Wednesday, December 2, 2015

My name is Danielle... and this is my body.

As I made my way down the highway, I was a mix of emotions.  Excitement, nervousness, sheer terror and wonderment.

I pulled up outside Wild Spirit Photography's studio, turned off the ignition and sat.  Thinking.  For about 5 mins.

"Right.  I am ready.  I need to do this.  For me and the mothers of this world." I told myself.

It has taken me years to accept my body.  Accept every little roll of skin, every stretch mark and every dimple.


I think that we as mothers put too much pressure on being just right.  And really... we will never see ourselves as "just right".  This makes me sad.

Now, I am not going to write about how being my weight is unhealthy or tell you that I actually don't eat enough.  I am not going to explain to you that my weight gain is due to the fact that I have put my life on hold for the past 12 years to care for my family and therefore haven't taken care of myself.  I am not going to dive into any of that because

1.  You can go back through my blog to read "my" story; and 
2.  This photoshoot isn't about being overweight. 

We need to allow ourselves to embrace the changes that come with motherhood.  My body started changing the day I found out I was pregnant with out first.  After 1 baby, it was easier to loose the extra padding.  After the 2nd, I started struggling.  After five babies, I am at my heaviest... but my happiest.  

I am 174cms high.  I am 88kgs heavy.  I am size 14.  I am overweight.  I will not deny that.  I have no excuses, but a few reasons.  I should loose 10kgs or more.  And one day I will.   

But I am what I am today.. and it is OK!  


This.  Is.  Me.






Thank you to Ainslie at Wild Spirit Photography.   Words can not express how thankful I am for these images.  They have actually made me stronger.

Head over and check her out.  Not only does she take phenomenal photos, but she does workshops all around the country.

Wild Spirit Photography.
Wild Spirit on Facebook.

Embrace the woman you are... today.





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83 comments:

  1. You are gorgeous and your light is so bright.

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  2. Wow very courages! - Good onya Darlin! Gorgeous photos! XXX

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  3. So courageous and you are beautiful!!

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  4. Gorgeous photo's...Congratulations xx

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  5. You are BEAUTIFUL inside and out. You climb each and every mountain one step at a time. Jy is besonders, uniek en pragtig en ek is trots om jou vriendin te wees!

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  6. Love the all the photos but particularly the last one :) Gorgeous & very brave :)

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  7. Can I just say that this was a really brave post and that you have done alot to change my thinking today.

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  8. They are absolutely gorgeous pictures! I would love to get something like this done. Well done beautiful :)

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  9. Wow! You are an inspiration!
    So proud to call you my friend :)
    xo

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  10. Danielle, you are a credit to Motherhood and Womanhood! Love them all especially the top one-health & happiness oozes from your smile. Thank you. I hope to look at my post-baby-apron- tummy in a more appreciative light as I undress tonight!! Jen xx (long time reader,1st time commenter)

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  11. You look gorgeous, well done!!

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  12. You are a total star! Gorgeous photos and you have made me sit up a little taller in my chair and feel a little better about my (much larger)body in the process!

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  13. Thank you so much for showing such personal photos. It makes me think twice about my own body being a size 16 I have never felt good in my own skin. You really have given me a better out look. Thank you you truly are a very beautiful women.

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  14. Beautiful photos! You are so brave - imagine what you can now do with the strength this has given you!! Stay you Danielle xx

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  15. Danielle,
    You may not know how much this blog & these images can move one other woman, and many others...
    You have become my inspiration & my hero, your an everyday woman, raising a family & telling it how it is. I want to say THANK YOU! For absolutely every word you've written & every image you've uploaded, you have moved my world :)
    - Bec xx

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  16. you look beautiful. what a fantastic example for your children

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  17. I'm a strong believer that confidence in a woman (among many other amazing qualities) makes her beautiful. You are most definitely beautiful!

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  18. Uh-mazing!! You are incredible, brave & absolutely beautiful.......I'm completely in awe of you & what you did today!! Wow!

