Possible womxn 4/12 J’Anna – lost over 100lbs & has a double mastectomy
This incredible womxn is J’Anna. She is a single mom to the cutest little daughter and also is a Weight Watchers ambassador! J’Anna has been helping inspire thousands of womxn who are going through the same struggles she is. She definitely has been receiving the love on social media, and so have I, on her boudoir photos! She is continuing to inspire those who she already inspires, even more! <— That’s incredible and girlfriend, I hope you know how loved and supported you are by this incredible group of people! THEY FLIPPIN LOVE YOU. Keep doing you boo boo, cause you inspire all over the place <3
I initially asked J’Anna how she felt when walking into her session to now. At the studio there is this lovely building directly across from us with 9-5 workers all at their desks. Every time I have a session at the studio I like to say to my clients that the workers in the other building just get a little show every now and then 😉
“When I walked in I felt 100% different than I do now, and the window, whooooa! I loved that I was terrified of the people in the building over, and now I think that they’re my fans!”-J’Anna
Before J’Anna decided to got a preventative double mastectomy, she used to be a bigger womxn. She was unhappy in her skin, wasn’t living her life and to top it all off, was with someone who was cheating on her. She even told me that for the entirety of their relationship, 8 years, she never, not once showed him her belly, the area she is most self conscious about. Having a partner who didn’t encourage her to show off and love her own body was difficult for J’Anna, of course.
“I want someone who will grab my stomach and say “you are sexy.” Which I have and it’s a good feeling.” -J’Anna
Shortly before leaving her ex, J’Anna started to hit it hard with her weight loss journey. It took three years for J’Anna to lose over 100lbs and once she hit that mark, she felt like an entirely new person.
“As the weight was coming off I was starting to find my confidence.” -J’Anna
“I feel amazing at such a weird stage in my life.”-J’Anna
She joined Weight Watchers and after losing the weight and being a member for 3 years, they asked her to be an ambassador for WW! There are only 100 ambassadors in the entire country and she officially is on one of the WW commercial’s with Oprah! No, she did not meet Oprah, but the girl’s in a damn commercial with her! They elected her an ambassador, rightfully, due to how open and honest she has been about her weight loss journey. AKA, she inspires so many people and they recognized that and decided to promote her to use her platform to encourage and inspire others on a similar journey.
“It’s the craziest feeling to get messages from people telling me that I inspire them so much. I got so many messages the other day when I started talking about the photoshoot, they loved it! One lady even said me ‘thank you for reminding me that I do have confidence, I just need to find it.'”-J’Anna
I asked her what it’s like to have people tell them you inspire them daily. I relayed to her my own experience with so many incredible humans who message me telling me that I inspired them to love their own bodies more daily. Side bar– this is a HUGE thing. Like majorly huge. It’s wonderful to get compliments from friends, family and loved ones that you are inspiring, talented, etc. etc. For people like myself and J’Anna, who just put themselves and their art out there for the world to see is a scary thing. But to have daily messages of how you are inspiring and changing peoples lives behind a phone screen, it’s quite incredible. There’s no real way to describe it, it’s kind of a weird and surreal feeling at times. J’Anna puts it perfectly right here…
“I inspire you?! I just ate an entire bag of Doritos and I inspire you?!”-J’Anna
She realizes that she does inspire so many people because of that bag of Doritos. She discloses and shows all her followers everything, even that she just ate a bag of Doritos. In fact, after her session she went out for some fast food and bought herself a burger and showed that shit all over her instagram. She inspires because she is keeping it REAL. You can eat a burger or a bag or Doritos and she shows everyone that it’s okay to indulge, because it is!
“Do what makes you feel good and that’s all that matters.”-J’Anna
She went on to say that she still finds it crazy that people find her inspiring. She goes, “I mean, I’m 29, live with my momma and I’m just trying to do life.” She then goes on to say, “And because of you, I finally showed everyone my belly hang!” *We both paused to clap* This womxn, who was so ready to bloom and was ready for her Impossible Boudoir session said to herself, fuck it, and posted a photo of her belly hang on her instagram to all her thousands of followers. Now if you, yes you reading this, can applause at your desk, please do so. Cheer for the womxn who was so afraid to show her own stomach to everyone for most of her life and especially to the person she shared a romantic life with for 8 years. And then just like that, one day before her session, she shared her belly hang. In that moment she released herself. I’d like to think she released herself even before seeing me for her session, which is inspiring as all hell. Sometimes the hardest but most rewarding thing to do is just to love and accept ourselves for who we are and what we look like.
“She can still have a tummy and be yummy.”-J’Anna
I asked J’Anna how others had made her feel about her body growing up. Pretty much “shitty” she says. The first person who came to her mind was her Mom. Growing up hearing little comments here and there, didn’t encourage J’Anna too much when it came to loving her own body. I’ll raise my hand in this category here, sorry Mom. J’Anna loves her mother to death, as do I, but she plans to pass on different lessons and words of love and encouragement to her own daughter.
“Growing up I don’t think I ever heard my Mom tell me that I was beautiful.”-J’Anna
J’Anna thinks on her past and how never hearing that she was beautiful, more than likely did a little damage to her her own self worth and esteem. She made a vow to herself that she would raise her daughter differently and not only tell her that she was smart and intelligent, but also incredibly beautiful every day.
