From Lion Fox & Co

#loveyourdamnself | Post Partum Edition

“‘This isn’t the body you fell in love with.’ I said to him.
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The body he fell in love with was toned, it had muscles, there were no stretch marks on my belly, none on my boobs, no gut from muscle separation.
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The body he fell in love with fit into tight jeans, could walk into a shop and grab any size and walk out, knowing it fit.
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This body now couldn’t shop at those stores, and mostly wears leggings.
His body stayed the same, but mine changed in every way. It isn’t fair….
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I stood in front of him, exhausted and broken, the tears welled in my eyes, ‘This isn’t the body you fell in love with.’
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Then he said, ‘you’re right. It isn’t the body I fell in love with.’ Instead it’s a body that grew our children, it fed our children, it comforted our children, it made life.
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Your body is the one I fall in love with every day.
I didn’t know what love was until I saw this body and found out all it could do, so thank you.”
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Do not be ashamed of what you have, or what your mum body looks like, there’s plenty of time to give up cake in the future, for now, enjoy the moments you have, and enjoy the fact that you have made something that is worth every stretch mark and every dimple.
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If you needed a reminder, this is it, this body you have now, it’s worth every bit of love and more.”
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~Laura Mazza, author

Alyce from Baby Mumma Perth

There’s an assumption that a naturally slim person needs to be told they’re skinny (like they didn’t know), that they need to eat more or fatten up, that they are SO lucky. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I want my kids to understand that yes, they may be tall and slim but this doesn’t change the person that they actually are inside. I want them to know that they can talk to us if they are struggling with their body image (amongst many other things of course!) without fear of suppression because society deems them “so lucky” to be skinny but then taunts them in the same breath. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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I’ve always been the skinny one. Nicknamed skinny mini, chicken legs and even weasel (kids are cruel!). I’ve been subjected to a lifetime of what I can only describe as socially acceptable body shaming. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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This is me. Despite 3 pregnancies, ongoing abdominal muscle separation and 12kg weight gain in all of my pregnancies, so far I’m consistently 5ft5 and 54kg. My phone autocorrected consistently to confidently, and you know what? For the first time in my life it is true. The skin on my tummy is loose, I have stretch marks around my belly button in the shape of a sun and the only reason I’ve currently got boobs is because I’m nursing a boob-monster round the clock. And I’m still skinny AF! So what?!
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This is me, and I love my damn self! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Alyce

Brooke and Kim – Grandmother to eight and Mother to two.

“As a mother of 3 and a grandmother of 8 I want all the beautiful girls/women in my life to love who they are, just the way they are. We live in a harsh world, and as women we need to support each other, inspire each other and surround ourselves with the people who love and support us. Thank you Mel for this wonderful opportunity – I met some beautiful strong women at this photo shoot. They should all be extremely proud of themselves.”

~ Kim: Mother to Three, Grandmother to Eight

“I was just thinking last night.. how as a mother it’s so important to set a good example for my girls. To embrace life, to live themselves, to appreciate the strength, skill, power and beauty that lies within us. That everyone is unique, special and gorgeous in their own way.
Sometimes I wonder why it has taken me so long to feel whole, happy, healthy and in love with who I am.
The last few years have been incredibly difficult and challenging but I feel I’ve finally grown into my skin
I’m loving my damn self every minute. Doing what is right for my girls and I.
Hula hooping has played a huge part in that. Who would of thought that at almost 39 I would be doing photo shoots and performances.
Embracing my awesomeness, my inner goddess and the talent and beauty within.
I’m not perfect by any means, but I’m me. Unique, talented, creative, loving, caring and amazing.
I’m so thankful for the incredible opportunities that continue to present themselves to me.
Moral of the story is – Love your damn self and the rest will follow”

~ Brooke: Mother to Two

Emma and her two children.

I have never loved my body. I’ve always had a distorted view of it. I never knew what it was capable of. I never appreciated me. I’ve never know who I am. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I spent so much of my life seeking approval from those close to me and comparing my body to others and to the covers of magazines. As a teenager I had an unhealthy relationship with food. As an adult I used food as a way to cover up my unhappiness. I hated being pregnant, I didn’t have that glow I just felt fat. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

It wasn’t until my life completely changed and I changed. I didn’t like the woman I was becoming let alone the mum I never wanted to be. It was time to treat myself better and to look after me. Because the best version of me and a happier me is what my two beautiful little humans deserved.

I realised the only approval I needed was my own. I realised how I could be so kind and supportive to other woman but never myself. I realised I had to teach myself to love me before I could teach those two little loves about self love. I realised that it was my decision. And I was the only one that could make that change.

And so I did. My body is incredible and I’m so grateful that it was able to grow my babies. I’m thankful for those shimmer stripes and proud of that csection scar because it reminds me of my little loves and I would do anything for them. I will nourish this body and I will look after it. Because it is amazing and I’m fabulous. And it’s okay to say that.

