Body Positive Project

At the end of 2017 I did a project, just for me - to feed my soul as I had a vision in my head and wanted to see it come to fruition. I didn't realize while planning how many amazing women would connect to the intent of my vision and jump on board, and I certainly didn't understand at that time the impact it would have on all of us. I am so thankful for this project due to so many reasons. On the day of the project most of the women were so scared and nervous, you could hear breathing in the room and it was quite silent at first while they all arrived, I mean they were about to get in their underwear infront of strangers, this was completely acceptable but then... the conversation started, the cheering each other on, and the solidarity of being there for one another and the purpose of empowerment bled through each individual, the room, the air as they empowered each other to do the next outfit or the next pose. By the end the ladies were encouraging each other to do fun posing and showing personality, it was truly a beautiful feeling in the room and it was incredible to see how strangers quickly became friends. Apparently the basis for friendship is well you've seen me in my undies so we are friends now haha. But seriously, it was incredible!!! You will see a huge transformation in the images I believe as well. 

The purpose of this project however wasn't just to have fun and make connections, we were there for a purpose. I personally had the intent to showcase that women of ALL bodies, shapes, sizes, colours are beautiful and that body positivity has no limits and no pre-qualifications! I wanted to show the solidarity in women when we empower each other. Choosing to lift each other up is such a greater choice than trying to keep each other down or comparing. 

We had women of all different walks of life and we had women who were there for so many different reasons. Some women wanted to showcase to their children or niece/nephews that beauty is in all shapes and sizes and that they wanted their strength showcased so that these younger people had someone to look up to in this way. Some wanted to accept themselves and where they are in their journey. I have a little write up for each woman involved in this project below, I hope one if not all of these women speak to something inside of you and allow you to understand that beauty isn't what we are measured on for we are all beautiful! We need to accept and love bodies for what they do for us, but that the outside of us does not mark our value on this world. We are all worthy, have value, and are enough! We deserve to command space, we deserve to make our presence known, we deserve to be treated with respect and value! 

I love hearing how the project effected these amazing women. I have included below their image what they said about it after. It's pretty remarkable how every lady has her own story yet we all came together for this amazing project. I hope you enjoy reading their story, I know I did. 

Thank you to all the ladies who took part in this project, from the bottom of my heart. I hope this project allowed you to start feeling the rumbling of change in your body and push you further along your self-love journey. I know you all changed my life and my heart grew so many more sizes as I met all of you lovely women. Thank you <3 

**Please note: some of the images roll through on a carousel, so please click on the roll left/right so that you can see all the images in the roll**

 It’s hard to see yourself through somebody else’s eyes, and when you have been torn down by your weight, size and shape for so long, your mind is clouded with a negative self image. I am learning to love myself more and more each day. Stepping into this project was such a blessing. Being in a room with 25 other women who were there fighting the same battle was so empowering, and nobody else other than Shannon could help me see what I had been missing about myself. I am beautiful. I am fierce. I am valuable.

It’s hard to see yourself through somebody else’s eyes, and when you have been torn down by your weight, size and shape for so long, your mind is clouded with a negative self image. I am learning to love myself more and more each day. Stepping into this project was such a blessing. Being in a room with 25 other women who were there fighting the same battle was so empowering, and nobody else other than Shannon could help me see what I had been missing about myself. I am beautiful. I am fierce. I am valuable.

 &nbsp;I was feeling good about my body until various things came together to reverse a lot of my progress. On the day of I still felt better than my worst moments, but not as good as my best moments. Deep down I knew that there was nothing "bad" or "wrong" or "ugly" about my body and that of course no one there was thinking those things about me, but there was still a lot of anxiety and hesitation with my own personal feelings bubbling up and telling me some negative stuff, and telling me I needed to change things. But I know that doing this project, interacting with the community and getting out there even more is all going to help me get back to a place of self love and confidence.It's crazy how much of a difference it makes just knowing there's places where you will find immediate love instead of immediate judgement. And I definitely felt that in the room.

