Our bodies are an amazing tool that let us do so many things, but it can be really hard for us to love them sometimes. Today we’re chatting with Nicole Lemke about body acceptance in a special companion episode to our Body Acceptance and Healing Episode with Marie-Pier from The Balanced Practice.

Nicole is a truly amazing woman who has struggled with body acceptance and has gone on an incredibly journey to help her get to this point. Body acceptance is a journey that we’ll be on for a long time, so learning how to accept ourselves and our flaws is so helpful for us and our mental health and well-being.

Our companion episodes really let us dive in deep with real people who are going through the same struggles we are. We’re living in a society that enforces the “ideal” body type, which isn’t normal for most of us, and talking to more people about this really lets us see we’re not alone. This talk was so amazing and Nicole had so many great resources and recommendations for us, so make sure to check them out below!

Want to know more about this episode? Join the UM Club! We have new speakers and hot topic every week, so head on over and sign up!

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Guest Expert

Nicole is a content creator from Peterborough, ON. She speaks about body confidence, mental health, and intimacy. She is a RN, meditation teacher, and is training to become a yoga teacher. She has a podcast called The Sexy Saturday Podcast.

In This Episode We Talk About

00:54 – Who is Nicole?
02:24 – How Nicole got started doing body acceptance and sexual wellness work.
06:09 – The Sexy Saturday Podcast and how it helped me!
08:02 – Nicole’s journey and how it got started.
19:07 – Clearing out your Instagram and moving towards a positive feed.
26:18 – Self-pleasure and empowering yourself to do it.
28:46 – Body acceptance over body positivity – what does that mean?
34:25 – Nicole’s resources and favourites.
34:25 – Where to find Nicole!

Watch the Video

Listen to the Audio

Resource Links

Join the UM Club!
UM Club Facebook page
The Sexy Saturday Podcast
The Sexy Saturday Podcast’s Instagram – @TheSexySaturdayPodcast
Nicole’s Instagram – @_NicoleLemke
Nicole’s TikTok – @_NicoleLemke
I Weigh Instagram – @I_Weigh
I Weigh Facebook Page
Sarah Nicole Landry’s Instagram – @TheBirdsPapaya
Jessamyn Stanley’s Instagram – @JessamynSmokes
Lizzo’s “Watch Out For The Big Grrrls” on Amazon
Sunday Morning View’s Instagram – @SundayMorningView
Alicia McCarvell’s Instagram – @AliciaMcCarvell
Kenzie Brenna’s Instagram – @KenzieBrenna
The BodCon
The BodCon Podcast – The BodPod
I Got You, Boo! Podcast
Rihanna’s fashion show on Amazon – “Savage X Fenty Show”

Read the Full Conversation

Hello and welcome to another episode inside the Unapologetic Moms Club. This episode is a little bit different, we’re working on bringing in some more complimentary episodes to go with our main anchor ones. And I am very excited to be welcoming Nicole Lemke, who is going to be talking about body positivity and sexual empowerment to help balance out an episode coming out this week with dietitian Marie-Pier from The Balanced Practice, who Nicole Lemke has also interviewed on her podcast. So I’m really excited to dig into this conversation. And welcome, Nicole. So happy to have you here.

Hi, thanks so much for having me. And I love Marie-Pier. She’s absolutely incredible. And I am happy that I’m going along with her episode as well. So thank you for having me.

Thanks for being here. And she was so awesome. I really enjoyed recording that episode, lots of great tips in there. And I’m excited just to dig into things on a personal level with you. So tell us a little bit about who you are, what you do.

Yeah, so I am a content creator, podcast host. I’m also in the real world a registered nurse, I am a meditation teacher, and I am a coach as well. So I am doing body image coaching and doing programs kind of around healing our body image. So that is a little snapshot about me. I’m 29, I’m married, I have two little boys, they are three-and-a-half and the other one just turned one. And that is kind of me in a nutshell.

Yeah, it’s been really incredible watching your journey. I think we probably connected maybe two or so years ago. And seeing you slowly become more confident in your voice and what you’re there to help people with, and more confident in yourself, and kind of going through the crazy newborn stuff with COVID. Now that the little ones a year old, I’m sure you’re starting to feel some more independence coming back and different things like that. I know the one-year mark was a big mark for me.