I’m so much stronger than I ever knew and I have finally found me.
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I love me and every little perfect imperfection. Embrace those imperfections it’s what’s makes us unique and that is something to really love.

~ Emma: Mother to Two

“I remember a few years back being at the beach with friends and having a mate make comment to us all about a sunbaker’s stretch marked stomach. While I can’t remember exactly what he said I can remember being furious at him & telling him exactly what I thought of his comment! I remember thinking “good on her!” And “why shouldn’t she be enjoying her day at the beach like everyone else!” I vowed to myself I would do the same & I wouldn’t let my larger, softer, scarred mumbod keep me from enjoying it either!

It’s taken up right up until being involved in this #loveyourdamnself photo shoot & speaking to the incredible women I shared the experience with for me to remember the vow I made myself. And this time I’m sticking to it! I’m not wasting any more time stressing about my body or worrying about what people might think of it. I’m not risking missing out on making incredible memories with my family this summer. I mean how can I be so passionate about sticking up for someone else that I don’t even know and yet not think I’m worth the same amount of pride and confidence?
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I want to lead and teach by example. I want my children to grow up knowing that every body is beautiful and it’s what’s on the inside that counts! That we don’t have to hate our bodies while working on changing them. And that they can and should be proud of their bodies during all the different stages of their lives as it is the vessel which houses their beautiful & individual souls.

~ Kirsty: Mother to Two

Lou, Mother to One.

“I am strong
I am loving
I am vulnerable
I am functional
I am beautiful
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#loveyourdamnself my body is functional and strong. I am able to push it to incredible heights and lengths. Not because I am punishing it, but because I am celebrating all that it can do. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#loveyourdamnself my body is loving and vulnerable. It gives love, it celebrates, it dances, it mourns. It is an expression of all that is held on the inside of me. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#loveyourdamnself my body is beautiful. Its battle-scars, its lines, its idiosyncrasies. They tell the story of me. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
It is so easy to hang on to the negatives, to the small parts which we spotlight and no one else notices. Imagine if we spoke to others the way we can speak to ourselves, how would we make it through the day?”

~ Lou: Mother to one

Renae, Mother to three.

“For me body image is about trying to see my own body the way I view others. When I see a confident lady, of any age in a bikini down at the beach with a body that shows off her life’s journey; I’m always in awe and admiration and think she defines beauty. I don’t see the flaws I’m so quick to judge on my own body. I see a beautiful, happy person enjoying life. I want to be kinder to my body – it’s given me so much joy, pleasure and life’s richest blessings.
With three young children watching my every move; I need to ensure the messages I’m trying to instill in them about body image are reflected in my own actions. That beauty comes in all different shapes, sizes and ages and that the person we are inside, shines through on the outside.”

~ Renae: Mother to Three

If you would like to join the next #loveyourdamnself movement. Email Melanie on admin@lionfoxandco.net.au to be waitlisted for the next event.

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At the h a n d s of men…

I look down at my baby girl with fear in my heart, afraid that one day she may become a statistic.

Sitting here thinking… preparing myself mentally to write this is reliving it over and over again. I won’t deny it.. the fear of opening up stems from insecurities of what people may think of me. Especially my close friends who are completely unaware of this. I don’t want you to think less of me, that I’m broken or need to be pitied. I can proudly say that I am possibly the fucking strongest person you will ever meet, purely based on my resilience.

*** t ri g g e r   w a r n in g ***
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At the h a n d s of men…

At the tender age of six, I would go to my neighbours house. He was an old Italian who grew the most delicious tomatoes in his little green house out the back of his property. I would often be allowed to taste them, and for that I was fond of this old man. But one day, I visited him, smelt the alcohol on his breath when he lifted me up and touched me. I knew instantly what he did was bad, it hurt me. After that whenever I saw him on his porch I called him a bastard.

At fourteen I was coerced to lose my virginity to boy I admired. Six months of my life I will never get back. Police were involved. At school, I was known as a ‘slut’ and could potentially ruin a young boys life. Can you see where am I heading?

At fifteen I was at a party with my girlfriends, after falling asleep I woke up to a man putting his fingers inside me. I was drunk but I never once consented to this. I didn’t even know what he looked like. But I should have been more careful! See what I did there?

At sixteen I entered my first domestic violent relationship with a boy who came from a ‘good’ home. Tears and sprained shoulders was a weekly occurrence… I spent one year and a half with him. I should have left him when I had the chance! If only I had the courage!

At nineteen I went to a party with my boyfriend. There was a young bloke there who just wouldn’t leave me alone! When I keep telling my boyfriend he fobbed it off, exclaiming “oh he’s a faggot.” After two drinks I was incoherent and then all of a sudden, this bloke leads by the arm to where the cars were parked. Even though I couldn’t talk I did let out a scream. Thank fuck two guys came to my aid, and the guy wasn’t seen since. Even my boyfriend couldn’t protect me…

At the age of twenty, I worked in a Hotel as a waitress on a traineeship. The Head Chef was this towering and intimidating French man. One day he cornered me in the kitchen and said he could rape me and no one would ever know. I looked at him straight in the eye and calmly said that he couldn’t say that. I remember distinctly how he replied, with his nauseating French accent, “I can say what I like it’s my kitchen.” I resigned and took them to court. I remember their lawyer was trying to brand me for being some kind of gold digger.