 I was feeling good about my body until various things came together to reverse a lot of my progress. On the day of I still felt better than my worst moments, but not as good as my best moments. Deep down I knew that there was nothing "bad" or "wrong" or "ugly" about my body and that of course no one there was thinking those things about me, but there was still a lot of anxiety and hesitation with my own personal feelings bubbling up and telling me some negative stuff, and telling me I needed to change things. But I know that doing this project, interacting with the community and getting out there even more is all going to help me get back to a place of self love and confidence.It's crazy how much of a difference it makes just knowing there's places where you will find immediate love instead of immediate judgement. And I definitely felt that in the room.

 This project was a positive step in the body positivity movement. It has impacted me because It is amazing to see a group of women come together to be proud of their bodies. Supporting each other in moments that might feel vulnerable. It was exciting and the energy in the room was contagious!&nbsp;

This project was a positive step in the body positivity movement. It has impacted me because It is amazing to see a group of women come together to be proud of their bodies. Supporting each other in moments that might feel vulnerable. It was exciting and the energy in the room was contagious! 

 Every time I walk into a room I feel like I'm always judged on my appearance. I've always been described as the fat girl. For once in my life I felt like I walking into a room and wasn't judged with in seconds and wasn't judged for how I looked. I've never felt so inspired and empowered before.&nbsp;The group session is helping me accept me for me and helping me realize I need to love me regardless of what I look like on the inside. If someone doesn't want to accept me for me I don't want them in my life.

Every time I walk into a room I feel like I'm always judged on my appearance. I've always been described as the fat girl. For once in my life I felt like I walking into a room and wasn't judged with in seconds and wasn't judged for how I looked. I've never felt so inspired and empowered before. The group session is helping me accept me for me and helping me realize I need to love me regardless of what I look like on the inside. If someone doesn't want to accept me for me I don't want them in my life.

 This project was a huge step for me, and has started me on a journey to accept my body and be happy with the person I am. I have started to take negative out of my life, and am working to surround myself with positivity and love. I want to continue down this path, and I believe that I'm really building up the arsenal to do so!&nbsp;I am overcoming a fear of being seen for who I really am. I don't want to hide my body anymore. This was definitely a part of the healing process, and a big step in becoming the real me.

This project was a huge step for me, and has started me on a journey to accept my body and be happy with the person I am. I have started to take negative out of my life, and am working to surround myself with positivity and love. I want to continue down this path, and I believe that I'm really building up the arsenal to do so! I am overcoming a fear of being seen for who I really am. I don't want to hide my body anymore. This was definitely a part of the healing process, and a big step in becoming the real me.

 I have been through the gamut of emotions since the day of this project taking place.&nbsp; : &nbsp;I have been on a body positive/fat acceptance/self love journey for years at this point. But it's all been mental work, emotional work so far. This was one of the first times I stepped up and did something physical. So I would say that I felt OKAY with my body before hand. And now I would say I feel like a damn rock star. Don't get me wrong I still get hit with waves of doubt and shame (let's be honest, what womxn doesn't??) but they are smaller, and they come less frequently since beginning to take real world action.

I have been through the gamut of emotions since the day of this project taking place. : I have been on a body positive/fat acceptance/self love journey for years at this point. But it's all been mental work, emotional work so far. This was one of the first times I stepped up and did something physical. So I would say that I felt OKAY with my body before hand. And now I would say I feel like a damn rock star. Don't get me wrong I still get hit with waves of doubt and shame (let's be honest, what womxn doesn't??) but they are smaller, and they come less frequently since beginning to take real world action.

 &nbsp;I am trying to spread the word about self acceptance as we age and our bodies change. Even though I was much older than everyone else i felt comfortable being there with the knowledge that we are all trying to achieve self love throughout our lives. We always have to remind ourselves how freaking fabulous we are, every step of the way.

