Boudoir Reflections

I’m a big believer that if you want to make a change, you have to push yourself outside your comfort zone. Wanting change means that you want something different than what you have right now. But you’ll never get anything different unless you do something different.

For me, doing something different began three months ago when a Groupon for a Boudoir Photography Session landed in my inbox.

“No bloody way,” I told myself as I instantly thought of all my body issues. Then I paused.

How I feel about my body is one of the things I want to change about myself. So in spite of my fear and self-loathing, I decided to purchase it.

As usual, I put WAY too much thought into this activity. And WAY too much money. The process of prepping for my photo shoot was long and drawn out (Part 1, Part 2, Freak Out, Boudoir 1, Boudoir 2, Boudoir 3, Boudoir 4, Boudoir 5, Boudoir 6).  But it was also a lot of fun.

I loved looking at other women’s boudoir photos.  I loved shopping for lingerie, jewelry, and shoes.  It was fun to check out hair and makeup on Pinterest.

But all the time, I kept wondering if I was going to chicken out.  Could I go through with it?  Had I not invested so much money in this activity, I might have skipped out on it.  But I was financially committed, and that was good enough for me.

I learned a lot about myself during my photo shoot.  To begin with, I was very good at asking for what I wanted.  I’d done my research, I knew what I wanted.  Even standing in a room with naught but my underwear on, I was able to tell the photographer EXACTLY what I expected.  Kudos to me.

I also discovered that it’s okay to do it your own way.  You don’t have to do it the way others do it.  When I first started researching boudoir poses on Pinterest, it seemed every woman was a size 2 wearing a thong and a push up bra with thigh-highs, sky-high hair, and heavy makeup.  That wasn’t me.  I wanted to be dressed down and ready for bed.  And that’s how I posed.  Yes, it made for a lot of nudity but I enjoyed taking it off for the camera.

Not surprisingly, I got in touch with my sexy side.  Now granted, she’s not that far away at any given time, but for my photo shoot, my inner vixen came out in full force.  I used to avoid looking at my body in the mirror, and during the photo shoot, I stared at my body in the mirror.  Definitely bodacious!  Now I’m not saying I’ve been cured of my body dysmorphia, but I can say I take it all with a grain of salt now.

My final lesson was a lesson in limits.  I learned that a self-limiting belief is only limiting until you LET IT GO.  The old story I told myself was that I don’t look good naked – my legs are too thick, my butt is too big, and my stomach is too soft.  I have constantly restricted my clothes and my activities in order to “hide” these flaws.  But there I was at my boudoir photo shoot, putting them all on display for the camera.  Suddenly, those “thick” legs felt strong and powerful.  My “big” butt looked appealing, and my “soft” stomach felt womanly.  I felt gloriously sensual, sexy, and all-woman.

THIS IS THE STORY I SHOULD BE TELLING MYSELF, NOT THE OLD STORY.

So my parting words of advice to all the ladies out there are:  Book your own boudoir session.  You won’t regret it.

And also?  If I can get naked and post pictures to the internet, then you can definitely take whatever that first step is toward changing your own story.

Boudoir Reflections

I’m a big believer that if you want to make a change, you have to push yourself outside your comfort zone. Wanting change means that you want something different than what you have right now. But you’ll never get anything different unless you do something different.

For me, doing something different began three months ago when a Groupon for a Boudoir Photography Session landed in my inbox.

“No bloody way,” I told myself as I instantly thought of all my body issues. Then I paused.

How I feel about my body is one of the things I want to change about myself. So in spite of my fear and self-loathing, I decided to purchase it.

As usual, I put WAY too much thought into this activity. And WAY too much money. The process of prepping for my photo shoot was long and drawn out (Part 1, Part 2, Freak Out, Boudoir 1, Boudoir 2, Boudoir 3, Boudoir 4, Boudoir 5, Boudoir 6).  But it was also a lot of fun.

I loved looking at other women’s boudoir photos.  I loved shopping for lingerie, jewelry, and shoes.  It was fun to check out hair and makeup on Pinterest.

But all the time, I kept wondering if I was going to chicken out.  Could I go through with it?  Had I not invested so much money in this activity, I might have skipped out on it.  But I was financially committed, and that was good enough for me.

I learned a lot about myself during my photo shoot.  To begin with, I was very good at asking for what I wanted.  I’d done my research, I knew what I wanted.  Even standing in a room with naught but my underwear on, I was able to tell the photographer EXACTLY what I expected.  Kudos to me.

