I did something radical today.

I took off my clothes and took some pictures.

All the way around. Every angle. Photos of all the curvy, lumpy and dimply angles.

This was a harsh wake up call.

I knew I had lost the connection between myself and my body. I know that I avoid mirrors and pictures. I’m aware of the shame I feel when standing naked in the sight lines of my daughter. But I didn’t know how unhealthy I looked. That the battle I was having with my body wasn’t a secret. People know. They can see it.

I look like I gave up.

I struggle with these feelings about my body. I watch #bodypositive accounts with a great deal of awe and admiration. Women of all sizes have learned to love their bodies, EMBRACE their bodies, as is. They have made the decision not to hide. They show their bodies with pride, filter free and all.

Yet here I am hiding behind angles pointing up and a filter to make my skin look peachy and blemish free.

I want to love myself that way, and I do, to an extent. But if I showed myself more love, I wouldn’t be in this situation.

All I can do is speak for myself and speak my own truth.

I have every right to love the body I am in. I have every right to wear a swimsuit and dance in the beach. I have every right to be a sexual being. I have every right to wear lingerie and high heels. I have every right to do all of those things AS I AM.

And I have every right to do that without ridicule or judgement from others. Including myself.

However, the relationship I have with my body is disordered. Somewhere along the line I lost my connection with it. I used food and drink as refuge from feelings. I use fat to discourage advances. I feed my feelings when really I need to nourish my soul.

So, here I am. I’ve got a stack of “before” photos now. I promise myself that these aren’t going to be the photos I disparage or hate on when I’m looking back from a different vantage point. These will be the photos that remind me of the love I need to show myself, and my body. They are the photos of a woman who looks after her family but just needed to look after herself first.