"I was a rockstar. I’m gorgeous. I am fierce. And anyone who thinks otherwise can go (fill in the blank with your chosen word)!" Sheri's Story

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Because this is my second session and an outdoor one at that I wanted to give Jes, Emily, and Katie full control. What were the rules? I want to look Fierce AF! I only brought undies and I was ready to see what they had in store for me. I chose from my options, giving Jes the final say based on where we were going.

I was on top of the world after my first session. I was beautiful and was finally able to see what others had only told me but I hadn’t been able to recognize myself. This all has history of course, as we all do with the roots of our self-hatred. I’ve never been small, and was always reminded of it. It mostly started when my father got remarried (I think I was about 6). Because I was bigger, my father and new stepmother proceeded to pull me aside after dinners and would weigh me in the bathroom while my brother and stepsister were allowed to go down and play. I was only allowed to eat certain amounts of food, I was taken on rigorous bike rides, and even taken to the doctor to figure out “what was wrong with me.” The doctor said she is healthy and perfectly fine, but the damage had already been done.

I proceeded to look for attention whenever and however and from whomever I could find it. If someone showed the slightest amount of interest I made sure to capitalize on every opportunity I could. This led to being incredibly unsafe and to leaving my morals and values at the door. As long as I was getting what I needed to feel good about myself, I didn’t care to follow the rules – I broke them. I broke myself, and brought myself down into a darker spiral. And that’s when I found Jes and Emily (Katie wasn’t there yet!).

After that first session, I knew that I had value and I shouldn’t go looking under rocks to fulfill my happiness. I let my confidence shine everywhere. I was promoted in my job twice and I made a ton of new friends. I have new goals and aspirations that I look forward to fulfilling. And then I slipped again. After my relationship (perfect I thought) went south and having another child, that confidence took a dive once again and I spiraled again. I’m learning to relive my life as a single parent all over again and it hasn’t been easy.

And then Jes approached me about doing an outdoor session. She knew I was waiting for it and made it happen. I came into it thinking how I felt the first time I left. I was a rockstar. I’m gorgeous. I am fierce. And anyone who thinks otherwise can go (fill in the blank with your chosen word)! I got naked. Outside. In a public place. Holy shit.

I saw every bulge and roll and knew that they aren’t flaws. Those things are who I am right now in this moment and I can love myself - even if it is hard sometimes. I am back on top again and know now that I can’t let my own insecurities dictate my life. We may be subject to what other people say or think or do to make life harder on us, but we need to believe in ourselves and in each other. Build each other up and be the light for someone who is in the dark.

I am so thankful for this opportunity and hope that all of you find a way to have this experience as well. I promise you won’t regret it.