I was always a chubby kid. As I entered my teen years, I was the overweight kid. I was painfully self-conscious of how much space I took up, and I lacked confidence in just being who I was – big or small. I was always on some sort of diet, only to be ambushed by eating too many comfort foods in hopes of making myself feel better.
In college, I began to slowly lose weight as I made lifestyle changes. It felt like a painfully slow process, but eventually I shed over 75 pounds. It took me two years to lose the physical weight, and ten years to lose the emotional weight. Many years after my weight loss, I still felt fat and incredibly self-conscious. Losing the weight didn’t immediately create a confidence in me, I needed time (and counseling) to deal with the emotional issues tied to my size.
I always thought I would achieve the perfect weight that would take away all the bad feelings inside of me and awaken the confidence I knew I had. The perfect weight never came. I could be a size 2 or a size 24, but it came down to dealing with the scared girl inside.
I longed to feel beautiful, not just on the special, dress-up occasion but every day. Over time and with the help of dear friends and a great counselor, I have found six tips to feeling beautiful every day.
1.Wear something that fits
For years after my weight loss, I hid myself in clothes twice the size I needed. If my clothes were bigger, I felt smaller. If something fit properly, I felt big. The reality is wearing something too big or too small, it made me look bigger than I actually was!
It is easy as women to let this happen. Birthing babies changes bodies, and budgets change with the added family members. But it matters, even if it means a smaller wardrobe. The right size makes me feel like a million bucks – every day.
2. Accept your shape
Recently, I saw a photo of myself which sent me spiraling into questions about whether I needed to go on a diet again or exercise more. My weight has been within a five pound radius for years, but I was staring at a picture of me (fairly average American size) next to a much more petite friend with a completely different body shape.
I was comparing apples to oranges. I am a pear shape. No amount of exercise and healthy eating is going to change the inherent pear-shapeness of my body. It bothered me for weeks (ask my best friend). I finally realized – again – I need to accept the shape I am and dress to maximize what I love about my body shape.
There are many great resources to dressing for my body shape on Pinterest, but I also follow my likes and instinct when shopping for new pieces, what I feel comfortable and beautiful in matters!
I happen to hate jeans. I never feel beautiful in them, but I put on a dress and I walk out the door feelinggood about myself. I used to feel silly for wearing a dress on the weekends, but I have found leggings and casual dresses are perfect for weekend wear. What matters is, I feel pretty in dainty, feminine types of outfits. I asked myself – “What makes me feel the most beautiful? What makes me feel most like ‘me’?” And that is how I began to start buying clothes several years ago, and I have really defined my style.
3.Clean out your closet two times a year
Two times a year I clean out my closet, once in the fall and once in the spring, as I change out my seasonal clothes. This is my time to let go of clothes I feel frumpy or gross or big or just lack confidence in when I wear them. If I am feeling any of those things, it doesn’t matter how cute it looks on the hanger, if it makes me self-conscious when I am wearing it, off it goes to the donation pile.
4.Find your color palette.
For many years after my weight loss, I only wore dark, monochromatic colors. Black and greys are great – just not every day!
Color matters. It changes how I feel in my clothes and how vibrant I feel. I do not feel sexy or vibrant when wearing certain colors that make my pale skin look pasty. Every time I wear colors I know accentuate my beautiful attributes, I feel more beautiful.
5.Get a great haircut (and change it up from time to time).
A great haircut always makes me feel beautiful. When I have moved to a new place, finding a new hairstylist is high on my priority list because I know it is a sure-fire way to inject a sense of beauty and confidence when I have a haircut that fits me. I am not afraid to shake up my hairstyle every now and then for an extra boost of feeling beautiful. I have fun looking on Pinterest at different hairstyles and trusting my stylist to help me pick one that suits my face shape the best.
6.Have fun accessorizing.
I have a very small budget for my wardrobe, but sometimes a new pair of earrings or a new scarf that makes my eyes pop are all I need to feel like I have a brand new outfit on and make me feel put-together and gorgeous, even if my destination is a play-date at the park.