elena s blair


Where do I fit in the body positivity movement?

Im Elena

A "mom with a camera", on a mission!





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Photo taken by Sandra Coan late 2019

There is a real movement toward female body positivity and acceptance on social media, which is incredible. My feed is filled with women sharing their bodies online, all shapes and sizes, to encourage acceptance of the female form in all its natural beauty.

But where do I fit? I am curvy, 5’2 and I weigh between 125-135 lbs. So how does sharing my story help this movement?

My body has transformed many, many times and I will be completely honest…each transformation came with an emotional component. When I share this with folks they are somewhat surprised. You see, I am a Leo through and through and I am quite confident. I actually love my body and am not very modest at all. It is not uncommon to find me braless or naked without bating an eye. 😉

However there is a lot of deep rooted shame and shadow around body image for me. As there is for many women. I just don’t often talk about it… until now I suppose.

When I was a teenager I looked younger than my peers. I was very petite. I was an athlete, a gymnast, and my body did not look like my girlfriends. And I was teased for it. A lot.

Then, after high school, when I stopped training six days a week, I finally got the curves I thought I had always desired. And suddenly, I felt too curvy. This triggered over exercising and borderline disordered eating.

Then, shortly after college I started having children. I am only 5’2 with a generally petite frame. I gained 40+ lbs with each pregnancy and had over active milk production. My breasts would swell to three times their normal size and be so tender and painful. My abdominal muscles couldn’t handle the stretching and I now have a very significant diastasis recti that got worse with each baby. You can get 4 fingers between my abdominal muscles and I suffer from chronic lower back pain and my lower back completely goes out at least three times a year. Having babies did a number on my body.

Now I will say, I have never felt more powerful or purposeful than when I was pregnant or breast feeding. I birthed my babies unmedicated because I simply Knew my body was made for birthing… turns out it was. Birth came fast and easy for me. I breastfeed each of my babies well into toddlerhood, happily.

I am PROUD of my body and what it has done and what it is still capable of. So damn proud.

My body journey continued after my divorce. In three weeks time I lost nearly twenty pounds. I weighed 110 lbs which is the smallest I have been since high school. I was going through the most traumatic time I had ever experienced, literally barely surviving… but everyone was complimenting me constantly about how thin I had become. “You look amazing! What are you doing to be so thin?”

For the very first time I realized that my self worth was wrapped up in what my body looked like. When I was an athlete as a child and teen my coaches praised me for being petite and muscular, when I got curves I was praised by men but I was horrified inside by how quickly I had gained those curves and I fought them. I mean, how could I possibly be worthy of love when I was no longer teeny and athletic?

My belly the day my third baby was born. 🙂

When I was pregnant I embraced my round belly and swelling breasts but I will admit that when I had to live with the aftermath of pregnancy I struggled. I just thought that if I got skinny enough I would be happy with my body again… and I did get skinny again- because of extreme stress and heart break. And I still wasn’t satisfied.

This is when I started therapy and learned about shadow work. I didn’t’ know, until my divorce, how much I had been wrapping up my self worth with my physical body. It was a huge wake up call.

I fell in love with myself during that time. I was single for two years after my ex husband left me and it was the most transformative time of my life thus far. I felt invigorated just to be ALIVE! I traveled, I mothered how I wanted to, I experienced passion again, I felt smart and powerful, I grew so much. I learned to love ME, maybe for the first time so deeply. I learned to integrate all the parts of me and saw how beautiful every single piece of me is.

Now here is where this story gets tricky….

I would see women show their post baby bodies, stretch marks, lower belly skin, and a belly that forever pooches due to the muscle damage. Breasts that are empty now because of the work they did feeding babies. And they are so beautiful. I look at their photos with so much love and adoration and the deepest respect.

But that isn’t me.

My after baby body.

I struggled with what childbirth did to my body. I used to feel bad for feeling like that. “Why can’t I just be happy with my tummy and flaunt it? Why can’t I just do physical therapy and fix my muscle damage? I have three healthy childen, shouldn’t that be enough to accept what happened to my body in the process?”

I felt so much shame for wanting to change.

I dont anymore. I don’t have to feel like the women who love what their post baby bodies look like. I can respect them, think they are gorgeous and still want to change my body for me.

It is not bad that I want to eliminate my lower and upper back pain. It is not bad that I want to feel like my core can support me while running and working out again. It is not bad that I don’t want my bra straps to dig into my shoulders anymore from supporting my after baby breasts. And it is not bad that I want to remove the extra skin that remains from stretching to grow my babies. I am allowed to feel how I feel about my body and take whatever steps I feel are right for me and my body.

I look at my body and I love her so dearly. I want her to feel like me, all of me, all the integrated parts. And that is why I have chosen to have my abdomen and breasts repaired with surgery. The “mommy makeover” if you will (which I kinda hate that phrase.) I am having an abdominalplasty and breast augmentation and I am so excited (and scared.)

Wanting to repair the effects of pregnancy does not mean I am not proud of my body.

It does not mean I don’t love my body or love myself.

It does not make me less of a grateful mother.

In fact, going through with this surgery is a radical act of self love.

I felt shame about that at first.

Shouldn’t I get behind the body positivity movement and show up as is without wanting a change?

The answer is no.

This is part of body positivity too.

I can want to reclaim my body and and be proud of what it did to create life at the same time.

I should embrace all the love I have for myself, all the pride I have for my body, and make the decision that is best for ME.

And when I repair my abdominal muscles and remove the skin that remains from stretching to grow my babies, I will do it with love. I will thank the past versions of me for carrying me through so much life. So much love. So much pain. And I will promise the new me that I will love her with reckless abandon.

So my point on sharing this body journey with you is to remind you that how you feel about your body is valid and very real. We as women are trained to wrap our self worth up in our bodies and it is a journey to come home to ourselves.

I am so excited for this next step. Thank you for for being here for it.



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