How Has The Body Image Bootcamp Affected Your Life? | Austin Boudoir Photography
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How Has The Body Image Bootcamp Affected Your Life? | Austin Boudoir Photography

Cover Image By Uiliaaa // Julia Ch

 

Before becoming a facilitator of the Body Image Bootcamp, I went through the course myself; you know – walk the walk. I’m very thankful I did. Honestly, I believe I went into it with a bit of a chip on my shoulder, thinking, ‘I’m sure this will be a breeze. I mean, c’mon — I’m a body image activist. I’ve got this’.

 

Little did I know, we ALL have major body & self image issues, as well as a big dose of fatphobia. ALL OF US. Even fat people do.

 
 

BODY-NEUTRALITY

 

I’m most thankful for this course because it taught me about BODY-NEUTRALITY. Before, I had only been familiar with the term body positivity. I always found myself struggling with that one. It seemed so unattainable to live body positive all the time.

 

“In short, body-neutrality is rooted in acknowledging what your body does, not how it appears. Your body allows you to exercise, travel the world and experience new cultures. Your body gives you the ability to hold hands or hug someone you love. Your body gets you from point A to point B.”

By Leigh Weingus, On Assignment For HuffPost
 
 

I remember breathing a huge sigh of relief when I learned about Body Neutrality. I finally felt like it was something I could absolutely make as a goal and eventually attain. Body Positivity always felt so hardcore. It always felt like too much pressure to me. But, neutrality I could totally get with.

 

The Body Image Bootcamp has helped me in my work when working with & photographing women immensely. It’s helped me to understand and appreciate that everyone has body image issues and it’s given me real ways to respect & honor others and their struggles.

 

It’s also helped me in my relationship with my husband who struggles with body image issues and an eating disorder. I’m better able to support him and understand him now.

 

Another thing I feel incredibly grateful for now is I have these tools to use in my parenting. I’m a mom of two. I have a 9 year old son and a 3 year old daughter. I didn’t think I’d need to use them so soon, but here we are. This just happened last week at dinner.

 
 

I would not have handled that difficult conversation with nearly as much ease if I hadn’t gone through the BIB prior to it.

 

PREVIOUS BOOTCAMPERS INPUT

   

Lisa

 
What shifted your mindset during the Body Image Bootcamp?
 

“My mindset shifted a lot by getting out of my own head and sharing such intimate moments and thoughts with other women and hearing theirs, too. It’s one thing to share comments online in a group, but it’s a whole other thing to do it in person immersion style with other women. That’s a sisterhood you won’t be able to break. Once you share moments like these with other people you just won’t be the same.”

 
 
How did BIB change your life?
 

“I struggled at first to really let go of my old lifestyle where I was constantly focused on dieting and my weight. I wanted to walk the walk, too, but it took a while to really release that after our weekend together. The workshop was the first real step letting go, and in my own time since then I’ve begun to be gentler with myself about food and dieting. I have retired the scale and have let my mind relax. I stand in my underwear facing the mirror everyday and instead of being so critical I find myself appreciating my body and being in awe of what it’s done and where it’s been. 

 

I found myself toying with ideas like intermittent fasting or other restricted eating styles since our bootcamp ended and I was proud of myself for ultimately saying “no.” Instead of not eating a certain way or “allowing” myself certain foods, I’ve instead started listening to my body and have found it knows exactly what to do. Some days I just want veggies and some days I just want ice cream. I let it happen because my body knows what’s best. I’ve also found I’ve enjoyed working out more because I let go of things that got me to a certain number anywhere and instead focused on what FEELS good and what I really want to do.

 

More importantly than my thoughts on my own self, I’ve learned to REALLY let go of judging other women’s appearances. I didn’t realize I did it as much as I did, and when I find myself thinking something or wanting to make a comment about someone’s body, even positive, I realize it’s not appropriate and I either keep it to myself or redirect my thoughts to something else. I never realized that complimenting someone’s weight loss could be detrimental in that it could encourage any disordered eating, so I’ve learned to not say anything at all.”

 
 

Michelle

 
 What was your “Aha!” moment during the Body Image Bootcamp? 
 

“I’ve developed my body image issues as a coping mechanism because of my abandonment issues from men.”

 
What shifted your mindset during the Body Image Bootcamp?
 

“My body image issues weren’t just my own. I have three daughters. I’ve been inadvertently passing those issues of diet culture and negative body image down to them without realizing the negative long lasting impact I was creating in their developing minds.

 

I was part of a cycle passed down for generations, and while it’s a habit hard to break, I’m more aware of what I say to myself, and what they say to themselves and I try to switch our mindsets with the tools I learned in the BIB.”

 
 

Suzanne

 

“My name is Suzanne. I am 55 years old and just completed the Body Image Bootcamp. Let me begin by saying that I have deep gratitude for Elizabeth, our down to earth instructor, who taught this course with authenticity and compassion. Most of all, I was inspired by Elizabeth’s passion for helping all of us learn to love ourselves.

 

Very quickly into the course I realized that I have been judgemental of myself and how this has impacted all of my relationships, including how uncomfortable I have been in my own skin. By looking into my past and discovering where my ideas about myself and my body image came from, I was able to see that these harsh images and words in my head do not belong to me but were rather projected onto me. I realize that the ideas and words I had absorbed about myself have played over and over in my head all of these years. This negative self talk has resulted in much pain and isolation. After sharing this openly and honestly with the other women in the group I felt relieved, less alone, and a greater acceptance of my body just the way it is.

 

Focusing on body neutrality before body positivity is key for me in changing how I view myself. I very much appreciated this about the class.

 

I am grateful for Body Image Bootcamp, Elizabeth, and all the beautiful women I bonded with during our time together. I highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to feel a greater comfort with their body as it is and sharing their authentic self in life.”

 

Cassandra

 
 What was your “Aha!” moment during the Body Image Bootcamp? 
 

“My ‘Aha!’ moment was when I made the connection to my dislike of my breasts to the molestation I suffered as a child.

 

Pinching my breast was his “thing”. It dawned on me suddenly during one of our conversations that I didn’t have a dislike for how my breasts looked. but that they were where the physical trauma took place, so I had associated them with something bad.

 

That moment helped me begin to reclaim that part of my body and love my breasts for what they endured, instead of hating them and not knowing why.”

 
What shifted your mindset during the Body Image Bootcamp?
 

“The shift in my mindset occurred during one of the exercises on negative self talk. It was so powerful to realize that the things I say to myself, I wouldn’t say to my worst enemy! It made me become very mindful of how I treat myself. I’m more aware when the negative self talk starts.”

 
How did BIB change your life?
 

“My life changed because, for the first time ever, I see myself and I LOVE HER. I honor what she has endured and see it all as strength building instead of something to be ashamed of.”

 
 

When’s the next BIB?

 

My next Body Image Bootcamp Women’s Retreat will be held in Pflugerville, TX, just north of Austin on April 2nd through April 5th.

 

You can find all the details by clicking the button below and by watching the video below. Limited seats available. I’d love to have you join us!

   
 
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