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There was a compliment in there somewhere... I think?

Friday, May 10, 2013

I have never classified myself as 'stylish.' In fact, if it weren't for Pinterest, I'd have no fashion compass what-so-ever. The only time I really go out of my way to shop for new clothes is generally only for special occasions. Shopping to me is usually overwhelming, stressful, and overall un-enjoyable. I hate parting ways with my hard earned money, I feel like everything costs more than I think it should, I have a really hard time finding things I like, I'm completely indecisive, and when I actually manage to find something I want--it's usually not available in my size or the color I want.

I attribute most of my shopping whoa's on spending 15+ years of my life overweight and unhappy. I spent half of my life neglecting my body, ashamed and hiding it under baggy layers, going out of my way to 'blend in' so people wouldn't notice me. The 'IN' styles never fit me anyways so I rarely bothered to even try and look like the fashion models in magazines; doing so only made me feel worse about myself because I looked horrendous stuffing myself into the trendy styles. For a very long time I owned more pajama sets than actual clothes. I was in total denial and refused to shop at the stores for full figured women. Stylish wasn't even on my radar so I couldn't justify spending money on clothes I was too ashamed to wear.

Throughout the years I struggled with my weight, I conditioned myself to believe I couldn't (and shouldn't) try to be stylish and wear what was in fashion. I trained my brain to hate shopping, which really wasn't hard considering years of painful dressing room experiences. For most young girls shopping is FUN, addicting even and sometimes even directly correlates to an out of control shoe-collection; but not for me. I avoided shopping like the plague. I wore the same tattered clothes, dark colors, long shirts, and never form fitting; all in the name of avoiding the shopping experience.

When I lost the weight, I was so excited (and honestly anxious and nervous) to be able to actually be able to go into a store like Wet Seal, Charlotte Russe, Express etc. and not walk out crying. I had no choice in my weight loss journey but to buy new clothes because everything was falling off of me. Don't get me wrong, I was over the moon to buy smaller sizes and feeling "trendy." That was an experience I had dreamed of for over a decade.

Even 4 years later, the stigma of shopping and anxiety still looms over my head. Don't get me wrong, it's a lot better and easier to shop now, and I've made incredible strides in regards to improving my self-esteem. Despite that though, a lot of that conditioning has been very hard to get rid of. When you spend over 15 years filling yourself with negative self-talk, those wounds take a looooooong time to heal. Maybe they never do? It's certainly getting easier with time, so I'm hoping they do. The difficult part is it's easy to look in a mirror and still not truly see yourself how you are. Itís easy to do when you're over weight and in denial, as well as at a healthy weight--but still see yourself as overweight.

In general, even today, I don't put a whole lot of effort into getting ready in the morning. I'd say I go to work most days with out make up, with out putting more than 5 minutes into my hair, and usually dress in pretty boring business casual clothes. I do not really have any quarams about that either. I go to work comfortable. I've never been the type of person to wake up early to spend an hour blow drying my hair and dolling myself up. Ain't nobody got time for that. ;) (couldn't resist). Maybe it's a result of my former negativity gradually falling to the wayside, or just me growing as a person, but lately I've been feeling the urge to put more of an effort into my appearance.

I know I'm droaning on and on... I swear I'm going somewhere with this....

I received some money for my birthday, so I figured I would spend it on myself. It's been a while since I did that. I decided to go to the mall for a new outfit, maybe a purse, and some summer sandals. What happened next was 2.5 hours of PURE TORTURE! I will just say #1: skinny jeans are not my thing #2: I need to reset my expectations for costs #3: I need to bring people with me when I shop from now on. I left the mall so unbelievably disappointed and frazzled. I scoured the mall and just could not find anything I 'had to have.' I couldn't make a decision what I wanted, and $20 for Payless sandals was outrageous! I was so discouraged I figured it was best to cut my losses and give up. Maybe another day I'd be in a more productive mood.

I went back to the mall and purchased some of the things I found the day before and decided to just go for it. I even managed to pick out a bathing suit I was actually really happy with! Talk about a non-scale victory! Taking a lot of inspiration from Pinterest, I think I managed to put together some pretty cute outfits and got a great deal on some stuff too!!

Here are some photos:









Getting to the point:
I went to work the next day, wearing one of my outfits, wearing make up, with my hair done... It took me an extra hour to get ready. The only reason that happened was because I went to work late due to a dentist appointment at 9. Normally this mama, who has two kidsto get off to school prior to 7:30 Monday through Friday doesn't have time to do. Apparently I looked a lot different as I got a lot of comments and compliments. Several people asked if I had a job interview, and one person told me I looked like Summer Glau from Terminator (the TV show). That was a first.

