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Radical Self-Acceptance

October 4, 2016
 

Several months ago, I made the dangerous decision to get a breast explant–getting my breast implants removed.

I was walking Spunky outside of our condo and stopped to call Mom.

“Mom, I have to remove my implants.” I blurted. She was surprised, definitely, and more so, worried about my health, especially considering the risks associated with having surgery–again–with my genetic blood clotting disorder, Factor V Leiden.

“Do you think you can accept yourself and live with the implants? It’s very dangerous and I’m worried about complications during surgery.”

I had already made up my mind. “I’ve thought about that, but if there’s a safe way that I can get them out, I want to do it. I’ve already set up an appointment with a hematologist.” I’m 100% in or 0%. Never in between.

“I feel them in my body, Mom. When I go for a jog, when I do a pushup. They encumber me and that doesn’t make me happy. I can’t live like this forever.” I explained.

“If I can get them out, I’m going to.” I had said what I’d been thinking for years. I covered my mouth with my free hand. By naming my fear–that I was going to risk surgery again to return back to my original body–I had released it. My final act of rebellion–choosing to return to my perfect body–was no longer a whisper in my body, but it was now alive and real. I had set the whisper free, and with it’s freedom, I too, felt more unlocked. My body had not changed, but my psychology had. I had decided that I was going to be good enough in my original Earth Suit, regardless of what it would look like post surgery. I was return home.

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Why I’m Going Back To Costa Rica

August 18, 2016
 

Last night, I walked over to my altar, which happens to be an end table, and picked up an empty journal one of my best friends recently gifted me. On the cover, it says Be Pretty Brave.

I crawled in bed and started to write, instead of reading through the pages of a book from the tall pile that’s growing on my nightstand. I needed to write in the same way that I need to tell someone the truth when it eats at me.

When I have my breast explant, it will be the first time ever that I’ll have seen my real, healthy body–what God gave me–as a woman. Before my augmentation, I was a teenager, and then a young woman in her early 20’s. I started to struggle with eating disorders and body dysmorphia before I got my period. Before I was even able to grow into my woman’s body, I hated my Earth Suit. And this disgust lasted for a very long time. Well beyond the years of getting a breast augmentation. And finally, this self-loathing and fear of my body came to a halt three years ago, when I was twenty-seven.

I finally feel healthy in my body (and mind, and spirit). I’m not starving or hungry, I’m not overfed or fearful that I’m not enough. I’m simply, me, with the exception of 1.75 pounds sitting under my chest; a decision I made for someone else, that I carry around with me like something heavy that’s gotten lost at the bottom of my purse. When I get my implants removed, I will have the chance to fully appreciate me. Beautiful, wonderful, me. Just as I am. And this excites me.

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The Second Big Change I’ve Made Because of #BePrettyBrave

August 9, 2016
 

There’s an obesity epidemic, and I’m part of it.

I walked into the Hematologist’s office and the first thing the nurse did was weigh me. Weigh me! I had an appointment that day to ask my Hematologist questions about my Factor V Leiden blood disorder and I wanted to get the doctor’s approval—or disapproval—for my breast explant I’m planning to have. I did not think a blood doctor would weigh me, especially right after a big lunch.

I stepped on the scale and she said, “Okaaay, so one seventy-eight,” and I thought, well, that sucks. The nurse didn’t seem to mind my weight as she carried on with other duties, getting the room set up for the doctor while I stood on the scale, a little bummed about my number, especially considering how active I am. The fact that my nurse avoided mentioning I was overweight made me feel unhealthy. I wanted her to invest several minutes and say there was a right way to get back to a normal weight, but I was too ashamed of my number to ask. And that was the crux of it, when the medical nurse avoided addressing a health concern–and how my health could be enhanced–that should have been addressed.

We are in an obesity epidemic and we are destroying our miraculous Earth Suits because we do not know how to lose weight and keep it off forever. This has been my problem. I have known how to juice cleanse my weight off, starve myself, and binge eat, but I have never known long-term weight-loss. The second big decision I’ve made because of #beprettybrave is to get back to my normal, healthy body–a thinner one–without a diet, and to keep the weight off, forever.

