I think with yesterday being the last of my series with Tommy Bahama that today is the perfect time to share today’s post! I’ve been wanting to write it for years but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I was too afraid, and too attached to the image I’ve cultivated of myself.
I’m assuming you know that when you see photos of me, and our home, that they’re the creme de la creme of the photos. That I’ve styled, prepped, edited and tried hard to make everything (including myself) as pretty as possible. I’ve done this because it’s nice to look at lovely photos, one only has to spend 3 minutes on Pinterest to understand that it’s a part of our current cultural language. Also, as a photographer, it’s always felt like my job- to make things appear even better than life, if possible. But it’s important to note that this site and the photos featured are very much an edited version of reality!!
I’m not saying these photos aren’t real, of course they are, but they’re a partial truth. Here are some other truths: for the past four months the dogs have napped on a gigantic pile of papers in my office. Our couch pillows are so very rarely perfectly fluffed, they’re more often haphazardly tossed in various spots on the couch. There are piles of dog fur the size of small bunnies that blow like tumbleweeds through our hallway. If I’m ambitious enough in a day to put on makeup I most often wear it to sleep and through the next day, if not two. I have an amazing ability to reserve proper showering until my hair is nearly in dreadlocks. I eat meals that are comprised of leftovers or what others might consider snacks, or sometimes I just eat spoonfuls of nut butter because I’m too lazy to cook. I can be jealous, greedy, hot tempered, rude, sad, and an entirely other spectrum of humanity than what you see here. It’s not all quinoa salads, skirts and crop tops at our house my friends, it’s just not.
But I don’t think that you’re necessarily here to look at piles of my paper on the floor, you didn’t wander over from Pinterest one time because you saw a photo of me wearing yoga pants and on the couch typing away on my laptop sitting in my own filth. (HA!) So I’m here to remind you today, this site- and ALLLLL of the others like it, are partial truths. I’m sharing beautiful inspiration photos because it’s JUST that, inspiration. It pains me to think that someone would aspire to anything visually featured here.
I’ve shared some of my real, less polished truths above, and here’s a bit more – circling back to the Tommy Bahama bikini photos. I used to be 165 lbs and you can see the photos of me above. I barely recognize myself. I was a girl that scooped ice cream up with potato chips after coming home from high school. I was depressed, I was unhealthy, I felt trapped. I realize that in looking at these recent photos of me doing yoga poses on the beach you might never have thought that. I’m also aware that I’ve never been brave enough, or ok enough with myself, to say YEP, THAT WAS ME. That IS me. That overweight girl has been like a cobweb: clingy, frightening and better avoided.
I had a complicated childhood, I’ve worked hard to become a stable and healthy person, but the truth is that I’m very much a work in progress. What I’m learning these days, the most important lesson of my life so far- is that the greatest freedom, the greatest happiness lies in LETTING GO. Right here, right now I’m letting go of my need for you to think that I’m anything but exactly who I am. I’m not who you see in ANY of these photos- I’m the words that you’re reading here. And with that, in case you hadn’t, you can also realize that you’re not the photos you’ve seen of yourself. You are not the size of your jeans, the length and color of your hair, the style of your clothes. You are not your body, as strange as I know that sounds.
If you’ve found that in reading the above you feel acceptance for me- that reading about my flaws softened you towards me somehow, please turn that right back around to yourself. Soften to yourself, your own flaws, your own very human-ness. If you reaction was negative, or judgemental, notice that too. Turn that around in your head as well, examine what part of yourself you’re struggling with that may relate. And try to soften to yourself.
I can only write that because I’m in the thick of softening to myself. I’m changing that conversation from “Hey former overweight and unhappy girl, you’re a mess!” to “HEY FORMER OVERWEIGHT AND UNHAPPY GIRL! YOU ARE AMAZING AND HUMAN AND BRILLIANTLY, PERFECTLY, WONDERFULLY IMPERFECT! THE WORLD SHOULD SEE YOU!” I’m facing fears. I’m turning towards the cobwebs and walking towards them instead of running away. Letting go. Learning to love myself.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for every bit of love you bring into the world. We are all connected. I feel it. xx- Sarah
So courageous and true and strong. Thank you. Love.
I am always inspired by your posts but this for sure was the most inspiring post I’ve read in a long time!
sarah that was beautiful. thank you for writing it and for ALL of the inspiration. your thoughtfulness and honesty are beautiful.
