What a release!

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Weight Loss Tools

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Putting It All Out There - Exposed

I had never heard of The Exposed Movement until this week.
Everyone has been much a twitter about the one year anniversary of the beginning of this amazing movement.  It has given incredible individuals, like Roni & Mrs. Fatass the permission and freedom to "let it all hang out" and embrace the bodies they have been gifted with and that have supported and carried them through their life's journeys.

Some of my greatest mentors and friends from The Sisterhood have joined in and exposed themselves as well.  At first, I thought "oh, yeah, I can do this... especially if all of these women whom I respect so much are doing it too.  Then, as the day went on and I thought more and more about it, the reality of "putting it all out there" became much more real and I thought seriously about whether or not to go forward.  The conclusion I came to was that it was a logical next step in my amazing journey to accept, love and honor myself and the body that God gave me.

So, here I go...

I have had a love/hate relationship with my body for almost as far back as I can remember.  The first seven years of my life were carefree with little thought about my body other than the fact that I insisted on always wearing dresses (even in the 20 degree winter days of Colorado).  During second grade, my parents separated and my body became my battlefield and the recipient of much self-imposed abuse in the form of eating.  Rather than expressing my fear, sadness, sorrow and anger in their natural forms, I ate to numb the pain and to give myself the strength to be the caretaker and mother to my own mother who was crumbling before my eyes.  Fortunately, my parents reconciled and remain married to this day.  Unfortunately, damage was done and negative patterns emerged.

In the beginning, I just became the "chubby girl".  I went to fat camp, participated in sports and tried my best to live up to the skinny expectations that I knew my father had for me.  I decided in my mind that his love was conditional and depended on my being a certain weight - a weight that always seemed to be an enigma.  (We have done much work throughout my adulthood to repair much of this, and currently are closer than ever...).  I yo-yo'd up and down through high school and college.  I read books and I did counseling, but the pattern of eating my emotions still exists and I think will always be present in my life, but hopefully not in control of my life.

Ironically, my greatest challenge in learning to love my body has come in my marriage.  I always had the fairytale dreams of being completely vulnerable and comfortable before my husband and dreamed of being unabashedly open with my body.  Funny thing, once married, the REAL work began.  I married a man who love, love, loves every inch of my body and every fiber of my being - AMAZING, right?  Right... Well, it is amazing if you are willing to embrace and accept it.  I have officially spent ten years learning to do just that because nothing about it has come natural to me.  I am learning from him about unconditional love and appreciation for my body and my soul in EVERY SINGLE FORM they take and at every stage in life.  Another curious observation... I have come the farthest in acceptance of my body over the past couple of years - a period of time that I have weighed more than ever.

Going through and living to tell about my dark winter has given me new appreciation for the here and now.  Being dependent upon medication that has made it very difficult for me to release weight has forced me to come to an acceptance of what I look like HERE and NOW.  Being in touch with the fragility of life on a daily basis through my work, has caused me to stop wallowing in my own self-pity and self-loathing and appreciate who I am and what I have.

Finding the Sisterhood has pushed me to new levels in terms of what my body is capable of.  After finishing a half marathon at 200 pounds, my belief in myself and in the beauty of my body soared to new heights.  And so here I am, embracing my body and another funny thing... finding my way through releasing and letting go of the pounds.

This is the beautiful body, given to me by God and NOW it is the body that I am daily choosing to honor, respect and embrace...
This is the same bikini I bought and wore on my honeymoon (but was too embarrassed to share pictures of me wearing - at a weight that I would today be giddy to weigh!).  The same bikini that I will put on again when I reach my goal weight to see how far I have come.

This is the body that allows me to compete with athletes half my size, simply because I push it and ask it to do so.

This is the body that allows me to work on my feet every day, being at the bedside of families in their worst nightmare, lifting them up and carrying them through the journey.

This is the body that created, carried, gave birth to and nourished the two pieces of my heart named Sam and Noah.

This is the body that allows me to laugh until I snort and to cry and grieve with others in pain.
 This is the body that carried me 13.1 miles across the finish line of my first Half Marathon. 

This is the body that will allow me to complete 3 Half Marathon's in a year.

This is the body that continues to carry and support me even though I abuse it.

This is the body that allows me to dance for hours.

This is the body that hugs others and accepts love in return.
This is the body that God Gave me


  1. Okay, tears AND goosebumps. Thank you for sharing your most intimate feelings with us. I truly think you are such an amazing, beautiful and powerful woman. LOVE YOU!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this post. It was truly beautiful and inspiring. You are an amazing person and I'm so glad you are able to take care of kids with cancer. You are so strong.

  3. Loved this. Thanks so much for sharing with us.

  4. Half marathon! I bow to you! I'm a beginning runner myself, up to a mere 3 miles. You, my friend, are awesome. Wonderful WONDERFUL post, way to go!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your story. You are a beautiful, amazing woman - both inside and out. Your family and little patients are so incredibly lucky to have you.

  6. Crying. Crying so much that I can't even begin to write something. You are amazing, Tiff. Absolutely amazing.

  7. Beautiful.

    I HOPE to find a man that does this for me: " I am learning from him about unconditional love and appreciation for my body and my soul in EVERY SINGLE FORM they take and at every stage in life." ---> My whole binging disorder started after a really crap relationship with my first and only boyfriend. he wanted me thinner. So I lost weight, slept with him, and after breaking up with him have put on 40lbs of the 135lbs that I lost. Knowing that there are men who love NO MATTER WHAT is so incredibly encouraging. Knowing that you are a Christian and falling on your faith is also encouraging. You're beautiful...now go celebrate your bod w/ your man. :)

  8. Okay, seriously you are the first one to make me cry. You are an absolutely amazing woman! On all levels. You speak from the heart and it shows. I love you and can't wait to see you next month!

  9. I am boo-hooing here in Texas, gasping for air. You are one of the most beautiful people I know and love. I've said it once and I'll say it again- we are soul sisters, this much I know. I love you Tiffany, so so so very much.

  10. I don't know why this made me cry so much. Maybe it's because I love you so much, and you are amazing? Maybe it's because you give so freely of yourself. To everyone! What you do for a living can only be done by a very special person, and your patients and their families are SO LUCKY to have those arms to comfort them. So lucky.

    I love you girl. Every single inch of you inside and out. Thanks for being my friend.

  11. yep, i'm crying. that was a beautiful post. you are a beautiful woman! and that is such a cute bikini :)

  12. Damn it, why you make me cry! This was perfection and I loved it. You are so special to me and I have not known you that long. I love you!


  13. So powerful. Love you Tiff, you're truly an inspiration!

  14. amazing! nice bikini!! :) work it girl!

  15. You so made me cry. Thank you for your honesty. You are truly amazing and awesome.

  16. I'm in tears. What a moving and beautiful post! Thank you for being so open and honest! I'm beyond moved and inspired.

  17. What an amazing post! You are beautiful

  18. Tiffany, you are awesome. I am so proud of you!