I hope this post finds you doing well and feeling fabulous.
Although a lot of my content is focused on fashion, style, and finding good deals, that’s certainly not the only reason I’m here. The mission is so much more than clothes. Friends, I am here to make sure you understand the worth and the value YOU bring to the table. Even though I write and post through a plus size lens, I think we can agree most women find themselves feeling insecure at one time or another. We all struggle with something. Let me say that again. WE ALL STRUGGLE WITH SOMETHING.
I was talking with my aunt recently, who I treasure and love dearly, and we were discussing the blog, Instagram, etc. and where it was all going. I told her, as I’m telling you now, fashion is the vehicle that moves the underlying message I want to share. And in fact, I intend to expand the blogger/influencer gig into taking the stage as a speaker. Whether that’s a large or small group, a keynote address or a workshop session – I want to serve where I am needed and spread this message: The time to live your best life is NOW. Not 20 pounds from now. Not when you get in better shape. Not when you look a certain way.
For most of my life, I lived on the “someday” plan. Someday when I lose weight, I’ll do all the things. Someday, when I lose weight, I’ll be at peace. Someday, when I lose weight, I’ll be good enough, and then when I’m good enough, I’ll like myself. I waged war on myself daily. I was obsessed. Some days I was obsessed with counting every calorie or carb and running up stairs until my legs felt like they would give out. Other days I was so over the misery I put myself through I would eat everything I could find and not stop until I was sick. No matter which version of that scenario played out, the tape in my head said I sucked at life, I was disgusting, and despite every other good thing I had going on, none of it mattered because I wasn’t skinny. Can I just tell you that was not a fun way to live?
Here’s a perfect example of how I used to operate.
The other day I came across an email with pictures of me in my original wedding dress. Yes, I had two. I really did like the first dress, but part of why I liked it was because it felt like the most acceptable dress I could hope for if I was doomed to be a plus size bride. I looked least offensive in that one. But I vowed to lose weight. I swore I would need to get it altered because it would be too big.
That’s exactly what happened. So much so, I had to get a new dress. It was too much to alter. I’m not even going to get into all the ways I lost that weight, and it certainly didn’t stay off. As I looked at those pictures and relived that moment, my heart sank. There was nothing wrong with me in that first dress. Nothing. I wasn’t disgusting. It broke my heart to think about how much I hated myself in that dress back then. Most people have never seen the original dress, but I’m going to show you now.
I really can’t believe how awful I felt about myself. I liked the dress, I just didn’t like me. When I see the picture now I think, “Oh look how cute and young I am!” My weight and size don’t even cross my mind. But at the time, I was obsessed with those things and in the end, I wore the dress below (and I did truly love that second dress). I probably still had doubts about how I looked either way.
So what does this story have to do with living for someday?
Here’s the deal. When we grow up dreaming about our wedding, it’s a someday moment. Someday I’ll get married and wear a beautiful dress it will be perfect. And if you’re me, you think, “Someday before I’m married, I’ll also lose a bunch of weight before my wedding because I can’t get married looking like this.” Someday snuck up on me really fast and when it was time, I wasn’t ready. So I panicked and did the only thing I knew how to do, which was engage in extreme behavior to get fast results.
What I know now at 36, is life is full of somedays. And we will never be perfect. So if you’re living on that same plan and you’re constantly disappointed, I know how it feels. I was, too. I was always thinking about losing weight, gaining weight, eating food, not eating food, what people thought about the way I looked, and those thoughts were always framed by a general self-loathing that never went away. I struggled to live in the moment, because I always felt like I wasn’t good enough and someday, I would fix it. And so it was with my wedding. The tale of two wedding dresses is really just a metaphor for how I lived life. And I’m here to tell you, there’s a much better way to live.
Change doesn’t happen overnight. How many times have you heard that? A million, right? Because it’s true. But if you want to live differently, you have to think and act differently. Different can be uncomfortable. It can also be liberating. Different is where you’ll find freedom. Different is where you will release the negative things you’ve told yourself and start rewriting a new ending to your story.
Give yourself permission to be good enough, no matter what you look like. No matter where you are in life. No matter what you’ve done in the past. There is actually so much joy in knowing none of us is getting it right 100% of the time.
Have you ever beat yourself up because you didn’t look like someone else? I used to do it all the time. Here’s what I know for sure – that person has something they don’t like about themselves. That person is battling something we don’t know about. There are things about me that person wishes they had. Size isn’t everything. It does not define the life you live, unless you choose that.
Today? I’m not the girl in either of those pictures. I’m a veteran in the wife and mom game. I’m pushing 40. I have deeply rooted beliefs but constantly look for opportunities to learn. I am not thin. But I am okay. In fact, I’m more than okay. I know I am surrounded by people who love me, just the way I am. I know my size is not what controls my happiness. ME. I do that. And you can, too. Start today. Someday is NOW.