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Three Big Changes I’ve Made Because of #BePrettyBrave

August 2, 2016
 

I’ve made several big decisions this year, each of which I pray last a lifetime. The first of which I’ve been afraid to talk about until I was cleared by a doctor, the second decision I made was because a doctor didn’t say anything to me, and the third decision I’ve made is because an intuitive told me it was the only way–my gut also tells me she’s right.

Self-love has meant many things for me, and at many times; only last year, it meant radical self-acceptance, which meant completely accepting myself, my body, and my truths for what they were–not trying to change my divine nature. Full on surrender. This year, self-love has taken on a new meaning, one which is more aware of my physical body–my Earth Suit–and giving it exactly what it needs to feel as close to myself as possible.

At twenty-two, a very impressionable age in my life, I had a breast augmentation; I wanted to please a guy I was dating who had told me, “You’re not a real woman until you get breasts,” which I didn’t understand until he gestured a much larger size with his hands. When I changed my body for him, not only did I risk my life in a dangerous operation (I have a blood clotting disorder called Factor V Leiden), I also had to carry that decision I made for him around with me, everywhere I went, even after we went separate ways.

To this day–it’s been eight years–I wear that decision on my chest. What was once exciting and joyous, even after we split up, is now a sad story of disempowerment tucked too close to my heart, aching for release. As many times as I’ve shared my story in word and in speech, I could never physically release my implants–unless I scheduled the surgery–so I learned to practice radical self-acceptance and got really good at it, fully accepting the decision I made many years ago. Until now, doctors had suggested it was always too dangerous to go under the knife again. Recently, I met with a hematologist who gave me the go ahead, to pursue the breast explant. I want all of me to belong to all of me again, so I have chosen to reverse a decision I made when I was younger and reclaim my entire self. I’m taking back me, my purity, and my highest self.

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Topless ™ by Emily
 
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Reviews + Giveaways

Praise For Emily

“Emily is an absolute joy to collaborate with. She brings the real conversation to the forefront about body image in such an authentic way. Our community left her Topless event feeling empowered & full of possibility!”


- Alison Utne, lululemon athletica

“Working with Emily is always so much fun (so much so that we’ve done it twice!). We love how she connects with her audience and exhibits true love for the companies she showcases, offering her own in-depth and authentic thoughts.”


- Madeline Alcott, Petit Vour

“Working with Emily is a no-brainer. Her writing is brave but vulnerable, sassy but self-aware, and kind but tough. It’s a joy to share her pieces with our community because so many readers tell us that they feel inspired and empowered by her choices.”


- Mind Body Green

“Emily provided great insights and tips as she reflected on the value of seizing the moment in a wide variety of her experiences. In short, she “rocked!”


- Stephen C. Harper, Ph.D.

“Emily was a pleasure to work with on our Rescue Chocolate giveaway. She has built up an active community in a short period. I would do a giveaway or any project with her again in a heartbeat.“


- Sarah Gross, rescue chocolate

“Emily is as sweet as she is smart. She is a true beauty with a body that is powerful, loved, and strong. Doing a giveaway on My Kind of Life was so much fun, her community is filled with wonderful women just like her!”


- Leanne Maily Hilgart, Vaute Couture

“Topless provides not only an opportunity but a call to action for each of us in service of radical honesty and acceptance of ourselves exactly as we are, to show up authentically not just for each other but for ourselves and THAT is magic.”


- Claire Santos, E-RYT

“In a way like very few can, Emily teaches us the importance of embracing our vulnerabilities in order to maximize our full potential. Topless Yoga is not your ordinary yoga class, but rather a movement and a state of mind!”


Tina Pate, KIND Snacks

“Each person involved brought their full heart into the event, creating a space of love, compassion, and clarity like I hadn’t experienced before. If you are so blessed to have Emily and her team visit your city, drop everything and go experience the magic for yourself.”  


- Nikki Novo, Author

Emily Nolan, you just stole my heart. Thank you for this.


- Elena Brower, artofattention.com
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