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  19. Beautiful, just as you are! xx (And brave!!)

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  20. Brilliant. Just, brilliant. Max courage and pride on your behalf - and I think you look amazing xxx

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  21. totally gorgeous, you look amazing- especially knowing you have had 5 chilrdren! So proud of you, and glad you are proud too

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  22. Beautiful! Good on you! I don't think I could! Maybe I will one day! IF I do I will let you know and it would be because of this great post! Thanks you are awesome!

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  23. Eeekkkkk!! Dani these pictures are wonderful! You are so amazingly brave and beautiful! Xxx

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  24. Beautiful!!! You truely are an amazing and gorgeous person. Thanks for being u!xx

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  25. You look so beautiful, just gorgeous. If I saw these pics, without any story, without knowing about carrying 5 beautiful children, still I would think these pictures, and you, were stunning. xx

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  26. I think you are so brave to put yourself out there like that but you look amazing anyway. Seems like you are turning yourself around. You are so amazing this post and those pics bought a lump to throat and welled my eyes. I think i just might be bursting with pride right now. So raw, so beautiful, so honest and true. kinda somes you up really. Love you Dani. xx

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  27. You are beautiful and amazing! I wish I had the courage :)

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  28. THANK-YOU!!! Thank you for being so brave and sharing these photo's. I wish I had the courage and the love of my body you do. You look absolutely amazing!!! I am probably about your size if not a little bit heavier. There is one thing I hate about my body and that is my tummy over hang HATE IT!!! If I could shrink just that I would be a lot happier with my body. I am so very self conscious of my body most days, some days I just couldn't give a flying hoot what people thought lol but those days are few and far between that's for sure.

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  29. Love it hon - especially the last one (so deep in thought)and the first one (so light)

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  30. I love these photos! Thank you so much for your courage to share them with us. It is so easy to focus on our imperfections at times but this goes to prove everyone is beautiful! You are gorgeous girl!

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  31. Luv all the shots especially the first and last! What a beautiful gift to yourself and your family... The gift of just living who you are right here and right now! Thank you x

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    1. Oops, that was LOVING who you are!

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  32. That is an amazing photo shoot! The first pic us stunning and so real! It's rare to see people embrace their body and celebrate their differences. I wish I was as brave as you. Gorgeous xx

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  34. The courage of these photos and the power in your words makes you glow! You are an inspiration to women! A modern day Marilyn! Thank you!

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  35. Such a brave and empowering thing you've done for yourself today. Well done!!!
    Definitely beautiful photos
    Vanessa :-)

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  36. Great photo's...You are very brave and an inspiration.You look amazing after having 5 kids.
    from your newest fan xx

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  37. Simply Beautiful. You are courageous and a great person.

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  38. Legend in the making :)

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  39. You're a beautiful person on the inside and on the outside Danielle.

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  40. Beautiful Danielle wish that I had your confidence

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  41. And you are the pin up girl woman that everyone should aspire to - and I don't mean for your body shape, your lingerie, or your poses - you are the pin up girl for acceptance of who you are and what your body means to you! Bravo! Fantastic, more of us should have these done to remind us of who we are and to love ourselves because it's only then that we can get on with the business of being ourselves! Beautiful photos - I'm sure both you and the photographer are very happy with the outcome! I'm almost about ready to give birth and for the first time I'm really wanting to photograph my pregnant naked body to capture the joy of this last 5th baby! Hopefully I'll make it out of hospital for the appointment I will book tomorrow and I can also enjoy the last 3.5 weeks! Thanks for passing on your courage and love of life to me! xx PS just a thought - why not keep those nasty comments up with a nice response so that everyone knows who writes that shit and that you HAVE NOT been affected - cause a bit of naming and shaming may let trolls out there know you're (and everyone else) on to them... [maybe advice that I couldn't take but meant in a good spirit - heck I gong even have the courage to publish my blog!!!!!!! for fear of no readers/followers and nasty followers!!!!!)

