The Skin We're In

Never did I ever think that blogging would lead me to this.  Never did I imagine that I would ever share an image of my very own post baby ‘belly purse’, forever dimpled and dripping lightly, just over my waist band.

It’s not to be confused with a muffin top – though that would be much cuter don’t you think?

It’s not to be mistaken for flabby abs either – though that would be an inviting challenge if they were.

And it’s certainly not to be represented as a flagrant invitation to judge, advise or congratulate me on my extra bits either.

I didn’t write this post to take a stand, no, I wrote it in solidarity from one women (me) to another woman, the truly courageous Gillian Goerzen for the stand that SHE took and her call to action for all of us women who judge our own bodies.

This is what I woke up to this morning as I was coming through my 5:30am fog, making my hubby’s lunch, putting the kettle on for coffee (we like a french press – no drip for us), tossing the first load of laundry in while listening for the pop of his breakfast bagel in the toaster.  How could I not respond after seeing this in my Facebook feed?

Gillian Goerzen

OMG I thought… That’s what I look like when I plank.  I thought it was only me. Only I have the belly purse.  Only I didn’t lose the extra flabby bits after my three babies.  Only I carry this dimply baggage around with me every day, never to be left at the door.

But no.  I’m NOT the only one.  It’s just that no one talks about it and heavens to Betsy – definitely, nobody, as in nobody shows it. Thank you Gillian… Here is her post that encouraged me to do the same.   Gillian headshot








Gillian Goerzen – Yesterday, I had an opportunity to share my story with a crowd of over 100 women for International Women’s Day. One of the images I shared was this one. You might wonder – why would you share this?

I first shared this image in one of my private fitness and nutritional accountability groups. After losing 70 lbs and having two beautiful boys, this is what my stomach looks like in a plank.  And it is the area of my body I’m still quite uncomfortable with. But I shouldn’t be! My stomach is a beautiful thing – it’s a badge of honour. It grew and made room for two beautiful boys. 

I shared it with my group to start a conversation. Because this “flaw” I see – represents a tendency of our society – especially women – to focus on what we DON’T like. It represents everything about the image of the fitness and diet industry that I believe holds us back from truly having a healthy relationship with food and fitness.  

Yesterday Michelle asked if I would share it publicly on Facebook. I said maybe.  It’s scary being vulnerable. It’s raw and unedited. It’s real. But I share this because I want to start a dialogue. I want to help women put their foot down. To say NO to the social programming of diet mentality that tells us we’re not good enough. To stop negative self-talk.  To speak to themselves the way they would speak to their best friend – or their child. I want women to create a healthy relationship with food and fitness.  To say NO to extreme diets and fads. To be a realistic and healthy example for their children – for their community. To create a ripple effect. 

I post this today because I want to start a ripple. One woman at a time. One conversation at a time. 

Sharing my journey was a deeply personal act – it was a vulnerability victory for me. Vulnerability is my STRENGTH.  Because vulnerability connects us all.  It helps us all relate and feel empathy and compassion for one another and ourselves. And when we have that – we are truly unstoppable.

How could I not respond?  Here is what I posted, and her answer back to me:2016-03-08 10.23.44














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So to all of you women out there on International Women’s Day – be brave, be vulnerable, be real, and love the SKIN you are in.

TinaO Your Living Story





TinaO is a writer, speaker and the founder of TinaOLife – a hub for all things worth living for, the workshop Live Your Best Story, and her coaching practice:  Tall Poppy Living. She’s also a professional network marketer with a decade in the industry and in her Tall Poppy Living for Network Marketers Coaching Program, she teaches: selling isn’t slimey and marketing isn’t make-believe. You can be yourself and be successful in Direct Sales.