Sunday, January 24, 2010

Changing the way we perceive ourselves.

"When there is a change in the shape of the body, there is a change in the disposition of the soul."  unknown

I was watching What Not to Wear on Friday.  The woman was a self-process stubborn tomboy.  She was turning 30, a jazz musician (singer) and a music teacher.  She looked more like one of the students than a teacher.  She looked more like a folk or even rock musician than jazz.

She had convinced herself she was a certain way.  She had 3 sisters who were girlie-girls and rebelled against being like them.  She had many pre-conceived ideas about what a "girlie-girl" was all about ... you know, hair, makeup, clothes that FIT and flatter.  Some women seem to think it's a waste of time or it somehow makes them more shallow.  Why should it?  It doesn't take any more time to put on a nice pair of pants and a flattering top and a fun pair of shoes than it does to throw on slouchy, ill-fitting clothes.  So maybe it takes 10 minutes to do your hair and 5 minutes for makeup.  You don't have to spend hours to make yourself look great.  And when you look great, you feel great.

When asked how she feels when a student shows up in jammies, she said she hated it.  When asked why, she said it looked like they didn't care.  And lightbulb went on.  Now, I realize this is reality TV and therefore questionable about the authenticity of the whole thing ... but the point was still made.

When she was sent shopping, she felt totally lost and alone and hated it.  She had spent most of her life being a tomboy, dressing in oversized clothes, sometimes menswear.  How was she supposed to know what to look for ... other than the rules of course but apparently they didn't sink in too much.

Once she had help and was told what looked good and what didn't, she realized that dresses are wonderful (I personally LOVE dresses ... talk about easy dressing) and that showing off her shape (she had an amazing shape, you just never saw it before) was a great thing.

I used to be a real girlie-girl, about 20 years or so ago.  I'm not sure when things changed, but I started to gain weight and the more weight I gained, the less I felt like presenting myself fashionably.  It's like I started to hate my body and the more I hated it, the less I wanted to be noticed.  Then the back trouble and consequently the lower, less fashionable shoes, so of course I didn't want to wear skirts or dresses.  And things spiralled downwards terribly.

I'm not sure what made me want to change ... I don't really remember.  I think I might have been having some health issues ... I was afraid of developing diabetes (it runs rampant in my family) or heart disease (another popular issue in my family) ... perhaps that's what actually got my rear in gear.  It took quite a while, but as I started to see changes, started being able to shop in regular stores again, started wearing makeup again and lightening my hair, and as my body got stronger, I was able to wear the fun shoes.  And now the girlie-girl is back.  About 20 years older, but so much better, so much more confident.  Life tends to do that.

And now I feel like I can take on the world!  I just hope that I can inspire those who are struggling.  Just know that you are worth taking care of; you are worth presenting your best self to the world, because as you do so, good things happen. 

So don't ever give up on yourself.  And I won't either. 


  1. This is such a positive, inspirational post, Sandy! I'm so glad that you never gave up on yourself, and that you worked to better your life. I promise to never give up on myself as well!! :)

  2. I love you. :) Another fabulous inspiring amazing kick-ass post, again. As usual!

    I gave you an award on my blog.

    I hope you are having a good week so far!

  3. I love your honesty, Sandy. You speak with the voice of experience and it is very inspiring.

    How often we see ourselves a certain way and limit ourselves accordingly. "Well, that's the way I've always been," we say as if that justifies it.

    But every day that we wake up, we are each in charge of the choices that we make. And we can choose to change what has "always" been. We just have to learn to see ourselves through the eyes of possibility.