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  42. You are an amazing role model for your five little reasons and more people in this world could learn from reading your posts and your blog, I hope I can do the same for my little family. you are truly an inspirational women :-)

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  43. Beautiful ! I wish I had your confidence a true yummy mummy !! Every stretch mark is a tiger strip fabulous xxxxxx

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  44. Your wonderful! I've struggled with being over weight all my life..... Finally got down to a size 12, and now at 30 I'm pregnant with my first...... I was so scared at losing the 'new me'..... Your blog made me realise... I'm not that 'me' anymore..... I'm now a mother, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Even if I went back to being a size 20, I'd be a happy size 20. THANK YOU

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  45. You Rock!! I saw that first photo on Ainslie's page yesterday an was floored by your bravery! You are a gorgeous woman!! Thank you for sharing this with us!

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  46. You Rock!! I saw that first photo on Ainslie's page yesterday an was floored by your bravery! You are a gorgeous woman!! Thank you for sharing this with us!

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  47. Beautiful! I'm about three steps behind you and I'm loving that I can see where I'm heading through your post and photos. I am 4cm taller, 2kg heavier, but also have five gorgeous kids for whom I have put my health behind for twelve years for. I wish I had have remembered me too during that time, but I'm glad I didn't also. Now my fabulous kids encourage ME and are helping me love who I am and my life. Well done to you, Danielle. x

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  48. I commented on Wild Spirits page yesterday when I saw the image that I thought you looked absolutely beautiful and natural.
    You look amazing and thank you for being brave enough to do this and making those of us who are larger girls feel beautiful and confident as well ♥

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  49. You will always be a beautiful women inside and out whatever size you are.... Lovely photos Ainslie xx

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  50. Beautiful, gorgeous...and totally inspiring!! I am a mad Wild spirit fan who was awe·struck at the sight of that first photo yesterday....Now i think ill be following your blog as you are a person of great wisdom and someone I would love to be like....I am a large lady, larger than you, but you give me hope that I can one day love myself the way you do.

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  51. Danielle, Thank you sincerely. I loved your shots. You are beautiful, and it made me cry. My marriage with 3 kids has broken down as a result of an affair and years of grinding away at my self esteem on so many levels, I find it so much easier to love the beauty in everyone else, but not myself. All I could see was my lumps,neck cancer scar, rolls and stretch marks and breasts after feeding my dear sweet children, and thought, who would want this? Well, as you have shown, we have to love ourselves, and be brave and bold and let go of this image of perfection we and society projects we have to be, to be lovable and beautiful. Thank you.

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  52. Brilliant!!! You're beautiful!!

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  53. What a brave and strong woman you are and you ARE BEAUTIFUL!!

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  54. What fantastic photos! You are truely amazing for having the courage to do this. I avoid getting pictures taken with my son because I am uncomfortable with the way I look. It's a shame, because I'm not capturing those memories for him. You are wonderful and have encouraged me!

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  55. Loving and accepting ourselves for who we are is for sure a wonderful thing.

    The appearance of our bodies however is a very strong indicator of the state of our health.

    Our bodies operate with the precision of a well-serviced and maintained engine.

    We should not be accepting of or use excuses for carrying extra kg's beyond our ideal body weight, as the reality and consequence is serious - we will cut our lives short. The health consequences of carrying extra kg's are diabetes, high cholesterol, heart attack, depression, and the list goes on. I have recently seen my brother who is in his 40's in hospital because he has taken bad care of his health.

    The hard reality is, too many calories in and not enough burnt causes weight gain. You say you may under eat, but you must be eating the incorrect foods. You can also blame being a mother of 5 children, but the reality is, you only have yourself your blame. I have recently seen a very overweight friend start cycling his bike to work, and the kgs have dropped and his health & well being has improved immensely.

    My challenge to you is to go to a bulk billing Dr and get a Cholesterol, Diabetes, BMI index check and if it is all good, then I fully support you. Until then, I do not agree you should be too content because I believe your health is not in a good state.

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    1. How do you know she hasn't, you know what they say about ASSuming....

