Sarah Taylor: I am strong, I am bold, I am beautiful
August 22, 2017
Posted In: Community
This week, we are featuring Toronto’s Sarah Taylor from Sarah Taylor’s Journey! Sarah openly shares her journey of surviving abuse, self-hatred and sadness to thriving in a place of joy and self-love to give other women hope that they too can overcome anything and see beauty in themselves. We connected with Sarah and invite you to learn about Sarah’s journey to finding balance as a Professional Model, Blogger and Motivational Speaker!
Can you talk a little about your journey to finding balance:
Balance is something that I have struggled with all my life. I tend to be an all or nothing kind of person which can be good but at the same time it also is hard to keep up with when you’re in your all mode and then it can be really down (and almost depressing) when you are in your nothing mode.
For me, being busy in the past was a coping strategy. Life has been hard at times from my parents divorcing, to my own divorce before the age of 30 and how I coped was to fill my schedule every waking moment of every day which didn’t allow me time to think but it also didn’t allow me time to grow. On the opposite side when I did have down time I just found things to numb myself by watching tv just so I didn’t have to think.
I have found that for me to be successful and live a full life, I need to have balance – in all areas of my life. So what life looks like for me now is having things to do but also having that down time to rest, reflect and recharge – getting proper sleep is also a very important factor. During my ‘down time’ I have found journaling and reading to be beneficial as it allows me to get my feelings out on paper and I’ve chosen things that are healthy to keep me busy but I also think what we allow into our schedules affects the rest of our lives and we really need to live holistically balanced.
For me, that means eating healthy and working out regularly, continuing to dream and work towards my goals and dreams, reading, journaling and surrounding myself with positive, uplifting people who are like minded in the direction of life I want to go.
If you could talk to the tween version of yourself, what would you tell her?
I would tell her that she was beautiful just the way that she was and her weight was just a number and did not definer her. I have always been a bigger girl – I came out of the womb at 10 lbs and almost 2 feet (my poor mother) and I resented what I looked like – in fact, hated what I looked like and now that’s part of my career – being a plus size model. There is nothing wrong with me or the way that I look.
When I teach confidence classes I usually go through a few exercises that made a difference for me.
- Get a piece of paper and start writing out all the things you like about yourself. When I did it, I had to get help from those in my life because I didn’t see much that I liked. So my list was things I liked, things people admired about me or things I wanted to embody – so….I am strong, I am bold, I am beautiful, I am a princess, and so on. I then read these things out loud in the morning every day – morning and night until I started to believe them. It took 6 months and it felt weird when I started but it was worth the effort to focus on me.
- Facing the mirror and starting to appreciate your body, your features, your face and starting to see beauty in it all. It’s more than just glancing in the mirror, it’s really taking the time to appreciate all the beauty wrapped up in you
- Journaling – this was such a big tool for me – I journaled how I felt, what happened in my day, my dreams, my hopes and so on.
- Writing out your dreams – shortly after my divorce, my mom told me that it was time to stop surviving and time to start dreaming again. So I went out and bought a white board and starting writing out all my dreams in every area of life. And you know what – most of them have come true over the last few years – buying my first home, travelling, having a good career, even becoming a Plus Size Model (although I erased it 3 times before it stuck)
When do you feel most proud of who you are?
I think feeling most proud is when I’m living my purpose – what’s my purpose you ask? Well, that’s to inspire women to learn to love themselves and see their value, worth and beauty. There are many things I do that work to get that message out – from modelling and sharing my photos on social media with inspiring quotes, to speaking to groups of women or sharing my story like I am today. My goal is to give women and young girls hope that you can get to this place.
You see, 6 years ago I went through a divorce. I was married to an abusive and unfaithful man and I hated myself – every part of me, inside and out. Once I was out of that situation I could focus on me and learn to love myself. It was out of this place my entire world changed. I have recently stepped back in some of the things I was doing – modelling, blogging, etc. because of some things I was going through and I haven’t been happy. I’m not re-focusing my energy to get back to doing the things I love and living my purpose. I think it’s also important to note that it’s not ‘happy’ all the time. Sometimes we need to re-adjust our sails in our journey, the important thing is that we keep going – never give up.
I also feel most proud when I am living my life in balance – living a healthy lifestyle, being successful at my day job, working on my dream and spending time with those I love.
What are your favorite ways to move my body?
I have a few things I love doing to move my body…boot camps at the gym is my current favorite – it’s always different, you’re with other people and there is always a challenge. I also love running (which I’m working on getting back to) and I love to dance!
Being active is such a big part of my life. For me it’s more than just being in shape – it’s also part of my pain management from a car accident I was in a few years ago. Being active is a stress reliever, I feel better, it’s a pain reliever and when I’m not active I don’t sleep well and life is just not as enjoyable.
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