is youthful, healthful, ever loving, and sweet.

roz-selfieSummer selfie.

FOOD

Q: Food is a powerful vehicle for change. What role does food play in your life?

A: Just as each day is new, so is my relationship with food. Since I worked with Lacy, my understanding of food has grown. Identifying what food ‘is’ and what it ‘is not’ has given me greater respect for the life giving force that it provides. I like food as medicine. I eat roots to ground me, I eat leafy veggies and fruit to lighten up. I love to garnish my smoothies with pansies & zucchini blossoms to encourage joy in my heart. I love the complexities of teas and I look at coffee more like an herb to be used sparingly. I have a garden with zucchini, kale, tomatoes, several types of mints (I love to make tea) and cilantro. I enjoy eating food right out of the ground, it is such a joy.

I found a soy chorizo from Trader Joe that makes a great starter to both the zucchini or kale sauté dishes and I allow myself to experiment with food. I love my Mila (Chia product) in my smoothies I notice that it really helps my nails grow.

roz-yoga

HEART

Q: What is inspiring you lately?

A: All I can think of reading this question is Jen. One of my yoga instructors Jeff Lang just got married to his finance Jen Bulik-Lang who was diagnosed with Lung Cancer last December. She has an idea of ‘when’ she is going, so it would appear between now and then… Live. She lives with abandon, she allows herself to be silly, change her wig color, dance with joy and love with enthusiasm, Jen is a light. I see this love of life in so many of my Yogini friends, Lacy, Giselle, Anne, Prajna, Matese, Emily, Erica, Jenn Field and on and on. The loving support is the most attractive aspects of yoga for me.

My family was directly affected by Lung cancer in 2010-2011 when my sister- in -law Rae Lui (who was also a Yoga instructor) was diagnosed with Lung Cancer and spent a year in and out of the hospital before she passed. As with my brother Nick, my heart just goes out to Jeff & Jen. The one thing that really impressed me about Jen’s diagnosis is her focus on living. Really? Yes, really.

yoga-roz

ADVICE

Q: Is there one piece of advice you’d give someone who’s in need of encouragement regarding their body, body-image, self-confidence, food, or life in general?

A: Live. Listen to yourself. Journal. Everything belongs. Shatter the myths of diets. Be Patient with yourself and others. Know that you matter, and that you are perfect and beautiful. Love yourself more than anyone else ever can. You can do great things, just by giving your smile. Much peace and love I wish for you on our journey of life.

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Thank you, Roz! I am so honored to share some of your story and to have you in my life! Love you big time!

You can connect with Roz via Facebook.

To donate to Jen you can click here or mail to: Jen Bulik-Lang 650 Castro Street, Suite 120-280 Mountain View, CA 94041

They are 75% to their goal for her Bucket List vacation to Hawaii!

post format inspired entirely by Kelly Rae’s Possibiltarian Project Interviews.

 

Conversations On Confidence: Anne

campaign-for-confidence-anne

Campaign For Confidence is so much more than a mostly naked photo with strategically placed produce. It’s more than a Kale Yeah! Sticker stuck to a bathroom mirror. It’s more than a blog post… it’s a movement. It’s a celebration of our bodies + the journey to love them. The simple truth is that our insecurities run deep and it takes years of exploration, work and forgiveness to love + accept ourselves just the way we are. The path is flooded with tears, self-loathing and the ever present “I’ll start tomorrow” followed by one last pint of ice cream… sound familiar?

This blog series is devoted to telling the real life stories of the people behind the Campaign For Confidence photos.

Join the Campaign here. Contact us to share your story in a future Conversation on Confidence! You must join the Campaign via a photo submission to get in on the conversation.

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A little background on how this series was born:

I just got back from vacation in California... we were getting ready for dinner out with friends one night and I was just SO UNCOMFORTABLE in my clothes. My jeans were way too tight, my bra was cutting into me. All those old insecurities came rushing back in. I looked at Cliff on the verge of tears but trying to keep it light and said "I have a fucking Campaign for this! I thought I was through this...are- uh- these jeans OK?" He looked at me and with so much love in his eyes and voice said, "Lace, You're beautiful (long pause just looking at me and making sure I was really getting it) and your ass looks great in those jeans. THEY are my favorite." I rallied and pulled myself together. We went to dinner and tried not to fluff my shirt the entire time. I spent half the dinner bobbing between feeling like a failure that I'd somehow reverted back to a version of myself that I thought was long gone and then saying really nice things to myself that I completely know to be true. The other half I was present, enjoying our friends and forgot about the soft fold of skin laying on top of my jeans.

