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.
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,
THEN + NOW + TOMORROW
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
post format inspired entirely by Kelly Rae's Possibiltarian Project Interviews.