Once upon a time there was a princess called Sarah Nicole who embarked on a journey to better her life. She lost 45kg, went through a divorce and started a new chapter of single motherhood with her 3 beautiful children. After some time, she met a bearded prince, married him and is now pregnant with his baby.
By Lara Franco Gomes
Photography courtesy of Sarah Nicole
While all this is happening in her life, Sarah Nicole also found the courage to share the story of her struggles and search for self-love with us. And that is the real fairy-tale: while she is writing her story, we get to be a part of it and find some comfort by her side. In a way we come to understand our own worth with her and learn to love our bodies the way they are. Her magic is to have found a way to show us that our imperfections are beautiful, like she is! Thank you, Sarah Nicole!
LEMON Magazine [LEMON] – How do you define yourself as a woman?
Sarah Nicole [S.N.] – I think I just define myself as a human, figuring out life, doing my best along the way.
[LEMON] – What has been your most life-changing moment?
[S.N.] – Leaving a 13-year relationship was most definitely the most pivotal change in my life and definitely caused a lot of introspection, bold decision-making and seeking happiness in a new way.
[LEMON] – What triggered you to start posting about self-love?
[S.N.] – When I began my weight loss journey, I truly envisioned it as a journey of self-love and as a way to find happiness in my body and life. I was ready to not feel so hung up about my body and less anxious about being seen by others. However, much to my own surprise, after losing 45 kilos I became more anxious and hung up about my body than ever before… and I realised I was merely trying to hate myself happy. Recognising that, I began to post about the stuff that really scared me, that made me feel less, as I began to let it all go and it began to release its grip on me.
[LEMON] – How do you define exterior beauty?
[S.N.] – I think our bodies are a vessel and a canvas. They are not our whole, they are merely a part of who we are and it’s ever-changing! So I just try and live my life, show up in it with the body I have and the canvas I’ve been given!
Don’t forget who the author of your life is and who you are writing for.
[LEMON] – Do you think that the “ugliness” we feel about ourselves goes away once you face it?
[S.N.] – I love the saying “once you tell a secret, it loses its power”. I don’t think that feeling goes away entirely, but I think it loses its grip. That’s been my experience at least.
[LEMON] – What’s the best advice you can give to someone that is struggling with their own body?
[S.N.] – Start evaluating when and where you’re feeling the struggle. Is it after being on social media? Is it when you’re shopping? Is it when you’re looking at old photos? Is it in your relationships and conversations? When you can begin to unpack the why, you can start working towards making small decisions and steps to protect yourself, and start un-learning a lot of those narratives, and start building upon new ones!
[LEMON] – What do you think each of us can do to start changing our mind-sets and become less judgmental with ourselves and others?
[S.N.] – Self-awareness is such a buzz-worthy word, but not many of us are truly willing to start “going there” by listening to our thoughts and feelings with more intention. I get jealous and judgmental of other women and it’s been important for me to unpack the why by listening to my thoughts more and exploring them so I can address them head-on and start changing my mentality.
[LEMON] – Do you think that beauty standards and expectations about women’s bodies are changing?
[S.N.] – I do! I think it’s constantly changing but this time it feels different. It feels like things are really changing in big ways. When I walk through the mall, I see mannequins of different sizes, I see larger and smaller brands working towards inclusive sizing and shopping experiences and increased inclusion. There is still some way to go so it helps to keep talking about it.
[LEMON] – How would you define confidence?
[S.N.] – Confidence for me is just showing up in your life no matter what. Our bodies and circumstances change, but time keeps moving forward. So, if we can just commit to bravely showing up in our own existence, we can fight for the right to our own memories and choose to live confidently!
[LEMON] – Where did you find motivation to live a healthier life, eating better and exercising?
[S.N.] – For me at first it was all about losing weight. I didn’t actually care about being truly healthy, I just wanted to be smaller. Now that’s changed… and changed again! From eating to fuel my body and exercise for my mental health, to now honouring my state of pregnancy and its own complications and eating what I can manage, while no longer being cleared to exercise and still finding value in who I am and the body I hold, or that holds me.
[LEMON] – You remarried and are now pregnant. How would you define this moment in your life?
[S.N.] – It’s terrifying and exciting. I never expected to be “back” in this phase of life, but I’m excited to experience it.
[LEMON] – How are you and your family living this “new normal” (life with COVID-19)?
[S.N.] – The kids are in school, both my husband and I are working at home. We miss “normal” life, but we also really appreciate that this is a safe place for us to be in this season, especially given my pregnancy!
[LEMON] – The best life advice you can give other women?
[S.N.] – Don’t forget who the author of your life is and who you are writing for.
[LEMON] – Your favourite quote?
[S.N.] – “When a woman finally learns that pleasing the world is impossible, she becomes free to learn how to please herself.” – Glennon Doyle