This is the final chapter in my Feel Good Friday series. If you missed the past two weeks, they are definitely worth checking out here and here. The Spring Style Challenge ends on Sunday. It’s hard to adequately describe these past three weeks, especially for someone like me who’s not that good with words. The friendships forged, the comfort zones busted (we wore white on white!), the soaring confidence, the encouragement, the utter delight of a group of women lifting each other up – everything about it has been such a unique and positive experience. I feel like I’ve been given an extraordinary gift and I’m so grateful to each and every one of these women for giving it to me.
I have a few more stories to share with you today from some really special ladies. These are the ones from the challenge that stood out to me most.
As a mid-forties woman constantly struggling with weight loss, I DON’T take selfies, I don’t buy the latest trends in fashion, and I don’t let myself feel pretty. Not NOW. Maybe in 20 more pounds. Don’t buy those cute boyfriend jeans that are on sale for $19 at Gap Outlet, look great and more importantly make you FEEL great NOW – wait ‘til you can buy the next size DOWN. Don’t spend money on yourself NOW. That’s like – what’s that horrible phrase? That’s like putting lipstick on a pig?
I’ve allowed myself to feel pretty NOW. Not in 20 lbs. TODAY. And I’ve gotten an INVALUABLE amount of positive affirmation and support from the GYPO community of women. I’ve posted selfies almost every day, and I’ve never received ONE tidbit of criticism! All 210lbs of me! And these outfits WORK! Even on someone my size – I feel pretty every day. Put together. More professional. I had an overweight coworker once who would complain ALL DAY LONG about her weight. But after work, would she go to the gym? Nope – she’d get her nails done. And I get it – it was a tiny thing she could do to feel good NOW. But I remember watching her, and thinking, if she spent the same time and money at the gym, she’d feel better in the LONG run. But weight loss doesn’t always work that way. It SHOULD. Our brains know that it SHOULD. That logically, nothing DOES taste as good as skinny feels. That the pain of being fat SHOULD outweigh the TINY and FLEETING joy the cheeseburger brings. But it doesn’t. When faced with a run or a cheeseburger, we know what will make us feel better FASTEST, even if it’s an illusion.
OMG, Alison – do you realize what you’ve done? By dressing-up, I GET my “cheeseburger” now, so to speak! But with ZERO calories! And as you know, with all things, it’s a cycle. With weight-gain, it’s a vicious cycle: gain a pound, feel bad about yourself, throw on yoga pants, buy a pint of ice cream, gain another pound, so on and so on. But this Spring Challenge has set me up for what is already a TEN day POSITIVE CYCLE! Set my outfit out, put it on, feel better about myself, make better eating choices ALL DAY LONG, head to the mall after work to scout for leopard print flats, hit my FitBit step goal, wake-up and continue. It’s BETTER. Have I started training for a marathon? NOPE. But it’s a start. And it’s all a result of taking care of me. My former coworker wasn’t completely wrong – the chubby girl deserves a nice manicure, TOO! Perhaps not in the PLACE of a Zumba class, but it’s definitely allowed. And it perhaps should be ENCOURAGED. Because she needs to find a way to feel good about herself. And pretty things work – they just do. – Kathy
We’re only on day three, and already this challenge is life-changing! And it started before day one…We came here as strangers and quickly became friends. We’ve laughed, shared our frustrations, our successes, and helped each other SO much! Whether it’s answering a question, giving a tip, asking for brutally honest opinions…we’ve done it. We’ve supported each other, cheered each other on and given encouragement when it’s needed. We’re a team. As someone said…it’s been like a slumber party with your best friends!
I’ve followed your blog for a while now, and gotten so many good ideas! When you posted about this challenge, I knew it was just what I needed. I’ve read many articles about “500 looks with just 10 pieces” and I can shop with the best of ‘em–but no one taught me WHY they picked each piece and HOW they work together…until now! NOW I get it! I find myself shopping smarter and better; I’m much more selective than I was before. And I shop with a list and pictures—I know what I’m looking for; and what I’m not.
