#MyBodyIsEnough-Lindsay's Story

Lindsay #mybodyisenough
I have yet to meet a woman who didn’t have some insecurity or “issue” with her body at one point in life. I certainly was one of those women too. I used to HATE my body with a passion. I wanted a curvy, perfectly proportional, hourglass shaped body since I was a young girl. 

I grew up OBSESSED with Barbie dolls. I played with them from pre-school to middle school. (Yes, I was that weird girl still playing with dolls as a pre-teen.) I loved dressing them more than ANYTHING, so I could admire their bodies in different outfits. Their big breasts, tiny waists, curvy hips and long legs were what I dreamed about, thought about and decided I would have as a woman. 

I’m fortunate that my DNA gave me some aspects of the Barbie doll body. I got the long legs and curvy hips part. I, however, did not get the teeny tiny waist (unless of course, I starved myself) or the big breasts part. The teeny tiny waist part never really bothered me. It was the big breasts part that I wanted oh-so very much. 

It wasn’t just Barbie dolls that made me have a desire to have big breasts. I began to notice in middle school that the other girls were developing breasts and I wasn’t. They were all starting their periods too. 

I would get secretly so jealous when a girl would tell me she got her first bra or she started her period. I tried to not outwardly show my jealousy or bring attention to the fact that I was behind; I didn’t want to draw attention to myself. 

It certainly didn’t help I was one of the youngest in my grade. Some of the girls were almost a whole year ahead of me, which in those teen years is a big deal. During those years, it felt like we were all racing to the adult finish line trying to prove we were more grown-up than everyone else. I felt like everyone was running laps around me with just their body growth alone. I looked like such a girl in a sea of young, curvaceous women. 

The time came when I was the LAST of my friends (and probably the entire grade) to start my period. I was humiliated that I was last. 

Plus, I had begged my Mom to get me a bra after all my friends got one. She told me for MONTHS I didn’t need one. However, I was relentless in my pursuit. I didn’t give up asking! I was determined to get a bra whether I needed one or not. 

Unknowingly to me, she had bought me a bra as a Christmas present. I awoke Christmas morning to open a box of bras in front of my whole family. I remember my face turning bright red, and I quickly closed the box so nobody would notice. They noticed though, and I heard whispers around the room. Now everyone in my family knew I hadn’t had a bra before. Plus, the bras were for little girls, not teens or women. These “baby bras” drew attention to the fact that I still didn’t need one and that was humiliating. 

The cat was out of the bag with my family about my lack of breasts, however; I was hopeful that nobody at school noticed. Those were the people I wanted to impress anyway, and I was still safe there. (Whew!) 

One day on a bus ride home from school it became apparent that everybody knew I was behind and I didn’t have breasts. It’s a moment I’ll never forget. 

A popular boy loudly said in front of everyone that I was “as flat (chested) as a board.” I can still remember where I was sitting on the bus and how I felt at that moment. I was humiliated. I remember others laughing under their breath. I remember not saying a single word back to him. Instead, I just put my head down in shame. Those next few minutes on our ride home felt like hours. Now everyone knew the truth – I was behind, and I wasn’t curvy. 

While that moment was impactful in my life, I didn’t think much about it after it happened. I numbed myself from feeling the pain and instead focused on ways that I could fix the problem. 

I was SO excited when a friend gave me a padded bra. I started wearing it to school after a summer break. I remember all the boys talking about that I had “grown boobs” over the summer. I was so excited! I finally fit in, and boys found me attractive! From that day onward, I never parted with a padded bra again. A padded bra was just a part of who I was now. 

I didn’t think about or realize the impact of that bus moment until my late 20s. I was working with a life coach, and she had me do an exercise where I pulled my top 10 worst moments in life. From those moments, we pulled the beliefs I developed about myself from those moments. When I was putting together my top 10 moments, the memory flooded back from the bus. I knew I had to include it. 

As I worked with my coach on this bus moment, I realized that I had some big takeaways about my body. I took away a slew of negative, limiting and painful beliefs that my body was weird, I wasn’t attractive to men and that I must have big boobs to be even considered attractive. 

My jaw hit the floor when we discovered those beliefs. I couldn’t believe I thought that about myself yet, I had spent a majority of my teen and 20-something years EXTREMELY self-conscious about my body, especially around men. 

I was so self-conscious in fact that I had a pattern of dating men who were an obvious poor fit for me. My friends would gasp in disgust when I would show them a new boyfriend and say, “Why are you dating him?” 

These men were bad boys to the extreme. One boyfriend had just left prison when we started dating (and he was ten years older than me), one was covered in tattoos and piercings, and another just received his first DUI when we met. 

Here I was a smart, educated woman who had SO many possibilities ahead of her. I knew it too! I was (and still am) a smart cookie. However, emotionally I felt that my body didn’t deserve better. I would be shocked that even those men found me attractive, so I settled. 

It wasn’t until I pulled those limiting beliefs that day with my coach did I understand why I had made the choices to date those men and why I never could love my body. I had been telling myself I was unattractive all those years due to a stupid, horny pre-teen boy who didn’t know any better! 