Thanks for sharing. I’m where you were back then. What inspired you to change? What was your turning point?
I love everything about this post. There is nothing wrong with putting out there the best reflection of your work and inspiration but it’s so true that what you (we) put out into the universe is just that, bits and pieces of an inspired life. There is much more to life than just a picture and it’s refreshing to hear you say it. Life isn’t always perfect and every day we have our own struggles. I love your blog and enjoy reading your inspired world. – xx
What a wonderful post , thank you for being so brave sharing that with the rest of the world. I for one do not think your life is perfect i think that you are just a girl with a great eye for photography and know how to take a FANTASTIC photo. A photo that inspires me to create so thank you.
I am blown away by your courage and authenticity. You are amazing for sharing this and I have become more and more impressed with your posts over time; they truly show an evolution. I have always loved your blog — love your taste and style — but I love it even more now. Thank you so much for sharing.
Brave and honest. Thank you for sharing this!
Gah, I’m sobbing. Candid, raw and moving port my dear. I’ll be the first to admit that turning to face myself and give some grace does not come easily, but(!) I have learned (am learning) so much about myself in the process, and holy smokes — each of us is special in our own way, and that is a beautiful thing.
This really did make me tear up. Honestly more in awe of you than ever, and you have my utmost respect for your bravery in this vulnerability. THANK YOU for sharing. This was such a necessary, comforting, eye-opening reminder.
Thanks for sharing Sarah, I needed that today as I still struggle myself with my new body after becoming a mom. Letting go, I need to do more of that.
Inspirational! Thank you!
This is amazing! What a great post. It’s amazing how sharing the pieces of ourselves that we feel are targets for judgement, that make us vulnerable, is also how we initiate true connection. The kind where we are not wondering what people will think when they really get to know us. Where people can relate, because underneath the surface we are so similar. We are all connected. I feel it too!
Thanks for your bravery. You are beautiful! Such an inspiration to all of us works in progress.
Love the real words Sarah. Have a great week!
Love this so much, Sarah! This may be one of my fave posts to date (and there have been many faves!). I can relate to so many things (pillows, dreadlocks, furry tumbleweeds and all), and I’m constantly inspired by not just your beautiful images but by your openess and courage. Thank you for sharing and always writing so honestly. xo
Thanks for sharing, Sarah! xoxo
Hands down my favorite post ever.
You won’t ever really know the positive sprinkles you share on this planet.
I’m glad you are sprinkling them on yourself.
What an amazing post. I have been following your blog for a while and always love your posts but this has to be my favorite. Thank you for opening up and being honest and for your wonderfully encouraging words.
Sarah, you’re amazing. xoxoxox
Thank you Sarah for sharing that beautiful raw and candid post. I love your blog and find so much inspiration from it but also really appreciate the realness you have shared! Have a wonderful week!
What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing!
So well said, Sarah, thank you! Inspirational. I love your gorgeous edited photography/posts but it’s great to see this side, too.
All the best,
This is such a courageous and beautiful post!! Makes us love you that much more! Thanks for sharing!
I haven’t commented on any of your posts before, although I’ve been following your blog for quite some time! I guess I just I find it harder to make a true connection nowadays in the blogging world. We stand by, inspired but maybe not as connected as before… Turns out you’ve just made your blog more attainable and established that sense of connection that used to be so essential to blogging in the beginning, beyond the inspiration and oh so perfect and well designed content that’s been flourishing lately (that I thoroughly enjoy – but with its downside, as you’ve pointed out). In the end, I find what you’ve done today very moving and in the context that you so very well describe, truly brave and inspiring in the best of ways (yes, I’ve used “inspiring” yet again on purpose ^^). THANK YOU SO MUCH.
Such good stuff here. And such perfect timing. I was just looking at some pictures of me from a friend’s wedding and felt nothing but disgust for myself. I needed the reminder to “soften to yourself.” Yesterday, I went to spin class. I had a deep, connecting conversation with a friend. I listened to an amazing podcast about creativity and creation. These things define me so much more than a photo or how I’m feeling about my body. I am thankful to be in a world full of beautiful things, but more thankful for who I am inside and who I am becoming. Thanks for the honest words.
Very beautiful said. We are all works in progress! I know your words will inspire many to be a happier version of themselves.
I have (quietly) followed you since day one of your blog, first drawn in by the fabulous Ruka. This is a wonderful post but not surprising – I already knew you were SO “this girl”. Sooner or later every blog becomes whoever the author is – pretty rooms, fashion, beauty tips, travel etc is out there in abundance. YOU, Sarah, are what makes this blog wonderful and unique.
