self-portrait 3/9/10

Before I started my weight loss journey I didn't give much thought to how my body looked. I took the time to look presentable in public but I never lamented my thunder thighs or jiggly butt. I suppose I became accustomed to being a "voluptuous curvy girl" and accepted myself as a size 16. However, when I finally decided to live healthy and incorporate exercise and good food in my life on a regular basis things started to change. As the weight started to come off I became more and more aware of my body. The dimples in my thighs, the stretch marks on my stomach and the fact that I actually have a stomach become evident as the pounds dropped. When you are big all around it is easier to ignore the bulging tummy because everything is bulging and it is statusquo.

But as my waist cinches and my breasts get smaller I can see a change. My belly that was flat before I had my son is now puffy. The c-section and a prior surgery have left my stomach muscles weak and it is more apparent that I have a belly now. Although I never had this problem before, I sometimes have a muffin top depending on the fit of jeans. Despite my elation about losing almost 35 pounds, I find myself sometimes doing the negative self talk thing. Just today I told my girlfriend I wear a size 10 and qualified it by saying "but only in the stretchy jeans".

I look at my belly and think - "wow, it is big and I have so much work to do" rather than celebrating how far I've come. I see the stretch marks on my sides from birthing my son and think that I may never feel comfortable in a two piece again. Most of the time I am positive but like all people I have my moments. I recently started reading a book by celebrity trainer Kacy Duke called "The Show It Love Workout" and I am truly enjoying it. Unlike other exercise books this one begins by focusing on emotions. I am in the first chapter "I Am" and this chapter is all about being thankful for my body.

Thankful for this belly that held my son for 9.5 months and delivered a healthy baby. Thankful for these boobs that are droopy but who cares, they nourished my son for the first 13 months of his life. Thankful for this stretch marks that are evidence of the beautiful body I had when I was pregnant. And thankful for these thunder thighs that carry me on a daily basis and enable me to walk and exercise. I am truly thankful for my body - as it is. With this acceptance I can move on and continue my journey. I may or may not lose any more weight but I will be fit and healthy because I am committed to maintaining this lifestyle. Not because I want to change my body but because I want to live and be healthy for the rest of my lifetime. Scale or no scale.

And so, to celebrate my love of self, I am posting this picture. Here I am in all my glory, 167.6 pounds. I may lose a few more or gain a few more but I can honestly say that I am happy! Self-Love comes first and everything else will fall into place. Remember that. And if you are so inclined, post a photo of yourself too!


You look fabulous.

You are also inspiring.

Al_Pal said…
You look gorgeous, and it shows on your face that you see it, too.

Size 10 is *Slender*!

Congrats on your journey and self-acceptance. So happy for you.
Dayhomemama said…
You are looking incredible, every time I see you it inspires me to get healthy too. I have joined WW and so far have lost a total of 12 lbs in 7 weeks...I have a long way too, but you make me feel like I am on a great path!! Thanks so much!
You look amazing girl...keep up the good work.
T.Allen-Mercado said…
Renee you are all about it and you are onto something when you start choosing to be happy with each chapter of the body's story. I have to keep reminding myself that no, I'm no longer 125 pounds. I'm no longer young single and naive either, I'm a mother, wife, entrepreneur, I'm a goddess all 150 pounds of, stretched out gooey, droopy,lumpy wonderful me! (I can't believe I just said that out loud, well sorta)
Looking good, girl. You are right, we all need to appreciate ourselves and be thankful for what we have. And let's not forget that we are getting better every day!
Beadwright said…
Reading your post tonight brings tears to my eyes. Not of sadness but because you have accomplished so much. You have set your mind to do something,loose weight, and in this journey you have learned something that so many women of all ages never do. Acceptance and love for self. You are a hero to all who read this. And as always you are beautiful.
Stesha said…
Renee, you are so beautiful...inner and outer. You are helping so many people by posting your weight-loss journey. You really motivate me to keep going!

Hugs and Mocha,
1stopmom said…
This was a wonderful post Renee. Definitely a great way to look at. To appreciate the journey through life we take and to be happy and thankful. I love this picture of you.
Allison M. said…
hell yes for self love.

I immediately think of Dove and real beauty campaign because I'm so over these false ideas of how we are supposed to look.
Karena said…
You made me cry, Renee. I'm really happy for you that you're working through that negative self talk. You are beautiful, just the way you are!
Lady Legacy said…
I second what everyone, especially Karen and Allison said above.

As a female rap artist, I've been driven to see what media says I'm supposed to look like. I used to thank God for Photoshop.

All this spring semester, I've been exercising and combating the negative "not good enough" battle in my mind only finding myself in a slump till I woke up this morning and read this post.

I have to celebrate that I can see what was under those folds of fat. I'm so happy to have you as my eGirly-Friend. You are inspirational, Mrs. Ross, beautiful and BOLD!

BTW, I'm exfoliating with a loofah using Ambi Complexion Bars then following up out the shower with organic olive & coconut oils from Whole Foods. Moisturized (natural glow/shine) skin makes out an "even tone" it seems. Keep up the awesome work!
Houseonahillorg said…

Thank you for reminding us that much of our sagging, if we are moms, came from important work. I try to remind myself that they are imprints of our love and devotion! I too nursed my son, and carried him, and look at my lil sack and think will it ever go away??? honey my sack is 14 years old! You look wonderful and really have encourage me that while I honor my sack, it is time to let it go! :-)
You go, momma! You look amazing!

I often feel the same. Now that I've lost weight, I have loose skin, and it ANGERS me at times. I know I won't fit into a 2-piece comfortably, mainly because of the skin on my belly. And instead of focusing on the abs getting stronger behind that skin, I see just the skin. But I am trying, though, I really am.
Brooke said…
self acceptance is so difficult for me sometimes - you seem to have it all figured out. good for you! :)
Thank you for being so candid about your weight loss story. It's encouraging for me to see another woman in "all her glory" sharing her feelings of thankfulness and acceptance.
You go girl!
Anonymous said…
You look GREAT!!!
@FitInMyHeart said…
I always knew there was something special about you on Twitter BUT your Blog explains it ALL!!!! WELL DONE!!! Thank you for reminding us to Embrace the Beauty... THAT IS US!!! Awesome!!!
Dr. Mo
Christy M. said…
I am SO proud of you. You look AMAZING. Seriously. You are the incredible shrinking woman!

Your weight loss journey is so inspiring to so many. Keep it up, girl!! You don't have much farther to go.

*Tanyetta* said…


I know that your husband and son feel extra proud of you. We are all rooting for your success.
Los Angelista said…
Rock the house, Renee! So glad that you're getting closer and closer to your fitness goals. After I run the marathon in 2 weeks I'm all about trying to lose some pounds and keep them off - because that's where I ALWAYS fall down. I have gained and lost the same freakin' dozen pounds for pretty much my whole adult life. Anyway, kudos to you. love you!
Wifey said…
That's awesome! You look fabulous! Yay, you!

Winks & Smiles,
april said…
A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!! You look great and are doing great!!
Renee, you're looking great!
Miz said…
That race is at night (!) so I might neeeed to relay as Im a morning woman.
now, we need to git disney to sponsor us :)
want me to see what i can dig up?
will you be at Fitbloggin next week?

all that :)

WOW girl... you look AHH-MAZING! You should be sooo proud! Keep up the good work :)
AnnG said…
You have come so far and you are looking HAWT, girl!! So much change in such a short amount of time, shows how dedicated you are to making yourself into a healthy, happy woman! Keep up the good work!
Your bolder than me but any size your fab!

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