 I am trying to spread the word about self acceptance as we age and our bodies change. Even though I was much older than everyone else i felt comfortable being there with the knowledge that we are all trying to achieve self love throughout our lives. We always have to remind ourselves how freaking fabulous we are, every step of the way.

 I am a plus size body positive yoga teacher and Inquiry coach....the fact that I can actually say that out loud with a straight face is absolutely a miracle!&nbsp;  I’ve been in a larger body basically my entire life. I’ve always felt like it’s held me back from doing the things I’ve really wanted to do and kept me in jobs and relationships that I knew were wrong for me...but I just wanted to fit in...somewhere.&nbsp;  I worked corporately for over a decade, every day I would bring my whole self to the office and every day another chip would break from the every increasingly smaller whole that I was becoming. I didn’t fit or belong, round body, square hole.&nbsp;  I began taking regular yoga classes after my first child was born in 2011. I slowly started gaining strength and flexibility, both in my body and in my mind. In 2015 I decided I’d take my yoga teacher training “some day”. With a full time job, now 2 children at home and an hour commute every day finding time to get to a class, let alone take any training, was difficult. In 2016 I was part of a mass lay off at the company I had been working for. It was a blow financially and also to the ego I had been carrying around for several decades...but it was also the first time i took a full inhale in as many years.&nbsp;I am a certified yoga instructor, an Inquiry Coach and a Body Positive Warrior. Through the entire process I learned that most of the things holding us back are actually just things we put in our own way. And that’s pretty damn empowering!&nbsp;  Right now in my body I feel...grateful! I feel so so grateful that as much as I’ve hated this body over the years, it never gave up on me, and it NEVER hated me back. I am learning to love my body beyond its physical appearance and to care less, SO MUCH LESS, about what society and the media thinks I should look like. The more I become friends with this animal of mine, the more I find the beauty in its wholeness.  I think every act of self love is a defiance of societal norms and of healing the relationship with self, so yes this project helped continue the healing journey for me. Thanks you

I am a plus size body positive yoga teacher and Inquiry coach....the fact that I can actually say that out loud with a straight face is absolutely a miracle! 

I’ve been in a larger body basically my entire life. I’ve always felt like it’s held me back from doing the things I’ve really wanted to do and kept me in jobs and relationships that I knew were wrong for me...but I just wanted to fit in...somewhere. 

I worked corporately for over a decade, every day I would bring my whole self to the office and every day another chip would break from the every increasingly smaller whole that I was becoming. I didn’t fit or belong, round body, square hole. 

I began taking regular yoga classes after my first child was born in 2011. I slowly started gaining strength and flexibility, both in my body and in my mind. In 2015 I decided I’d take my yoga teacher training “some day”. With a full time job, now 2 children at home and an hour commute every day finding time to get to a class, let alone take any training, was difficult. In 2016 I was part of a mass lay off at the company I had been working for. It was a blow financially and also to the ego I had been carrying around for several decades...but it was also the first time i took a full inhale in as many years. I am a certified yoga instructor, an Inquiry Coach and a Body Positive Warrior. Through the entire process I learned that most of the things holding us back are actually just things we put in our own way. And that’s pretty damn empowering! 

Right now in my body I feel...grateful! I feel so so grateful that as much as I’ve hated this body over the years, it never gave up on me, and it NEVER hated me back. I am learning to love my body beyond its physical appearance and to care less, SO MUCH LESS, about what society and the media thinks I should look like. The more I become friends with this animal of mine, the more I find the beauty in its wholeness.

