As soon as I lose 15 more pounds, I’ll get that new dress. How many times have you caught yourself saying something like that? I know I have. In fact, I still do sometimes. I even understand the reasoning behind some of these thoughts. Reward, encouragement for shedding that weight we so wish to lose, or just trying to reach our goal—whatever it may be. Yes, I have said it and done it. I say it and do it, still. I am a work in progress. On the flip side, I want to enjoy life. I want to feel good about myself. I want to stop comparing myself to others. Well, she could look cute in a curtain panel…STOP! (I’m not yelling at you—that’s what I told myself.) 

That was all to preface my recent realization, or perhaps more so a conclusion, that I have spent a huge chunk of my life trapped in that mindset. I did not enjoy life as much as I could have. I can recall only a couple years when I felt even halfway confident in my appearance. To no surprise, that was before my second child at age 35, when the body simply does not bounce back like it does with the first child. However, to say it was all about my wardrobe would be inaccurate, but it most definitely played a role. Not until recently did I make the conscious decision to invest in myself, with part of that to include putting some effort into my outward appearance. 

Before I get messages or comments along the lines of “clothes don’t make the person,” or “it’s not what’s on the outside, it’s what is on the inside that counts…”, let me add a very important caveat. I AGREE WITH YOU! So, how can I say I want to invest in my outward appearance while also agreeing that the outside isn’t what is most important? Let me explain. 

When I started making small steps toward paying attention to my clothing choices, I started to believe that I deserved it. When I took the time in the morning to put together an outfit I felt good in, I found I was more confident throughout the day. My attitude was more positive. When I started wearing the cute leggings I had been afraid to wear (see my other post), I was excited about what the next hurdle was I would overcome. I could go on and on, but you see my point. 

What I am not saying here is that you should only focus on your clothes—definitely not, and please do not. What I am encouraging you to do is shift some of your focus to your appearance, in a way you have not done before. Maybe for you, it is taking the time to find a better skin care routine, or make it a point to more regularly maintain your haircuts, as opposed to just making a quick appointment every few months when you cannot stand the pony tail look anymore (like me!). 

It is my hope that you will start to experience some of the internal change I have noticed. I am so not even where I would like to be, but that is okay. We only have this one life. That life is happening as you read this. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Avoid pushing off the life you want, or the life you envision. Live life today, the life you have right now. 

Clean out your closet. If you have not worn it in a year or more, get it out of your eyesight. Focus on what you can enjoy now. Go buy a new blouse that makes you feel good now. Create an environment for yourself where you do not feel stuck in the trap of “one of these days,” or “when I ____, I will try it.” If you need inspiration, it is all over the web. It is everywhere. I promise that once you put together a few cute outfits, you will find how much fun it is, how much being you is. Let’s enjoy us, today!