A Shift in Perspective | Las Vegas Boudoir | Duende Boudoir

I met Aurora while in Vegas for the Spoil Me In Rhinestones shoots. From her head shot I knew that she was gorgeous, had great skin and kind eyes. What I didn’t know until she showed up was that she was fit. Like…FITNESS fit. My brother is that type of fit as well so I recognize and admire the discipline involved. We only spent an hour together and didn’t really get a chance to talk about her journey so I’m very happy that she agreed to give me a piece of her body experience story.

Without further ado here it is!-


“So, being a personal trainer, everyone assumes that I've always been in shape, I love working out, I eat clean all day long, and I only hydrate with that high quality h2o...

I WISH.

I've been a certified person trainer for almost a year, and I've been on my "fitness grind" for about 3 years.

I've always been athletic, playing sports in high school and then in college.. but I've never been that girl who LOVES fitness. I didn't even know much about fitness, even though I played sports.

I was that typical cardio bunny, you know what I mean.. I would go on a run every day, and follow that with some type of abdominal workout (crunches, sit ups, basic stuff).

As if that training regimen wasn't bad enough, to make matters worse, I had no clue how to fuel my body.. I would either completely starve myself, or binge eat recklessly. Nothing in between.

I mean, seriously, after high school cross country practice I would regularly go to McDonald's for a post workout McChicken... Yay for protein, right?

(LOL) WRONG!

This routine was what I did all throughout high school. I would run 20-30 miles a week, do my little ab workout, and then eat fast food or processed foods for all of my meals.

Once high school was over and I went to college, I knew I'd have to make a change. My body was extremely unhealthy, I felt tired and grouchy all of the time, my skin was rough and blotchy, and my athletic abilities didn't seem as strong as they once were.

I met a friend who introduced me to weight lifting. This was a new type of working out for me. It wasn't stressful or excruciating, like having to run 3 miles in less than 20 minutes, or having to do 400 meter dash sprint repeats (you runners will know what I mean)..

Weight lifting was therapeutic to me. It changed the way I thought about fitness. Rather than trying to lose weight, I started focusing on building my muscle. Little did I know, this small shift in perspective was exactly what I needed to help me achieve having my Goal Body.

I stopped shaming myself for the way I looked, and I started to feel confidence because I realized how strong I am. I mean, it's a pretty bad ass feeling to know how to use barbells and do squats or deadlifts with them.

All of this confidence made me crave MORE. I wanted more knowledge, more experience in the gym, more of this lifestyle.

I scoured the internet for articles about everything fitness: exercises to do, foods to make, macro-nutrients, all of that fun fitness stuff.

Fast forward to now: Im a fitness model, I have a body that I love and cherish, and I still work on it every day!

In addition, I'm a certified personal trainer, I get to help others achieve a healthy & happier lifestyle.

I'm so grateful for the opportunity to use my story to help and inspire others on their fitness journey. 😊”


 

To Touch Without Fear | Las Vegas Boudoir | Duende Boudoir

Everyone has their story. And, to half-quote Whitman, we all contain multitudes. The things we've been through in life and the things we've overcome shape us into the people we are today, for better or worse. 

I truly believe in sharing our stories. It can be very freeing for the person who is sharing but, most importantly, by being vulnerable you might be helping someone you don't even know. Or at the very least connect with others because they have a similar story to yours. 

You might have noticed a change in the blog lately. I do less talking. Not because I don't have things to say but because I want to give a voice to all of the people I photograph. I don't tell them what to write about, I just give them a general 'write about your journey or self-love' prompt, so I never know what I'm going to get back. 

And it's incredible to me what you've been writing. It's incredible because I was just photographing you a few weeks ago and here you are with this story you live with and I had no idea. Because people don't talk about these things. They don't often talk about their pain. 

I guess that's the point I'm trying to make with these- we all contain stories and you have no idea what someone has been or is currently going through. So be kind.

This is Kat Lui's story. 

What do I say about myself? What can I tell you? What do you want to know about me? How did I get here? And Where will I go? These are all questions that plague the mind when you’re asked to write about yourself. Not necessarily about your career choice or about your goals. But about your love and hope that embodies your well-being.

Where to start I wonder? I guess I should start by saying I don’t exactly have enough self-love. I have come from a deep toxic past believing I’ll never be good enough for anyone. That I am trash meant to be thrown away. As I grew up I always thought “as long as they are happy I’m happy…” That line simmered in me for as long as I can remember. I couldn’t stand being alone without someone to love me. So I got into the habit of letting my significant others get away with things and believing I won’t get anything better. I had settled.

