Wednesday, May 20, 2015

This is me. This is who I am.... and that's not a bad thing.



“Looking pretty isn’t about how people see you. It’s about letting people know how you feel about yourself.” – Karen White, “The Sound of Glass”

Me in a favorite outfit

As anyone who has read this blog in the past knows, I lost a lot of weight a couple of years ago – over 100 lbs, as a matter of fact.  From day one of my weight loss, I was determined to change the way I thought about myself – to see myself as a divine child of God, beautifully and perfectly made, regardless of my weight and to see myself as someone who deserves to enjoy good health and a happy life.   

This change didn’t happen overnight – it took months of hard, intense work on my mindset before I even attempted a diet. Let's face it, I was the queen of self-loathing back in the day.
 
It was that change of mindset that allowed me to maintain my weight loss.  It also allowed me to accomplish things that most 47 year old women wouldn’t dream of attempting - like a 100 mile bike ride in South Texas (completed this February) and going to work for a company where I can encourage and inspire others to reclaim their health.   

I’ve even started volunteering at a local theater to construct costumes – something I would have shied away from when I was heavier and not feeling so good about myself. (I'm even thinking about auditioning for a production - major shock!)

Recently, my new found confidence has manifested in the way I’m dressing.  I’ve gone from wearing jeans, sweatshirts and worn out Birkenstocks to heels and pretty dresses.   I wore pretty outfits in the past for special occasions, but now I’m wearing dresses more often than not, many of them with a vintage 50s or 60s look to them.

I’m also wearing lipstick and have a regular skin care regimen for the first time in my life. This new way of dressing and caring for myself isn’t an attempt to call attention to myself, it’s a way of celebrating Lanza, expressing how I feel about who I am, to explore fashions I always enjoyed but never felt brave enough to wear!

Over the past few years, I’ve encountered some odd comments from well-meaning friends, people who think it’s necessary to warn me against becoming too full of myself or preoccupied with appearances.

The first time I encountered one of these warnings was right after I had slimmed down.  I was wearing a slinky dress and enjoying feeling REALLY pretty for the first time in my life.  An artist friend pulled me aside, said I looked good but to not let my success change me, not to forget that it’s the beauty inside that counts.  I blogged about that comment at the time because it really hurt – it’s as if that friend were saying I was so lacking in character that by improving my appearance on the outside that I'd be less of a person on the inside.

Here I am, giving more of myself to others than I ever have in the past and people feel it’s necessary to warn me against the evils of what ... expressing myself for the first time in my life? 

Just last week I was celebrating on social media the fact that I am starting to get back into my “skinny clothes” and posted a photo of me wearing a favorite skirt.  In the list of comments posted to that photo, once again, a friend wrote “… don’t you know it’s not the outside that makes you beautiful but what’s on the inside?”

Excuse me sister, but I’ve had enough of these comments!  The beauty on the inside is overflowing to what you see on the outside.  I don’t feel it’s necessary to hide my light under a bushel anymore, so stop running me down for wanting to look nice

Part of the problem is our culture.  People are often vilified for being successful; many folks see a successful person and take that as a judgment against their own journey instead of an inspiration and proof that people CAN succeed, in spite of what society says.

We also live in a casual society where it’s acceptable to wear pajama bottoms to shop at the grocery store.  I even used to be that girl in the baggy t-shirts and Tweety Bird pajama pants at Wal-Mart.  Now that I'm not that girl anymore, I'm viewed as an anomaly.

My pretty dresses, high heels and lipstick are not a threat or my trying to call attention to myself.  I'm not saying I’m better than anyone else by the way I chose to clothe myself.  I am just being the best me I can be and having fun with it - celebrating who I am and how far I’ve come in my life.

There's no reason to warn me against the evils of whatever you think I'm in danger of becoming.   I'm just going about the business of being me!



 

10 comments:

  1. Congrats on your successful weight Loss!!!
    Stay healthy & beautiful!

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  2. This is so wonderful..... God Bless you... And dear a tiny bit of skin off the shoulders isn't too risque... This coming from a Christian Man... I am so happy for you....

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  6. waoo nice post about This is me. This is who I am.... and that's not a bad thing.

    Thanks,

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