One co-worker in particular told me I should wake up early every day and do this because I look so much better, and it's a shame to let my 'cuteness' go to waste.... I laughed and said thank you... I think? That was meant as a compliment, right? She felt so bad for the rest of the day back peddaling saying she didn't mean to sound like normally I don't look good. I felt bad that she felt so bad because I know she didn't mean it like it sounded.

The comment truly didn't offend me, and knowing her she absolutely meant it in the nicest way as a compliment. It was actually more of a welcomed reinforcment and reminder for me to take better care myself. I've lost the weight, and I feel great! Iit's high-time I start dressing the part. And don't get me wrong, I have branched out since I lost the weight. But I needed this reminder to keep moving forward. I'm no longer the girl hiding behind baggy clothes and it's time to ditch her hang ups about shopping. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: the hardest part of this journey has not been losing the weight, it's been repairing the damage to myself. I really didn't realize just how deep my weight troubles went when I began this journey 5 years ago. Slowly but surely though every day I'm erasing the bad and replacing it with goodness. Though I don't know I'll ever be comforatable with parting ways with my hard earned money, or pastel colored skinny jeans. :) What can I say, old habits die hard. ;)
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EJENKINSB 5/22/2013 3:03PM

    I've recently started blow drying my hair in the morning, and my son's teacher asked me if I had an important meeting! I think, especially for moms, it's hard to squeeze in the time to get really dressed up in the morning. You look great, and your outfits are adorable!

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JSPIN74 5/21/2013 4:09PM

    I can so relate to all you say here....good for your progress & you look beautiful! :) Enjoy it...

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MUGSYCAT 5/19/2013 11:16AM

    I hear you about not having time to "doll up" for work every day. I'm consistently 5-15 minutes late when I do try to figure out something other than my usual black pants, black top and "color" jacket or overshirt. For the first time in years I actually had to go buy a size down in work pants yesterday. I took an 18, a 16 and a 14 into the dressing room and the 16 fit. I have to have them shortened.....but by the time I get them back, I will fit them perfectly. I tried on the 14 just to see where I was and I was able to zip them up, but had "spillage" over the top! Another couple of months and I might be there....that would be a real victory.
Congrats on stepping out and at least trying stuff on -- the fact that you went back and bought them is awesome! Thanks for being an inspiration and sharing your struggles with us. It helps to know that attaining your goal leads to other things!

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NOMOEXCUSES13 5/17/2013 7:28PM

    ooooooo I love PInterest and you look so "sytlish" in your outfits. Add me on pinterest.... pcbrown09

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KIMCOLLINGS 5/16/2013 4:16PM

    Cute cute cute! Love the new clothes and you are so adorable!!

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BETHSWORLD 5/14/2013 11:40AM

    You look amazing and I love the outfits and I love Pinterest LOL

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ALICIALYNNE 5/14/2013 10:37AM

    You consistently have amazing blogs!

I feel the same way about shopping. It stuns me to go into a store, think "No way that is going to fit...." Husband nags me into trying it on, and it fits perfectly. It's hard to get over our own mental hang-ups!

Congratulations on all of the progress you have made thus far!

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ARUNNINGKAT 5/13/2013 6:38PM

    Your outfits are adorable!! Sometimes it is just a lot of work to put together outfits and look good every day. I really need to get back to trying again even though I have not achieved my weight-loss goals yet.

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SALLY_MANDER 5/13/2013 6:30PM

    I can absolutely relate to just about every word you've written here. I think I'm the only girl I know that hates shopping. Everything about it stresses me out: not knowing what size/style fits me (I still reach for pieces 2 sizes too big,) high prices, that I'm short and small-busted . . . ugh.

I LOVE that you went for a few key pieces you can mix and match! The coral blazer is gorgeous, you can totally rock skinny jeans, and I won't even mention how hot you look in the bikini ;)

Non-scale victories are the best. Congratulations on the compliments from your co-workers. You deserve it.



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LYNSEY723 5/13/2013 1:09PM

    Love these outfits!! I *try* to be stylish (espeically after the weightloss) but sometimes I feel like I fail horribly. But you look amazing in all of these! I LOVE that jacket in the first picture - mind sharing where you got it??



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PSFITMOMMY413 5/13/2013 9:30AM

    I can definitely relate with this blog! But, my goodness, you are adorable! Those outfits are great :)

Push aside those anxious feelings and show yourself off girlie!

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FITBECKSRN24 5/13/2013 7:54AM

    I could have written this blog myself!!! Hubby is always yelling at me bc my closet is full of black gray white cream ect. I also feel like its wasting so much money.... Especially since most days I am either in scrubs or pjs!


