How to Look Beautiful Even if You Feel Fat
My Personal Struggle With Weight
Most of my adult life, I've struggled with being a plus sized woman and one thing that I found out was that wearing black did not make me look slimmer. Neither did baggy, oversized clothes. The only thing that I felt wearing big sweatshirts was frumpy and old, which is pretty tough to deal with when you're 20 years old. And, even as the weight came off, I didn't like the way I looked because I was dressing wrong for my body type and personality.
My struggle with weight loss started when I was 13 and standing in front of the mirror. It was a Sunday morning and I'd put on a really cute (but skinny) long dress. I was admiring how good it looked on me (and having a rare moment of pride) and very proud that it fit when my mother came up behind me and pointed out my 'little pot belly'. It was kind of funny and sad at the same time as I'd never noticed that I had a little belly. Being a child, it's probably a normal thing but in that moment I felt crushed. In my mind, I'd gone from being a cute little girl on her way to church to being a monstrously obese blob. And, keep in mind, this feeling was all in my head and based on the point of view of one (admittedly the most important) person in my life.
From that time until my twenties, I could not find peace with my body. I was constantly on diets, yo-yoing up and down in sizes. I had a bad relationship with food that continues even until now.
To be fair, I read everything I could about eating healthy and got into exercise which turned out to be the best thing for me.
But even when I lost weight and was really skinny, I saw myself as a fat little girl being ridiculed by mom in front of the mirror.
I was still responding to these 'fat cues' from others. I could not see myself for the woman I had become.
Ironically, I came to peace with my body with pregnancy where I was forced to focus on someone else (my baby), rather than my own body. As everything that I put into my body went into her.
And, I say ironically as that's a time in a woman's life when she likely weighs the most (and for good reason). If anything, the illness that plagued my mind constantly making me think that I was fat should have been worse then.
I'm not saying that being pregnant is the answer to looking skinny. After all, if you're 100 pounds overweight, you won't look skinny no matter what you're wearing. But you can love your look and feel good in your own skin without shame. And, that's what pregnancy did for me.
My self destructive habits of fasting all day and avoiding food had to go. If I fasted, so did my baby. And, that hurt both of us. And, so I changed. Not my weight but my mind. I accepted myself, fat body and all. I stopped judging myself. I stopped hating myself (after all, hating one's own body is not about hating the fat but hating the person). And, with that love came healthy new habits, like eating balanced meals and moving around more (not just vegetating).
The more I nourished my body, the more she grew. I felt this amazing intense love radiating from inside my body from my child. For the first time in my life, I was at peace.
Being pregnant, made me accept being fat (after all it's part of the pregnancy package). And, so I gave up so many preconceived notions about what my body was supposed to look like.
In late pregnancy, I had this really funny experience of going into a thrift shop and being glared at by an elderly lady. She almost broke her neck craning it around to see my big belly. I just laughed and walked back to the baby section and picked out a little item for my (soon-to-be) baby. After all, her thoughts about me were her problem not mine.
It's been over a decade since that time. And, my weight comes and goes, as I slip in and out of bad eating habits. For me, staying positive and stress free (and active) has done more to help with the weight issue. Feeling bad about being fat just causes me to eat more and the more I eat, the more I weigh. So keeping a positive outlook about the body is first and foremost in my mind at all times. Will this food nourish my body? Rather than, will this make me fat?
Feeling Beautiful, Looking Beautiful. What Works and What Doesn't
Loving your body begins with loving yourself. If you worry about looking into the mirror for whatever new fold of flab you'll see, you're shutting part of yourself away. And, your brain picks up those signals and responds.
Clothes don't make a woman look thin, weight loss does and that takes time. Before then, you need to nurture your confidence by wearing bright happy colors that make you feel bold and beautiful, not clothes that fool the eye.
Hiding your body away in folds of extra fabric doesn't work either. You're just confirming that extra fat is bad and somehow you should feel ashamed.
Being fat is not the same as feeling fat. When you're overweight, there are many options for dropping that weight including better nutrition and daily exercise. Focusing on the weight rather than yourself is just self defeating.
What I found was that wearing bright colors, even bold reds and lighter pastels such as pinks was just right for making me feel good about my body's ever changing shape.
And, though the color did not cover up my weight issues, it helped me have confidence to get out in public without shame or fear. Being bold and beautiful in bright clothes made me feel like myself again, so I didn't feel like a recluse. The bright colors helped me shine and radiate confidence. And, the more I liked how I looked, the more I was able to do both in public and in my family life.
Looking and feeling beautiful whatever your size
When your body is in transition (such as on a diet), you may be tempted to postpone the big life events, such as getting married; having a baby or attending public events. But postponing these events is just playing into the 'fat mentality'. See yourself for a beautiful and lovable person that people want to meet. Attraction is not about weight but chemistry. Being fat and feeling fat are two different things. It's all in the mind.
Be happy with your current weight and look, even as you are living a healthy lifestyle and trying to lose weight.
That way you will feel just as beautiful when you reach your goal as you did when you started it.
Just think about the things that make you beautiful. Your eyes! Your smile? Voluptuous figure? That amazing laugh! Focus on the sparkly parts of your personality and the things you like most about your body and accentuate those with fashion, makeup and accessories and you will radiate beauty, whatever your size.
More figure flattering tips to help you look slim
Don't forget to express your own personality in your clothing. Size or weight should not limit your fashion options. Go with the colors and styles of clothing that make you happy. So long as the clothing is a proper fit, you should feel encouraged to wear it.
A few more tips to help you look great whatever your weight:
- Slim fitting easy care slinky knits will make it easy to get dressed.
- Stretchy waist bands will keep you comfortable.
- If you are short waisted, avoid clothes that make you look like a box.
- Try on a knit shirt that clings to your figure, without bunching around your mid section.
- Wear slimming pants in easy care knits.
- Don't be afraid to wear florals or prints if that makes you happiest.
- Wear form fitting clothes that follow the curves of the body
- Avoid big trapeze like dresses and blouses that look more like a sack
- Invest into a proper fitting that lifts the bust and creates the hour glass figure
- Wear tummy toning hose for light body sculpting under clothes.
- Don't shy away from trendy clothes
- Wear the right size as clothes that are two sizes too small make you look two sizes bigger.