I’m not much of a crier so when I do, you know something has touched me very deeply (or hurt me very badly). Fortunately my latest cry was for the first reason!
As I sat at my kitchen table Wednesday evening reading through the responses to an e-mail I sent out earlier that day, the tears just kept flowing.
A few hours earlier, I had asked the participants in the Spring Style Me Challenge what the challenge has meant to them so far. We’re only a week into it but from their Facebook group posts, I had a feeling I was going to get some incredible stories. It’s been about so much more than a shopping list and some outfits, there’s something really extraordinary going on.
I’d like to share some excerpts with you today.
I am learning so much from this challenge. And most of it isn’t even about outfits. I have 45 pounds to lose to get to a healthy weight, and I have been feeling like I can’t look pretty. The ladies on the Facebook page are so encouraging to each other, and when I look at their photos, I don’t judge them at all. I just see pretty, stylish, and brave people who are putting themselves out there and being who they are with confidence. I am so inspired by this. I haven’t posted a selfie yet, but I am working up my nerve and I will soon. Also, I am learning that being a confident and beautiful women is more about who I am inside and how I think than what outfits I have in my closet. Most of the clothes I am wearing for this challenge are pieces I already owned. This is teaching me that feeling pretty starts on the inside, and it isn’t about having the perfect piece of clothing. It’s more about leaving the house with a pretty attitude. I can’t believe the outfits I have found in my own closet!! Going shopping is fun, and new clothes are awesome, but it’s more than that. I have also learned a lot about the power of words and what kind and encouraging words can do for someone. More than once I have been moved to tears by some of the posts and responses on the Facebook group. What women doesn’t long to hear, “You are lovely, and you matter.” We need to be saying these things to our friends way more often! – Krista
My eyes are tearing up right now. Everyday I go into the FB page to see what everyone has on. To read the awesome words of encouragement by this fabulous group of women. What has this challenge meant to me? So much more than I can put into words. It’s so much bigger than “what am I wearing today”. It has made this insecure mom feel a little more secure. Day by day. It’s brought me “friendships” with women who are so kind and not one judgment will you find. It’s helped me begin to find my lost sense of style. To feel good when I do the dreaded drop off. You know what? I haven’t dreaded it one time this week. Nope, not once! I am so thankful for this Spring Style Challenge. It’s been a daily dose of fun and encouragement! I am truly looking forward to Summer, Fall and Winter Challenges. Thank you Alison for helping this momma get her personal groove back! – Patti
I never expected the community that developed from the Facebook page. It is probably one of the most unique experiences I have had…I love the support that people are giving each other. I love hearing other’s stories-so touching…the struggles with health issues, weight, self esteem. I love that because of this challenge that some are feeling so much better about themselves. I also am loving that I feel like I have a whole new circle of friends. Hope we can keep this group going past the end of the challenge because I truly will miss the words of support, the humor, and, of course, the selfies. 😉 Thanks again Alison. – Mary
I think the true reason I joined the challenge was to connect with some other women out there! I feel like I’ve gotten that, some extra attention from my husband, and a little boost in my self esteem. Everyone needs that once in a while 🙂 – Sarah
When I signed up for the challenge I thought it would be fun. I had no idea what an impact this simple decision to participate would actually have. I have always loved pretty clothes and to dress up, but I have often lacked confidence in my style. When I started the challenge and joined the Facebook group, I became part of an amazing community of women! The ladies are all so supportive of one another and encouragement is the theme of every post. It feels so good to tentatively share a photo and then receive wonderful affirming words. It’s the best! And everyone is stepping out of their comfort zone whether it’s to wear stripes with floral, leopard print shoes, or taking the “awkward selfie”. Beautiful ladies of all ages and from all walks of life have come together to try new ways of dressing. It’s been really fun so far and it’s only been a few days! Thank you Alison for bringing us all together! Someday maybe we will meet face to face, but until then we will all be “getting our pretty on” in our individual towns and communities! – Phyllis
This challenge has been so beneficial for so many reasons. One, I am always “waiting for that perfect size” to shop. That usually leaves me with a few pieces that fit me and a lot of clothes that don’t. I feel like the shopping list has given a wonderful set of mix/match clothing pieces that I am happy to wear. I feel confident in everything and most importantly comfortable! It’s also been such a supportive environment to try new things. I really didn’t think I would post any selfies on the FB page. However, in doing so each day, I am learning so many little lessons that are helping in “putting myself together.” For example, what colors look the best on me, tucking shirts in vs. out, the best length to wear my sweaters, etc. The best part, though, has been realizing how many women want the same thing I do and that we are all our worst critic. Its really been amazing being a part of a group so excited about getting dressed the next day! 🙂 I am using this Style challenge as a way to focus more on me and improve many areas in my life, including diet and exercise. My hope is that with each challenge you do, and I do hope you do one for each season, that I’ll be trading in my new boyfriend and skinny jeans for “smaller” size boyfriend/skinny jeans! And adding, of course, fabulous new shoes and accessories! Thanks Alison! Keeping doing what you do! You do it very well! – Heather
There are many, many more stories like this and I’ll be sharing more in-depth ones from some of our participants over the next few weeks of the challenge. I hope you are all as inspired by these amazing women as I have been. In a world where online communities can sometimes be ugly, this one has been simply phenomenal.
If you’d like to join us for the challenge, it’s not too late. You can still sign up HERE and get your shopping list and outfits immediately. Who knows? You may already have all of the pieces in your closet and a new group of best friends waiting for you to join them. 🙂
Have a blessed Easter! See you back here next week for the Daily Style Diary.
Getting my pretty on today with Fashion Friday.