Yeah, for sure. And we had COVID so now I’m not quite as scared anymore. So yeah, a little bit of weight lifted off my shoulders with that one.

I’m sure that feels good. So with your Sexy Saturday Podcast, and that was one of the things that originally drew me to you is how you’re having these conversations on your Instagram. What inspired you to talk about sexuality and body acceptance and love on Instagram for all to see? Because those are kind of nerve-wracking topics for a lot of people to cover, but you put it out there every week.

Yeah, so Sex in the City was always a huge thing for me growing up, it was kind of like my safe space to go to, I would binge watch it. And I always wanted to be Carrie Bradshaw, which like, now if anybody has watched like the spin-off, the new series, Carrie is a podcast host, but just kind of like a nice like full-circle moment. But I did an ad on Instagram for Pink Cherry, which is a vibrator company. And as a part of that I did sexy Saturday polls on my stories, just had like random polls about sex, wasn’t really planning for it to become anything. And then everybody was like, “we really like this, please do it again.” So I kept doing it. And then people kept asking for more and more of it. 

So it just kind of became this thing, Sexy Saturdays, I had my friend design this like nice little background thing for me. And it’s just become this like, really fun thing. And then I was getting all these messages being like, “can you help me pick out a sex toy? Do you have intimacy tips for me? Do you have this? Do you have that?” And it was getting kind of overwhelming, getting to all of those messages too. So I’m like, I need to do something more here. I had kind of toyed around with the idea of starting a podcast and then because I’m not like a sex educator, like I’m not really working in the sex field, I’m like, “who the hell am I to start a sex podcast?” This isn’t what I can do professionally. 

But I’m like, I have all of these kinds of connections. And I can facilitate these conversations. So I took it and ran and I have had incredible guests on, we’ve done erotic blueprints and intimacy coaching and all of the amazing things, and it’s really become more of like a confidence thing as well. And really embodying sexiness as a whole and like all the different realms that go along with that. And it was so terrifying for me to put that stuff out there like I remember before I did my very first vibrator ad like I made sure like my mom was okay with it. I didn’t asked my dad, but I’m like “mom, are you sure you’re okay with me posting about vibrators on the internet? Like, is this actually okay?” And now she takes my pictures for me for content, with me holding a nice little vibrator. She’ll take the pictures for me.

I’ve done filming with my mom to where she is throwing a clit-sucker at me. I’m like “just toss it at me, it’ll make sense when I put it together.” So then she’s just throwing vibrators at me and Logan’s like, “what are you doing?”

Yeah, so. And like, I made sure it was okay with my husband, because his mom is a pastor. But what they don’t know doesn’t hurt them. And we just go with it. So now I have a podcast about it, too. So I’m sure they know that. But that’s okay. 

Yeah, it’s okay. You’re more confident in and out. And congratulations for recently reaching 3000 downloads. That’s such a big milestone.

Thank you! Yeah, I was surprised because the last time I checked, it was closer to 2000. And then we hit 3000, which was really exciting.

Yeah, it’s – like I said, it’s been great to watch you grow. And one thing I don’t think I’ve told anyone before, but your sexy Saturdays is what helped kind of push me to kind of do more masturbation work.

I’m very happy to hear that, that’s such like a huge step in a self-love journey.

Yeah, and it was something that I never really did before. I wasn’t really around people that talked about it that much. And like, I had been a sexual person throughout a lot of my life. But I was always like with a partner. And so like kind of dependent on that, not necessarily like fully in my control. And so through seeing your different stories and your different conversations about it, it kind of pushed me to try it out, it was really a big catalyst for me, I would say, and me becoming more confident and taking ownership of that. And then really like taking things, go in with things with my husband as well. Because doing that practice with yourself really opens the door not only for yourself, but in your relationships as well. So you really are making a big impact doing what you’re doing. So thank you for that.

Well, thank you. I love that for you so much. It’s really an incredible thing when we’ve got that in mind-body connection going with ourselves, and then can translate that into life with our partner. And like the sex is so much more incredible when you’ve done the work and you’ve gone through the healing. And it’s just like an amazing thing to be able to do.

Absolutely. Like it really helps you feel more connected, be out of your head, less self-conscious about things so you can be present and really take things from there. 

