Can you really just chose to be beautiful?
The world is obsessed with beauty, but how do you actually get beautiful? It is hard to not fall into the trap of judging our bodies especially when we are trying to lose weight. I am certainly no exception. As another week comes and goes I have been running and watching what I eat…but I have not lost weight.
As much as I hope it is a lie, I know it probably isn’t and while I’d love to believe I’ve gained muscle I don’t think I have (or at least not that much). I know that I have to stick with it for the long haul and that my not losing my goal 2 lbs a week is not a sign that I am a massive failure, but it is emotionally hard (especially after just starting over).
I have been reflecting a lot on how to be beautiful. I am a strong believer in not living my life as the before picture, but how can I actually do that? How can I authentically live a life as a beautiful woman when I am frustrated and don’t feel my best? It comes down to this…
It sounds simple enough right, but the more that I think about it and internalize it the more I realize that I have spent a huge chunk of my life seeking out the acceptance of other people to fill my worth and that has gotten in the way of my truly feeling beautiful.
It all comes down to choice. You can chose to be beautiful. Who do you let in your life? How do you view yourself? How do you treat yourself? The most important relationship you have in your life is with yourself and if you want to make your life a lot easier you can make daily decisions to believe in yourself and that all adds up over time. Other people will see it too.
One of the key steps for me was looking at past relationships that hurt me and deciding to put respect for myself first and genuinely letting it go. Mistakes were made, but they don’t define me. People that weren’t very nice to me, but validated me as beautiful got to stick around way too long. Now all my relationships are healthier and my sense of beauty comes from within. I am putting that energy into accepting myself and spending time with people that make me feel happier. I never lacked people that loved and cared about me, but many of them don’t live close so when I was vulnerable and lonely I made some stupid choices. That doesn’t define me. It is time to let it go and move forward with good people and a good attitude.
Most of all it is time to just believe I am beautiful and do things that make me feel that way instead of living in the past. You get to choose how you view yourself including defining yourself as beautiful.
When you put yourself first it makes it a lot easier to walk away from what is not serving your happiness. Being beautiful today means loving yourself enough to stand up and walk away from relationships and situations that hurt you and to make time for the ones that uplift you.
If you know you are beautiful, magically other people see that and those that don’t never would have (and that is okay). Self-confidence is the most beautiful quality someone can have and sometimes you just have to fake it and see what happens. You can be any size, shape, color and be beautiful and a lot of that comes simply from how you view yourself and how you chose to present yourself in the world. Beauty is about so much more than how you look. It is more about how you act and how you treat those around you.
I recently was reading a story in the book Read My Hips: How I Learned to Love My Body and Live Large by Kim Brittingham about Marilyn Monroe and how much difference just walking with confidence can make.
One day while watching Turner Classic Movies, I heard a true story about Marilyn Monroe. She was strolling down a New York avenue with a friend, wearing an unremarkable dress with an ordinary scarf tied around her head. She went completely unnoticed.
Suddenly, the starlet turned to her companion and asked, “Would you like to see Marilyn now?”
It took her mere seconds to transform into a cinematic sex kitten. A subtle lifting of her shoulders, an alluring elongation of her back, the coy tilting of her head, a suggestive swing of the hips, and va-voom! Immediately, people noticed. Our legendary bombshell was quickly surrounded by frantic admirers. She didn’t have to duck into a phone booth and change into a sequined evening gown. And remember, her trademark platinum locks remained hidden under her head scarf. But this smart chickie knew how to create a full-blown scene with only the slightest adjustments in posture. No one on that Manhattan street cast an eye in Marilyn’s direction until she made the conscious decision to strut her stuff.
I would recommend reading the book and learning all about Kim’s experiment with the Marilyn strut and trying it yourself. I have to be honest that as an introvert (especially with regards to attention on my body) I have most often tried not to be noticed, but when I feel good about myself and confident the level of attention goes through the roof. In the past, I even joked that Vacation Jenny was a different person because of how stark the difference can be when I feel confident, happy, relaxed, and safe. I’m working towards being that happy, relaxed person on a more regular basis. That Jenny is beautiful and it feels like the whole world sees it.
Being beautiful today means believing it is true.
You decide how you view yourself. If you don’t believe in your own beauty and you expect to find your confidence in others you are setting yourself up for heartache. First you love and accept yourself and then others notice the beauty you already know you possess.
While none of this happens overnight you can make daily choices towards being your beautiful self. I may be upset with my lack of progress and not feel particularly awesome right now. I do like being thinner. I look in the mirror now and I don’t look like myself. Although I can appreciate my beauty now I also am frustrated. I feel prettier in a healthier body, but I am still beautiful because I am going to drag myself out of bed and go for a run or a hike, I’m going to spend time with cool people but also respect that I need some introvert time for my mental well-being, and I am going to volunteer doing wildlife rehabilitation. I am going to spend time on my appearance and my home. I am going to do all these things for myself.
Most of all, I am also going to try to learn how to plan my meals better, because I don’t think using salads for my stress eating is a solid long-term solution and the struggle is real avoiding junk food at work (eating mostly vegan has helped a ton, but it is hard seeing all the treats people bring in and not emotionally eat).
I think that is how you get to be beautiful today. You treat yourself with love and respect and spend time on improving your life. Mostly, you just chose to believe it so get out there and strut!
❤ Always Jenny
Salad cat meme via http://bzfd.it/29KqfU5