October 14, 2010

Me Exposed

Just a preface - my exposed post isn't going to be like everyone else's.  That's okay though, because I'm not like everyone else.  This concept was born out of frustration and something that didn't work - but now I'm glad it didn't.  This post represents me and isn't that what the movement is all about? For more traditional exposed posts visit the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans and the exposed Queen Mish.

What does Super Boo look like when she strips down?  When she sets the cape and alter ego aside?

She's the girl who tries desperately to make peace with her body...although it doesn't always work.

She's a girl who breaks down when she sees a picture of herself OWNING a 10 mile race, because her legs don't suit her.

She's the poor girl who grew up thinking that Freezer Queen Salisbury steak was a treat, as was shopping for school clothes at Goodies instead of Wal-mart or K-mart.

She's the girl in middle school who made fun of a classmate for what she was wearing...and has regretted it every moment since then.

She's the confident little girl that got jaded by life a little along the way.

She's the woman who gets self conscious about her body when her husband tries to compliment his favorite parts.

She's the woman who was left alone with a baby for the first time when her niece was 6 days old and her sister was in the hospital with congestive heart failure.  She sucked up her fear of losing her best friend because someone had to be strong for the family.

She's the young lady who "vacationed" in Memphis on a church mission trip putting a new roof on a home in the 90+ degree heat.

She's the slightly older young lady who "vacationed" in Memphis to help displaced Katrina victims that were displaced to a school.

She's the woman who prayed, cleaned, prayed some more, and cleaned even more when her husband called to say a live electrical wire fell on his vehicle as he was driving down the road.  Her house was spotless by the time help arrived to free him.

She's the same wife who, a few months earlier, had to beg her hemophiliac husband to go to the ER after sanding off the top of his finger. 

She's the woman who makes excuses as to why she doesn't need her parents down payment money for a house so that she doesn't offend them telling them she doesn't need it.

She gives her niece and nephew "money making more money" for their birthdays and Christmas because she understands the value of compound interest and saving money early in life.

She's the friend who visits your blogs and is excited for all the hard work you've done over the past week.  She's glad for your successes and sympathizes with your trials.  She enjoys reading your insightful thoughts on the scripture as well as your silly randomness in memes.

She's the blogger who feels more honest with her readers than she does with most of her IRL friends.  Partly because she forgets she is writing for anyone but herself. 

She lives in the house of her dreams.  Her aspirations of paying off her home mortgage in 5 years isn't just a dream - its a plan that they are currently working.  No matter how many people laugh and tell her its impossible.

She's the wife who ask her husband for help, then went on her own uploading pictures, working in Fireworks to prepare her photo.  Only to have her husband tell her 2 1/2 hours later that she was doing it wrong.

She's the girl who's turning in homework incomplete for the first time in her life today.  Because at 9:30 last night she gave up - defeated, broken - because in her quest to love herself, she'd been made to feel worse.

She's the girl who decided to go rogue at the last minute and make do with what she had. 

She's me.  

I've been fat.

I've been skinny.

I've been on top of mountains.

On my wedding day, my husband looked me in the eye and promised to love me forever.  He did this despite the fact that I weighed more on that day than I ever have in my life.

Through all of this, for better for worse...

I am me.

I love me.

I hate me.

And that's me.  Exposed.


  1. I didn't know you until just now ... but I love how you've exposed yourself here. YOU are amazing!

  2. Brooke, I love, love this heartfelt post you've done. I hope you continue to learn how to appreciate yourself and see you as the rest of us do. Love you! I am so proud of you for posting "the" photo. You are beautiful.

  3. *deep breath* Brooke, you are amazing. Seriously. You are, and I hope that writing this post - even though it wasn't what you sat down to do last night - helps you see what an amazing and beautiful woman you are. Because I see it. We, your sisterhood friends, see it. Embrace all of you, even the parts you aren't satisfied with because they are part of YOU! Hugs and smooches coming your way!

  4. Brooke this is absolutely beautiful. You don't have to use a photo to show how much you are learning to appreciate yourself. This is an amazing post and I'm so glad you did it. *hugs*

  5. This was such a beautiful, heartfelt post. I know how hard it is for you to accept your body, and I love that you're working to do so.

    I think you look strong and confident in your race photo. But I know what *I* think doesn't change what *you* think.

    Good for you, Brooke, for finding a way to participate in #Exposed on your own terms. Love your honesty and your depth.