I think every act of self love is a defiance of societal norms and of healing the relationship with self, so yes this project helped continue the healing journey for me. Thanks you

 &nbsp;I'm reminded I am not alone. The power of that group coming together, all being brave enough to be vulnerable (emotionally and physically) in a room full of strangers for many of us was very powerful. I think the power comes from not feeling alone, from hearing fears and nerves but also hearing confidence and affirmation! Now when I think negatively about my bodyI remember that room of all the bodies, all different and how I thought everyone was strong and beautiful and so fucking brave. How I didn't think anything negative about any of those people, so why should I think negatively about myself? Why do I assume other people think negatively about my body? Also, now when I have a moment of feeling positively about my body I remember the encouragement in that room and know I don't need to squash my fierce moments. I can take up space and love it.&nbsp;This has been a part of healing for sure - I've been thinking about how I can actually take care of my body better because I like it a bit more now. I never realized that I'd given up on it because I didn't like it. Thanks Shannon :)

 I'm reminded I am not alone. The power of that group coming together, all being brave enough to be vulnerable (emotionally and physically) in a room full of strangers for many of us was very powerful. I think the power comes from not feeling alone, from hearing fears and nerves but also hearing confidence and affirmation! Now when I think negatively about my bodyI remember that room of all the bodies, all different and how I thought everyone was strong and beautiful and so fucking brave. How I didn't think anything negative about any of those people, so why should I think negatively about myself? Why do I assume other people think negatively about my body? Also, now when I have a moment of feeling positively about my body I remember the encouragement in that room and know I don't need to squash my fierce moments. I can take up space and love it. This has been a part of healing for sure - I've been thinking about how I can actually take care of my body better because I like it a bit more now. I never realized that I'd given up on it because I didn't like it. Thanks Shannon :)

 I don’t know if there are words or only emotion.&nbsp;I can’t believe how a room full of strangers can build each other up to such an outstanding level.&nbsp;It’s incredible to feel so vulnerable and safe.&nbsp;It’s introduced me to a whole new level of woman

I don’t know if there are words or only emotion. I can’t believe how a room full of strangers can build each other up to such an outstanding level. It’s incredible to feel so vulnerable and safe. It’s introduced me to a whole new level of woman

 Afterwards I felt empowered about my body. I felt good about my body, the way that other women in the group cheer each other on when we did our individual and our group photos it was great. I felt so much about it that was positive there's no other words for it...it was positive. It's impacting me lately in ways that I couldn't believe.&nbsp;I thought that I would never be okay with my body, thought I would always be my body shape, that things didn't look right on me and now I have no problems flaunting it in a classy way. I mean I can also go around my house in underwear and I feel not self-conscious about it so I mean it's great!

Afterwards I felt empowered about my body. I felt good about my body, the way that other women in the group cheer each other on when we did our individual and our group photos it was great. I felt so much about it that was positive there's no other words for it...it was positive. It's impacting me lately in ways that I couldn't believe. I thought that I would never be okay with my body, thought I would always be my body shape, that things didn't look right on me and now I have no problems flaunting it in a classy way. I mean I can also go around my house in underwear and I feel not self-conscious about it so I mean it's great!

 &nbsp;I still struggle with being positive towards myself when it comes to my body. This day was beyond helpful when seeing so many women of all shapes and sizes just celebrating the beauty we all saw in each other. It filled my cup! We have to stop letting society tell us how we should look, or how we should feel about ourselves if we look a certain way. We are beautiful people inside which radiates outside. It also opened my eyes to the fact that all sizes can have body issues. Sometimes as a bigger girl you just don't realize that everyone can have a negative view of themselves for a variety of reasons. We need to accept everyone all the time.

 I still struggle with being positive towards myself when it comes to my body. This day was beyond helpful when seeing so many women of all shapes and sizes just celebrating the beauty we all saw in each other. It filled my cup! We have to stop letting society tell us how we should look, or how we should feel about ourselves if we look a certain way. We are beautiful people inside which radiates outside.
It also opened my eyes to the fact that all sizes can have body issues. Sometimes as a bigger girl you just don't realize that everyone can have a negative view of themselves for a variety of reasons. We need to accept everyone all the time.

