In May of 2012, an amazing guy actually asked me to marry him... for real.... All me. Marriage. Forever. Didn't matter I was fat, or that I have a little girl, or all my issues, baggage, mistakes. He loves me and wanted to marry me... Go Freakin Figure. So I did what any girl (regardless of size) does... I went on a diet. Well, that lasted like a day or four maybe, but long story short, it didn't happen. I honestly came to the realization that I wanted to enjoy the wedding planning and not worry about every calorie or getting to the gym at butt crack of dawn in the morning. I wanted to test cake not do lunges.
This was a great plan until I realized that I was going to be my current size in a wedding dress. That meant arm fat, back fat, double chins, and my extra wide behind. Crap. Don't get me wrong, it obviously didn't bother me enough to stop eating pizza and cheesecake and go to the gym. It just meant that I was having to start to deal with the elephant in the room: my size and how it was holding me back. I didn't want to buy a dress or a garter or take cute pinterest wedding photos. Why? Nobody wants to see any of that. Truth is I didn't want to see that. My Person (aka fiance) loves me, he wants to see that. My friends and family who love me what to see that. I was the problem. That sucked.
Then one night on a real bad pinterest binge, I was looking at some really cute Boudior pictures. Boudior for those that don't know, are pictures that showcase you partially or scantily clad in various positions. It is not porn. You aren't doing anything gross. It's just romantic, a tad erotic, sexy pictures. My Person looks over and says... Wow thats hot, you should do that. Now, My Person doesn't drink and I am pretty sure he doesn't have a closet crack habit, so it is safe to say he really meant that. Was he insane? Fat girls don't do that... But it did make me search a little bit into "Plus Size Pin Up" and I was actually surprised. I love the look of curves on women, and I found tons of pictures of girls as big as or bigger than myself, that were photographed beautifully. But with all of these "body issues" who would I ever be comfortable enough to get half naked in front of and let them take a picture of me?
My wedding photographer Heatherbee, had suggested a colleague that might be able to help me. She said had a very soft, artistic style, had a private studio, and to top it off, she was a nurse!!! (which in my mind, meant there wasn't a body type she hadn't seen naked and therefore she would be less inclined to be grossed out by all of me) That is when I met Andi. I kinda fell in love with her.. She immediately put me at ease. She told me about her love of art and how she was proud of me for being open with my body. She told me I was beautiful and there was no reason why I shouldn't do it. Still, this was a huge leap for me. I don't even wear shorts. I try not to leave my arms uncovered. From that to naked.... was a kinda big deal for me.
This require some soul searching... I thought had accepted my body and my size. I have a man who adored me. I was at a point where I my self consciousness was really holding me back. If I wasn't going to lose the weight, (which I had no real desire to do) I had to get over it. I am the size that I am. I got this way from eating great food with great people, making great memories. I shouldn't be ashamed. Besides, these pictures were for my Person, and he loved me. I was going to do it.
I made a date with Andi that coincided with my hair and make up trial with Crystal from Eye Do Makeup & Hair and spent the next few weeks trying to figure out what the heck to wear. I asked my Person just what he thought I looked sexy in, and after keeping his testosterone poisoned mind on track (which is just as hard as you think that it would be) and took some cues from him. I grabbed some of his stuff and took a trip to my local Dayton Ohio Torrid, and I was set.
The day finally came and I was so nervous that I could puke. What the crap was I thinking? On what planet did I think this was going to turn out ok? I just kept myself busy, I went shopping, I got my nails and toes done and most of all kept telling myself that if I didn't like them, no one but me was ever going to see them. It was that thought alone that got me through until I got to Andi's Studio. She didn't rush me at all. She sat with me and just talked, not about the pictures we were about to take, but topics that would put me at ease. She offered me a cocktail to help me relax, and we discussed my outfits and what I really wanted and what I was comfortable doing. She took me on a tour of her studio and the different props she had available. Before I knew it, it was time to get started.
I won't lie, I was freaked out. Andi sensed it and was able to ease me into it. By about half an hour into it, I was having fun! Andi put on music that I loved, that kinda help bring out my "inner stripper". She made me feel like a model. She put me into poses that accenctuated my good parts and down played the parts I wasn't so ok with. I was doing things and showing parts that I had never done or shown and I was having a blast doing it. The two hour session flew by.
The next day, I was a little sore, but in a I kinda did Yoga good way. Andi already sent me a couple of preview pictures and I was floored.... I don't know who that girl in the picture is.... but she was hot. She was me. She was a girl in love, showing off for the person who loved her. She was comfortable and sexy, she was ok in her skin, ok with her rolls and stretch marks. She is me. I had photographic evidence. HA!!!
So, my recommendation: Do it! Get over yourself. Have Fun. It is true what they say about the only people who have a problem with fat people are skinny ones. I found out later that me doing the photo shoot actually inspired several others to do the same thing, girls with much different bodies than myself, but gave them courage nonetheless. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I almost didn't do it because of my self perception.
A HUGE Thanks goes to Andi Wydman. Without her, I am know they wouldn't have been half as good. If you can drive to the Dayton Ohio area, I highly recommend her. Do some research into the photographer that you use, and make sure they are ok with photographing your body type and can help you with any body issues that you might have, it makes all the difference.
Until the next adventure....
All Photos are copyrighted by Andi Wydman Photography.