Hello! I’m back after some much need soul searching and book reading, and I decided I needed to share with you guys the two books I read recently, that had a big impact on my life& thoughts, as well as probably saved my life. One will be in this blog post& the other one will be shared after in a new post. (I type too many words)
Book 1: A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty and Power Really Look Like, by Ashley Graham
I came across this book by accident, or fate as I chose to look at it. At the time, I really had no idea who Ashley Graham was, other than I knew she was the first “Plus-sized” Model on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Back in May, I was looking for a book to buy with my remaining Barnes& Noble gift card balance, because honestly, it was burning a hole in my pocket. I went online, clicked on new releases, and bam, there it was. I’m not sure what made me click on the book, but when I did and read the synopsis, I knew it was a book I needed to read. To give you a short summary, the book is about:
“In this collection of insightful, provocative essays illustrated with a dozen photos, Ashley shares her perspective on how ideas around body image are evolving—and how we still have work to do; the fun—and stress—of a career in the fashion world; her life before modeling; and her path to accepting her size without limiting her dreams—defying rigid industry standards and naysayers who told her it couldn’t be done. As she talks about her successes and setbacks, Ashley offers support for every woman coming to terms with who she is, bolster her self-confidence, and motivates her to be her strongest, healthiest, and most beautiful self. “
So, off to the store, I went, with my gift card in hand& picked it up. Once I got home, I sat down, turned off the TV, and read. I did not want to get too sucked into the book since I had to wake up early, so I chose to just read the introduction. And let me tell you, I was hooked. What made me want to keep reading was when she said:
“It’s just like when you put yourself down so often you being to internalize the criticisms if you act like you’re amazing, you begin to believe it. “
This really struck a cord with me. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve said to myself, “Oh that looks awful” or “You look so fat today.” And she’s right, once you start saying it to yourself, why wouldn’t you believe it? One of my major sources of anxiety is thinking that others are judging me, for my appearance, what I’m saying, etc. But what I didn’t realize, is that I too was a source of that judging. I always overthink what I say and what I look like, so I’m silently judging myself also.
As I continued to read this book, which BTW, was a fantastic read and so hard to put down, I learned that it’s okay to love yourself. Why shouldn’t I share how proud I am of how good I look in a certain outfit, or with a certain hairstyle? Ever since I closed the book, after reading the last sentence, I have made it a point to tell myself something I love about me every single day. From liking how my hair looks or seeing the changes after a hard gym session, no matter what it is, I tell myself that “I Am Amazing”, and the craziest part is, I’m actually starting to believe it.
I give this book a 5 Stars out of 5. It doesn’t matter what your size is, we all can treat ourselves like crap. However, after reading this, I realized I can love myself too. I recommend this book to anyone who has ever lacked self-confidence or has body image issues. It’s not going to change how you see yourself overnight, but it will put you on the path to change!
I’ll leave you with one last quote from the book that changed how I see myself, and how I act when sharing photos:
“Don’t fall into the trap of sacrificing your self-esteem for affection and acceptance. No matter what your size, you are a sexy goddess. Remember that.”
Until next time!