 It felt amazing to be so uplifted. I knew walking in that it was going to be a safe space. That everyone was feeling the same nervousness. But what I don’t expect, and value the most about this experience was that I know that most often I am my worst enemy in regards to my body image. But when I was there, being surrrounded by all this love and support and beauty that these women helped me battle even myself. And surrounded by that I even felt beautiful. Another thing that was impactful (and didn’t happen at the shoot but was because of the shoot). It was before. I was quite challenged by the fierce outfit. I had tried on a million outfits. And had my partner there. And asked her a million times what I looked best in. And that night, we were laying in bed and I was just in my underwear and one of her button ups and we were just talking about our day and she piped up and said why don’t you wear that as your fierce? And I realized that is what I feel fierce in. It’s a time where I’m not pulling at what I’m wearing. Where I’m not so concerned about whats on my body but more so that I’m feeling fierce and amazing and most comfortable wearing the skin I am in. So when I went to the shoot the next day, a bouquet of nerves, I remembered how I felt so calm and comfortable the night before in what I was wearing and then to have all the girls giving suggestions and seeing beauty in me..... wow. Can I just say wow. And thank you.

It felt amazing to be so uplifted. I knew walking in that it was going to be a safe space. That everyone was feeling the same nervousness. But what I don’t expect, and value the most about this experience was that I know that most often I am my worst enemy in regards to my body image. But when I was there, being surrrounded by all this love and support and beauty that these women helped me battle even myself. And surrounded by that I even felt beautiful. Another thing that was impactful (and didn’t happen at the shoot but was because of the shoot). It was before. I was quite challenged by the fierce outfit. I had tried on a million outfits. And had my partner there. And asked her a million times what I looked best in. And that night, we were laying in bed and I was just in my underwear and one of her button ups and we were just talking about our day and she piped up and said why don’t you wear that as your fierce? And I realized that is what I feel fierce in. It’s a time where I’m not pulling at what I’m wearing. Where I’m not so concerned about whats on my body but more so that I’m feeling fierce and amazing and most comfortable wearing the skin I am in. So when I went to the shoot the next day, a bouquet of nerves, I remembered how I felt so calm and comfortable the night before in what I was wearing and then to have all the girls giving suggestions and seeing beauty in me..... wow. Can I just say wow. And thank you.

 The project has been great in many ways. It is inspiring to meet women who really believe in the body positivity movement and meet people without judgement, that there are women who are past this nonsense and accept their bodies and their own beauty. It is heartwarming to meet women who feel uncomfortable in their own skin and struggle but recognize the importance of body positivity and really want to feel good about themselves. Seeing women support each other and lift each other up is amazing and sadly we see it too little. This project had us cheering each other on and propping each other up. It was also really important to see how absolutely terrified some people were and how hard it was for them. People don't often want to share their vulnerabilities with others, they were very brave to push their boundaries. It is a reminder that there are women out there suffering, emotionally, mentally, physically, fighting unseen battles, women that we need to find and love and encourage and help in their journeys. The project reminded us that we are not alone in our feelings or our goals even if we can feel like we are. We are a community of women that can say we have had enough, our bodies are fine, beautiful even, but more importantly we are beautiful people and from what I saw in the room I am confident it will show through in the photos too.

The project has been great in many ways. It is inspiring to meet women who really believe in the body positivity movement and meet people without judgement, that there are women who are past this nonsense and accept their bodies and their own beauty. It is heartwarming to meet women who feel uncomfortable in their own skin and struggle but recognize the importance of body positivity and really want to feel good about themselves. Seeing women support each other and lift each other up is amazing and sadly we see it too little. This project had us cheering each other on and propping each other up. It was also really important to see how absolutely terrified some people were and how hard it was for them. People don't often want to share their vulnerabilities with others, they were very brave to push their boundaries. It is a reminder that there are women out there suffering, emotionally, mentally, physically, fighting unseen battles, women that we need to find and love and encourage and help in their journeys. The project reminded us that we are not alone in our feelings or our goals even if we can feel like we are. We are a community of women that can say we have had enough, our bodies are fine, beautiful even, but more importantly we are beautiful people and from what I saw in the room I am confident it will show through in the photos too.