Now, of course, there was more to the story than the bus moment about why I hated my body. 

My mom was very insecure with her body growing up and like most children; I took on her beliefs about her body as my own. My dad also was not an outwardly loving and affectionate person. I grew up never once being told I was beautiful. I instead felt that my parents thought my body was weird because I believed that about myself and they didn’t prove it to me otherwise. 

That moment on the bus though is what solidified it all for me to hate my body. It seemed at that moment that NOBODY loved my body, so why the heck should I?! 

Having this experience of pulling those beliefs with my coach was life changing. The awareness of what I had been telling myself paired with learning how to heal those beliefs changed the entire view of my body within MONTHS! 

I now have SO much love for my body! My breasts are the same size as they’ve always been (a small but mighty 32B), my waist falls at 27 inches, and my hips are a curvaceous 37 inches. 

I’m an obvious pair-shaped woman. It’s hard to find dresses that fit me right. My pant size is larger than my top size. I can never find a shirt that fits me right without it hanging off me so I’ve resorted to wearing a padded bra some days and although I’d love to rock a 1-piece, filling out the top just doesn’t happen for me unless I wear a strapless bra underneath. 

Is my body perfect? No. Is my body the shape of what research says is the ideal body to men? Nope. Will I get a modeling contract anytime soon? Probably not. 

However, I’ve learned not to care about that crap anymore. I was tired of always looking at others as better than me. I wanted to feel grateful for what I had instead!! 

I’ve been given this body for a reason. I’m alive and healthy. I’ve birthed a beautiful baby from this body who I fed with my small, but mighty breasts. I’m grateful for this vessel I’ve been given to live on this earth. 

I didn’t want to have to change who I was with surgery or live a life feeling less than perfect anymore. I instead wanted to break the cycle of women in my family not feeling confident and loving their bodies. I knew I needed to do whatever it took so that my daughter had a mother who loved her body. She needed me to love my body so she could learn how to love her body too! 

Right now, at 6-years-old my daughter is full of pride with her body! She walks around and loves to see herself in different outfits. It never crosses her mind to think twice about if she looks good. To her, she always looks good! Now, I know she’ll have some up’s and down’s in life that will challenge her about loving her body. However, being a woman who’s crossed over to the “I love my body” side of the road, I know I’ll be there to help guide her back if she ever takes a different path. 

After healing my body wounds, I’m happy to say that I FINALLY started dating the right people. I began walking into rooms feeling attractive no matter what ANYONE thought of me. Having that positive energy and love for myself allowed me to attract the right mate. A few months ago, I married the most loving and perfect man for me. I broke the pattern of settling for bad boys because I didn’t think I was attractive! 

I must admit there are moments when I cringe about the way I look in something and certainly still wish things were different at times. However, I’ve developed such a long list of gratitude and positive affirmations around my body that anytime those moments hit; I quickly shift my thinking by saying things like, “God has given me this body for a reason.” Or “My body is beautiful just the way it is.” One of my favorites is “The worth of my body is determined my ME, nobody else.” 

While saying those positive thoughts may seem silly and even too simple to work, they do. It really can be quite easy to love your body after you heal your wounds and reprogram your mind to love it instead. 

There are so many moments today when I feel beautiful. No matter if I’m dolled up for a night out with my hubby or just hanging at home in my yoga pants without a bra or makeup, I adore the way I look. 

I didn’t need to change my outward appearance to be beautiful, I only just needed to convince my mind that I was already beautiful as is! 

Today I hope you’re walking away from this story knowing that the key to loving your body is simply wanting to take that journey towards love and not giving up in the process!! No matter what your body looks like, YOU CAN learn to love it, all you need is the desire on how. You got this, girl!
— Lindsay Preston
Lindsay Preston.jpg

Lindsay Preston is a multi-certified life coach who specializes in helping go-getter 20 & 30 something women. Her work helps women create the life THEY imagine through the use of neuroscience and strengths-based research strategies.

Lindsay overcame a horrible divorce in her late 20s where she discovered her husband’s “work trips” were a cover up to living a double life engaged to (and living with!) another woman. She suddenly became a heartbroken single mama who was jobless, depressed and broke. She had her pain fuel her fire for change, and she sought out to learn how to create exactly what SHE wanted out of life.

Lindsay is a self-proclaimed neuroscience nerd, and all of her work is backed by neuroscience to work for the brain.  Lindsay has several successful online courses including, “The Life Luvers 21 Day Challenge,” “Become An Unstoppable Woman,” “Become Authentically Awesome,” and “Solidify Your Strengths.” She also works with clients remotely in a private 1-on-1 setting from her cozy home office in the Dallas, TX area as well as speaks and hosts Strengths Soiree events around the U.S.

Lindsay’s podcast called, “Life Luvers Radio” has been featured on the “New & Noteworthy” list as well as within the Self-Help charts on iTunes. In her podcast, she delivers free weekly tips on how to create a life YOU love.

When she’s not helping women create their dream lives, you can find her either playing with her 6-year old daughter, kissing her handsome husband, reading a good self-help book, cuddling with her kitties and her puppy or at a yoga class!