massage therapist | photographer

Posts Tagged ‘body positive’

We are enough. As is.

In body positive, community, loving kindness, personal, self care, story on April 6, 2023 at 1:11 PM

Today. Cloudy & cool. My favorite to hike in. Years taking photographs, seeking saturated colors & interesting skies, living in the PNW, have converted me to favoring an overcast day. Conversation with a friend. She’s experimenting with her diet. No dairy, sugar, gluten, grains. A disordered part of me wants to join her. I’ve weighed myself recently & saw the highest numbers of my life. My body continues to change & get bigger despite feeding it vegetables, taking it on walks, joining fitness challenges. Another friend texts to say she loves IF. I told her about it & no longer practice. A strong impulsive desire to join her too. The tracking app is still on my phone.  A lifetime spent practicing disordered eating. Years in undiagnosed orthorexia. My mental health would suffer if I tried again. Another friend texts to say she hasn’t lost weight post a serious surgery & wants to use my fitness pal to track her food. I feel tired for her. We’ve spent too much time focusing on numbers. Cosmetic outcomes. Too little taking care of our bodies in weight neutral ways. Moving for the sheer pleasure of it. The afternoon is spent searching for the file with the spreadsheets from 8 years ago when I kept track of everything my body was doing. That year I moved towards a plant-based diet. I required myself to walk, jog or hike a minimum of 5 miles every morning. Just to earn the right to exist in my body. An entire year: no alcohol, caffeine, sugar, anything processed. I ran races, lifted weights, felt strong – but isolated, full of anxiety that one chocolate chip would throw me completely off track. Many compliments on my outer appearance, but rarely felt internal peace. I came across random photos while searching for the ‘body file’ & sent one to a friend because she looks glowy & happy. She replies “you are stunning.” I say “we were both beautiful & had NO IDEA.” She says “well, I knew you were, but you never believed me.” I feel tired again: for the stories we believe about ourselves, the missed moments, the constant chasing of ‘life will be better when,’ the not realizing we are lucky just to be alive. And the not believing that we are enough. Just as we are. Right now.

***Note – this was originally written for Instagram and therefore could only have 2200 total characters. I’ve left it that way for consistency, though I know it would benefit from paragraphs and better wording. I wrote it raw and left it that way. ♥***

Body Positive Photo Session

In Art, art portraiture, body positive, Photography, Portrait, self care, Uncategorized on December 2, 2017 at 2:05 PM

I got to do a very inspiring photo-shoot recently. A woman contacted me about putting together a “Body Positive” session.  She’s given me permission to share the images from our time together – and here are just a few.

Jones_WEB_©TaniaPalermo2017-42 copy

Over the past few years her body has changed a lot. She’s had a baby, experienced lots of other life challenges and her perspective on what is sexy and what she values in the world has shifted…along with clothing size, stretch marks, etc.

Body Positive 4 UP ©TaniaPalermo2017

One goal of the photo shoot was to claim that who she is now is just as valuable, sexy and powerful as the person she was as a “size two”. We HIGHLIGHTED stretch marks because they are a proud sign that she grew the love of her life in her body. They are not something she felt ashamed of – and to witness this was beautiful.


It makes me sad when I photograph people who put themselves down throughout their entire session. I understand it – but it also makes me mad when I see a stunning soul standing before me, tearing themselves to pieces because they are not physically flawless.

body positive 2 up ©taniapalermo2017

To define ourselves by a false definition of beauty that is endlessly marketed to us by companies who want to make us feel bad about ourselves in order to sell their newest product is disheartening. And to have someone stand before me, with confidence in and love for themselves was really kick ass.


If you’re on a courageous journey of learning to love and accept yourself as is – documenting the moment with photographs may be a powerful elixir.  I’d love to do more empowerment sessions like this…maybe with you.

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