As I laid down for bed that night I felt grateful for this life, for this Campaign, for each and everyone of the women + men standing bravely next to me so beautifully in their skin. It feels so true that we teach that which we most need to learn. Conversations on Confidence has been floating around in my mind for some time. After this experience I knew it was time to begin.

I believe in sharing our stories. I believe in the common threads that run through our experiences. I hope that reading this series will bring "stuff" up for you. That you'll remember that you're not alone, that we are all in this together. That you will see something that prompts you to be more loving to yourself mind, body and spirit.

I am so honored to introduce Anne Hofweber for our first Conversation on Confidence! Anne is an Ayurvedic Practitioner, dear friend + my new Campaign Manager for the Campaign For Confidence (doesn't reading Campaign Manager just make you smile)! You can interact with her daily at the Campaign for Confidence Facebook page!

To getting real,

Lacy

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meet anne

THEN + NOW + TOMORROW

THEN

Q: Who were you before you joined the Campaign For Confidence? Is your story one of body image? Eating disorder? Control-freak or loss thereof? Never working out or working out constantly? Were you told or taught things early on in childhood that contributed to your self-confidence or lack thereof?

A: Over the course of my 34 years in this body I have both loved and hated it. I have had times where I was a control-freak about every calorie that went into my body and I have had times where I could eat a huge helping of potato chips and not care. There have been periods where I went to the gym every single day for two hours and periods where I only worked out a couple times a month.

I don't think I was too conscious of my body image until 5th grade when a boy told me that I needed to get a bra-- I was mortified. I was a competitive gymnast until 8th grade, and I soon as I stopped the rigorous workouts my body grew/developed rapidly and I ended up with tons of stretch marks which were (are?) a total embarrassment.

NOW

Q: Who are you now? Give us a sense of why you took the leap to get naked and take a photo?

A: In the last few years I have made progress towards fully loving and accepting my body, but there are still days I look in the mirror and want to cry. When I got out the shower today, I thought: Hmm, I look pretty good. Tomorrow, I may see nothing but fat. I think the biggest change for me has been that even when I do see fat, I don't automatically translate that to my feeling of self-worth.

TOMORROW

Q: What are you still working on in terms of your self-confidence? Are there parts of your body that you really, really want to love, but you haven’t fully gotten there?

A: I am in place now where I would rather enjoy my life than have a perfect body. If that means being a few pounds over my ideal weight, oh well. I think that for me, focusing on the future or setting goals about by body, my weight, or my confidence would mean that I am not happy where I am at. And I am pretty darn happy right now.

Anne-loves-trees

TRANSFORMATION

Q: Was there a moment of truth in your life when everything changed?

A: Learning to be happy with who I am inside and out did not happen overnight. It's been a gradual progression and I've been influenced by many strong, happy, beautiful women. And men.

anne-open-arms

FOOD

Q: Food is a powerful vehicle for change. When you change what goes into your body you change what comes out. I love the question that Wayne Dyer often talks about “What do you get when you squeeze an orange? Orange juice of course! And so what do you get when you squeeze you?” What role does food play in your life?

A: I feel like most of the time I ooze, love, compassion and possibility! Somedays you could squeeze some beer out, but more often it's fruit and kale. My approach to food has relaxed so much over the years. Most of the time, I eat real, healthy, whole foods. I am no longer afraid of fat-- I love ghee, coconut oil, and whole milk. When I eat something not so healthy, I don't feel guilty and I don't punish myself.

anne-river-boat

BRAG

Q: What have you created in yourself, in your life that you’re proud of?

A: I try to treat myself the same way I would a friend-- I wouldn't tell a friend that she was a fat pig so I am not going to tell myself that either. And vice versa, by being more accepting of myself, I am more accepting of other people. By having a more relaxed approach to food, during meals I am able to more fully enjoy and focus on the people around me.

anne-river

ADVICE

Q: Is there one piece of advice you’d give someone who’s in need of encouragement regarding their body, body-image, self-confidence, food, or life in general?

A: My #1 piece of advice is to not stress so much about everything little thing that you put into your body. The mental toxins that you create by feeling guilty will do more damage than eating three servings a french fries!

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Thank you, Anne! I am so honored to share some of your story and to have you in my life! Love you big time!

You can connect with Anne via:

Website : Twitter : Campaign for Confidence Facebook Page

post format inspired entirely by Kelly Rae's Possibiltarian Project Interviews.