From ‘Disappointing’ to ‘Capable’: An Ambassador’s Story

‘Disappointing’. That’s the word I used to describe my body for the first forty years of my life.

I was never happy with my body in any of its various forms: slim, larger, or pregnant. I fought an endless battle with a body that didn’t fit societies standard of beauty.

For my 43rd birthday, I went away by myself on a yoga retreat to find some inner peace. During a long meditation session, I had a moment of clarity: so many issues in my life would not have existed if I’d just accepted myself as I am (most predominately – my body). Oh, the dramas I’d created in my life because I felt my body was unworthy and shameful.

At that moment I knew I couldn’t possibly spend another forty years at war with myself.

On returning from the retreat I stumbled upon the trailer for the Embrace documentary. I must have watched it thirty times, crying endlessly. It spoke directly to me, especially the line when Taryn addressed her young daughter and said, “Darling girl, don’t waste a second of your life being at war with your body” (and now I’m crying again, just writing it!). I wanted to hug my then fifteen-year-old daughter and apologise for every moment she saw me hate my body. I’d spent so much time as she grew up, telling her that she is perfect exactly the way she is, that I forgot about the mirror I was holding up to her as a role model. I felt a huge burden of guilt for the times I’d seen her critique her body. I remembered all the negative comments my mother had made about her body – and mine too at times – and how I’d internalised that to shape my views.

I suddenly knew that the only way to prevent the cycle repeating was to finally embrace myself.

Through a community group I worked at, we screened the Embrace documentary twice to over 500 women. The documentary inspired me to become an ambassador. I devoured every body-positive morsel I could find, and I curated my social media to only follow people who made me feel good about myself. I learnt to rephrase my inner dialogue; my thighs aren’t fat, they are capable – they help me walk, run, jump, and dance. My tummy isn’t disgusting, it grew two children and looks great when I belly-dance. My tuckshop arms give the best hugs. It wasn’t always an easy journey and there were moments of regression. However, I kept focusing on the fact that I’d wasted so many years at war with my body and it had given me nothing positive.

Learning to embrace opened space in my brain to focus on the things that really matter.

Since then I have travelled with the BIM team for Taryn’s Embrace Yourself book tour, I’ve become a swimsuit model for Cossie Confidence by Sequins and Sand, and I’ve helped many other women learn to accept their bodies as they are right now. It has been life-changing and I’m so very grateful.

‘Capable’. That’s the word I use to describe my body today.

Tatia Power is a Body Image Movement Global Ambassador from Australia

  • Sabina Lloyd
    Posted at 11:15h, 03 May Reply

    Brought tears to my eyes! Thank you!

  • Anita McLachlan
    Posted at 11:49h, 03 May Reply

    How I love you Tatia. You are a gift to us all. Your words so powerful and beautifully written. Thank you for all you do to help other beautiful women live their life to the fullest. We are so very blessed to have you as one of our Cossie Confidence Crew. Girls, please listen to her words. It is possible. And life is too short. Thank you Tatia. Thank you. With much love and admiration. Anita xx

  • Sheridan Bond
    Posted at 13:59h, 03 May Reply

    Well now, that was scary – that could have been me talking about how I think about my body. I seriously need to knuckle down and make every effort to embrace again. I embraced after seeing the documentary and completing the online course with Taryn but have reverted back to my bad old habits of thinking of myself as unworthy – something so easy to do in this sometimes nasty world. Thank you for reminding me of the learnings I have gained through Taryn. xx

  • Sabine Koenig
    Posted at 15:14h, 03 May Reply

    Brought tears to my eyes too! Thank you! It helps to move toward the ability to Embrace.

  • Elspeth Hendry
    Posted at 19:34h, 03 May Reply

    Thank you for your inspiring story. I am reenergised to make my half hearted attempts at minimising the negative self talk more effective. You are a great example of the best way to view our bodies. Elspeth x

  • Cindy Villanueva
    Posted at 22:56h, 03 May Reply

    Bless you. Thank you for the reminder.

  • Leah Eileen Johnson
    Posted at 14:34h, 04 May Reply

    Thank you, beautiful lady for sharing your story.I have spent so many years being at war with my body.
    Bulimia, anorexia, yo yo dieting, you name it, I’ve been there.
    I watched Embrace and it has inspired me to love my body in this moment and I’ve come a long way.
    Your story has not only inspired me to continue on this journey, but has also made me feel I’m not alone .
    Thank you and much love,Leah J

  • Jane Gardiner
    Posted at 04:29h, 05 May Reply

    The lovely Tatia thank you for your honesty in sharing this. I can relate to having that moment when your mind finally understands that loving yourself is the key to a much better life.

  • Tatia Power
    Posted at 14:59h, 07 May Reply

    WOW – thank you all for the beautiful comments. I believe so deeply in sharing stories to help us all feel better connected. It’s wonderful to know that it helped even one person. I’m extremely grateful to BIM and Taryn for helping me on this journey.

  • Amanda Bos
    Posted at 10:55h, 17 May Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story! I can relate to many parts of it myself. So inspiring to hear you have come to embrace. Let’s now waste another moment in time at war with our bodies.

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