I am hoping as my fatigue gets better i can start taking better care of myself. It's very easy to slip into old ways and hide under clothes.

I think your outfits are adorable! And you look fantastic in that bikini :)

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BEATLETOT 5/13/2013 3:37AM

    You look very cute in your new clothes! I know what you mean about the cost...I feel the same way!

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FLGIRL1234 5/13/2013 1:10AM

    You were rockin' them all girl! emoticon emoticon

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MIAOWMIAOW 5/12/2013 12:52AM

    Your outfits look great!!! I am the same way when it comes to shopping. I get so frustrated and end up leaving with nothing. I don't even know how to put an outfit together without it looking stupid. My closet consist of mostly thrift store clothes because I have lost 50lbs and nothing fits me.

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SUSIQZER 5/11/2013 9:29PM

    You look fantastic!!

Says the girl who started a curly hair trend in my office, because I'm too lazy to blow-dry! :)

Comment edited on: 5/11/2013 9:30:18 PM

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MADLYINLOVE 5/11/2013 3:52PM

    How fun! Your outfits are super cute, and girl you are rockin' that two-piece!

emoticon

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AMANDAUNBIDDEN 5/11/2013 12:15PM

    You look beautiful!!! I love that zig zag skirt! You may say you have no fashion sense but I think you are doing very well! Great finds! I feel you on the shopping thing though. I do the same thing. Go there. Try on a million things, can't find anything or if I do not my size or color I wanted. Yeah, shopping isn't as fun as some make it seem. I'm glad you were able to find such great stuff though!

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NANCYPAT1 5/11/2013 9:09AM

    What a fun experience. It does take time to take care of us. I can totally relate and yet, sometimes it just seems like too much effort. Your co-worker is right though, you are absolutely CUTE and should take the time to show off just HOW cute you are.

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UNICORN212 5/10/2013 9:36PM

    Other than the fact that I am a lot older than you, still have 20 pounds to go and will probably always hate shopping, I could have written this blog. I don't even own makeup anymore. You did really well with the things you bought. Congrats on your success!

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NURSELAUREN 5/10/2013 7:01PM

    I love alllllll the clothes!!! Share where you got 'em girl!! I wouldn't let the comment from the coworker upset you too much... I think it's one of those tough love comments that didn't have to be said, but really makes you think. I think she meant well in that she sees you deserve to be better to yourself and it really shows when you are. I have to remind myself of that sometimes when I wanna just run out in sweatpants and a hoodie. Sure, I may not be looking to impress anyone during my quick Target trip... but, every day we pass strangers and how we get up and leave the house is how we express ourselves for the day.
Be the best version of YOU emoticon

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MYWALK2FITNESS 5/10/2013 5:14PM

    Love love the outfits!!! You deserve to feel good not only on the outside but also in the inside! When you take care of your exterior that nurtures your interior! Get what I mean? It gives you that boost and confidence! You worked so hard to be where you are at and is time you EMBRACE it! The old you is gonna have to accept it... emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/10/2013 5:15:33 PM

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MISSB8604 5/10/2013 5:10PM

    REALLY great outfits! Don't worry about what she said, just keep on keepin' on girl!

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CAALAN23 5/10/2013 4:56PM

    Super cute!! Love the blue / purple / indigo top with the tank!

I am always rushing out the door as well. I try to do a patch up job once I arrive at the office but doesn't always turn out as well as if I just got ready at home. But if I had to choose between sleep and mascara, I'm choosing sleep!

LOL!
Tina

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DRAMABEAR 5/10/2013 4:48PM

    Great outfits!! I LOVE the coral jacket and the bikini on you!

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PRETTYPITHY 5/10/2013 4:42PM

    Wow! You and I must be on the same wave length today, my blog is on a very similar topic, namely changing your mindset along with your body. WHERE DID YOU GET THAT SWIMSUIT? I must have it! You look divine!! emoticon

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CARM1401 5/10/2013 4:41PM

    Two thumbs up in the outfit they look cute on you emoticon

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MERRY_XMAS 5/10/2013 4:36PM

    "the hardest part of this journey has not been losing the weight, it's been repairing the damage to myself"
It's so true! For all of us!
And she did meant it as a compliment, I'm sure emoticon
You look amazing in the photos! Great style and model emoticon



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ROBYNROSE26 5/10/2013 4:06PM

    Super cute outfits! I am with you, I rarely spend more than 15 minutes getting ready for work, too much other stuff to deal with getting the kids out the door with their hair brushed and lunch packed.

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