  6. Oh Brooke, you are breaking my heart and making me cry. Sweet, sweet girl. You are absolutely lovely and beautiful and the rest of us already know that but until you believe it, it won't be true for you. I love love love your raw, honest post.

  7. Isn't it funny how we tend to be more open and honest with each other than those we see often IRL?

    I know you're not happy with yourself but what I see is a beautiful, amazing, supportive sister and friend who conquers things that most people only dream about.

    I love you.

  8. You are beautiful and amazing. I am so proud of you.

    That little girl in that picture on the swing LOVES herself for everything she is. You need to remember that she still lives inside of you, and every time you hate something about you, you are hurting her. You need to nurture her with love and unconditional acceptance. Look at her, remember her, and BE her.

    You are amazing, and I love you so much.

  9. Ok, shouldn't have read this at work because I'm tearing up. Not only is your post beautiful, but so are YOU!

    P.S. - I adore your wedding photo.

  10. I think your homework needs to be turned in incomplete more often because that was beautifully written!

  11. This is an incredible post. It's so honestly you: the love for the amazing person you are, struggling with the loathing you feel about your body.

    And your "exposed" post is brave, because yep, you could have faked it. You could have posted a freakin' *birthday suit* picture, and yet hidden the real you, who struggles so hard with body image, in spite of everyone telling you what a hottie you are.

    Like Lissa (and others) have said, I hope you grow to see yourself in the way the rest of us see you.

  12. Wow Brooke! What a post. I hope you love yourself more than anything because you deserve that. You really do.

  13. Brooke, This post has been up on my computer all afternoon because every time I tried to read it I started to cry, and that doesn't bode well at work. I hope and pray that someday you see the woman that we all see. A woman who is gorgeous, who loves her family and God with all her heart, who finishes sucky 10k's with no water, who drives 6+ hrs to meet a couple of girls she'd only chatted with before in the blogosphere. Someday, you will believe your blog's title. You ARE smart, strong, and sexy. You ARE that and SO MUCH MORE.
    Love you! ((hugs))

  14. What a beautiful, honest post Brooke. I've learned so much more about you in this one post. Hugs to someone who inspires me daily.

  15. Great post! And I love that girl!

  16. These are refreshingly honest, raw, and beautiful words - as always. Thanks for putting it all out there and inspiring the rest of us...

  17. You are brave to expose yourself like this! It's hard to put yourself out there like that, not sure if others will like what they see. It's great to get to know you better!

  18. I love your version of exposure. I hope that one day, you will see the awesome, beautiful girl that we all see.

  19. This is what Exposed is all about. Reflection, admiration, appreciation for our whole lives. You've been through it all and you're still truckin' along. Beautiful post. THANKS SO much for sharing!

  20. I LOVE IT!! and you too!! You were adorable as a child and beautiful as a bride...YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

  21. I know how hard it was for you to write this. And I know how hard it was for you to put that BEAUTIFUL shot of you in the race.

    I am so proud of you, Brooke.

  22. =) Love this. So sweet, so true, so YOU.

  23. there you go again, making me brush away a tear or two

    seriously beautiful post. lovely...i think you did a great job with exposing yourself.

    and i love the photo. you look beautiful.

  24. what a great post. Self acceptance is amazing. I loved this post!

  25. You are way hard on yourself, my friend. When I look at your photos I see a beautiful, strong athletic woman! (especially the last one, and no - I didn't go look it up on the photographer's website! I saw it for the first time here!) And when I read about your accomplishments I am inspired. Please try to be as kind to yourself as you are to your friends - you are worth that!

    For magazine photo shoots, the photographers use lighting and body makeup and multiple takes and everything is perfect and STILL I'll bet they discard 90% of the photos they shoot. We got 2-3 shots and we darn sure didn't have any body makeup in that heat! It is what it is. My photos are really funny-looking, but I posted them on FB anyway, because I worked hard and I think I look like I'm working hard in those pics!!

    Oh, and if it makes you feel better, I discovered AFTER the Ten-miler that the ugly shorts I wore (that make my lower half look even bigger than it actually is) were also holey. And not in the "blessed" sense, either. And, yes, I can afford clothes - really I can! I just hate buying them!

  26. I really enjoyed your post and the way you exposed yourself! It was amazing and inspiring and you are a wonderful, awesome, beautiful and inspiring woman!

  27. Your wedding day was so beautiful. I love that photo. It was nice to read you exposed - a post about your life journey till now, I can tell that I know you a bit now.


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