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Journal Entry: July 10th, 2016

Learning to Love My Body


Like most women, I have been self-conscious about my body and looks since before puberty. Comments from boys my age and even women in my family at an early age left me thinking that having chicken legs, thick thighs, big hips, voluptuous butt, small chest, bird-like wrists, petite mouth, and Casper-white hair, were bad visual traits since they weren’t “the norm” seen in the average woman or what was pasted in magazines.

Hey, no matter what our size, we were all affected like this when we were younger and we carried that throughout our life. I was fortunate enough to eventually acknowledge that these feelings I had for my body were frankly stupid, and that I had the power to change how I feel about my body from negative doubt to positive love for the rest of my life. So I did the work and found out how comfortable I became in my body over the last few years.

After the accident, I gained some weight and lost a lot of muscle tone from being sedentary and not being able to walk for months on end. My stomach got flabby, my butt got wider, and my chicken legs got skinnier, but I learned to appreciate the strength my body had in gaining muscle in other areas to carry myself differently (like my arms gained a lot of muscle while pushing my wheelchair and using a walker). I came to peace with these changes as I graduated to using a walking cane near my 40th birthday; pretty much, I just didn’t care what people thought when they looked at me because I was good with myself on the inside and my natural body and on the outside. I learned to be confident, mature, and secure in who I am in this temporary vessel of a body and it has, in no way, any bearing on who I am as a person.

A couple weeks after my 40th birthday was the discovery that my freshly healed body was now a vessel for creating a new human being. At first, I lost weight from being able to walk freely without any assistance from my injuries combined with months of morning sickness, but over the last couple months I’ve started gaining the weight back plus some. There are moments of weird shock when I stare at the bathroom scale and see a number displayed that is completely foreign to me, and moments of frustration like when I finally couldn’t fit into my normal jeans anymore, and the worst feeling came from people who were surprised when I told them I’m pregnant because for the first 5 months I just looked like I had a giant beer belly.

But now into my 6th month of pregnancy, I’m loving how my body is changing and gaining weight, in all the right places. My breasts have grown a couple of sizes (and aren’t stopping) to the size most women get implants just so they can produce food for my baby in a few months. I’ll admit without shame, my breasts are my favorite pregnancy feature and I regularly wear low cut shirts just to stare at down at their wonder. My hips, broken in five places just a few months ago, now are getting wider to not only carry the weight of the baby in my womb safely, but to also be able to give birth. My belly and abdomen looks like Buddha and I rub it regularly for good luck. My arms are getting thicker, my face and neck fuller, and in the end I freaking love it. Even my chicken legs.

I love my body and all the incredible healing and power it has given me, not only through my physical life, but especially through the last year of beautiful spiritual and emotional growth.

LaRae Lobdell maternity portrait selfie week #25, Miami FL, July 7th, 2016

LaRae Lobdell maternity portrait selfie week #25, Miami FL, July 7th, 2016.

Portrait Photographer, Writer, and Consultant LaRae Lobdell is an environmental portrait photographer, host, and instructor with over 20 years of experience photographing, directing, producing exhibits, and speaking in the photography industry. She focuses on providing artists, actors, models, and companies with lifestyle and conceptual imagery for promotional use and branding. Her approach is very contemporary, her work has a timeless elegance, and she represents the grace, distinction, and style that is possible in photography. Her curriculum vitae includes 21 photography exhibits of her own work, the curation of 15 exhibits for other artists’ and museums, the production of 13 private and community events, and two year’s experience as director of one of Seattle’s largest art walks. Her images have been published in The Huffington Post, Broadway World, Yale University Magazine, Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine, and even aired on the Colbert Report. LaRae’s position as a lead host for online educational giants such as CreativeLive and Polaroid University gave her the unique opportunity as one of an elite group of professionals to connect a live global audience to top renowned professionals in photography, video, design, business, audio, music, software design, productivity, and lifestyle. She brought her network to BLACKRAPID as their Culture Liaison, facilitating close working relationships between influencers and organizations for promotional sales and marketing. Grateful to be a stay-at-home mom while balancing a rewarding career in the photography industry, this proud single mom enjoys a nomadic traveling lifestyle between Seattle and the Florida Keys with her daughter, Emerson.

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