 Such a fun morning meeting some new ladies. It felt so great to just feel comfortable existing in my own body with zero shame.&nbsp;Being with other women who felt shame with their bodies made me feel normal and by the end of the photoshoot I walked away with a huge smile and felt beautiful!

Such a fun morning meeting some new ladies. It felt so great to just feel comfortable existing in my own body with zero shame. Being with other women who felt shame with their bodies made me feel normal and by the end of the photoshoot I walked away with a huge smile and felt beautiful!

 I make sure that I always say somwthing positive about myself, my body, as a mom, a wife. I try to not allow "what will they think" to settle on the choices I make when getting dressed. I'm gorgeous and worthy. I try to see what my husband sees. I accept compliments now. I fought so hard for my son, just because he didn't fit what the expected was, I never fought for me and now I do.

I make sure that I always say somwthing positive about myself, my body, as a mom, a wife. I try to not allow "what will they think" to settle on the choices I make when getting dressed. I'm gorgeous and worthy. I try to see what my husband sees. I accept compliments now. I fought so hard for my son, just because he didn't fit what the expected was, I never fought for me and now I do.

 This day was amazing. To be in a room with all these beautiful women with even more beautiful bodies and smiles was incredible! I have never seen a sense of community and support for one another than I have like this. It was so EMPOWERING! Literally the word of the day! I feel like I can be myself and be confident no matter what I'm wearing, or what size I am!

This day was amazing. To be in a room with all these beautiful women with even more beautiful bodies and smiles was incredible! I have never seen a sense of community and support for one another than I have like this. It was so EMPOWERING! Literally the word of the day! I feel like I can be myself and be confident no matter what I'm wearing, or what size I am!

 I came early to help Shannon with the project, and I got to greet all of the ladies at the door and escort them to our space. Seeing everyone's face and feeling the different energies before and after was truly incredible. I could feel each and every one of those beautiful women without knowing anything about them, only thinking I knew what was inside me. But as I stood in that room with all of those women and their power I realized I felt way less confident than I usually come across.  I have always been a tiny person. It's in my genes. But growing up I always heard how much all the girls hated me because I was petite. Because I weighed less. Because my clothing size was smaller. "Omg I actually hate you, don't even talk to me about your insert body negativity here". I hated myself so I created an ego to make myself feel better. It was during the project, I realized that it doesn't matter how big or small, we all have things that we don't like about ourselves, but the journey to body positivity doesn't start on the outside (which is how I've always felt). It starts on the inside. It starts in your heart and travels outward. Our lives are too short to be anything but positive and loving and nourishing to ourselves.  Being a part of this beautiful project has changed my perspective on HOW to love myself so I can carry that through to loving others and accepting myself and everyone around me for who they are. Thank you to each and every one of you for your love and revitalizing energies.

I came early to help Shannon with the project, and I got to greet all of the ladies at the door and escort them to our space. Seeing everyone's face and feeling the different energies before and after was truly incredible. I could feel each and every one of those beautiful women without knowing anything about them, only thinking I knew what was inside me. But as I stood in that room with all of those women and their power I realized I felt way less confident than I usually come across.

I have always been a tiny person. It's in my genes. But growing up I always heard how much all the girls hated me because I was petite. Because I weighed less. Because my clothing size was smaller. "Omg I actually hate you, don't even talk to me about your insert body negativity here". I hated myself so I created an ego to make myself feel better. It was during the project, I realized that it doesn't matter how big or small, we all have things that we don't like about ourselves, but the journey to body positivity doesn't start on the outside (which is how I've always felt). It starts on the inside. It starts in your heart and travels outward. Our lives are too short to be anything but positive and loving and nourishing to ourselves.

Being a part of this beautiful project has changed my perspective on HOW to love myself so I can carry that through to loving others and accepting myself and everyone around me for who they are. Thank you to each and every one of you for your love and revitalizing energies.

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