      Danielle, the pictures are beautiful and I am glad to see you share them. Definitely shows that women come in all shapes and sizes and we should embrace the beauty of all sizes of women.
      Kim

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    2. Yeah, cause we should only look at haealthy bodies, right? The unhealthy ones should be hidden because we wouldn't want to support being unhealthy.

      Whatever. Danielle acknowledged that she knows she needs to lose weight in order to be more healthy. These pictures are beautiful, whether she is of optimal health or not. And as a society we need to see them. Much more of them. There is such a culture of self loathing and hatred for our own bodies among women, and it is distressing. As a mother of 5 who is relatively fit and training for a marathon, I cannot imagine having the courage to pose the way this momma did. I have stretch marks and dimples and extra padding. My breasts aren't as perky and my hips are wider than they used to be. Danielle looks fantastic, and a lot of that comes from her confidence. There is something to be said for accepting and supporting people as they are NOW, while knowing they still have a ways to go before they are perfect or have reached their goal. Our society is very, very broken when it comes to what we imagine a healthy, normal woman shoud look like. These kind of photos are a good thing. Rock on, momma!

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  56. OMG Danielle, you are gorgeous, your writing is so true and honest. U make me cry!

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  57. Good on you! I wish I could accept my body too. I'm 175cm, 84kg and a size 16 and I hate my body. I hate that I hate it and I hate that it takes up so much of my waking time worried about it.

    How liberating it would feel to accept and celebrate it. Beautiful photos.

    Thanks for sharing.

    V.

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  58. Wow very courages! - Good onya Darlin! Gorgeous photos! XXX

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  59. Love your photos, you look beautiful. I wish I was as brave/confident as you. (I have twins, so my body isn't 'perfect' either).

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  60. I'm about the same size as you. As I see how beautiful you look in these photos it makes me feel like I just might look this good too! Thank you!

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  61. I am in awe! Thank you for being REAL!

    -SER

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  62. You are phenomenal thank you for your photo's

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  63. So cute!! I love it.. thank you for doing this!!

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  64. In awe at how inspirational that was...I need to be more excepting. Thank you! You are beautiful...the smile in that third picture made me smile right along with you. You rock Mama!

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  65. Words fail me. Just this - thank you.

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  66. My goodness this was so beautiful it actually made me cry.

    Thank you so much for sharing.

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  67. You are beautiful. Right now, just as you are!!!!

    You go mama!!

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  68. These photos are beautiful and I love your smile and personality coming through your eyes too! A genuine happy person! I'm also a mum of 5 and struggle with accepting what i look like and always measure my self worth by what others see me as not as I see myself! You look beautiful and have a loving family and that is such a blessing! Those pesky kilos will come off one day when you are ready x

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  69. That last photo is beautiful, very artistic and honest. Well done!

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  70. I’m in Tears(the type of tears you get when you met amazing!!), I am new to your blog, but I too have put myself on hold for my family (2 of my kids have lots of issues) and I so identify with everything you write.......LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your photo’s and have subscribed so I don’t ever miss anothe post, thank you for doing this....you beautiful!! Nicki xxx

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  71. Absolutely stunning!!! you should be so so proud, I think you look incredible!,
    Kylie look xx

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  72. You go girl. You are an inspiration to women everywhere. I keep meaning to get some photos of myself but "when I lose weight". It's silly really, the best time is now.
    BTW I have a strong feeling we have met before. Hayden was a baby and you had your Mum with you.

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  73. Absolutely beautiful. The photographs and you.

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  74. Hey Danielle, you caught my eye, not only because we share the same name but I too have 5 beautiful babies- I call them my 5 buttons. You should be so proud of yourself. Your pictures are gorgeous and you should always give yourself credit, why, because you are amazing, Lots of Love, Danielle

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  75. Wow! Good on you. You are gorgeous and inspiring. x

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  76. thanks for sharing these pictures.
    you are beautiful inside and out!

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I am a Mama of Five. A wife to one. I believe in documenting life using stories. I love telling you mine and would love to hear yours.

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