I also discovered that it’s okay to do it your own way.  You don’t have to do it the way others do it.  When I first started researching boudoir poses on Pinterest, it seemed every woman was a size 2 wearing a thong and a push up bra with thigh-highs, sky-high hair, and heavy makeup.  That wasn’t me.  I wanted to be dressed down and ready for bed.  And that’s how I posed.  Yes, it made for a lot of nudity but I enjoyed taking it off for the camera.

Not surprisingly, I got in touch with my sexy side.  Now granted, she’s not that far away at any given time, but for my photo shoot, my inner vixen came out in full force.  I used to avoid looking at my body in the mirror, and during the photo shoot, I stared at my body in the mirror.  Definitely bodacious!  Now I’m not saying I’ve been cured of my body dysmorphia, but I can say I take it all with a grain of salt now.

My final lesson was a lesson in limits.  I learned that a self-limiting belief is only limiting until you LET IT GO.  The old story I told myself was that I don’t look good naked – my legs are too thick, my butt is too big, and my stomach is too soft.  I have constantly restricted my clothes and my activities in order to “hide” these flaws.  But there I was at my boudoir photo shoot, putting them all on display for the camera.  Suddenly, those “thick” legs felt strong and powerful.  My “big” butt looked appealing, and my “soft” stomach felt womanly.  I felt gloriously sensual, sexy, and all-woman.

THIS IS THE STORY I SHOULD BE TELLING MYSELF, NOT THE OLD STORY.

So my parting words of advice to all the ladies out there are:  Book your own boudoir session.  You won’t regret it.

And also?  If I can get naked and post pictures to the internet, then you can definitely take whatever that first step is toward changing your own story.

The boudoir debacle

So I signed up for a second boudoir photo session.  Mostly because I figure it will take me a few times to get it right.  If once is good, twice is better, natch.

But the process of trying to schedule my session with the photographer was an absolute nightmare.  First I had to take pictures of myself in my lingerie and send them to the photographer.  So of course I did this and the pictures all looked like hell.  But whatever, I did it.  Now I’m ready to schedule my session.  We went back and forth on dates.  I felt like I was being given the run around.  Is this his business or not?  He was unprofessional.  Not getting back to me in a timely manner.  Not replying to my texts.  Changing dates on me.  It felt like he didn’t want my business.

I couldn’t help but feel like I was being singled out because I wasn’t a size 2.  Would he be as challenging to work with if I looked like Kate Upton?

Of course the WHOLE point of this process is to face my fears and body issues and just have a beautiful time being me.

And now I’m feeling a little gun shy.

I’ll get over it.  I’ll force myself to get over it.

And as a promise to myself and a friend, I snapped this pic of me in a man’s white dress shirt.

See…. I can be photogenic!

photo(33)

The post about the crazy stuff I’ve signed up to do

a49c471483d7afc3c5d2566ae82a8ef6So, in an effort to get myself out of the house and doing fun things while meeting new people (hopefully guys), I signed up for the Outdoor Adventure Club, How About A Date Meetup, the Los Gatos Buddhists Meetup, the Hot Springs Adventure Group, and the San Francisco Homebrewers Guild, and the Bay Area Outdoor Adventures Group along with two new dating websites – How About We and How About A Date.

Whew!  I am literally exhausted trying to keep up with all the emails.  But I did manage to do the following:

  1.  Arrange for two men to take me on the same date AT DIFFERENT TIMES (glow-in-the-dark Frisbee on the beach plus a bonfire)
  2. Sign up for my Boudoir photography shoot with Celebrate Your Sexy (May 18th y’all, sorry you’re going to have to wait for the fruits of that labor)
  3. Go on a rainy hike through Elephant Seals at Ano Nuevo State Park
  4. Sign up to go ocean kayaking and whale watching in Santa Cruz on March 22nd
  5. Arrange for a Lebanese-American to take me to Arabian Nights in SF for dinner (fantastic, if you know my dad is Lebanese
  6. Take an Introduction to pole dancing class (remind me to buy some hot pants to wear)
  7. Sign up for a beer making class at workshop SF in SF (woo hoo… beer! Let me be your brewmistress!)

In retrospect, going on the same date with two different men is a little ballsy of me.  But hey, all’s fair in love and war and this is a bit of both, don’t you think?  I’m actually really looking forward to all of it with the exception of taking off my clothes in front of a camera which will capture it all.

But I’m already working on figuring out what four outfits to wear for it, and since you’re all so helpful, come back and vote as I suggest possible lingerie outfits (with pics) to wear for the photoshoot.

And wish me luck with all the other activities, I’m going to need it!