Back to It (Finding Your Way Back)

It’s amazing what a little bit of sickness will do to a person. The only thing awesome about being sick is really the weight loss (if you’re so lucky, and if you need it). I had a virus last week that left me couch bound (minus a trip to the ER and a follow-up trip to convenient care two days later) for four days. And four days being sick averages out to about two weeks of real time. It takes forever.

Once I was feeling better, the family and I took a trip back to Illinois to see family, which is always nice. But during the entire trip, I was in an appearance funk, just not really myself. I was excited on Saturday to finally fix myself up after four days of looking like I was nearing death, but I just felt blah. (Don’t you hate when you don’t like what you pack to wear? Oh, the struggle.) I took pictures while I was down home. I was in them. I ended up deleting every single one. Can you identify with me at all here?? I just was really unhappy with the way I looked in them. I will not indulge in self-loathing talk here (though we women all know we do it), but one thing I can’t escape saying is that being sick really did a number on my complexion especially, nothing make-up could really fix. Even when I came back home on Sunday, I looked around my house. Now granted, we’ve only been here for about two months, but it just didn’t feel like me, either, on the home decor front.

The easiest thing to do when I’m feeling not like myself is to self-loathe. Oh, man. I’m really starting to look like a mom. Are these pants too high-waisted? Mom jeans potential maybe? Man, I look my age. When did my hair fade this badly? Let’s be honest: Sometimes it feels good to self-loathe. But what is it solving? The hard thing to do is to snap myself out of it by reminding myself of the woman I want to be and make a game plan how to get back to finding her. I know myself. I know, in my own eyes (at least on most days), I’m not a dowdy mom. I am a mom (and proudly, too), but I’m a cool/trendy mom, dang it! So here’s some of what I need to do this week, and if you’re in a place like I am (a plain old nasty funk), let’s do it together:

1. Remind myself of who I am. Revisit my favorite identity Bible verses. Read more of the Bible. Write a blog post about my three words (more on that on Wednesday).

2. Using my three words, go through my closet and purge items that do not reflect that person. Try on clothes. Build outfits for my everyday occasions that make me feel good, that give me that confidence in being unique. Do this when I have a lot of time, not right before I need to be somewhere. Then it just gets dramatic.

3. Take better care of myself and my skin. Water bombs EVERY DAY! (Drinking half my body weight in ounces of water, if you didn’t know…)

4. Experiment with new eye shadow/eyeliner combinations.

5. Do something about my nail situation (paint, nail wraps, something!). Remember when I said I was going to start taking care of them again, like three weeks ago???

6. Work out! I recently became a Beachbody coach to share with others my love for Beachbody products and how they worked for me. As I explained on my personal Facebook page, I joined a private challenge group on Facebook this summer. A dear friend of mine, a Beachbody coach, runs the group. We each would post our workouts, questions, successes, and failures in health and fitness, and we were all working out using a Beachbody workout. It was a game-changer. I have now lost 12 pounds and over 12 inches while being a part of the group. My workout was Turbo Fire. (Chalene is AMAZING! I actually listened to one of her podcasts on my way home from Illinois.) I gained more confidence in weight loss, of course, but I also gained valuable friendships and accountability partners.

Here are some before and afters of me. Sometimes visuals speak louder than words.

Let’s just take a second to really wrap our brains around the concept that I looked like that. I’m not knocking myself or anything because I made and delivered an amazing baby. But yeah…I don’t need to say any more. The left-side picture…that was the day after I gave birth, April 18 of this year. Yes, I did lose some weight before I could start working out. But not enough to write home about. The right-side picture was taken last weekend. When I weighed myself the day after that left-side picture was taken, I had lost 15 pounds in the hospital, so from left-side pic to right-side pic, I lost 30 pounds. 

This left-side pic was taken right as I started the challenge group. From left side to right side, I lost nine pounds and over 12 inches.

I am looking to co-coach a challenge group with the popular 21-Day Fix program, which is on sale in September! Please email me or get a hold of me in some other way if you’re interested. I hope it will change your life like it did mine!

7. Make a list of home decor items to purchase in the future.

8. Research how to style the length of hair I have CURRENTLY (not the length I WISH I had) on Pinterest.

Now, this post solely focuses on my appearance and the appearance of my home. I am well aware that all of what I am is not wrapped up in appearances. I get that. I just don’t feel comfortable writing about the inner beauty yet! And what I also know is that when I am confident in what is going on in my appearance, I feel much more confident in reaching out to others and striking up conversations.

I almost didn’t post today’s post because I know it fails to be a “good” blog post, according to normal blogger standards. There aren’t any cool pictures of me wearing cool outfits in cool locations. Right now my hair feels greasy, and I’m in my pajamas. I am not those women. Nine times out of ten, I will have spit-up on my clothing in some unidentified (or identified…) place. I try to look my best whenever I can, and my best looks like it pales in comparison to a lot of other bloggers. But I’m not other bloggers. I’m me. I’m a work in progress, a mom of two kids under age three, a woman who is learning how to be a stay-at-home mom after teaching high school students for nine years, a woman who loves budget (and non-budget) style and writing about it. I find blogs that are real so refreshing. I actually learn the most from the women who admit their lives are not perfect. Mine isn’t either.

Come back Wednesday when we revisit Find Your Style 101. This time, we’ll talk about shopping for and integrating pieces that speak to the first impression you want to make, if that makes any sense.

Thank you so much for reading! I am so amazed that I’m getting the number of reads I’m getting. Wow. I’m fairly certain now that it’s not just me reading this blog! HA. Thanks, also, to those who follow along on Facebook and Instagram. Click the icons on the home page if you’re cool, too, and want to follow along!

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