Yeah, for sure. 

So I’d love to hear a little bit about your own journey with body acceptance and sexual empowerment.

Yeah, so going back to very early childhood. I don’t remember a time where I wasn’t aware of my body. And I remember being in this hotel – this is probably my earliest memory, of being in this hotel with my parents going to the pool. And I was wearing this like pink gingham two-piece. And I just remember looking in this mirror in the elevator being like, “I’m really big in this bathing suit like this is not cute on me.” And I must have been five or six, like I was really really young. 

I was on significant diets, like I was on diets before this, but I was on significant diets in grade seven and grade eight. Would lose a bunch of weight, regain a bunch of weight, lose weight, regain a bunch of weight, as the diet cycle goes. And then after grade eight, I kind of just kept getting weight and gaining weight until between grade 10 and 11, it actually started as a contest with a friend to see who could lose the most weight over the summer. I unfortunately won that contest and sent myself into a whole realm of disordered eating, probably should have been an eating disorder, but it was undiagnosed. 

I lost around 80 pounds within a few months. It was awful. I basically wasn’t eating, I would maybe eat 600 to 800 calories in a day. If I was even eating that day. It was really rough. Using workouts as punishment. I would have worked out for probably two to three hours a day. Logging things like sugar-free gum, and making sure that I worked off sugar-free gum. And if I felt like I was gonna pass out because I hadn’t eaten I would drink orange juice and carry on with my day like nothing significant had just happened, like that wasn’t a traumatic event. 

And it really just snowballed into this huge body image thing. And I had such severe body dysmorphia that I – like I was pretty thin, my collarbones were sticking out. I was never a size zero by any means, I have a larger frame, I was probably down to a size eight, which was very, very thin for me at the time. And it was just awful. And I saw myself as being the largest human being on the planet still at that size. 

And then I started university and you know, I kind of let myself go, and I say that phrase because I needed to let that part of me go. And I didn’t know what I was doing at the time, I thought I was just, you know, I had fallen off the bandwagon and I wasn’t taking care of myself anymore. But I did really need to let that part of myself go to be able to heal my body image. So that’s why I still say letting myself go because I do still really like appreciate looking at that phrase with a new lens. 

And then I met my husband, we got engaged a year and a half later. A year later we got married, and then we started trying to get pregnant. Three months later, I hadn’t been ovulating, I went to my OB and was like, my body isn’t working. I’m very lucky at that point that he tested me and started me on treatments right away. He didn’t say “no go wait 12 months and come back to me when you haven’t gotten pregnant.” So he got me tested and started on treatments right away. We did four rounds of fertility meds, and I got pregnant. And then we saw the heartbeat, everything was great. And nine and a half weeks, we had a miscarriage, which was really, really, really tough. On my body, on my mind, on my relationship, everything. It was probably the lowest point in my life, I don’t really even have a memory of how I got myself out of that time because I don’t know. 

And the infertility and the miscarriage, like I had had this negative self-talk throughout all of my life. And that gave me a solid reason to actually hate my body. Like it was a tangible reason. My body is not working. It’s not providing for my family, I can now actually hate it as if I wasn’t already hating on it enough. So then right after the miscarriage, we did another four rounds of fertility meds and got pregnant again, and then had the baby and started trying to get pregnant right away. So basically it was three years of trying to get pregnant. It was wild. When my first son was about 18 months old, I hit rock bottom with my body image. And I just remember I remember like waking up one day and being like, “shit, I didn’t want to wake up today, this sucks. I don’t want to exist in my body anymore. This is not fun. I really hate myself. I can’t do this anymore.”

And at that point, I had seen influencers like @TheBirdsPapaya and she was really starting to become like a little bit bigger at the time. And I mean bigger as in like following bigger not body size, just to clarify. I think that’s back when she had like 30,000 followers, like she was still a pretty small influencer at that point in time. And I remember seeing people like her and being like, they are crazy, this is not for me, I am too fat to even be worthy of thinking about loving myself in the body that I exist in. 

And then I was starting to see more plus size influencers and plus size people in exercise, like Jessamyn Stanley was a huge one. She’s a plus size yoga teacher. She’s absolutely incredible. I remember taking one of her yoga classes, and she said take up space in this pose. And that was the first time I’d ever ever heard that when it came to movement and I broke down crying. 

