To The Women Who Call Themselves Ugly

As women, we’re always critiquing and picking apart our body. We constantly bash ourselves about our appearance. It’s easy to convince ourselves that we’re ugly. Here’s The ugly truth, we actually listen.

The other day, I read this status made from someone on my Facebook, “I might be ugly but at least I ain’t stupid cause ugly can be fixed and your stupidity can’t.” And, this absolutely disgusted me. As a woman, why do we need to call ourselves, “ugly?” Why is it necessary to put ourselves down? Everyone is attractive in their own way.

Your personality might be cute as a button and that’s why so many people like you. Or, you may always make a negative into a positive, making you beautiful. We need to stop labeling ourselves as “unworthy” “ugly” or “stupid.”

So what if you don’t wear a size 0 or have a rather large nose, that doesn’t mean you’re unworthy of love. Everyone deserves to be loved and to be happy. We need to start telling each other we’re beautiful. And, we must start believing and having confidence in ourselves.
In the past, only tall and thin-framed girls could be models.

But, now, you see plus size models are just as successful and still beautiful. So, whomever tells you you must be skinny to be attractive should go to hell! Feel comfortable in your own skin and feel proud of who you are.

Therefore, stop telling yourself you’re hideous when you look at yourself in the mirror. Post positive aspects of yourself and post it on your bathroom mirror. Then, after you write at least 5 positive characteristics of yourself, repeat them to yourself every single day. Don’t ever put yourself down. You are your worst enemy and nothing will change if you don’t alter the way you show yourself.

"Fitting Out"

I learned the concept “fitting out” at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Basically, what it means is instead of trying to fit in with the crowd, you should stand out because we’ve taught our brains to be wired unlike the average person. We don’t see the world in the same way the average person sees it.

I’ve witnessed it myself, especially at my last job where the women would emphasize how healthy they were while in reality they were either eating smaller portions or TV dinners they deemed “healthy.” But, it’s not their fault because they were never educated about health + wellness. Not to mention, there’s different theories that emerge all the time in the media, magazines, TV, etc. They definitely do not think the same way I do and that’s okay. But, I guess I’m scared to “fit out” because I want to be accepted. And, the confusion lays in that sometimes I crave attention and other times I just want to bury myself underneath the surface. I guess it all depends on how the day is going.

But, IIN encourages you to be different and proud. They teach this theory because it’s important to embrace who you are instead of being someone you’re not. And, the average person does not spend 3-4 hours at a grocery store looking at the ingredients or looking up recipes for their upcoming grocery list or plan out in their head what their breakfast, lunch and dinner looks like like I do.

“Fitting out” is about saying NO when you’re offered food you don’t normally eat just so you don’t look weird. Yup, that’s me though. Today I ate a slice of dominos pizza despite the fact that I would never be caught dead eating that because it’s so unhealthy. But, no one gets it and I should have spoken up and said politely, “no, thank you,” but I just wanted to fit in with everyone else despite the fact that I knew how unhealthy and bad that piece of pizza was for me, but I kept on eating it.

It’s hard. But, you know what, this concept is about celebrating the fact that I’m different than most people. People may label me as “picky,” but it’s really the fact that I care about what I put in my body. I’m sorry that you don’t care what foods you eat on a daily basis, but I do and I need to respect myself enough to say NO. I need to accept myself as I am. I’m proud of who I am and where I’ve come from and at the end of the day, that should be all that matters. I need to stop hiding who I am and just be ME. And, today I want YOU to be yourself.

Um, I'm 29?

29 Years old.

30 next year?! That's all I can think about. In one year, I'll be 30.

What have I accomplished?

Should I be proud of myself in terms of what I've done thus far in my life? 

Let's recap my 20's. 

In 2010, I graduated with an AD in Journalism then moved onto obtain my Bachelors in English. From there, I interned for a Good Housekeeping Magazine in New York City traveling 3 days a week for a mere $7.50. I struggled to find myself.

At the time, I wanted to be a magazine writer, until I figured out how cut-throat the industry turned was. Around that time, I met Brett.

I knew this guy was special from the start and so, we were inseparable. 

After the internship, I found a content writing job that earned me jack-s*** then moved on to social media job, which paid me a bit more. We then moved to Tennessee where I found a Community Manager position. This was a job I saw myself working at for a few years. That was until my now-husband lost his job and we had to move back home to PA. While in Tennessee, we adopted a dog, got engaged and really feel like we got to know each other.

When we moved back, I was devastated, but I got through it.  I survived. Did I crumble? Yes. Did I fall? Yes, but my husband was there to pick me up. After we tied the knot, we had to figure out our next step, which ended up being Greenville, SC where we took a serious risk because neither one of us had a concrete job. We were hoping things would finally pan out in our favor and we were right! 

