Today’s outfit(s) accompany a bit more personal of a story…
When I first decided to start shooting personal style posts, I had the body of a 23 year old and was about 20lbs lighter. I had no insight into how my body would change and develop, what health issues would strike and how my blog would grow in that I was consistently putting images of myself out on the internet for many to see.
In my mid to late 20s, thyroid disease struck and I gained 35 pounds and felt awful every day for nearly 2 years. I still struggle with the disease but have done a lot to try and improve how I feel (including two procedures – 1 that failed – to have my thyroid removed). I’m still now 15lbs heavier than I was 4 years ago so it has been a daily process in accepting my new body and also accepting that sometimes no matter what steps we take, we can’t control everything.
I mentioned when I wrote about 30 things I learned by 30, that one of the best lessons I learned in my 20s was to dress for my body type and not for what all the trends were.
…I have a big chest so I don’t get to wear cute bikini tops or fit and flare dresses that look so good on so many people.
…I have love handles and so jersey is often off the table for me or anything super form fitting for that matter.
…I have really pale skin that hates to be in the sun so you won’t see me sporting all white or other styles that show off beautifully bronzed skin.
…I take (somewhat ridiculous) steps to help keep my skin clear so that acne isn’t something I can fret about.
…I have knobby knees and small nail beds and ears that stick out and make wearing hats hard.
But you know what I’ve learned from focusing on body positivity rather than body shaming? That there’s a lot to love when you start to look closely and more thoughtfully.
I love that I have my mom’s nose and my dad’s smile. I love that I have freckles sprinkled across my face and that my feet let me wear heels all the time and that I’m healthier than I used to be and that all around, things could be so much worse. I love that I ran my first half marathon this year and learned the value of pushing myself. I love that I get excited to get dressed every day even though I know a lot of times I spend in stores saying “that wouldn’t work on my body.”
Because…in the end, it’s so much more liberating to compliment yourself, than criticize it.
When I started dressing for my own body and not the body I wish I had (or used to have), I discovered a new sense of confidence. And I wouldn’t trade that for the world.
Here’s to celebrating who we are and all we have. Many thanks to Lane Bryant for reaching out to help encourage me write down the words I’ve so often thought about sharing on this blog. I’m grateful that they empower women to feel their best about their bodies. It’s something we all should embrace more often. So join me, won’t you?
This post was created in collaboration with Lane Bryant through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about Lane Bryant, all opinions are my own.