Spotlight On Strength and Beauty: A Celebration of Success!

One thing that I love is to watch women discover how strong, beautiful, and amazing they are.

As women, we can be especially ruthless on ourselves.  When we are to see ourselves as beautiful and capable, so much about us changes as well.  SO.. Today We Celebrate That!

We celebrate the hard work and successes that go far beyond any number on the scale or jean size.  Today is all about celebrating the greatness of each and every one of you who has set out on any journey of change, stayed committed, and discovered your own total badassness!

I have highlighted other incredible women’s stories in previous posts.  Shenna has mentioned how it feels to know she is strong.. she conquered her nerves to compete and is proud to be the girl who doesn’t need help carrying the dog food to the car.  We read Amanda’s amazing story in which she confirmed, “The strength from taking control of my health spread over to every area of my life.”

I have the pleasure of getting to know many wonderful woman and I am honored that they share their stories with me.

A quote I love.. “Don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 20”.  Some people are beginning a new lifestyle.. some have been at it for awhile.. wherever we are, each of us are making our way through the chapters.  As we do, I want to share some anonymous success stories…

Strength and Beauty A shares the following reflections.. sitting waiting for my plane I feel like people are less likely to stare while sizing me up thinking, “I hope I’m not stuck with her.”  Since I started traveling via airplane for work I’ve been overly self-conscious and overly accommodating to my oversize figure and unlucky seat partner, on the verge of making myself more uncomfortable to allow some semblance of normalcy for them.  I would board my plane close to first in hopes that asking the flight attendant for a seat belt extender would be a little less embarrassing.  I have conquered a milestone – even though the seat belt is still tight, I no longer need an extender! I wanted to cry the first time I realized it and happily had the chance to give the extender back to the flight attendant!   I also no longer worry about sitting next to someone on the plane and very rarely use my well rehearsed spiel, “Is there anyway that I could sit in a row by myself so I don’t end up crowding anyone?”.. delivering it while motioning to my girth.  This small feat, of traveling for work, has been such an anxiety ridden experience for me because of my sheer size limitations.  Since my weight loss triumphs I have come to travel more relaxed, and it keeps getting better!

I have worried for 6 years now about seeing people I went to school with. The Jennie they knew was 100 pounds lighter and I was afraid that they would see me as a failure as I commonly saw myself in my weight struggles.  It was only recently that I mustered the courage to reach out to a few college friends and meet back up.  What a great experience and such a validation of my self esteem/worth and growth!

Strength and Beauty B has the following insight..Long-term negative thoughts are difficult to overcome and the positive feedback I receive from others is difficult to believe.  I didn’t know how to react without saying something negative about myself so I just started saying “thank you.”  

I’ve gained confidence and I carry myself differently now.  Others react accordingly and I did not expect that.  Something else I did not expect was developing the ability to embrace self-acceptance in each moment.  If I cannot love who I am step by step of my journey, I will not suddenly develop love for myself when my goals are achieved. 

It’s a daily work in progress, like everything else in this life.

Strength and Beauty C has been able to conquer several health issues simply through her lifestyle change and along with that been an inspiration to many others!  I have inspired several people to change their lifestyle, asking me what I’ve done to get in good shape and was it the diet or working out?  Of course, I’ve told them it’s both.. it’s a commitment.. and a mindset.  Most importantly it’s a journey everyday.

The changes I’ve experienced have just taken me to places mentally and physically no one could have convinced me of a year ago..especially for a woman in her early 50’s with health issues! I’m proud of what I have done and there are times I feel like giving up.  Every time that thought comes to mind, there is someone that sends me an email telling me how I’ve been an inspiration to them and that’s when I feel like a “Rocky” moment. 

Do I struggle? Yes!  Everyday is a struggle but I have learned to fight through it!

Strength and Beauty D says..I love my new body; it is in a state of transition.  I have a great figure, broad shoulders, full chest, a shrinking tummy and full hips that sway when I walk.  I no longer waddle.. which might have been all in my head I’m still not sure.  🙂   My thighs have extra skin that kind of hangs off me when I wear a bathing suit.. but that is just proof of my hard work! One thing I’ve noticed was my taste in shirts.. it seems to have changed.  I am not sure if it was social circle or the self-assurance that altered this but I’ve noticed the neck lines got closer to where they needed to be.. around my neck. 🙂 I no longer feel like I need to display my assets to attract attention. Instead I show a video of me pulling a pickup truck with my bare hands or talk about my current max workout!

I have a long way to and every day I have to remind myself that what I put in is what I get out.. if I eat protein, I get muscle.  If I eat cheese crackers, I get a moment of numbness from whatever I am trying to push down, forget, or otherwise avoid. I know most of the right choices I need to make but, like most, would rather have fun then work.  I know if I want to reach my goals, I need to challenge myself daily however!

I rather have a non-scale victory (nvt) then a slice of cheesecake any day!

My current NVT’s:

When I put on the pants I fought with last year, they now touch the floor and the inseam hangs lower.

My shoe size got smaller.

I can reach my back right pocket with my left hand.

I thought for so long that the only part of me worth anything was attached to my sexuality and I was wrong!  (We all make mistakes even if we do not admit them.  :))

Favorite mottos:

 

I get tears in my eyes when I read these stories because I am lucky enough to know these badass ladies!  I literally get to watch them just glow as they discover their strength and beauty!

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