Hulk Smash and Detox Baths

The past seven days have been a challenge in the self-care department. It was a week where everything that could go wrong, did. A week where truly, one of the hardest things to do, was stay positive, no matter how much I tried to care for myself. On Monday, I had blood tests done (5 vials worth) to find out if I have indicators of an auto-immune disorder, thyroid problems, or Lyme disease.

They told me they'd have results in 3-5 days. I'll spare you the wait I endured. Indicators show I might possibly have Rheumatoid Arthritis. Turns out (I am told Mother's Day) that two people in my extended family history have had RA. This doesn't make me feel better, but it does. Now I wait a month to see a specialist to discuss the results further.

In the days of waiting for my results and post results...

I go back on my OTC, off brand allergy pill.

things I own break...like big things...my washer, and the stove is on its way out the door.

orders I made the previous week are incorrect so I have to reorder.

I develop a yeast infection (why I stopped taking the allergy pill to begin with) so I stop it. Sorry for TMI, but I'm practicing being an open book. Plus, it's a service announcement about cheap products.

I have lunch with family after hearing from the doctor and tear up at the table while on the phone with my husband who says everything's going to be okay.

I receive a care package from a friend that lifts me in a moment I'm falling.

I have a big hiccup in my business that I stress hardcore over fixing... because good business practice and customer service.

I manage to notice symptoms of and simultaneously eliminate a UTI (or bladder infection) by downing 8oz of water with thyme and lemon essential oils.

I spend a pleasant Mother's Day with family and good food...

...after which I return home and take a detox bath.

Late that night, I wake with a sinus infection (or a cold...with me, they pretty much go hand in hand nowadays...my third in the past two months) and chills. I sweat out a fever. I barely eat. My muscles turn to stone. My brain drains out my eyes. And I forget to breathe. This could all be a result of the detox bath (flu-like symptoms do happen if you have major yeast die off or other harsh toxins exiting your body) or I've really worked myself into sickness.

So now I'm angry. I want to HULK SMASH! until there's nothing left in me to Hulk smash anymore.

Meanwhile, I'm thinking, Yeah. This is exactly how you should treat your body if you possibly have an auto-immune disorder. I hear chronic tension and stress are super beneficial.

I remind myself that it's okay. Hulk smashing is a necessary step. Forgive yourself. Eat your greens, diffuse those essential oils, take your damn detox bath because holy shit you need it, word vomit into a journal, and write a list of a million things you're grateful for in the midst of all of the ugly.

Cry it out. Remember who loves you. And most importantly, remember it's only one week in a bajillion weeks. That little reminder can pull you out of Hell so fast you'll wonder why you even worried about anything in the first place.

Don't judge yourself. If you're trying, you're not failing.

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Source: http://www.katydaixon.net/blog/hulk-smash-and-detox-baths

The Body Project Session #17: Progressive Journey

This last full group session was intense and open. The women shared their stories so readily and with such interest in absorbing each others histories. We talked of rape, molestation, and abuse with the clarification that one doesn't need to remain the victim, but grab their experiences by the reins and take control of their own growth and success beyond definitions and pity. I'm amazed, constantly, at the shit people go through and rise above. One woman kept repeating in various ways that's it's time to move past all the garbage, whether that garbage is something that happened in your past or whether that garbage is the negative words on a loop in your head or your personal trainer telling you you're not trying hard enough. You do you for you and no one else.

It felt so perfect that the overall tone was acceptance of what is and the steps we all take to continue progressing through our varied journeys with positivity. And though some days are harder than others, it's important to remember that it's another day and another step, and (I know I've said it before) it begins with love.

The Body Project has helped me on my journey of happy. I have had some bumps in the road, but that’s life. I am happy with my body and self. This was a way for me to show myself that and maintain my happy journey.
Throws like a girl.

Throws like a girl.

Strong. Girly.

Strong. Girly.

