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Discovering Beautiful

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

I realized just now that I have been a member of SparkPeople for two months. And what an awesome two months it has been learning about you all, and in turn, learning about myself. So powerful!

I've been hitting up the local Goodwill stores the last couple of weekends. I used to look down on thrift stores, incorrectly assuming it was for poor people and that the items were of a lower quality. WRONG! My best friend got me turned onto thrift store shopping during my last trip home in January. I was getting shirts for a dollar, dishes for cheap. We went the day after a holiday so everything was HALF OFF on top of that - uhhh awesome!!! (Here in AZ, the half off days are every other Saturday - SCORE!!)

It was after this multi-city Goodwill trek back home that I realized, DUH!! I am NOT spending oodles of cash every time my size changes throughout this weight loss process. My last name isn't Rockefeller, after all. I'm sticking to thrift stores - not only are they cheap, it's good stuff, stuff I would buy new for myself. Another perk: you know the clothes have already been washed, so you don't have to worry about shrinkage. This is huge for me since I have a long torso and shirts always seem to shrink up!

These past two weekends, I have spent a total of $40 on 10 items: 3 skirts ~ 2 blouses (one from Torrid for only $1.99 - probably retailed for $40 or so) ~ 1 workout tee ~ 1 short sleeved hoodie ~ 1 pair of dress slacks ~ 1 pair of denim capris ~ 1 formal, strapless dress

Needless to say, I am completely stoked about being able to trade out the 'fat' clothes in my closet for some that actually fit. I took some pictures of what I was wearing 3 1/2 months ago (at the beginning of my weight loss journey) versus what I wear today. A little 'out with the old, in with the new', if you will...

Denim capris, size 13 ($5.99 at Goodwill today) on top of size 18:

Skirts, size 14 ($2.49 at Goodwill last week) on top of size 20W:

Jeans, size 15 ($5.99 at Ross) on top of size 20:

Dresses, size L ($9.99 at Goodwill - the dress for my friend's wedding) on top of a 16W (that was entirely too tight when I bought it last June):

Then I decided I wanted to see how my 'fat jeans' fit these days:

What an amazing feeling! These are gonna be the jeans I keep around. They were my Old Faithful. If I was bloated or depressed, or even just feeling frumpy, these bad boys were my go-to bottoms. They have officially been retired and will now own a hallowed space in my closet. Only to be taken out for photo ops :)

I always dreamt of being able to have the kind of before and after photos that make people go, "Holy Hell, Batman! How did you do that?!?" I didn't actually think it could, or would happen. It can. Undoubtedly. This chunky girl is proof.

First, you need to find your inner spark. One day it'll just click. You can decide to lose weight for a myriad of reasons - reasons that are completely valid and important. However, 'I'm doing this for me' should be priority numero uno. Adding in the support you get from your SparkleLovelies, you're unstoppable.

I look forward to heading home this weekend and showing off my bod. Wait, what?!? There's something I've never thought, let alone said, before, LoL. I know I'm in store for lots of compliments.

What I really want to hear is that I look healthier. Don't you just hate it when people start a compliment with, "You've always been beautiful, but now..."? I only recall one person ever telling me I was beautiful when I was at my chunkiest, so those "you've always..." comments fall on deaf, unbelieving ears.

When I see my old pictures, my heavy pictures, I don't see beauty. I see pain behind that smile. I see loneliness. But now? Now, I see a more defined jawline. I see my arms getting slimmed down. I see less of that cruel second chin. I see that smart ass, hilarious, witty girl I've always been. I see a sparkle in my eye. I see a smile I believe. I see beauty. I see a future filled with confidence. I see me.

I wish this moment for each one of you. Find that sparkle. Smile more. Laugh often. Be confident. Live, really live.

It doesn't matter what stage you're at in this journey. You are beautiful. It's damn true. I'll tell this to you as often as you want to hear it.

Every girl deserves to be told she's beautiful.
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