Let’s face it: we all have enough negative body speak in our arsenal to drag our mood down by deep degrees. We may find ourselves noticing the things that are changing about our bodies, comparing ourselves to others, and wishing things could be different; the list goes on. For Nicole, creator of Body Boop, whom I first featured on TFIO in early June, body image is an especially delicate issue, because Nicole had struggled with anorexia and bulimia for years. Fortunately, she has been in a healthy cycle of recovery for two years, but the journey is still challenging, especially for Nicole now, as she prepares to be married in September. And especially, when it comes to the fashion …
Here is an example: not long after Nicole and I spoke, she attended two bridal showers. Two showers, two different cities, two different dresses – and only 2 weeks between. For the first shower, Nicole felt beautiful; as she says, “It was the perfect energy, though out the day.” For the second, however, everything had flip-flopped. Nicole says she felt “ugly” and “uncomfortable.” She was the same person. The dresses were similar. Nothing had changed except her mindset. Thinking about it afterward, Nicole says it was a reminder that the bad feeling you may have one moment, one day, will not last, and you will feel better again.
Last week, Nicole had her first wedding gown fitting, and it proved to be really stressful. She bought the dress a year ago, after she had been training for a race, and her body was different at that time. A year later, at this first fitting, Nicole could zip the dress, but it did not fit at the hips. Tears came, as she processed the disappointment. Fortunately, Nicole’s Aunt and the salespeople who were with her, were tremendously comforting. They reminded her that the alterations were minor, and the next time she will try the dress (in mid-August), it will fit much better. Nicole says she is looking forward to that next fitting, and to “falling in love again with her dress,” which Nicole describes as light and beautiful (“so many of the wedding dresses I tried on were much too heavy!”).
That positive feeling and the support of girlfriends whom she met during treatment, and the knowledge that her life is enriched now more than ever, with a new relationship, a new job, and even a new dog, are all Nicole needs going forward. With her blog, Body Boop, Nicole hopes to help others with their own healing. What is the message that she would like people to take away when visiting her site? “That no one is alone. Everyone feels negative things about themselves at some time in their lives. But I want people not to be so hard on themselves.” And about creating Body Boop a few months ago? Nicole says that “it’s been pretty cool to have so much community and encouragement. I have no way to explain all the good feeling. It’s very healing.”
Nicole has her second wedding dress fitting in August, with minor adjustments to follow. She will be married on September 27th, and has promised to send a picture. I am grateful to travel with Nicole on her journey to marriage and self-love!