But I made a decision that day when I hit rock bottom to be like, I need to learn how to exist with my body because I can’t go back into an eating disorder again. I can’t go down that path. I need to be here for my family and myself. I need to figure something out. So I took these steps and slowly went along this journey. It was really superficial work at first and I felt like I was lying to myself. I was definitely faking it until I made it – I don’t want to say I made it because the journey is never over. But it was just all of these things combined. 

And then my sexual journey in there as well and infertility and pregnancy loss, just sex really became this thing that was so scheduled and clinical. And it was not fun and I was having – I can’t speak for my husband, but I was having really bad sex, but in my experience of that I’m sure he was as well. And that, along with the body image, like my room can’t get dark enough. I tried to wear clothes during sex, which if that’s where you are with your body image journey right now, that is okay, wear clothes to bed. But I was very actively trying to hide my body, I didn’t like when he touched me. I didn’t know how to tell him what I wanted. It wasn’t working. 

So part of my self-love journey was then being more open to sexual experiences. And going through all of those things and kind of going through, like you said, going through that journey with myself. And that slowly translated into my relationship. And it’s been within the past like, year and a half really, that I’ve seen that impact in my relationship as well. And incredible sex now, which is fantastic and so liberating. And orgasms are just great all around. Everybody needs more orgasms. I don’t think you can ever have enough. I think there’s a medical condition in which you can actually have enough of them, or too many of them. But if you do not have that medical condition, have all the orgasms.

Wow. That is quite the journey. I actually got goosebumps a couple of times while you were talking. And like the lows are quite low. But I think it’s something that a lot of people can relate to, especially our age and all of the messaging were receiving from so many different places that as such a young girl you had that hate and distaste for your body.

Yep. And, you know, I don’t want to say anything bad about my mom. But like, my mom was a talk show mom, my mom watched Oprah, and I don’t remember what other talk shows were on at the time. But I remember watching Oprah as a young kid and her rolling out that Radio Flyer wagon of fat, like that is one of my most vivid memories of the media. And like, you know, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears were so popular back then. And even back then I was so aware of the fact like, I will never look like this and low waisted jeans. Not gonna happen.

And seeing all the magazines of, oh, this person’s gained weight, when really they are still so thin. And it’s just implementing these messages that if you look like that you’ve gained weight. You’re not good. You’re supposed to be more towards these other ideals.

Yeah, like the media made us think that Jessica Simpson in those mom jeans was a massive human. And looking back on those photos now, she was still quite thin. Just the body dysmorphia. And I remember even looking at her back then and being like, okay, I’m bigger than her. So what does this mean for me? Is people’s worst fear really that they’re ever going to look like me? And it was just skewed to us that thin bodies like this are what body should look like. And that is absolutely not the truth.

Yeah, exactly. And even taking a step further to that, too, is like we are more than our bodies. Our worth and everything about us is more than just a thin or a bigger, larger body.

Yeah. And like, even still – I need to purge my cupboard. But I still have like a cookbook from Seventeen Magazine that was like, “lose this much weight in 14 days, and these are the recipes that we’re going to give you.” And there was a chicken finger recipe in there that I liked. So I kept it, but now I’m like, I need to throw that out. I can find a better chicken finger recipe than Seventeen Magazine

Yes, we don’t need those reminders. And that’s one thing that helped me personally with kind of my postpartum body changes and all of that, I know going through pregnancy I felt like my body wasn’t mine anymore. All these weird things were going on. After birth, it was completely different from what I was used to. And so it was really challenging to kind of accept that and be okay with that. And one of the things that was really helpful for me is just clearing out all of the old stuff, like you don’t need those reminders, hanging up reminding you every morning when you’re getting dressed that you’re not like this anymore.

Yeah, and you know, with those reminders, too, I remember I had a pair of pants that I bought a size too small. They never even fit me, I bought them too small. And I used to hang these jeans up on – I lived in a basement apartment so I had like the ceiling tiles – and I would hang them in the ceiling tiles in front of my treadmill, like this horse running after a carrot, trying to fit into my skinny jeans. Did I ever fit into them? No. But it was like, it was just so awful that I even did that, like that is so screwed up that those are the things that we resort to, to make ourselves take up less space on this planet that we definitely deserve to take up space on.

