This is my new post series called "Beauty". Every week, I'll introduce you to a blogger who has been kind enough to share their story about a feature they love now that once brought insecurities and how they learned to love it. Together, these women will help re-define beauty in their own words and will hopefully help others feel more comfortable in their own skin because each of you are beautiful - you should feel that way everyday!
Meet this week's beauty - Shannon from Laughing Is Loving.
Hi there readers of Defining Tabitha! I’m Shannon and I’m so glad, honored really, that Tabitha asked me to contribute to her blog. When Tabitha initially asked me to write about beauty and what feature I loved about myself, I was truly stumped as to what I would write about.
Being a human being, insecurity is part of the package; and I’m sure we can all relate. Having a great group of family and friends to surround me in love and support definitely helps me get through the tough days. But the biggest victories are the days where I can pull myself up by my bootstraps, take a look in the mirror, and smile in thankfulness for what I have.
After many years of mulling over what I didn’t have, I learned to be thankful and appreciative for what I did have – and it even applied when it came to my looks!
Personally, I have always struggled with my weight. It’s certainly a burden that many people, especially women, have carried for a long time. For me, it’s been something I’ve dealt with my whole life. I don’t think I’ve ever been small as long as I can remember – and being 5’5” by the time I was in 5th grade certainly didn’t help.
In recent years, I had let my weight get out of control. I ballooned to 260 lbs and on my nearly 5’6” frame, that’s far too much weight to bear. Thanks to some dedication and sweat equity, I managed to drop some serious weight and move toward something that’s healthier for me.
So, now, my favorite feature is my body!
Sure, it’s still no size 6, but I have learned to love my curves and really learn how to appreciate them. What helped me learn to love my body was finally learning how to dress it, especially once I’d lost the weight. I had to learn to camouflage what I didn’t want to be seen (like my arms) and work with what assets I really liked (like my legs). That meant:
· Heels or flats with a pointed toe to accentuate the leg line
· Lots and LOTS of vertical stripes
· Wearing cardigans
· Belts, belts, belts! (Especially of the high-waisted variety)
Now that I’ve learned to love and appreciate my body, I do have some advice for the ladies out there who may be feeling the same insecurities that I once felt.
· If you want to change your weight, take steps to do so! The way that I got started was by joining a gym with some friends from work and that accountability really pushed me to work harder on being healthy.
· Don’t sweat the size. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I will never be a size 6 or weigh 110 lbs – it just doesn’t work for my body type. Don’t force yourself to be a certain size or weight – just aim to be a healthier you!
· Make a list of what you (and your friends) love about you. This may sound really ridiculous, but writing out those affirmations really can turn your frown upside-down.
· And most of all, always remember how lucky you are to be you and to look the way that you do. Despite the imperfections that you see, someone out there probably wishes they looked like you! Rejoice in the good things you have in your life and that positive vibe will soon spread.