“Affirmation from the outside is secondary to the love and worth you have built up on the inside.”~Stefani Ruper
How many pounds do you need to lose to feel attractive? 10? 15? 40? Do you think you could ever feel attractive at your current weight?
Take a look at this “before and after” (I prefer, “then” and “now”) picture and guess how much less I weigh in photo #2.
Would you have guessed exactly the same?
It really is possible to improve your appearance without losing a pound.
The First Photo
This is the photo I’ve always used for my “before” shot in my weight-loss comparisons. I’m smiling in the picture, but inside I was a wreck.
By that point, I’d spent about a year getting over a nasty break-up. I’d officially reached the heaviest weight of my life. I was struggling to make ends meet financially and because of that, I refused to buy myself any clothes. Which meant I was usually walking around in something a size or two too small and feeling real self-conscious.
This was a time in my life where I was horrified any time a camera came out. There are very few pictures of me (especially full-body shots) from that time-frame.
The Second Photo
I’ll admit, I certainly don’t have life all figured out. I have a lot of tough days and a lot of days I just don’t feel good about myself.
But, I’ve learned how to replace my negative thoughts with positive ones a lot quicker than I had in the past. I’m figuring out that confidence gets me farther in life than embarrassment. I’ve stopped waiting for the perfect body and the perfect life to make me happy and instead focus on making myself happy with the body and the life I have.
In this photo, I weigh exactly the same as I did three and a half years prior. I wear larger, more flattering clothes now, and I work hard every day to care for my body and become healthier. Because of this, I am able to carry myself with more confidence, and it shows!
When I feel attractive, I look more attractive!
The Life Between the Two Photos
Shortly after that first photo was taken, I embarked on a journey with weight loss.
By June of 2016, I was down 40 pounds, and I was dating my now-husband.
At that time, it took weight-loss for me to feel confident in my body. That weight-loss inspired this website, motivated me to run a half-marathon, and gave me the confidence to date a man who treated me with the love and respect we all deserve.
Then, life happened. We got married and bought a house and filled our schedules to the brim so there wasn’t the time to workout and meal plan and blog like there had been before. We got through all that, started getting on track, and then life threw us another huge curveball.
Stress and high emotions caused me to throw all my healthy habits right out the window.
After several sedentary months, eating garbage food and maintaining ridiculously high levels of stress, I reached my top weight once again and I developed some hormonal issues. I’m still dealing with the health issues and working with my doctor. More to follow on that since I really don’t know much about it yet. But, the issues have woken me up to the dangers of stress, and the importance of caring for yourself first.
Over the past two months, I’ve begun to make myself a priority again. By reading and journaling in the mornings and slowly replacing my wardrobe with clothing that flatters my body as it is right now, I’m building my confidence back up. I’m eating foods that nourish my body, and I’m working with my personal trainer again.
In the second photo, it’s easy to see that I feel good about myself and the direction my life is headed.
I’m Still Learning
A lot of life and learning happened over the three and a half years between these two photos. My weight fluctuated more than it ever has.
And guess what?
I still have so much more to learn. The most important takeaway is to accept the here and now of this beautiful journey. Once you start caring for the body you’re in, you’ll begin to create the body you want.
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