“I Wanted To Say Thank You To My Body”
Every woman who comes to us for a Boudoir Shoot has an incredible story. The motivations and reasons behind doing Boudoir are diverse and, most often, hugely profound within their life. It’s our privilege that we get to be part of these women’s stories.
We recently had the pleasure of being part of another story. This time it was Leah’s story – a lady we first met through our Christmas Market stall at Southmead Hospital. We were so moved by what we heard that we asked whether she would share her journey. Kindly, she said yes – and so, here it is. We hope you feel similarly inspired after reading it.
Can you tell us about yourself?
I’m Leah, I’m 28 years old, I work as a full-time as an IT trainer and I’m also a massive Disney fan!
The past 2 years have been really hard for me, mentally and physically, as sadly 2 years ago I was diagnosed with womb cancer. I was diagnosed whilst being a newlywed and trying for a baby so this was devastating. I was offered the surgical route of having a hysterectomy (which meant I could not have a baby biologically) or I could try a medical trial but this would have risks. Me and my husband decided I would try the medical route which meant I would have to take a huge amount of the progesterone hormone. As I had a high BMI my body never produced Progesterone and this hormone is what destroys the cancer cells in my womb.
After my 6 week trial I started to respond to the treatment however we could not be sure how long this would last for. I needed to produce it myself and the only way was to do that was to lose a dramatic amount of weight. I only had a short period of time so I was directed to Bariatrics and fast tracked for a Gastric Bypass.
January 2018 I had the surgery and it was very successful. Within 6 months I had lost 6 and a half stone. My health had improved dramatically and I had dropped 4 dress sizes.
I have always been plus-size and have always been confident being a curvy lady. I fully embraced every inch of myself with clothes on. However, there was always a small part of me that didn’t enjoy looking in the mirror or loving myself when the clothes were off – or even when I was just in my underwear! But after 10 months of having the bypass and focusing on self-love, I finally looked in the mirror and embraced my body.I felt like a normal woman and I still have curves!
Recently, I had a check up on my regular biopsy with oncology to see how the treatment was going. Waiting for the results felt like the longest week ever but my consultant rang me and told me I had the all clear. This was the first time I had been completely cancer free for over a year. I was so over the moon.
That’s so SO brilliant about the all clear. How did you celebrate?!
We rang all the family and had a lovely meal everyone. Then I had drinks out at the weekend with my friends and family!
What inspired you to have a Boudoir session?
I wanted to celebrate for myself and find a way to say thank you to my body. I started to do some research on boudoir shoots and came across Divine Divas. I was looking at the different packages and couldn’t wait to show my husband. We both looked at the packages together. He couldn’t believe I wanted to do something like this but he agreed that it was a wonderful way to celebrate and couldn’t wait for me to book it.
In all honesty I was very nervous and kept going back and forth about booking it. However I’m pretty sure destiny decided to give me a nudge. A week later in work we had a Christmas Fayre and Divine Divas was one of the stalls. I signed up for the competition only to find out 2 days later that I had won!!
Wanting to do a topless photo but not having the guts to do it!
How did you feel when you arrived at the studio?
Nervous and excited.
What was the makeover like?
I loved my hair and the makeup artist made me feel very comfortable.
Who was your photographer? Neill, Jesse or Emilie?
How would you describe the photo-shoot to others?
Amazing and such a laugh! Emilie made me feel so comfortable. I enjoyed every second of my photo-shoot. She gave me a sneak peek after the first few snaps and I was just in shock that this gorgeous sultry woman was me! That gave me the extra boost I needed and after a few shots I had the confidence to do a topless photo! As the time went on I felt sexy, beautiful and fully embraced my “new” body. Me and Emilie had such a laugh creating some awkward positions for a great photo and I couldn’t wait for my hubby to see it.
When you came back for the viewing, how did you feel seeing yourself?
I almost cried, I loved every photo and looked so sexy! The hubby loved every single one of the shots – especially the one with the heels and thong!
What was your favourite part of the Boudoir Experience?
Feeling like a sexy model and finding a new sense of body confidence.
Do you feel any different about yourself since having your boudoir shoot?
Definitely, I love my body – naked or not!
What would you say to other women considering a boudoir session?
DO IT!! It gives such a sense of empowerment and you just ooze confidence when the camera comes out. Thanks to the staff, I loved my experience and the photos from start to finish!
And last question! You mentioned that you’re a Disney fan. Can you tell us a bit more?
I am a massive Disney fan. Disney Parks have a very special place in my heart. Disney World gives me fond childhood memories with my family and, whilst I was only introduced to Disneyland Paris 2 years ago, I loved the first time so much that I went back 11 times! Me and Tom (the hubby) have annual passes, being there makes you feel like a child and we always have so much fun!
Thank you to Leah for so kindly sharing her story.
Do you have a story about what motivated your Boudoir Experience? Or what happened after you saw your images? We’d love to hear it. Just message us on Facebook!