Absolutely, yeah. And that’s something so many of us did in different ways, having those goal things, right? So I’d love to hear more kind of like practical tips and what you went through with your journey with body acceptance, and being okay at taking up that space and being more confident in the body you’re in.

Yeah, so a huge one for me was affirmations. And my affirmations were very superficial in the beginning, like I had to tell myself I was beautiful. And that felt like such a hard thing for me at the time, let alone doing ones that hit on a deeper personal level, like I am strong, and I am powerful. And I believe in my capabilities of doing things. It was very much like, “I am beautiful, my body is okay.” And those are the affirmations that I started with, which is totally fine. 

And mirror work was a huge thing for me. And I didn’t even know what mirror work was back then. A big thing for me was working out in front of the mirror. Because at that point, I had such a disordered relationship with movement as well. And even just existing day to day, my standard outfit was like leggings and a poncho to hide my body. Like I didn’t even want to see my body, from the moment I woke up, I would hide my body under basically a paper bag, go through my day, not have to look at it. If I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, who knows what’s under the poncho? Nobody can see it. 

So that was really hard for me to let go, of and working out for me in leggings and a sports bra in front of a mirror to sit with the discomfort of how my body was moving, was really uncomfortable for me and really forced me to sit with myself and those discomforts, and acknowledge them and release them and slowly replace them with neutral thoughts. I started with positive thoughts. And that was really hard. So then I went to neutral thoughts, and we worked from there. So mirror was a huge part of my journey. 

And especially with sexual empowerment as well. Mirror work, spending time in front of the mirror naked. And that sounds really scary if you’ve never done it before. I just did my body image certification for coaching. And one of my activities that I do with my clients is doing – not with them, they’re on their own doing this – but I get them to do naked mirror time. And one of my clients was like, “no, this is not okay. I cannot do this.” I know it feels weird, I promise you, I know it feels weird. But it helps. And then if you can go up to, you know, spending an hour naked every day and doing like naked hours, is what they call it, is really, really helpful. 

Just existing with your body – you don’t have to look at it, it doesn’t have to be in front of the mirror. But if you just sit naked and read a book, that helps create a mind body connection. Which is really, really important because we get such a disconnected sense of self when we have these body image struggles that we dissociate so that we don’t have to acknowledge it. We don’t have to acknowledge that our body doesn’t feel like us. 

If we, you know, as moms we like to stay busy, if we – well, we don’t always like to stay busy. But once the kids go to bed, if we binge Netflix and look at our phones, we don’t have to acknowledge that we’ve had really shitty thoughts about our bodies all day. And we don’t have to do the work, we can just keep ignoring it until it snowballs and we go to that place of rock bottom unfortunately, like I did. 

Other tips, podcasts were a huge one for me, listening to self-love podcasts because it is really hard when you’re trying to do this work and the universe still hates you. Society is still set up not designed for women to love themselves. They don’t want us to love ourselves. We need to actively fight against that to be able to love ourselves. So that was really helpful for me as well because just not knowing anybody in real life who was actually going through that journey as well was really difficult, because you do feel really isolated in trying to fight against that hate. 

And curating my Instagram feed was a huge one. One of my activities I do now is unfollow like five accounts that make you feel really bad about yourself, and replace it with 10 accounts that make you feel good about yourself. So we’re doubling what we got rid of. So that is also really helpful. I get ahead of myself with words. So I feel like I’ve run out of tips!

Yeah, no, that’s great. That’s a lot of tangible tips that people can do and different things I’ve practiced in different ways. I appreciate your honesty about the different challenges throughout all of it, depending where you are in your journey. But feeling so negative about yourself and your body, it’s really difficult and uncomfortable to look at yourself in the mirror naked, or say these weird things that really don’t ring true to you. But it’s in putting in that work and being consistent and reflecting. And like you said, trying to reframe, and maybe those more positive things really don’t align with you at all at the time, that’s okay, we can break it down into the smaller baby steps and just start with a neutral thing. And then kind of shift from there. So it’s really approachable, and I think relatable, how you’ve touched on all of that.