 
The Body Project has helped me feel better about myself. It’s amazing how a few stories can make you feel so empowered . I am definitely a lot more comfortable in my own skin! I’m so happy to see these women leaving their insecurities at the door. Every woman should do The Body Project!
It's all about the journey.

It's all about the journey.

 
The Body Project has forced me to let go...let go of all my self-hate and find all my self-love. Being here with all these different, amazing women has helped me, empowered me, and has given me inspiration to keep loving me!
Faith heals all.

Faith heals all.

 
Body projects have erupted around the nation, and I’m elated that it’s bloomed in a smaller area like Whitewater where women may not have received the message that your body is yours and we’re all in it together. <3 Katy, well done. No matter where you are, body positivity is essential to healthy living. Keep going!
In progress.

In progress.

In progress.

In progress.

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I didn’t know fat was something I should feel shame over.

The Body Project has given me the chance to explore why I am so great and the opportunity to share it with the world. I feel connected to a community I didn’t have access to before.
— Nicole

I have known Nicole my whole life. She was that zany girl with the biggest laugh I’d ever heard in the choir room in high school. We weren’t close friends, but we were friendly. She’s just as genuine today as she was then, and I am incredibly appreciative of the fact that she squeezed in a private session with me (she was supposed to join this Sunday’s session) before moving out of state this Friday.

As she stood in my bathroom doing her make-up while I pinned up her teased hair into a mo-hawk, she explained how she wanted to capture her quirkiness: her bobby-pinned mo-hawk she’s always looking for an excuse to wear, her sexy, sequined black dress, her awesomely adorable two piece lingerie, her glittery eye makeup, a light-hearted pose and a strong pose…simply, HER.

The session was peaceful and full of gratitude. Not only did I LOVE the way the photos turned out, but then she sent me a story that seriously kicks ass. Like Nicole does. :) Enjoy.

I was 24 years old the first time I realized I am supposed to be ashamed of my size. I was in graduate school, participating in an advance listening course. I was having a discussion about women and their bodies with six of my peers, all of whom were between sizes 2-14. I was the last to share. I listened as each of my classmates shared about how advertisements, men, friends and family members had led them each to believe they were too big to be attractive. When it was my turn to share, I felt like I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Should I lie to fit in with the group, or be honest and admit I didn’t know fat was something I should feel shame over?

I do not remember what I said to my peers, although I know it included the truth:

I have never felt shame for being me, and I have never defined myself by my size.

I give all the credit to my mom for my long-lasting naivete. I wish I could share the secret of how she raised a large, loud, and proud woman, but I am not sure there is only one answer. Here is what I have learned since becoming aware that “they” be ashamed of my body.

I am a lot of things.

If I had to pick fifty words to describe myself, not one of them would include fat, big, large, fluffy, or plump. They would include fierce, independent, happy, head strong, funny, witty, pretty, and smart.
Smart. Funny. Sassy. Independent. Confident.
Smart. Funny. Sassy. Independent. Confident.

If you needed me to describe my physical appearance, I would probably tell you I am solid, strong, and have beautiful eyes. I have a smile that serves me well in my profession, putting people at ease and allowing them to open up to me. I have arms that easily lift my 40 pound dog and 35 pound nephew. I have legs that let me climb, run, walk, and travel. I would not describe parts of me that jiggle and shake. Those do not add up to my sum.

Around the same time I learned that I am supposed to feel shame when I look in the mirror, I also learned how to express my feelings about the topic. I love me, I appreciate me, and I know I am constantly striving to be the best me I can be. I am confident and capable as I am. However, I have no confidence that men, specifically date-able ones in my age bracket, will ever appreciate me. On the rare occasion that a man tells me he thinks I am attractive, it is usually accompanied by the phrase, “I like big girls,” or some variation.

I am not a fetish; I am Nicole.

