Could you be happy?

I write about body image and confidence from time to time.  This will be a quick post, posing a question.  When you hang out with other women you begin to see how many women are affected by this constant desire to be skinnier, always striving to lose 10 lbs or drop 1/2 a size.  These goals all focused on their weight, looking for happiness in a smaller pants size.

I emphasize “always” and “constant” because it seems even when we’re at a good place we want to lose more.  How many of us have friends who look great but it seems like they’re always talking about trying to lose 5lbs or 3lbs or 10lbs?

Today the question below popped into my head and I began to wonder how many people could honestly say yes.

If you were in perfect health but couldn’t lose or gain weight for the rest of your life, could you be happy?

I would think most people would say yes because you would eventually reach a point of acceptance but I guess that’s kind of the point.  Continue to work on weight loss if you want although I encourage focusing more on health but also work on genuine acceptance of your body and in the process finding happiness beyond your weight or size.

A Closet full of Somedays

I’ve gone down this road before but it’s on my mind lately and after sharing my post Do I want to be Skinny? I began to dwell on the subject of body acceptance.

I’m still sick of the focus on weight and size instead of health.  The fact that women and men get caught up in this cycle of trying to change their bodies to fit into a mold that might not be the best fit.  We don’t all have the same body shape so there is no singular “perfect” body type, everyone will not have 6 pack abs or a thigh gap.  Every body is different and that’s okay, although many seem to think it’s not and strive or push for some idea of perfection thinking that changes in appearance will lead to ultimate happiness.

I’ve learned happiness has to come from more than your appearance.  I think a positive self-image is an important component to happiness but if that’s the sole basis of your happiness you could benefit from looking at other areas of your life.

I jumped off the diet roller coaster but it’s tempting to want to jump back on especially when people rave about how much weight they’ve lose doing this or that;however, I know it’ll just make me miserable in the end so I avoid it.  I’m about simplicity and long-term sustainability so I continue to focus on healthier habits, eating better foods and moving more.  I’m not where I need to be health-wise but I work hard and continue to make progress.

I’ve lost weight but along the way I found the less I focused on losing weight the more weight I lost and I’m happier.  I’m not completely confident with my body but I’m 100 times more confident than I was in November when I began this journey.

Do I still have parts of my body I want to change?  Of course.
If my fairy godmother showed up and could take away 50lbs would I let her?  Probably….

I still have days where I hate my body, where all my clothes make me look short and fat but those days pass.  I still have moments where I worry if someone is going to judge or make fun of me for something I’m wearing but I find I don’t really care as much anymore.

I’m going to wear tank tops, dresses, shorts, clothes that show some skin in a tasteful way because I’m not as self-conscious about showing my arms or legs.  It sounds weird to type out but I spent summer wearing light cardigans to avoid wearing tank tops.

Now when I talk to women who get down on themselves about their weight it makes me sad.  I want to tell them to own it, work on change if you want to but learn to love your body.  Learn how to dress your current body instead of focusing on what you can’t wear.  You still have to wear clothes so why not dress your best?

I’m no fashionista but once I started dressing for my body instead of trying to hide every little flaw I began to love shopping and love dressing up.  I used to dread going out partially because I would default to one outfit because my closet was filled with “someday” clothes, the clothes I was going to wear when I lost weight.

I’m honest to a fault so I will admit to still having a few “someday” pieces but 95% of the clothes in my closet are clothes that fit me right now in this moment.  I realized it was ridiculous to not have clothes that fit.  The weight was not going to disappear overnight so I needed to buy some clothes for my current body instead of limiting myself with a closet full of clothes that were either ill-fitting or too small.

Now that I get to dress up a little bit for work instead of having to wear the dreaded uniform (seriously, I wanted to burn my uniform shirts) I was thinking I might start sharing some of my work outfits from the week.  I love finding fashion ideas from other people so I hope people will enjoy what I share.

I’m not turning into a fashion blog or anything but since I’ve started working I’ve been trying to come up with some new post ideas so I’m going to give this a try.  I’ll probably put it out on Wednesday since I’ve got an idea for a title with some alliteration which I love like my beloved Meal Plan Mondays plus I think with working themed posts might help me write more often.

Hope the week is going well so far.  My week has been interesting but I’ll share more about work in another post 🙂

Image from Flickr

Networking & Interview Clothes

This is my favorite coffee cup.  I’m on cup number 2 and considering #3 but it’s also getting late in the day.  Today is one of those days I wish I had a coffee IV, just hook it up and I’ll be good to go 😀

I’m not sleeping very well.  I have super weird random dreams based on the anxiety I’m feeling right now about everything.

My subconscious dream mind is not even trying to be subtle.  Falling into water, not drowning but just struggling to keep afloat has been a common theme, as well as having to choose between different directions with a map full of random squiggles (that one was fun).  Last night was lots of walking around a prison trying to make sure I was walking confidently, no slouching shoulders, head up, don’t let anyone see you’re afraid.  I don’t need a professional dream interpreter for any of those but hopefully tonight will be the night I get some real sleep or maybe at least sleep in tomorrow.

Last night I actually made last minute plans to go downtown to ArtWalk.  It’s a local event where they close off the streets and downtown businesses display local artwork.  My friend and stylist Michael invited me down to his salon to meet a local photographer who is currently displaying work in his shop.

She’s one of the most prominent photographers in the area so I was very excited to talk with her about her work.  The photographer, Alison, said she would check out my Facebook page so I hope she likes my work and even has some feedback for me.  I know people make livings creating art but I also know it can be challenging especially for a photographer who’s not doing studio photography (weddings, portraits, etc.) so it’s nice to meet someone who is so successful doing landscapes and nature work.

Also, I brought Michael a greeting card with an image he liked and he wants to sell my greeting cards in his salon!  I never asked him because I didn’t want to impose on our friendship but I appreciate his help.  I’m not selling any at the other place so maybe I’ll have better luck at the salon.

My other accomplishment yesterday, despite almost having a complete emotional breakdown at the mall, was finding an interview outfit.

I went to the mall with an outfit in my head and had to adjust based on what was available, which sent my brain into panic mode.  I sought outside opinions, most of which were positive then one person asked if the blazer closed because “it looks more professional if it closes” and out of all the comments saying how good it looked, how professional I looked,  my mind latched onto that comment.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share a pic but I think if you write about something for 2 paragraphs you might as well include a visual.  FullSizeRender (21)

I think it’s professional, appropriate, still looks nice, and also still has a touch of personality instead of being all black clothes.  They’re neutral pieces I can mix and match with other items plus everything is comfortable and fits well, except the pants that are too long because every other woman is at least 5’7″ tall so pants have to be made super long 🙄

I’m getting them hemmed on Monday, could do it myself but would rather pay $20 to make sure they’re done right. *Bonus* The pants were a size smaller than I usually wear.  Yay!!**

I’m putting so much pressure on myself to make sure everything is perfect (even though I realize perfect is not always possible) for this interview I’m walking around in this state of nerves, anxiety, and stress.  Living where it feels like I’m almost always on the edge of lashing out in anger or bursting into tears or both….

I’m also still struggling with a bit of inner turmoil about pursuing photography v. pursuing a more traditional career path.  I’m passionate about both but know if I get this job I want it will eat up all of my time and it will be more challenging to pursue photography especially in the beginning.  I guess the best thing I can do is just wait and see what happens.

Hope you guys are enjoying your weekend!  I’m resigned to my office doing interview prep but still finding things that make me happy for my 100 Happy Days Challenge.  Yesterday it was these balloons in the sun at Artwalk  😀

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