Yeah. And then if we want to dig deeper into sexual empowerment as well, I mean, masturbation has always kind of been a part of my life. But looking back a few years ago, I remember feeling such shame around wanting pleasure. And after I would do it, I would feel like dirty or like I didn’t deserve to have the pleasure that I just had, because I should have spent that time making my body smaller. It was wasted time that I didn’t use to fit in better. And part of that experience for me has been learning that all bodies deserve pleasure and this is okay, and this is great. And we are allowed to take up space in the bed. And we are allowed to have all of those nice things just like everybody else.

Yeah, really taking ownership of your presence in whatever shape that may look like. And in owning that and connecting with your body and allowing yourself to have all those different great experiences, whether it’s sexual pleasure with yourself or your partner, or even going out to a restaurant and really enjoying a meal, which can be scary when you’re in a place of hate for your body and for food, too.

Yeah, like the amount of times that I have cried in a restaurant bathroom because there was nothing on the menu that I could eat in front of other people was just astounding.

And it’s all these messages that are in our head, both from everything we’re exposed to, and that we keep perpetuating. And so it really is up to us to make that change. And like you said, sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom or listening to more and more of these things and having something click and just being done with these kinds of thought patterns, and wanting to shift it for the better. Because we are okay, we deserve to experience all the great things that life has to offer regardless of what our body looks like, we are more than our bodies.

Yeah, definitely. I was just going to say something and it totally slipped my mind.

Of course. Yeah, that always has a way of happening.

It will come back to me.

But one thing I really like about this whole conversation, because I do really think that kind of body acceptance – and I like to use that word rather than positivity because we don’t always have to like absolutely love and think all these positive things about our body, but to accept it and be okay with it and be more than the body. And I think it really pairs well with building your confidence and building your confidence to experience pleasure and to have more conversations with our partners and explore more things ourselves.

Yeah, and I do – this is what I was going to say – is I do think there is a big misconception within this space where if you are watching somebody as a follower and they are in this body confident, body positive, whatever space, that they never have bad days, that they have reached the place of accepting their body wholeheartedly. They are fine, they have done all the work, and the journey is over for them. Now they can just boast about how much they love their bodies. And that is very much not the case. 

I have bad body image days still, not as often as I used to, but like last week especially was really hard for me, just we had a really tough month and then coming out of that. And I haven’t moved my body in probably two months, it’s been really, really hard. And I had to sit down and be like, “okay, what’s going on, I haven’t been taking care of myself, I haven’t been treating my body like I love it, let’s make some changes.” And I need to go back to actively doing all of these self care things to show my body love. But very much if you’re looking at somebody as a follower and thinking, I can never do that – you can do that. And you are worthy of doing that. And that person, don’t put them on a hierarchy just because they’re posting about it, that doesn’t mean that they also aren’t struggling.

Absolutely, yeah, we’re all real humans, we all have our ups and downs, and social media, even if you were to like max out all of the stories, it’s still just such a tiny slice of the day. It’s a few minutes out of the 24 hours, we have no idea all of the things that are going on behind the scenes. And sometimes people are great at sharing it. But still, it’s not everything. It’s not like someone’s whipping out a camera, while they’re in the middle of like a crying session or a fight with someone or whatever it might be. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes. And we’re just like everyone else experiencing those ups and downs too.

Yeah. I’m just thinking about my day today, my day was complete chaos, and I posted none of it on Instagram. 

See, right there, like there’s just so much more behind the scenes. And we just need to pick the parts that resonate with us and do what feels right for us. And there’s a very recurring theme throughout a lot of our episodes. And there’s just so much power in taking the time to pause, and reflect, and start making those actions little bit by little bit. And it really transforms over a longer period of time. Like you said, I think it was about the last year and a half, you’ve seen a really big transformation. But it’s really been those tiny little things stacking on top of each other.

Yeah, and I started this journey in 2019. So it’s been three years. And it’s really been the last year and a half of that, that I’ve really felt like I’ve made improvements, and where I’m happy waking up and existing in my body and being in that place of not being disappointed when I wake up in the morning.

Yeah, really takes time. And that just reminded me, I think it was a few weeks ago, maybe a month or two ago now, was the first time I’ve looked in the mirror with absolutely no makeup on and actually felt beautiful. And this is something I’ve been working at like you for, especially since having kids, my oldest is now like over four. And it’s taken all that time to actually feel it and own it in that moment. And again, like you mentioned, it ebbs and flows and changes.