One well-meaning friend suggested I try to find an online dating site for blind men because they might appreciate me more. The only man I ever loved told me he was the only person who would ever be able to love me. Comments like these reinforce my greatest fear—that no one will be able to look beyond what society and advertising says about my size and appreciate me for me. Lucky for me, though, these comments and situations have not changed the value I see in myself. I am a woman, a sister, daughter, and aunt. I add up to so much more than the number on the scale.

More than 302.
More than 302.
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Three Positives a Day for Seven Days

It's happened. I've been nominated. You've likely seen this challenge spread all over Facebook, and if you're not an active user, it is essentially this: post/write down three positive things in your life that you're grateful for/appreciate each day for seven days. The point is to help one reflect, spread some love and positivity throughout Facebook, and simply to send more positive vibes out into the world. Well, now's the time for honesty. I hoped beyond all hope that no one would nominate me for this challenge. This isn't because I'm a grinch. This isn't because I'm not a positive person. This is because I am a deeply private person (this may be a shocker...not sure...) and throwing my private appreciations out there makes me feel like I'm standing naked in the middle of rush hour.

I want you all to know that I write in a journal almost daily, and not once does a day go by that I don't write a few things I am grateful for and appreciate. This challenge will be cake, but when it comes to the publicity of it, it's not so much cake anymore.

SO. I've decided to stretch this challenge a bit and bring it to this blog (which feels like a safe haven and offers a more permanent space to document such personal thoughts rather than the quick-passing Facebook newsfeed) where I will not only open myself up a bit more to my readers, but bring more attention and awareness to The Body Project. After all, I firmly believe that our minds and our spirits need to be loved and strengthened as much as our bodies. They belong to our body. This is a beautiful exercise in taking those first steps to truly loving yourself. The more appreciation you show the world, the more positive and healthy you'll start to feel.

Without further ado, here goes.

DAY ONE

First and foremost, I appreciate and deeply love my family with special mention to my hubby, mom, dad, and brother. They are, without a doubt, my biggest supporters in life and have never once made me feel like I couldn't do what I set out to do. They've let me rise and fall without judgement (maybe some nudges of I told you so's now and then ;P) and embrace who I am whole-heartedly. I love you all so much.

Second, I appreciate and deeply love my friends who bring so much color to my life (and the world!) it's ridiculous. You all constantly remind me how beautiful and crazy the world is and you bring me down from the clouds I often find myself sitting on.

Finally, I appreciate The Body Project. It has released so much within me and makes me smile on a daily basis to see how many women (and men!) it has touched. I love, beyond words, the women who've opened themselves up and allowed themselves to be vulnerable for this project. You all inspire and uplift me daily. The project feels like a solid foundation for which to build a new layer of my business. I am incredibly grateful to all involved and all who support us.

DAY TWO

 1. I am so so SO grateful to past, present, and future clients of my business, katy daixon photography, particularly those clients (and non-clients!) who've stuck by me through every step of the (likely awkward) way. You know who you are, and I hope you know how special you are to me. Without your constant support, appreciation, help, honesty, and willingness to share my work with others, I wouldn't be where I am right now. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Truly.

2. I deeply appreciate and love Dr. John Hicks and his wife, Betsy, for leading me on a new path toward healing. For the first time in seven years, I feel like all will work out in the end. I have faith that I won't need to deal with chronic pain and physical irritations for the rest of my life. You may have also incidentally made me a foodie. ;) I am forever grateful to you and for what you put out into the world.

3. Beyond my immediate family and husband, I appreciate and love my additional siblings (Tiff, Ric, Roy, and Alex). All of you bring incredible humor to my life and have lifted me out of darkness more times than I can count. Your honesty, unconditional love (even though you don't have to be honest or love me! ;P), intelligence, and determination are beautiful. As my mom always says, "You're not an inlaw. You're an outlaw, because outlaws are wanted." <3

DAY THREE

Today was light-hearted. So my three positives will follow suit. ;)

1. I appreciate my cats something fierce. If I couldn't smoosh my face into their beautifully fluffy (Loki) and silky (Ziggy) hair, I don't know what I'd do to bring myself into the here and now. I am grateful for the conversations we have throughout the day (seriously) and for their adorable little faces putting a smile on my face every single day.

