Use three words to describe your body right now.
Did you use the word, miraculous? What about, healthy? Or even, phenomenal?
Any person who has been through something that caused their body to change or affected the health of their body has a particular appreciation for its normal functionality. The way your body operates is miraculous. Many people are ashamed of their body’s lack of physical “perfection,” but the truth is that your body is an exquisite machine or as my girl Kris Carr would say, a God Pod, that deserves your utmost appreciation and care.
In my twenties, before my cancer journey I had a love/hate relationship with my body. I loved it when it looked the way I liked and not when it didn’t. All of that changed as I went through the recovery process and gained a deep respect for my body’s innate ability to heal. Since that time, treating my body with love, respect and gratitude became my priority. (Don’t get me wrong, I still work out and want a nice butt but my health is waaaaaaaay more important than any superficial aspect of my physical self now.)
You don’t have to survive cancer to appreciate your body and see it for what it is; the vehicle for your one-of-a-kind, amazing life. This shift in perspective can be a great place to start on a journey to authentic body love. Once you drop the shame and criticism, you can begin to accept your physical self and eventually move towards real self-celebration.
One way of shedding the shame can be in the form of shedding some clothes – have you ever considered working out topless, in just a sports bra? Usually, if you look around in a typical yoga class, the only women or men with their shirts off are the ones who look like they just walked off a page from Shape magazine. But this week’s Hello Freedom guest, Emily Nolan, is all about body positivity and shedding the layers to appreciate and embrace the body you’re in right now.
Emily is a plus size model and also the creator of Topless Yoga, a self-confidence building event that’s all about feeling courageous in your own skin. She also has a website and blog called My Kind of Life, where she shares inspiring tips on how to love and appreciate your body more.
Emily is beautiful inside and out and I wanted to share her groovy story of how she navigated the world of modeling and rejected body shaming to get to self-celebration as a successful plus size model. She is a living example of transformation and uses her platform to teach others how to drop the shame, and embrace the glory of body love and the liberating results of doing “topless” yoga! ( I can attest to this fact. I was so resistant and now it’s all I do and it FEELS AMAZING to stop hiding!)
AND don’t forget to listen through the whole episode to hear how to join us for the #healthybellyselfie #beprettybrave challenge on Instagram through this Friday, July 22, where we are giving away prizes for your courage to post “topless selfies!” Here is my #healthybellyselfie #beprettybrave pic to kick it off!
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“I’d rather be in this body and happy than be in this body and think I suck.” – Emily Nolan
- Why she felt the need to be thin and feminine
- How she got into modeling
- Why she created Topless
- How to plant the seed of confidence
- Why she wanted to help people be comfortable
“For me, the belly is the place where I felt the most pressure and the most shame to reveal.” – Emily Nolan
- How men feel as body conscious as women
- What I saw in the modeling world
- The importance of having courageous mentors
- How love appeared in her life
“In everything that I did I wanted to be enough and I wanted to be seen.” – Emily Nolan
- Learn more about Topless
- Check out Emily’s website My Kind of Life
- Get yourself some Lululemon gear
- Read Cheryl Strayed’s book Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
- Enter our #healthybellyselfie contest on Instagram for a chance to win! Prizes include: 20% off Emily’s next Pretty Brave Adventure retreat, tickets to a Topless Yoga event, and Terri’s More Love Meditation series! Winner will be announced Friday, July 22.
- Connect with Emily:
“I stopped trying to be the woman that media wanted me to be.” – Emily Nolan
*Featured image courtesy of Matthew Ragan