This is so beautiful. THANK YOU! I too am ‘wonderfully imperfect’. Sending love, M
I just love your honesty, Sarah. Thanks for sharing and being such a REAL inspiration <3
Thank you, thank you, and thank YOU . . .
You are so inspiring on a daily basis through your photos and now you have inspired us all through your kind and softened words – what a beautiful moment in time. Namaste 🙂
Standing ovation – simple, pure and powerful truth.
you’ve allowed yourself to open up to the world and in turn the world opens to you. thank you for taking us along your journey.
Wow, well done you on sharing! I love your posts like this – they are honest and inspirational in their honesty. Love your other stuff too, but ones like these really stand out.
Thank you Sarah
as always, i am so moved by what you share and how much it works for the greater good. brava, and thank you.
Thank you so much Sarah. I can’t begin to tell you how much i needed to hear your words right now. I’m constantly feeling that there must be something fundamentally wrong with me for living in a house that’s a tip most of the time, working in a studio that doesn’t resemble anything nice from pinterest, walking around looking like a bag lady as i have no time to get my hair done, juggling work with mum stuff and doing neither very well. Even though I’m sharp enough most of the time to realise that nice rooms are staged, and hair is professionally styled and so on, there’s still that bit of me that believes it and needs a good talking to. I will go easier on myself. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love this post.
What a great message- life isn’t as perfect as blogs/ instagrams/ pins/ pictures etc. so good for you for sharing your story. I’m on a mission of my own!
It’s so important for people to hear that the person (and life) behind the blog is not perfect. One of the reasons that so many women make jokes about the perfection they try to attain via Pinterest is because that perfection doesn’t really exist, yet we see it ALL THE TIME nowadays, from those too-beautiful Instagram moments to the gorgeous photos on blogs. Thanks for being honest about the dog hair and piles of paper and for sharing the photos of you when you weighed more. We can all relate and we should all let go. 🙂
You blow my mind sometimes. You are amazing. As a single hard-working mama of a toddler, I sometimes look on blogs and think “if only” my life looked like that. If I could go to the beach, and buy really cute outfits, and had time to cook all that food. Thank you for reminding me that it is hard for everyone. It is hard. And beautiful. And I’m learning to surrender everyday. Thank you for inspiring me.
I couldn’t love this post more.
(From a fellow dog lover who more often than not had dog hair tumbleweeds blowing across the house)
So thankful for this article, every word touched me and it’s true we all have to learn to “let go” and practice self acceptance. You are an inspiration.
I have lurked your picture perfect life for years and I have loved how pretty it was and how lovely everything seemed (even when terrible things happened to you and your partner, it still seemed magical? how silly does that sound in writing) but I am compelled to comment now, for the first time, to say thank you. I was really touched by what you wrote and you’re right, it did soften my feelings towards you… not that they were negative at all.. but you have always been crisply perfect in my mind.
Thanks for sharing – the conversations we have with ourselves would be so much easier if we let go of the past and remembered that each moment is a new beginning.
What a beautiful post! And timely, too. Thanks for being so brave and honest. You are truly inspirational!
Lovely, makes me like you even more. Thank you for your courage. One of my very favorite quotes, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
This post has so much truth to it – how we need to be kind to ourselves; how the internet doesn’t tell the whole story; and so much more. Once again I realize how lucky it was for me to find your blog.
Thank you for being so honest, real, and true. A great reminder when I’m struggling or doubting myself.
i have a very similar past which i feel ashamed and disconnected from. i also struggle with wanting to be perfect all the time and feeling like a complete slob when i just don’t have it in me to clean the bathroom or vacuum the rug. thank you for making me feel not so alone and ok in not being absolutely glamorous and in a perfectly clean house 24/7.
This is wonderful, it’s so nice to read about the truths in life, and not just a staged photo like you said. Thank you for sharing!
Letting go is what we all deserve!
So happy to hear you found that peaceful path! May you inspire others to walk it!
Amazing post! That you for sharing!
Very good – I’ve read similar sentiments elsewhere, but this feels so genuine and real. Thank you!
Thanks for sharing the messy too, Sarah. You are an inspiration and I love knowing my favorite reads are written by real people who feel life and tell it like it is. You are just beautiful – inside and out.
WOW. WOW. WOW.