2. I appreciate kids' ability to be totally absurd and dorky with no fear of judgement. Today, I trekked down to Whitewater Lake to take photos of people hanging out on the beach for the Whitewater Tourism. As I took a photo from behind a mom watching her daughter play in the water, the daughter grabbed her mini-tube, slammed her body down on it, and posed with her arms and legs in the air. Lol! Then, as I was walking back to my car, I heard this conversation loud and clear:

Little girl: "Who was that lady you were talking to mom?"

Mom:, "A photographer. She's taking pictures for brochures and stuff."

Little girl: "So, I'm going to be in a magazine?!"

Ah...love it.

3. I appreciate the pleasure that comes from uninhibited dancing, especially the sways, jumps, booty shakin', dips, jerks, and fake ballerina moves one does while alone in their room. ;) It's glorious.

DAY FOUR

1. I appreciate so so much CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) that I signed up for through Regenerative Roots, located in Jefferson, WI, not only because the owners kick ass and love providing organically grown food to local people, but because the fruits and veggies are beyond delicious and make my body feel a thousand times better than many store bought items.

2. On that note, I ADORE and am grateful for fermented veggies. The amount of nutrition/probiotics packed into those veggie-filled mason jars on my pantry shelves and in my fridge have done amazing things to my digestive system. I am definitely moving in a healthy direction. Get recipes here and start fermenting. Seriously.

3. I love this weather. After so many days of stifling 80-90 degree humid heat, I am reminded of how much I love scarves, sweaters, and snuggling up next to my hubby. Oh yeah...and not sweating profusely. Both of us. ;)

DAY FIVE

1. I appreciate chocolate avocado pudding because I don't need to eat much to feel full and incredibly satisfied. For realsies. MAKE. IT. Recipe here.

2. I am truly grateful for the fact that I have time to do journaling and self-reflection in the morning. I can't even count how many times I have come to realizations about my mind, body, spirit, and life in that hour I spend alone with my thoughts.

3. I love video games. Seriously. If you want anything to take you out of your own head, go shoot stuff on your TV. ;)

DAY SIX

1. I appreciate sessions with kind-hearted, easy-going people. I love the way the sessions turn out and how natural the people are with each other and me.

2. I LOVE big mugs. They make me feel warm.

3. I am truly grateful for nights like tonight with beautiful late summer weather, my husband and his brother playing guitar and singing, while I write and read and breathe.

DAY SEVEN

This was technically due yesterday, but I was gone all day shooting a wedding, so today is just as good. ;)

1. I greatly appreciate the time my husband and I had today to purge our house of any excess. I seriously believe that cleansing your environment cleanses your mind.

2. I LOVE that gay marriage is accepted in Illinois because the two women I photographed yesterday with Capturing Photography so deserve to be married. They were an incredible couple with beautiful, happy families which made for incredible pictures all day. <3

3. I whole-heartedly appreciate this project, blog, my photography business, and the ability/chance to be creative every day. They all fulfill me so deeply I can't even imagine what I'd rather be doing. Life is awesome.

 

I challenge you ALL to write (OR say to yourself) a few positive things you're grateful for/appreciate every day for always. It truly is important for your health and the health of the world.

 

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My Name is Lesley, and I Am Better Than That

She is full of fire and it's about freaking time I share her story.

We all do it. We look at other people. We look at their hair, their faces, the way they apply their makeup. We look at their clothes and the way they style themselves. We look at their fat and their bones and the way their body is structured. We look at their expressions and the postures they stand with. We look at their muffin tops and the gaps between their thighs. We look at these things and think about them positively and negatively or sometimes we simply observe. Observing similarities and differences is human nature. Making judgements about those observations, whether positive or negative, is a reflection of our own selves.