Yeah, for sure. And postpartum was a hard one for me too, because I had all of these friends saying that they had all these new rolls and new stretch marks and stuff. And at that time, I was very much like, okay, so your worst fear is again looking like me like, because I had always had a mom bod, like I was born with a mom bod, that’s just how I came out. And it took me a really long time to be able to accept that and heal my relationship that I thought thin people hated me because I was bigger, because that was very much not the case. If anything, I was probably blocking out actual friendships because I had that wall up that I didn’t want to get hurt by people.

Mm hmm. And that’s something I hear a lot of people in the community talking about in relation to mom friends, is that say at the playground or whatever, we feel these judgments and think these other people might be thinking those things of us. And then we hold ourselves back from, again, having those experiences, pushing ourselves outside the comfort zone to have a conversation with that person. Because chances are, they’re not thinking those things that we’re thinking, they got their own shit going on. They’re worrying what other people are thinking about them.

Yeah, we project a lot of our own stuff onto other people.

Yes, we do. But that’s all part of doing this work and taking a step back from it and reframing it. Do you have any other last thoughts as we wrap up or any resources that you think would be helpful for people on their own self acceptance journey?

Yeah, I Weigh is a really amazing page. They have helped me with a lot of my stuff. Just surrounding yourself with like really cool social media stuff. It’s really hard to find this kind of content in the mainstream media, so you really have to seek it out. I just got finished watching Lizzo’s “Watch Out For The Big Grrrls” on Amazon and it was so good, I cried so much just seeing these women who have been told no basically their entire lives and now they’re potentially getting the career that they’ve always dreamed of having. It was just such a beautiful show. But yeah, I Weigh is really good on Instagram. There’s an account I really love called @SundayMorningView. They post incredible photos. My mind is blanking. My mind always does this when I have to think of things off the top of my head.

You’re on Eastern time, it’s later in the day. 

Oh, yeah. We’re like getting into bedtime here. Alicia McCarvell is a huge one obviously. I’m sure everybody is familiar with Alicia McCarvell, she is absolutely incredible. Kenzie Brenna, all of these incredible influencers have had such a big impact on me. 

Yeah, like you said, I encourage everyone to do that tip, unfollow the five and follow ten new ones, amplify the good that’s coming into your feed and that you’re consuming.

Yeah. And then podcast wise, The BodCon has a really good podcast called The BodPod. And the I Got You, Boo! podcasts, I love them as well.

Okay, so many great things to check out. We’ll have them, and I’m gonna go through and do my own digging, I really want to check out that Lizzo thing on Amazon.

It’s so good. So good. 

And that reminded me of something you touched on. Before we close out, I really think this whole kind of body acceptance movement is starting to shift. It almost seemed to start out with the moms and the change from pregnancy. But like you said, it really left out a lot of people. And it’s really nice to see more and more people sharing their experiences that are different from that. And even from males as well. There’s one guy I love following, I can’t think of his name right now. I’ll try and put that in the show notes, I’ll look it up. But he this guy in his like mid 20s and is thought of as like a plus size male model. But I love seeing him share about his experience with his rolls and soft parts too, because we all have our different experiences. And it’s so validating and helpful to see ones that more closely reflect our own.

Yeah, it’s incredible. And when you’re talking about the male as well, I’m thinking of Rihanna’s fashion show on Amazon. It’s also incredible. It’s amazing. 

All right. Lots of things to check out. Thank you so much for being here. This has been a lot of fun. Where can everyone find you after listening to this?

Yeah. So I’m on Instagram @_NicoleLemke and @TheSexySaturdayPodcast. On TikTok, I’m trying things out on TikTok, video contents not my thing, but @_NicoleLemke on TikTok as well. And then The Sexy Saturday Podcast is on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon – wherever you get podcasts.

All the things. So everyone go check her out. I love seeing Nicole pop up in my feed. Thanks again for being here. And thank you for everyone listening, make sure you head to our Facebook group and join the conversation. We have lots of great body acceptance content coming out this week and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. Till next time, take care.

Thanks for listening this week! If you want to chat about this episode with me and other moms, check out the exclusive UM Club Facebook page! Thanks again, and we’ll see you next week!