First, your words, truer than true and more youer than you (you said so yourself, you are not your photos, you are your words and we are reading them). I’ve always loved your blog because of you cool, boho style, amazing food styling and recipes (I’ve made a few of them myself!) and your humour (it really comes through in your writing, I love it!). I’ve been a reader for several years but don’t comment too often (I used to more, but now I just come and enjoy silently :).
This post is just so fantastic and a true testament to what a good person you are (and I don’t even “know” you). I feel that in general your personality shines through in your words and here you are putting yourself out there (AGAIN) and sharing such private photos with us and how you really feel. I love it. And it softened me to you (although I already am girl-crushing anyway) and in turn I tried and will try, to soften towards myself.
Thanks for that xo
You are an amazing inspiration. I am only just now learning to soften toward myself, and it is so beautiful to be able to relate to others in the struggle and talk openly about it. So thank you for being brave. I hope you know that today you have helped so many people.
Ghaa! You are just so fabulous Sarah. Been following you for a couple years, have made and devoured some of your recipes and have aspirations to make many more. I’ve loved your back-story, your approachability, your humor….but, my biggest surprise and what puts a huge smile on my face with your every post, is your growth. And our honesty. And your humility. You are beautiful. XOXO
What an amazing post! Dear, you made my day.
It has been a while since I started to think about things about me and my life, and those are the same you described here. Acceptance, letting go, being at last able to actually forgive yourself for all the things you did wrong, or didn’t do, are crucial.
But once you’ve started to struggle to achieve them, and put all your efforts in not giving up, things will definitely go way better.
A huuuge hug,
Thank you so much <3 I'm choking. Grateful for your words. We are all connected, I feel it too.
Loved reading this, Sarah! One of the goals of our blog is to allow women to embrace their flaws and accept themselves for the beauties we all are!! This post was a shining light amidst all the horrible things we’ve been seeing in the news recently in regard to social acceptance and individuality.
Thanks so much for that. I always do take these “kinds-of-blogs” as inspiration but God it’s refreshing to have glimpses of truly relate-able realness. Look forward to more beautifully edited pics 🙂
This is so beautifully written. Thank you for sharing your story and reminding us that no one’s life is perfect. I have a hard time looking back as well. It’s painful to be reminded of what you once were but it’s also part of who we are and how we got here. I admire your courage and your honesty. Thank you for being an inspiration to those of us who aspire to live a better life one step at a time.
Taffeta & Tulips
This struck a chord with me, a very strong one. I an relate to having a rough childhood and to letting go. It isn’t as easy as it may seem to let things go, but that’s what it takes to move one right? I’m trying to move on past my anxieties and food issues, and I agree my blog shows the highlights, not the shadows. Only at times do I delve into that area and even then ,it’s just a glimpse and then quickly the door closes. So Great job on emphasizing the shadows because bloggers ARE human and imperfectly perfect!
Thank you Sarah for writing this post.
What a wonderful post, what a wonderful human being, what a wonderful journey! Love and acceptance – so very inspiring! Thank you for sharing!
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’ve been a quiet reader of this blog for some months now, but this was the first post that really resonated with me and brought me out to say thank you. With the ubiquity of picture-perfect lifestyles and images saturating social media, I’m often one to get discouraged and ashamed of my messy present and past. It was refreshing and encouraging learn that change is possible, messiness is normal and we’re all works in progress.
I’ve always been drawn to your blog for the gorgeous photography, the inspiration and your vibe. I am so happy you shared this because I would have never known you struggled with your weight or being unhappy. I love the message of softening to ourselves. It’s something I’m working on as well. xoxo
This is very close to how I feel whenever I refer to the years I spent as a smoker. It seems so incongruous with who I am, but it’s all me—as worthy of love then as I am now.
So brave of you to share this. xo
Hi Sarah, thank you for writing this post. As a beginner blogger I’m learning what it means to live an “edited” life on screen, and sometimes I feel frustrated when I don’t feel like I’m living the life I aspire to (and I want other people to aspire to) on screen. Thanks for reminding us that we all have struggles and aren’t perfect even when we see others on screen living the “perfect” life.
This is the third post I am reading, you are so easy to read ! This one made me laugh and made me feel good.
Simple honesty of the duality of our lives, public and private.
This is great. Keep writing x
so human, truthful and beautiful. means so much more than a lot of words found here and there and everywhere.
You’ve imsesrped us all with that posting!
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