“I tell my daughter she is beautiful every day.” -J’Anna
Early on in life J’Anna was always trying to hide her body. From whether it was at the swimming pool doing one of her favorite activities, to how she dressed everyday. One thing that sticks out in J’Anna’s mind from when she was a teen was when she she heard a nasty comment being made to her from a guy. “I’m just trying to get with her because she’s fat and they’re easy.”
“So that messed with my head and I will always remember those words.”-J’Anna
J’Anna was excited when she started to work at one of her first jobs, Torrid, a stylish plus size clothing company. She would get so inspired seeing these gorgeous plus size womxn walk in, and walk away with a cute stylish new outfit catered to their body type. She would always praise them for their confidence and style and thought to herself, “Now why can’t I do that for myself?!”-J’Anna
I asked her why she felt like she couldn’t take advantage of her store and all the confidence of her customers while she was working there, being close to 300lbs. “Fear of judgement and comments from others,” is what she said.
“Like, is someone going to ask if I’m pregnant? I don’t know. But fuck, who cares what people think, just do whatever makes you happy and I’m getting there slowly but surely.”-J’Anna
In 2015 her Mom got ovarian cancer and that changed everything for J’Anna. She say’s it was a terrifying time that took over her mothers whole life, schedule, and J’Anna’s even. “I live with my mom so seeing her go through chemo was the worst.” After she got better her mother decided to take a gene test to see if her cancer was in any way genetic. The test came back positive and they told her that all of her kids have a 50% chance of getting the gene mutation.
J’Anna then went in to get tested herself. The BRCA gene test is a blood test that uses DNA analysis to identify harmful mutations in either one of the two breast cancer susceptibility genes. BRCA is a tumor suppressor gene and if that gene is mutated then tumors can grow.
“It raises my changes of having breast cancer by 72% and my chance of ovarian cancer to 44%. Ain’t nobody got time for that.”-J’Anna
They told her she can either come in every 6 months to get tested, or she can take matters into her own had and get a mastectomy. “So I just went with the mastectomy and my Mom actually did too.” After her Mom had ovarian cancer she thought, well there’s no way I am going through this again. J’Anna’s aunt and cousin both have the gene mutation as well.
Currently, J’Anna has expanders in her breasts that are going to help stretch out her skin for her next surgery. Since J’Anna decided to not fully remove her breasts, only the breast tissue, she will have a new set of ladies any day now! The expanders/saline help stretch out her skin to where she wants her breast size to be. The great and amazing and wonderful thing for J’Anna is, her new ladies are going to made form her TUMMY! That’s right!
After doing a little research online, J’Anna found out that it was possible to reconstruct her new chest from her tummy! I looked it up and the procedure is called a fat transfer breast augmentation. The benefits of re-constructing your chest this way are…
- 100% natural. Only uses your body’s own tissues so the results look and feel very soft and natural.
- Can dramatically reshape the entire body. In addition to augmented breasts, fat transfer breast augmentation provides the second benefit of body contouring. The liposuction that is used to harvest fat can dramatically reshape the body. This means you can get a new figure with a flatter tummy, slimmer thighs, and/or a more sculpted waistline in addition to larger breasts.
- Virtually scarless. Only tiny incisions are used through which fat is harvested and injected.
- No Implants.
In other words, a win-win situation for J’Anna! No boobs and an extra tummy? They can take care of that!
“I’ve been trying to love my body the way it is because it’s done so much for me. Lost a bunch of weight, gave birth to my daughter, breast fed for 2 years and now, gone through some surgeries. Seeing myself in the camera, like dayyummmm! I’m learning to just love the skin that I am in.”-J’Anna
I asked J’Anna how she feels about her new up and coming body. She told me that since this is going to be a huge surgery, two surgeries, she is a little scared. She’s excited, scared and sad all at the same time. While she hate/loves her belly currently and is looking forward to finally not having a belly that hangs, she does say that a part of her is going to miss it. It’s the belly that grew her daughter, lost all that weight and has been by her literal front side her whole life.
“As hard as it is to love my belly, I’m also like well, thats my fucking belly!” -J’Anna
“I look back on photos of when I was at my heaviest and think that’s my friend, that’s me, I remember how she felt.”-J’Anna
“It’s crazy to say that this photoshoot changed my view on my body, but dammit, it fuckin did!”-J’Anna
I am beyond excited to take photos of J’Anna again! A big reason of why she wanted to be a part of this project and get photos done at this stage in her life, is so she can do a second shoot post her tummy tuck and new breast augmentation! To be able to compare these photos to her next shoot is going to be so damn special. I cannot wait for the day when J’Anna’s daughter is old enough to understand what her momma went through and how badass she is. I know one day she’ll see these photos, hear her Mom’s story and she’ll think, damn, my Mom is AMAZING. <3
J’Anna, thank you so much for being a part of this project. You had so much to bear and you were so incredibly brave that day. That day you did this for yourself, your daughter, your fans and for a world of of womxn who have gone through the same thing as you. You inspire people daily and I cannot wait for you to become even more of an inspiration from your sotry. You stepping out and showing up was the biggest thing ever and I hope you are reading this and are thinking how INCREDIBLY proud you are of yourself because hunny, you deserve all the praise and love this world has to offer. Thank you for being a strong and amazing womxn.
From J’Anna –
“I have always wanted to do a Boudoir shoot. Never went for it because I didn’t have the confidence for it and felt like I had no one to take the photos for. Come to find out, I did have the confidence, I just needed to set it free and the photos were never meant for anyone else. That entire experience was for me, it fed my soul.