I’ve modeled at 16 different sizes, and what I’ve learned is that a smaller size never enhanced how I felt about my body. A lot of times, I felt like I was too big to be thin, or too thin to be plus size. I questioned where I fit in, never seeing women my size being celebrated for being healthy in the media.
In truth, I never felt great about my body until I made the intrepid decision to love myself just the way I am, to feel worthy at the size my body naturally adjusted to. Of course, it took the proverbial pot boiling over for me to get to this place of acceptance, but I'm glad I finally made it. After all, it's exhausting trying to fit into someone else’s idea of what the perfect body looks like.
When photographer Victoria Janashvili learned about my journey, she asked if she could shoot me — nude — in yoga poses for her book, Curve. I was enthusiastic about the project but a bit (OK, a lot!) apprehensive to strip down for a published book.
I was more comfortable knowing the shoot was focused around my relationship with yoga, which has taught me a lot about what loving myself actually means. Yoga is patient, it’s kind and the yoga studio has been an exceedingly supportive environment in which to continue my healing process. (I started practicing when I was 18 in outpatient therapy for my eating disorder, and at 29, I still practice regularly.)