Chambray top, Old Navy. Sweater, Forever 21. Jeans, American Eagle. Boots, Old Navy.
I took these photos a few weeks ago (this is an outfit I wear a lot though -- probably once a week or so, it's just so easy and comfy!) and then hid them away from myself. Sometimes when I take outfit photos, it unleashes the part of me I try really hard not to listen to. It's that voice that makes me wonder if this blog is even a healthy outlet for me anymore -- I really love taking outfit photos, but outfit photos tend to make me feel horrible about myself. I haven't felt comfortable in my body for over a year and a half now -- it's been that long since I first gained weight -- and while I try to work on and accept that this is what my body looks like right now, and I have made significant steps towards being more healthy in general (even if I haven't lost weight), and I should be happy with that and not worry about how my body looks different/bigger/"worse" than it did a year and a half ago... all that kind of goes out the window when I take outfit photos. Sometimes. I should say: sometimes. In some photos, I feel like I just look like an older and changed version of myself. But after I took these photos, I had to work really hard not to cry. I felt awful looking at them.
Now, I still am not happy with how I look in them -- the size of my hips and butt and thighs makes me feel like my stomach has become a brick, and I end up feeling like I look like a pudgy bowling ball in a floral sweater -- but I'm trying to come to terms with separating what I feel about my body (I'm not happy with it, I feel trapped and uncomfortable and tight) and myself (disappointed in where I'm at professionally and generally antsy to move on to different stages in my life) and what my body actually looks like (marginally different to most people from a year and a half ago, I mean realistically, I've added an inch or two to my hips and waist, and how many people keep that close of tabs on my body!?). It's really hard and challenging, but I'm trying to work through it and love my body despite the fact that I desperately wish I could morph it back into the body I had two years ago.
I stopped taking outfit photos for a while because I realized that whenever I posted them, I ended up talking about the same thing, which is what I'm talking about now: I struggle to accept my body and I don't like it and I don't know what to do anymore to change it and I'm so disappointed. I have a lot of other emotional stressors in my life and it's really hard to explain to people that it's a cycle: at the base, I'm disappointed in how my body is changed and that I cannot change it back no matter how hard I work; add additional stressful parts of my life and I eat to calm myself down, which works; but then I catch a glimpse in the mirror and say, "Well, in trying to calm yourself down about other crappy bits of your life, you undid all the work you did last week, good job!" and I feel awful about my body again. Some days are better than others.
Some days I am more emotionally able to deal with the stress I have in my life and some days I am less able. Some weeks I will eat really, really well everyday... and then something will happen and I will stress/binge eat again and I'll be right back to where I was. My body is at the mercy of my emotions and that sucks; it's worse that how I feel about my body is at the mercy of my emotions. Just because I'm stressed, I shouldn't beat up and hate myself. But I do and that sucks.
It's very hard for me to separate the "me" of myself from how my body physically looks... if that makes sense. Make a mistake at work? Ugly body. Wake up after a bad dream and feel anxious? Ugly face. On and on. I try hard to not reflect things that happen onto my body, but I can't help it. I shouldn't treat my body as a punching bag for my emotional stress, but I do. Instead of complaining about traffic or work or anything else, I complain about my body because it's a way to deflect all of that negativity back onto myself, because it feels more fair. It's not other people's fault -- it's because I'm fat, or it's because I'm broken out and ugly, or it's because I didn't wear make up today and I look awful, etc. But, let's be honest, we all know I didn't lose an important note at work or forget to do something because I'm fat. I just forgot to do it and it's okay, those things happen, and I shouldn't beat myself up over it... but I do. I think that's the downfall of being a perfectionist, isn't it?
Anyway, the longer I look at these pictures, the better I feel about them. The more I write how I feel, the better I feel about them as well. I really love sharing outfit photos, but I hope everyone knows why I try not to. I want to be happy and positive for all of you, and not write the same post over and over! I'm at a very weird stressful part of my life. I think everyone looks over how stressful people's mid-20s are... but believe me, they are stressful. Paying bills, working full-time for the first time every, trying to stay fit at a sedentary job, learning to be responsible and clean the house and find time for your hobbies, all while dealing with major life changes like getting married or buying a house or doing both of those things at once. It's really hard and I'm slowly getting better at dealing with it. I hope you all know where I'm coming from and can relate. I know sometimes reading blogs everything can seem so easy-peasy sunshine happiness and you wonder why you're so tired and miserable. Well, no one's life is perfect. There are really hard bits for everyone and I know that no matter how bad things feel for me right now, things will get better!
Hope you all are having a wonderful Wednesday! Thank you for reading my blog, as always.