My name is Lesley and I am skinny.

My name is Lesley and there is much more to me than my body. There is much more to my life than my body type.

Referring to something someone posted in the Facebook group--the article on Thin Privilege [you can read it here] --it's possible I misunderstood, but I read it over and over again and could not bring myself to feel comfortable with what the author was saying. I felt that she made a lot of generalizations and assumptions about thin people based on her own experiences. Is it fair to reduce our experience and struggles by assuming they were because of our bodies?

One thing she said stuck out to me in particular: "And while your internal struggle is real and significant, the point is: You might hate your body, but society doesn't."

Again, I may be taking this the wrong way, but I will tell you that I hated my body for two reasons: because when I looked in the mirror, I didn't look like the pretty people (others told me so) and because other people said I was ugly and that my body was gross. These people are a part of society. I very much think that society and the collective group made up of the modeling industry, media, and celebrities, are two very different things. The latter is extreme and disconnected from reality. The former may be influenced in part by the latter, but that does not excuse their actions.

The unrealistic standard that advertising creates does not just affect fat people. That unrealistic model has also had her skin airbrushed, bony parts smoothed, boobs inflated, facial features perfected, hair perfected, and has been photographed at a great angle in great lighting by a photographer. I remember seeing pictures of myself after senior prom and what did I see? I saw my collarbone, my lack of breasts, my hips jutting through the material of the dress, my shoulder blades that looked like they could cut a person, my big dumbo ears sticking out because my hair pulled back was too thin to cover them, and the fact that the full length dress I'd loved before I saw the photos actually only came down to my ankles because I was too tall. I looked ugly compared to the models on the cover of teen magazines, plain and simple, and being skinny didn't help.

And for all my life I was bullied for many things including being skinny, the media's obsession with women being thin had less to do with it or my reaction to it than what I was experiencing first hand. So, here is something I wanted to say that I didn't feel comfortable posting in the group:

It does not matter why someone is telling me my body is ugly. It does not matter that I am thin. It does not matter if their action is influenced by society, by the media, by fat-shaming, by their own personal experiences. Their action does not have a damn thing to do with any privileges I may have as a thin person. My internal struggle is real and significant. Period.

I did not think I was beautiful for the first 20+ years of my life. I was too skinny. I was scrawny and awkward, and I had a long face, a gummy smile, and big ears. I didn't develop any curves until a couple of years ago. I didn't know how to put makeup on or make my hair pretty. I wore ugly clothes I found at thrift stores. I had terrible self-esteem, low confidence, and because of past bullying, I was extremely shy in most situations. I picked my nails down farther than they should be because of severe anxiety. Great, I was skinny. How awesome. Here's the truth: People went out of their way to tell me how ugly I was, to point out how thin I was, to make fun of my long face and my big gummy smile.

People asked me to my face if I was anorexic, they asked my friends, they asked my brother. They told me to eat. They shoved food in my face and said, "What's wrong with you?" because clearly there must be something wrong. I once overhead a guy tell a group of mutual friends how disgusting it must be to sleep with me. They thought I had gone to bed. I was sitting in the dark crying. One girl stood up for me. That was 2005. I'll probably never forget it. After that night, I tried to stuff myself as much as I could with food. At the end of the summer, I had hardly gained any weight.

I am better than that.

I am better than that.

My name is Lesley and my spine sticks out and I have a gap between my thighs. Is that all you see when you look at me?