At twenty-one I had a girl’s night in town, with the intention of crashing at her home. After a fantastic night, we all said good night and I went off to bed. But then I awoke to a man in my room getting in bed with me. He was touching my body, and I told him to get out. He even went on to say that he didn’t even know if I was ugly or not… I took the blanket and slept in the lounge room. My friends found me and I told them what happened. I found out that this guy had a girlfriend and was terrified she was going to find out what happened. But he wasn’t sorry for what he did to me…

And society makes it all fucking worse! We are constantly victim blaming. The focus is always removed from the perp and straight onto the victim, on how she could have made her situation safer. Women are terrified to catch public transport at night, sit in the front seat with a taxi driver, hold keys between their fingers, take self defense lessons. Women, daughters, young children are conditioned that it is a possibility that they could be sexually assaulted. But what are we doing for our young men?

This is what I fear for my daughter..

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Babes + Picnics Mandurah | Supporting WIRF & KEMH Op Shop

A beautiful Mama with her blue eyed Babe. Image taken by Lion Fox & Co.

“When you find something that gives you meaning and purpose, you must continue to pursue it as it may just change your life. ” – Melanie Edge Babes + Picnics Mandurah Ambassador

Discovering Babes + Picnics

After the birth of my second child Flynn, the one thing I truly longed for was a community of Mothers. I have always felt a bit socially awkward and introverted. So when it came to taking the plunge and approaching other Mum’s, my heart would race and I would stumble over my words. The thing that didn’t really help my position was always being ‘sorry’ for the craziness of my eldest son (ADHD diagnosis in 2016). When instead it.. I should have been finding the right crowd who showed acceptance for children who were just that little bit more than average.

When Lion, Fox & Co first came to life twelve months ago, I threw myself into the world of Instagram. And all I can say is… THANK YOU INSTAGRAM. The huge difference that I find between Facebook and Instagram is one of positivity and acceptance. Now this is solely my own opinion, but I think people choose to be on Instagram because they feel safe to share their achievements without the fear of being judged. Also, people are generally kinder (there is still the occasional troll) in the way that they communicate with others.

So it wasn’t long after creating my account, and following a large number of Perth Insta Mums, that I discovered Babes + Picnics Australia. Founded by the beautiful soul Lucia De Mello, I approached her at the beginning of last year to become an Ambassador for Mandurah. I won’t deny that at the time I was shitting bricks, fully understanding the responsibility that followed such an integral role. But.. I threw on my big girl panties and not a day goes by that I regret that email.

“Love yourself and be proud of everything that you do, even your mistakes. Because even your mistakes mean you’re trying.”

Sassy: lively, bold, and full of Spirit. Cheeky too. Image taken by Lion Fox & Co
Sassy: lively, bold, and full of Spirit. Cheeky too. Image taken by Lion, Fox & Co

 Babes + Picnics Mandurah Today

It was decided that the WIRF (Women & Infants Research Foundation) Opportunity Shop at KEMH (King Edward Memorial Hospital) would be our chosen charity. Why? Well WIRF has conducted and supported research to help improve the health of women and infants in Western Australia. This is what makes their mission so important to our community. It provides them the ability to raise funds for equipment, initiatives and offer support to facilitate essential research studies.

After eight months of coordinating picnics, supporting charities and backing local businesses.. it is a first for me to be lost for words from our most recent event. With the help of my beautiful friend and co-ambassador Siobhan Barwick, I believe we have successfully formed a Mama Tribe. How? Firstly, that feeling of complete awe by the love and generosity from each and every member who donated precious items. And finally, smiles are contagious and there is plenty of them at these picnics.

Claire from Maggie Moo Music Mandurah tagged along to the event too. It was a great, fun and interactive music session for the babes (AND she caters to the bigger babes too). Music is an essential part of every child’s development and the songs used at the sessions are positive, uplifting, fun and educational. The interactive sessions will help your child gain confidence and develop memory, language and coordination skills in an exciting, enjoyable and multi-sensory.

“Be part of something bigger than yourself.”

Be Silly. Be Honest. Be Kind. Image take by Lion, Fox & Co
Be Silly. Be Honest. Be Kind. Image take by Lion, Fox & Co

Next Month

The Kmart Wishing Appeal is Australia’s largest and longest running Christmas gift Appeal. Thanks to the incredible generosity of the Australian community, the Appeal has raised more than 8 million gifts which have been distributed to those in need over the Christmas period.

Not yet a Member, please come join our Facebook Group Babes + Picnics Mandurah for all future event details.

 

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