13 June 2012

word Wednesday: encouragement

This is a wee bit of a "Things I'm Afraid to Tell You" post.  I was stumbling around Pinterest this morning (as I often do) and felt a special connection with some of my "words of encouragement" pins.  I've been dieting for about a week now (in preparation for service as a bridesmaid in a little black dress in July) and I KNOW it's only been a week, but haven't really seen any results.

I FEEL better, which I know is more important than what I look like, but as I mentioned in a previous "Afraid to Tell You" post, I'm the heaviest I've ever been and that's tough for me.  My mom has self-conscious about her weight her entire life and in her fear that I might experience the same struggle, she (along with the rest of our "skinny-is-best" society), albeit with the best of intentions (I love you, Mom!), has always made me aware of my weight. 

I had a photo shoot with the gorgeous and talented Georgia Yeh on Monday (Georgia was offering a Living Social deal and I'd decided it was time for some updated non-self portraits of yours truly) and I'm excited to see the results.  Last night, Georgia sent me a teaser, and I love the overall ambiance of the image; Georgia really knows what she's doing!  But I immediately zeroed in on my body and my immediate dissatisfaction with what it looks like.

Why did I choose such dark colors?  Why didn't I wear a dress instead of a jeans-and-T-shirt combination that accentuates my midsection?  Why didn't I start trying to lose weight sooner?  Why did I gain weight in the first place?!

{ d e e p   b r e a t h }

I know Georgia took a lot of photos that are focused more on my face than on my body, and those are likely the images I will focus on and treasure.

I had a similar moment with photos taken on my recent trip to Vegas for a good friend's bachelorette party.  I had a BLAST with my friends, but looking over photos later was a little depressing (especially since my friends are thin and fit!).  I guess it was the wake-up call that I needed to try to shed a few pounds before the next occasion to be photographed with the same ladies!

In the meantime, bring on the celery sticks (I literally had celery sticks with a little bit of almond butter for breakfast) and I'll be focusing my energy on the following amazing, uplifting, hopeful quotes and mantras as best I can.  Join me, won't you?  :)

And here's another thing; I LOVE the quotes above--that's why I've collected them here to share with you.  BUT: does anyone else find a little bit of a conflict in the messages represented?  There are equal parts "love yourself as you are" and "ways to make yourself better."  I totally agree that the "self-improvement" words are on the encouraging side (I don't respond well AT ALL to tough love) but I DO feel like I'm in a tug of war between the messages of loving thyself and improving thyself.

I guess the lesson here is that self-love and self-improvement do not have to be mutually exclusive.  You can love who you are, right now, in this moment at this point in your life, and be able to appreciate the "here and now" while still striving for something better, cultivating yourself, not settling for your own personal status quo.

For me in this particular instance, that means (at least trying to!) embrace my body as it is, right now, while also nourishing it and treating it well by feeding it the good stuff that it needs.  My body looks the way it does now because of lack of portion control and, frankly, too many seized opportunities to indulge in junk food, ice cream, peanut butter... (pick your poison).  I'm not going to lie and say that if I maintain a stellar diet and exercise routine and still look and weigh the same, I wouldn't be upset, because that's just not true -- I would most certainly be upset.  But at least I'd know I was taking care of myself on the inside, and trust that it would start to show on the outside.


  1. With that attitude, you can accomplish anything. You've nailed it-- life should be about striving towards a better tomorrow, about making dreams & goals come true {and learning, adapting & evolving along the way}-- but that doesn't mean you can't love yourself as you are right now too. This is your life, enjoy every moment & journey-- today is a wonder, tomorrow will be even better. Imagine where the world would be if we all tried a little harder to live that way!

    1. Thank you so much, Tabetha! This comment means so much to me, and certainly the best feedback I could hope for from a post like this. Thank you!

  2. Girl you're amazing and beautiful the way you are, you just have to believe it.

    1. Thanks Riana! Some days I do, some days I don't. I really do think that eating healthier and getting more physical exercise (just getting healthier!) will go a long way for my self-confidence, as well. Thanks again for the comment!

  3. Hey pretty girl, I feel your pain. It's funny you say the conflicting messages, it kinda goes with the last 15 years of my life. On one hand I hate my weight, then I realize I need to be happy the way I am. I'm currently dieting to fit a dress better next week for my brother's wedding. It's never ending, I get so freaking frustrated and down trodden. I'd love to be diet buddies if you want? Email menus, mantras, etc?

  4. I love your honesty in this post Emily, it really speaks to me. I know what you mean about the weight struggle and I find myself lacking in pictures by myself because I don't really entirely like how I look right now (Having another person in the picture, balances me out and lets me turn my body for better pictures). It's equally frustrating and uplifting to see all these quotes on Pinterest and I'm torn between just loving who I am or constantly striving for improvement too. I think the important part is that we find peace with how we see ourselves and I know I'll probably never be a size 3 but I know I will have to work to get to a reasonable weight that I am happy with again. Thanks for sharing girl :)


    1. Thanks Evani, it's so good to know I'm not the only one (not that I wish that sense of struggle on anyone!). Definitely a balance between, as I said, self-love and self-improvement. xx

  5. I sent you an e-mail but thought I should just leave a comment anyway and say you... actually I am at a loss of words. Love the post love your honesty.

  6. You are always gorgeous...always.

    Your favorite self-loather... K


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