 

I was also born severely pigeon-toed; I had to wear corrective casts at 4 months old. I had to live with terrible pain for several years when we were trying to correct the way my feet and legs were growing. Sometimes, it hurt so much I'd fall to the floor. I'd make my mom squeeze my feet as hard as she could to offset the pain. If we hadn't corrected them, I probably wouldn't walk well, much less be able to run easily. I'm thin and terribly out of shape. I used to have gorgeous posture until I hit my growth spurt in middle school and was made fun of for being tall. I slouched to fit in. Most things don't fit me right. 1/5 bras are carried in my size and even my size doesn't fit half the time. Pants are a bitch to find. Just-above-the-knee dresses that look beautiful on shorter women hit me about or above mid-thigh. Shorter women look classy. I look like a slut. On the other hand, I assume this is a problem big-bosomed women have with things my smaller chest can get away with.

I was diagnosed with tachycardic syncope because I was blacking out several times per day and passing out when I stood for too long, something common with tall, thin adolescent women. I couldn't even stand in choir to sing through our repertoire some days. I once went to the doctor for a cough. She did nothing for my cough and spent the appointment trying to make me confess I had an eating disorder. She made me do a follow-up appointment a week or two later. I was underweight (more than normal). She made me so angry, I stuffed myself and managed to gain ten (ten!) pounds in time for the next appointment. The look on her face when she weighed me after accusing me of lying...well...that made me feel better.

My name is Lesley and here is what I think: we need to stop defining and separating bullying into categories. Fat people and skinny people have much more in common than people think. That collective group I mentioned earlier that is made up of the modeling industry, media, and celebrities influences fat-shaming AND thin-shaming. It also convinces people that skinny people and non-skinny people must be separated. Why?

No body type gives us the right to make assumptions about that person's life simply because it makes us feel better. We need to learn to be okay with flattering ourselves and taking responsibility for things we don't like, and when there are things we can't change, accept them. When there are things we don't like that we can change, whether we do or don't, that falls on us. Not other people. Not on society.

And when we think someone is pretty, we should tell them. When we make negative judgements about someone’s body, we should keep them to ourselves and remind ourselves that the negative judgement reflects us, not them.

My name is Lesley and I am a photographer. I am a musician. I play the piano and sing.

I love animals, and someday I want to work or volunteer at a rescue center.

I majored in writing and minored in graphics and photo.

I was just certified as an EMT.

I've played softball for 17 years and I hope I'm still playing when I'm old.

I became an Aunt a few months ago.

I started dying my hair when I was 13 and didn't stop until I was 26. I haven't dyed my hair in two years, and I finally like my natural color.

I've never gotten a tattoo and maybe never will, but I have 9 piercings.

I love camping and being outdoors.

My favorite kid's song is Baby Beluga, and being by large, seemingly unending bodies of water calms me.

I usually (and awkwardly) can't seem to detect subtle flirting from the opposite sex.

I love pretty much every genre of music except the ones I don't. I played the French Horn for 8 years and I still remember how, although it probably wouldn't be pleasant to listen to.

I seem to remain pretty naive to the idea that some people are just mean for no reason (or maybe for reasons I'll just never know).

I love the way my legs feel freshly shaved. When I wear a swimming suit, sometimes I feel attractive, sometimes I don't.

Sometimes I do or say really stupid things. It can take me a while to forgive myself.

I am not perfect, but after several years of experimenting with makeup, hair, and clothes, I can say (although not publicly), I think I am more beautiful than I used to be. Not always, as I am still very picky about the way my clothes fit, and some days, my face and hair just seem terribly off. I don't think I'm very stylish and I do get frustrated when I see women who are. I own a lot of plain comfortable clothing, and some clothing I've bought because I saw something similar look cute on someone else and then never wore for one reason or another...often confidence related.

I am a woman who wants to feel beautiful and will put the minimum time it takes to accomplish that. I am a woman who wants to be woodsy, free-spirited, and full of life—and often I find myself fighting anxiety and bad habits to try to reach these. I am a woman who is tired of hearing people dehumanize thin people, just as I am sure big women are tired of hearing people dehumanize fat people.

There are still many physical things about myself that I don't like, but I have come a long way. I am generally a private person, so sharing all of this was a bit hard. I have a hard time opening myself up to other women and being vulnerable, but I think that my being a part of this project is worth it if it means I can clarify misconceptions people have about being a thin woman and break down some walls.

