Who are you? How do you see yourself? How do you introduce yourself to new people?
For women, so often our identities are wrapped up in our roles – wife, mother, employee, lover, snack-getter, grocery-shopper, etc.
And while those roles certainly shape our identities, we are more than the sum of those roles.
That’s what I love about Cecelia’s story. For years, her identity was wrapped up in what she did every day, not who she was inside.
So I’ve asked Cecelia to tell her story of transformation and identity – because I think you just might recognize yourself in pieces of it.
“I have always been self-conscious because I’m a bigger girl. My whole life that’s what people would point out. I was never the girl guys would approach first – I was always the friend. I was considered one of the guys because I was easy to talk to, but they weren’t attracted to me. I grew up feeling that way, and it became something that I was used to. I would put myself down before someone else could this way I wouldn’t get hurt by the words.
My husband and I were married for almost 20 years. We had a great marriage, but I couldn’t see what he saw. My self-esteem was tanked. I dressed like an old maid, and I stayed to myself. I was extremely self-destructive, and food became my comfort.
When my husband passed away, leaving me a widow with 4 kids at 34 years old, my self-destruction began again. I turned to food to comfort me. My health declined as I had several surgeries and a breast cancer scare. I knew I had to make a choice, so I began focusing on improving my health.
I had lost over 50 lbs and had begun feeling good again when I saw an ad on Facebook advertising boudoir pictures. The women looked so confident and sexy, and I wanted that. I told myself that if I made it to my goal weight, I would do a photoshoot.
But the truth was, I was scared. I had no confidence, and I knew that if I took the pictures, I would finally see what I thought everyone else saw – a plus-sized old maid who had no business in lingerie. I gave up the idea for years.
I recently started my next chapter of life and remarried a wonderful, patient man. During wedding planning, the boudoir idea came back to my mind. Even so, I had all the doubts and feelings of just not being thin enough, not sexy enough, good enough, confident enough. But I was in Lynn’s Facebook group and watched quietly as so many women of all shapes and sizes talked about the amazing experiences they were having. One day, I just decided to take the plunge and book the session with Lynn.
I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to back out – and I almost did, especially when I received the lingerie and tried it on. I looked in the mirror and said, “Oh, this is not gonna be good.” But Lynn was there whenever I needed reassurance. I would text her, and she would answer right away with a word of encouragement.
The day came for the shoot, and I was nervous and shaking and so unsure of myself. Everyone was so sweet and welcoming, and after a couple of poses, I started to loosen up a bit. Lynn was patient, funny, and professional. She made me feel beautiful. She would show me the images she was taking along the way, and I still would pick apart the photograph looking for the flaws. It was hard seeing myself that way! Looking back, my biggest regret is that I was so unsure of myself that I was uptight and couldn’t see how beautiful the photographs were.
After the shoot, I was relieved. I told myself that no matter what, I had conquered my fear and put myself out there, and I accomplished my goal to find myself. I’m not just a mother and grandmother – I am more. I’m a woman, and along the way, I lost my identity. This experience reminded me of who I am, and maybe now I won’t be so critical of everything about myself. I can’t thank Lynn and Kailyn enough for bringing out the woman I’d forgotten. You are true artists, and I’m lucky to have had the experience with you.”
Cecelia, I am honored and humbled that you trusted us at Lynn Dee to help you rediscover the gorgeous, sexy woman you are inside.
If you’re ready for your Cecelia story, click here to book a quick chat with us!