It’s called a “challenge” for a good reason! Not because it’s hard to do, but because it will challenge you to step outside your comfort zone. Heck, who am I kidding…I’ve made LEAPS outside of mine. I’ve gone so far out of it that I’m not sure where it is. And I couldn’t be more excited!!! Not only have I tried and worn items that I never thought I would, I LOVE them! I have a core mix of items that ALL work together. And they work with so much else already in my closet. I’m looking at things that have been hanging in there in a whole new way—I’m even wearing things that are a couple years old, still with tags, that have gone unworn because I never knew how to wear them. I had some great pieces that I bought thinking they’d make a good outfit, but now I see them as great items that will work with practically everything I own. It’s like Christmas morning!
The mix choices/examples are available to practically everyone; we are women from all walks of life, all shapes and sizes, all ages, from all over the map and I’m sure from different financial statuses. But you know what, it doesn’t matter. Any of the items can be found at Walmart, Target, Old Navy, Gap or—if you prefer, high-end stores and boutiques. They can be found in any price range and you can shop at our own favorite stores.
And the very best part? We’re looking and feeling good! About our outfits AND about ourselves!
I’ll be 59 next month. I’ve been out-of-shape for years and haven’t always felt good about how I’ve looked or cared about what I wore. But that’s all changed. In October, I set a goal for myself—“60 by 60”. I wanted to lose 60 pounds by my 60th birthday in May, 2015. I started walking and started to see the results. I was losing pounds and inches and my clothes were literally falling off of me. I needed not just new clothes, but a new wardrobe. When this challenge came along, I knew it was for me. I could build my new wardrobe with a great core mix—and at affordable prices; I can make additions and deletions as I continue to lose weight and not break the bank. These are skills that I will have for the rest of my life!
Now I’m wearing brighter colors, clothes that fit me, and that make me feel GOOD! “Get a good core wardrobe” has been on my bucket list for many years; last week, I was finally able to cross it off my list! I feel more confident, more at home in my own skin, and SO good about myself. And I haven’t put on an outfit yet that hasn’t made me think “I can’t wait to get out of this!”
I look at this challenge as an investment—in me! And who knew it would have such HUGE returns?!? I’m telling you, LIFE CHANGING!!!
Use my name, heck—use my photos, too! I’m so thankful for this that I’d love to share! Gratefully, Denise
Alison – I am so thankful for this challenge and group. It’s been such a positive experience for me. I am a mom of three, and our oldest, a 6-year old boy has severe epilepsy. He keeps us very busy watching him closely and taking care of all his medical needs. We also have a 4-year old girl and a 10-month old girl. Two years ago before we got pregnant with our third, I was diagnosed with a rare abdominal cancer. I had two surgeries that summer and then was told we could “try” for a third baby. We were very LUCKY and got pregnant and had her a month early, then found out my cancer was back. I had a pretty big surgery when she was just three months old (no chemo needed as of yet). That’s when my wardrobe and self-care took a nosedive. I just started wearing sweats and yoga pants because I couldn’t wear anything over my incision as it healed. So needless to say my life recently has not been about fashion, but lately I’ve realized how much i needed a boost of confidence. This challenge has done just that. I feel so much more confident walking around feeling somewhat put-together (even if it’s in my own house). I did the challenge for me, not to be showy to others, but to feel good about my body and be proud of all I’ve been through these past two years. I cannot tell you how nice it is to have another mom compliment me on how I look too, even if I’m feeling exhausted. That never hurts!! I look at my wardrobe in a whole new light and find joy in putting on a cute outfit and feeling put together and feeling safe to let my mess-of-a-life show. I’m a REAL girl, and I want my friends and kids to know that I don’t have it all together and life is messy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t feel good about yourself and be confident in your messy life. Life is messy but I don’t have to dress messy:) Thanks for letting me share, have a great, fashionable day:) – Katie
Enjoy this last set of photos of the confident, smiling faces of some of the other beautiful women from this last week of the challenge. They are all officially Selfie Super Stars!
Are you ready to change your life, one outfit at a time? Then join us for the Summer Style Me Pretty Challenge! Details will be announced in a few short weeks. Get on the list HERE to be the first to know when registration opens!
Tonight I’m getting together with some of the Dallas area Spring Style Challengers for a GYPO Girls’ Night Out! I’ll be sharing pictures from it next week. Have a pretty weekend!