The worst thing you can do is settle for someone just because you’re afraid to be alone. I went through a tremendous amount of abuse verbally, mentally, and physically. Ha ha! My favorite story to tell has always been when my ex-husband threw me through a window and curb stomped me in the drive way when I tried to escape from him. How I got a tennis ball sized lump on my eyebrow bone and why my right side of my face is crooked. I still get phantom pain when I think about it and I still have the pictures. It’s broken of course.

There are many stories of my past that brought me here that are pretty emotional. But there was something that never faltered. My stubbornness. I slowly started to realize. Who am I really? Am I just molded from the things that my significant others had wanted? The realization of….”It can’t be….” Hit me harder than a ton of bricks. I had to change this at once! I had no foundation. I had no base to build from. It was just THEM that held me there in believing that I wasn’t good enough. I became independent.

There was someone in my life that had broken me more than I could ever have thought. I did everything for them. I had thrived to be intelligent, talented, attractive, and brave. Because that is what most people wanted. Someone that they can say “That is my girlfriend…” But in the end even when I was all those things it still wasn’t enough for his selfishness. He cheated and used every excuse in the book to get me to stay. Then I realized I’m too good for this and kicked him to the curb. However this had broken me. I started to believe “It doesn’t matter how smart I am or attractive or talented…I’ll always be thrown away because it’s me.”

I still fight with this saying repeating in my head like a broken record player. But I have my friends around me that have held me up and kept me going. Funny thing about being depressed is if you actually understand yourself well enough you can manage it.  I already know deep down I’m pretty fucking amazing. I have succeeded in many things that I thought I would never be able to do. I’m financially independent and I already completed my life goal.

Being able to move on from abuse has always been a hard subject. You want to give them a chance but you know in the end that they will only continue to hurt you. Being blinded by the fear of not finding someone else to love you is a scary thing. So I slowly learned to love myself. I’m not completely there yet but I have someone really special to me helping me along the way.

They have shown me the possibilities of real partnership. What it actually feels like to touch and not be scared of being hit. To not be yelled at. To be taken care of. To know what my feelings are when they look at my stupid face. I’m slowly healing and I’m pushing hard to get better. I’m never going to let some stupid ignorant boy bring me down. Instead I’m going to lift myself and bring the people that support me along. Especially my love who deserves everything I have to offer him. He has been through the same as me and all I want to do is show him what real love looks like.

I still have your usual issues like weight problems and complexes that I don’t want to talk about. But I would like to think I’m like everyone else. Just trying to make it in this cruel world that seems to be slowly dying. I’ve made it this far. Why would I quit now? There is so much more I can do! There is so much more I can learn! There are so many more people I want to meet. To do all that I must take the steps to love myself and others.

So what I always tell myself and others. “There is no use worrying about the future or the past. The present is now! What can you do for yourself TODAY?” That mantra has gotten me out of some serious depression before. So I continue to push myself not because I have to but because I want to. When you meet me you would never think that I went through such trauma, that I’ve always had a good outlook. They are always so surprised the way I tell my stories of abuse because I’ve gotten past it and can somewhat laugh about how stupid I was.

But enough about me. What about you? What are you going to do to improve yourself today?

Vegas-City of Artists | Vegas Boudoir | Duende Boudoir

Vegas, in my mind, is the City of Artists. Showgirls, burlesque stars, singers, aerialists, pole dancers. I recently went to Vegas to work with some of these amazing beings in a whirlwind two days of back to back shooting in collaboration with Spoil Me in Rhinestones. I didn't get very much time with any of these women but we created some amazing stuff!

This is Dani. She's a gorgeous woman who knows her way around a pole. (If you haven't taken a pole class before I suggest you do, it's SO HARD but gratifying!) Here's what she had to say about her experience and how pole dancing has helped her to love the body she's in- 

"I had a really exhilarating shoot with Paige at The Cosmopolitan, I wish we had more time. I love to dress up, put my face on and pose for the camera. The lingerie was stunning, the rhinestones were shining and I truly felt beautiful in that moment. I feel free to be myself, to follow my dreams and to seek my true potential. That is what everyone deserves.

Body confidence for me came from mostly pole dancing, it really is a sport and there is so much athleticism but it's more about the way it makes you feel. It's sexy and the more you do it the better you feel, it became sort of addicting to me. You need your skin exposed so you can grip so I needed to feel comfortable in a two piece. Once I started taking pole dancing classes I became more confident in myself. I noticed that the more I loved and took care of myself the more I realized that it does not matter what anyone thinks as long as you are happy with yourself. I spend time with people who have a positive influence on me and are interested in similar things. I still have body issues and things I would like to work on but overall I am happy and healthy. I am very thankful for all of the positive things that are happening and many more to come!"

And without further ado, DANI!