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The Body Project Session #16: Together, we make one.

This is another one of those sessions that I wrote about in my journal immediately following the session because the thoughts wouldn't stop coming. It goes like this: What a beautiful day! The love, respect, and compassion Viveca and Vainca have for one another is one of the most beautiful sisterhoods I've ever witnessed. They have struggled together, risen together, live near each other, play together, and are so in sync that I (and my right-hand lady for the day, Stacy) mistook them as twins. It was such a purely joy-filled afternoon.

Back story: Both women have not seen me since I was a baby and possibly since I was a toddler. They were good friends with my mom in the 70s (oh my god, those stories are hilarious) and both friended me on Facebook within the past year or so. Now currently living in California, they started following this project with great sadness that they couldn't join. As the project was coming to a close in June, they realized they'd be coming to Wisconsin at the end of the summer and asked if they could "do a sitting in support of strong sisters coming to terms with our middle aged bodies."

We instantly connected the moment they walked in the house, and we proceeded to talk about everything from the project, to sisterhood, to our collective of hairy legs and pits, to tattoos and piercings, and their intense history growing up.

I finished setting up as my mom made her surprise entrance and the three women hugged and laughed and hugged some more, catching up after years of not seeing one another.

My mom. :)

My mom. :)

We all came up with two poses that perfectly capture the two main attributes of Viveca and Vainca's relationship: humor and love. I couldn't be happier with the way these two embraced their session and each other. Thank you, ladies. You're both beautiful and have incredible spirits.

Thank you, Stacy, for the beautiful candids. <3 Here's their story:

 

In Her Shoes. If you want to know about our sister relationship... watch the movie In Her Shoes. It's our mirror. Our lives. Our story.

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GO BIG or GO HOME!

GO BIG or GO HOME!

We had never seen this movie before, and while struggling with how to tell our story for The Body Project, there it was--in our hotel room on television during our annual sister trek to the homeland--our story unfolding in front of our eyes. This movie is about the lives, paths, hearts, and healing of two sisters who relied on each other... sometimes together and sometimes apart. Really... this movie was written about us.

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Maggie, played by Cameron Diaz, sums it up by saying to her sister Rose, "Without you, I don't make sense."

That's it for us. We complete each other in a way that only sisters can understand. We know each others thoughts, finish each others sentences, and can share our deepest secrets and know we are safe.

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Ying and yang. Peanut butter and jelly. Coffee and cream. Together, we make one!

She is me and me is she.

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At the end of our movie (forever a reference for us. Yup... our movie), Maggie reads this poem to Rose at her wedding. It's our poem. It speaks us.

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

BY e.e. cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in

my heart)i am never without it(anywhere

i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done

by only me is your doing,my darling)

                                                      i fear

no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want

no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)

and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows

higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Connected by the heart.

Connected by the heart.

We are connected by our hearts.

Vainca and Viveca forever!

As I see and contemplate the remaining word ‘connected’ still black on my arm, I am reminded of our photo shoot for The Body Project. Being surrounded by family, friends, and the lasting love we have for each other brought to my surface not only a wonderful reunion, but, the ability to feel at home and at peace with me... the fundamentally and physically bare me. I am happy ‘connected.’ Thank you so much for opening your heart and home to my sis and I, and providing a foundation for women to explore, and ultimately learn and love themselves! The surprise reunion was the frosting on the cake!
— Vainca
The Body Project is a reminder that we all have the power to reconsider our doubts and dislikes about ourselves. When posed with the opportunity to confront myself and my inhibitions head on...I find ...it’s not that bad! I am what I am, and when I can get comfy in my skin, I can be content. Thanks for the opportunity to reach in...dig down...and settle into a bit of comfy. It’s easy to focus on what’s wrong, but it’s so much better to think about what’s right.
— Viveca

 

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