20 June, 2013

A Bit of Fashion and Self Confidence

Usually when I see photos of myself, I reel in horror. I have been known to untag myself from photos and to hide away from the camera - this from a photographer. My whole job is to capture memories and here I am sneaking into the back of photos. Hypocrite much? Here is one of the only (mostly) full body shots I could find from way before I started my recent weight loss, March 2011

Remember our home smoked meats? This was then! Around that time I was miserable and hated myself but was trying to change for the better. I started my Couch to 5k efforts around this time. All I know is that it was all I could do some mornings to get dressed, because it meant searching through my clothes to find something that fit - which was not always an easy task.

I've been struggling with my weight for a long time, as well as trying to be a little fashionable. Well, at least trying not to allow myself the uniform of jeans and a t-shirt that I had a habit of wearing for years. Seriously.

I used to go out of the house like this!! AHHH!!!
I have come to learn that fashion on a budget brings with it a new wardrobe that takes months and months to build. As they say, Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither can a new wardrobe be, if you're waiting to find the right pieces to add to it.

Anyways - there is still the problem of the mirror. When I look at the reflection, I almost always focus straightaway on a certain flaw or many flaws, or overall just hate everything I see depending on what mood I'm in. To combat that, I decided several months ago that I have nice teeth (teeth cant get fat!) and resolved to smiling at myself each time I see the mirror. Part of this was to subtly help learn to love myself more - and admittedly, part of it was to check for bits of food. ha!

Thanks to Pinterest and blogs I've had an easier time about knowing where to start on buying the right items that will go with more than one outfit. What's more, is I've had an easier time actually pairing those clothes together on my own - which I never thought I would be able to do. I've learned a lot about how you look is actually in how you dress. I'm so glad that I've finally figured that out, and STOPPED wearing my husband's old t-shirts and my old, ratty jeans. Here are some blogs that have really helped me:

Putting Me Together
Girl with Curves
Wendy's Lookbook

There's a little group of friends online that I can proudly say I'm a part of, that chat every day, give advice, encourage each other, and bolster each other up. I have known many (if not all) of them for almost 8 years now and have mostly only seen them through their profile photos on Facebook.
Over the last couple days, we've started sharing full-body photos just privately within the group to sort of show each other what we really look like - rather than just what the profile photo shows. We've all been brave, as the group is a truly safe place where we don't worry about hate. It's been fun getting to know each other in that way. I felt good about my outfit today, so I took a photo of myself to share with the group.

It was just a quick snap - the light is bad and the pose is bad - but it's me right now. I took this photo expecting to hate it, and to feel bad about myself for the whole rest of the day, actually. Color me surprised when I looked at it only to see progress and good things about myself. When I compare this to the previous photos, to be honest, I don't see a huge difference in my body. What stands out most to me is how I feel about having my picture taken in each photo. Sure my shorts are a little tight, but I could pull them up over my rump which is something I couldn't do when those other photos were taken. I wore them today a little as a symbol of what I can accomplish - and also it's really hot inside our place.

 I've had some setbacks - this winter I gained back almost everything I had lost last year through being careless in my eating habits - but I'm on track again and feeling good about my progress. Down 20 pounds (about 9kg) from when I started! The great thing that's come with progress is how I feel about who I see in the mirror. My self-loathing is all gone now which is a huge, gigantic step in the right direction. It's become less about weight loss and more about loving myself, how I am in the moment.

I'm sure that the photo is nothing really special to many people, but to me - it's a photo of self confidence.

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