He started his own business and I began working in Public Relations. 

We then adopted a second dog, moved from one apartment to another, and now, I'm pursuing a certificate as a Holistic Health Coach. Am I scared? Yes, but I want it. I've always been interested in nutrition and looked into this exact nutrition school a few years ago. I had just graduated from college though and knew I could not financially pursue that career, so I let it go.

That was until I met a girl in the area who went to the same school and earned a certificate in the program I looked into a few years back.

Maybe the signs were always there, but I just wasn't paying attention.

And, now, on the day of my 29th birthday, I'm here to offer some advice:

1) Take risks.
2) Stop being afraid.
3) Look for the signs.
4) If you're unhappy with your career, find something else!
5) Be happy. 

So, do I feel like I've accomplished everything I wanted to? Not yet, but I know I will by 30. 

What Happened When I FINALLY, Begrudgingly Embraced My "Pudge"

When it comes to my body and appearance, I've always had issues.

From an early age, I was always picking on myself. As a kid, I was too skinny and my mother tried to plump me up by giving me Carnation Instant Breakfast. I gained some weight and in my middle school days, I began to develop acne. So not only was I now concerned about how I looked and my body appearance, I also had big red dots along my skin to worry about.

I was disgusted whenever I looked in the mirror. I tried to make myself feel better by dressing in clothes that made me feel pretty, wearing makeup and hanging out with girls that boosted my confidence, but nothing worked.

In high school, I joined Colorguard — a club that makes marching band more interesting by dancing and twirling flags, sabres, rifles and batons — and was excited to be part of a club that I figured (hoped) wouldn't judge me.

At the time, I wasn't a fan of wearing bras because I didn't like my boobs. They were so big and the bras I wore didn't support my breasts like they should've and often made them sag. One day in band camp — yes, I actually went to band camp — someone teased me about my "hanging boobs" and again, I felt my confidence instantly diminish.

After that, I began wearing a more supportive bra and even lost a decent amount of weight.

When I came home that summer, my mother told me I looked too thin and wanted me to gain some weight back. But I balked: I was happy with my weight loss. I felt more confident and my pimples weren't as red so I looked prettier. I began working out and wearing clothes that actually fit me properly.

My mother has always been my biggest cheerleader and gave my brothers and I the best life possible. But even still, I was never happy with who I was. In addition to all my other insecurities, I hated my big nose. People often told me I was ugly because I had such a big honker. And the grossest thing was: I listened to them.

Instead of blocking out all the negative comments from others around me, I digested and began to believe them. I thought: Maybe I am ugly. Maybe I won't ever find a man who loves me. (Trust me, I realize the worst part about me is how easily I can be influenced and look! There I go criticizing myself again.)

I knew that I had to make major alterations to my life or live miserably. I sat in my room contemplating what I could do to change my attitude for the better. I was so negative about my appearance and it was affecting my entire life. Would I continue to bash myself or would I finally accept that I was trying my hardest to look and feel better?

I vamped up my workouts and began getting rid of the extra skin around my belly.

But my God, do you know how difficult it is to work on your lower abdomen? It was a total nightmare, but I was happy to see my rolls eventually disappear. Then, I improved my eating habits and stopped consuming so many snacks and processed foods.

After I began to see results, I still wasn't happy with myself. Sure, some days I feel confident but others I just feel blah.

And, what I've learned from all of this is: My body will never be perfect.

Also, the way I look will never change unless I get surgery, which I refuse to do, so why not embrace what my momma gave me?

When I think about it, I have a wonderful figure with a dab of flab around my tummy.

Society teaches us that we must be a size 2 in order to be beautiful, but what about the plus-size women who are gorgeous? Why must you be "thin" to fit in? We shouldn't be judged on the size of our jeans; we should be judged by our character.

So let's stop hating on each other and begin using positive reinforcement because our world would be so much better.

Via YourTango

This Is How I Started Building Confidence

Have you always been self-conscious? Have you been looking for ways to build your confidence?  Contact a local photographer and book a photoshoot. I'm telling you, it makes you feel beautiful, important and most of all CONFIDENT!

At first, I was a bit nervous, but the more pictures he took, the more confident I began to feel. It's time for YOU to feel the same.

It's time for you to accept your flaws, body and own who you are!

We only get one life, so STOP comparing yourself to people around you and display confidence in your abilities, appearance and be YOU.

Stop caring what everyone else thinks and go after what YOU want.

Stop listening to everyone. You are the only person who can make your own decisions! 

Now, without further ado, please view a few of my favorites from my photoshoot.