When I got married, I made a pact with myself to honor my body.
That didn’t mean going on a super strict diet to fit into one dress. No, with so many things to worry about on my plate, thinking about body insecurities was sure to add to any pre-wedding stress. So, pre-wedding, I ate well, ate happy and indulged when I wanted.
On my wedding day, I glowed because I nourished myself, and I cared for myself from the inside out.
Finding body acceptance
But, it hasn’t been an easy or consistent road. I’ve always had a tough relationship with my body. As a child, I was so aware of my frame in comparison to others. Staring into the mirror, I’d think to myself: I will never be beautiful. I focused on my scars, my height, my curvy features and my round face. Even to this day I can be triggered, reminding me of that feeling.
As an adult, I have had to unlearn the stories I picked up as a child — stories that have been reflected back to me in movies, magazines and media. We’ve all heard them. These narratives try to dictate what our style should be based on our body types.
And I know I’m not alone in this! Countless women (and men!) have felt the pressure to look and dress a certain way because of society’s expectations. This pressure makes it hard to stay motivated to find inspiration in style — especially if your body is changing.
My pregnancy body journey
When I was pregnant, it was harder than I thought it would be to surrender to the major body change. I thought I would accept the process, but in reality, I felt worse about myself the bigger I became. So much of this was because of those same narratives from when I was a child — the influencer moms I would see on Instagram looked a certain way. I again compared myself to others.
After recognizing that I was falling into my old patterns, I took a step back. I came to realize I was not in charge, and there was something much greater happening beyond my body insecurities — something that brought me far more joy and brought positivity and light to the world. My superpower was sharing that positivity and light through my style.
Finding postpartum body confidence
Once Ezra was born, I continued to focus on the positive changes (welcoming my son to the world, being a mom, radiating light and joy), but that wasn’t always easy. Sometimes, exploring style postpartum with my changed body brought me to tears. Other times, it challenged me in a way that added fuel to my soul fire to support women through style.
There were several truths I learned about my body after baby:
- My breasts grew ginormous and then quickly deflated.
- I had gained a lot weight after my birth and from breastfeeding.
- My body type shifted dramatically to carry all my weight around my hips and out in the middle.
- My ill-fitting and uncomfortable bras were a reminder of all my negative body image notions.
As a personal stylist for real women, I tell my clients to focus on their innate beauty, helping them put aside their negative beliefs and see their beautiful selves in the mirror. Yet, I wasn’t treating myself the same way. I had to look at myself as a client and empower myself the way I empower others.
That started from the inside out —
It’s what’s underneath that counts
Once I changed my mindset — I accepted my “little more in the middle body type”– the next step was to find the right clothes to flaunt what I got. The first and most important thing to find was the right bra.
I found a bra with Thirdlove, but I recommend you try all different kinds of bras to find what feels best for you! What I loved about Thirdlove is that they are an “all bodies are beautiful” kind of company that is re-imagining the undergarment space to create a new world of empowered women of all shapes and sizes. FINALLY!
For my body type, the right bra needed to lift the ladies, creating a waistline and opening up the rib cage area. My Thirdlove bra helped me create the right shape for me. I spent ages telling other people this, but it wasn’t until I found the correct bra fit for me that I began to see it work for my own body.
In a way, this all helped me begin to love my body again. Our undergarments can really make such a difference. It’s what we wear that is closest to our hearts, connecting the space between skin to our wardrobes, and it offers support when we need it the most.
This was truly the turning point. Wearing a new bra that fit me well and flattered my figure was an empowered indicator that I am so much more than my body, and my body deserves to be supported by pieces that make me feel good from the inside out.
Years later, my Thirdlove bra is a reminder that my body is beautiful, strong and unique, and I am finally seeing the woman and mother that I am.
Throughout this whole journey, I have been liberated by embracing my new size and getting new clothing to fit the new me!
I went from being uninspired and feeling like a style victim to being an empowered and strong fashion warrior! Now, I made a concerted effort to find clothes that make me happy — no matter my shape. I look for fresh color, fun patterns and figure flattering silhouettes for my little more in the middle.
The truth is my body is beautiful just the way it is. Healthy (and happy!).
Now, I love me, and I love my body. It’s really that simple. So for all the imperfections I can focus on the daily, I instead focus on feeling fabulous in my clothes. That way no matter what insecurity pops up, I just say: NOPE! Today is not your day! Today is MY day!
And you can do that too!
Flaunt your assets!
An easy way to step into body love through fashion is to choose a part of the body that you love and showcase it! For me, I love my legs and love to flatter them in fab skirts! When you dress focusing on what you love, you get to celebrate you! It’s the complete opposite of dressing to hide something about which we are insecure. That is no way to start each day. So, find that body part, and flaunt it! It’s so important to acknowledge the areas of the body that you love and then consider them when getting dressed. I can guarantee that a flash of leg, a pop of shoulder or an exposed décolletage will make you feel more confident as you walk out the door.
There really is nothing more empowering than wearing what makes you feel like your best self, taking that energy out into the world and shining it bright for the world to see.