When I was going through my awkward pre-teen and teenage years, I received a lot of comments about my size and weight. I’ve always been tall and thin. I have a high metabolism as well as being active. Some of the comments I got were positive: “Wow, you look great!” (Thank you.) Others were stereotypical: “Are you trying out for cheerleading?” (No, I’m not.) And others implied that I had an eating disorder: “What do you eat everyday? An apple?” (I actually ate more than some grown men.)
Thankfully, I’d been raised by a mother who had dealt with many of the same things growing up so I wasn’t affected by their comments as much as I could have been. (I’d be lying if I said I was completely immune from their words.) Despite having a difficult time finding pants long enough for my tall frame or shirts that weren’t too short, I had a positive body image, which I’m grateful for.
Now that I’m older and have had a couple of kids, my body has changed a bit. I’m still tall and thin. My metabolism is still high and I try to be active. But there are parts of my body that I’m not nearly as happy with as I used to be. I’ve nursed both my kids and that part of my body never recovered from that. I’ve got more wrinkles than I used to have. And the clothes that I could have worn five years ago just don’t fit the same way they used to.
Becoming used to these changes hasn’t come overnight. I’ve had moments where I’ve been unhappy with what I’ve seen in the mirror and wished for my own fairy godmother to give me a little boost or tuck in a few select areas. (Am I right, ladies?) But for the most part, I’ve come to love and accept and appreciate this body I’ve been given.
As women, as mothers, as wives, we want to feel beautiful and attractive and desired. Granted, we are all our own worst critics and it can be difficult to train ourselves to look beyond the imperfections (real or perceived). But it’s important that we do this because, as I mentioned above, everyone wants to feel good about themselves (and they should!). So how do we do that? I’ve got a few ideas.
Trust the opinions of those you trust
There are a handful of people that I really trust. They are the people I can go to when I need an honest opinion or a little pick me up. People who have my best interest at heart and want to see me happy and succeed in life. Think about who these people are in your own life and trust them when they say you are beautiful, or kind, or funny, or creative, or whatever makes you YOU. Lock those compliments away or maybe even write them down. And when you’re feeling down, think about those words, lift up your chin and keep moving forward.
Take time for yourself
Regardless of where you are in your life, you need to take time to take care of yourself. I had a conversation with someone once about the importance of doing this and they asked, in all honesty, “But isn’t that selfish?” My answer to them was “No! It’s called self-care and everyone has to do it if they want to stay healthy: mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally.” What you do to take time for yourself is going to be different for everyone, because everyone has something different that makes them feel happy, uplifted and rejuvenated. For some of you, it might be a bubble bath and a book. For others, it’s taking the time to put on a little make up and fixing your hair. Getting your nails done, a treat from the bakery, lunch with a friend, exercising. Think about what makes you feel good about yourself when you do it, and then do it.
Create opportunities to dress up
Being a stay-at-home mom, the opportunity to dress up doesn’t come very often. I have church on Sunday where I put on a dress or skirt, but it has to be practical and easy to move in since I have young children. Around the holidays, my husband has a work party. We have a few date nights scattered here and there, but they’re not as often as we’d like and even then, they might be something as simple as grabbing a treat and coming home and watching a movie. Not really something to dress up for. So what’s a girl to do? See if you can create opportunities to dress up. For me, this means taking a little extra time on Sunday mornings to shower and (gasp!) actually blow dry my hair. Or maybe I curl it. Maybe I put on some eye shadow or experiment with a new hairstyle. Put on some high heels instead of flats (even though they’ll come off in a couple hours). What makes you feel like you are dressing up?
This last Sunday, I did just what I mentioned above: I showered, blow dried my hair, put on some eye shadow and wore heels. I felt awesome! (But I was definitely done with the heels after three hours…) I wore this darling swing dress that I received from Cents of Style along with a bracelet from their tribe jewelry line that simply says “uplift”.
To be totally honest, I wasn’t sure how I’d like the dress on me. I generally go for dresses that have more of a shape and the Remi Swing Dress doesn’t. But when I put it on, I felt both comfortable and beautiful. I could have worn it all day. The color is perfect for fall. Plus it is long enough for my tall frame both in the length and in the arms. (I am 5’9″ and I got a medium.) Definitely a win in my book!
If you’ve been looking for a new dress, I recommend looking into this one. They have 17 colors and sizes ranging from small to 3XL. The are running a Fashion Friday sale on this dress from 10/21/16 to 10/23/16 for $21.95 with code DRESS2016. Another bonus is that they offer FREE shipping! How often do you find that from a clothing store anymore?