Tag Archives: fashion

friday favorite: outfit.

You know, I don’t have a lot of fashion sense. I typically recycle the same five tee-shirt-jeans-flip-flops-or-holey-sneakers outfits each week. But today, I feel like I kind of pulled something together. Something that’s actually kind of, like, feminine.

 

Blue cami, brown cardigan, dark skinny jeans, brown Sperry’s. It’s not frequent, but every once in a while, I nail it.

Tune in tomorrow for your regularly scheduled fashion disaster.

3 Comments

Filed under friday favorites, gushes, life, psychology

mirror, mirror…

I’ve always been obsessed with my reflection, in both good and bad ways. When I was a kid, my mom caught me smiling at my reflection in the mirror once, and I was so embarrassed. (Nowadays if I were to see a small girl do that I’d love it. I was mortified, though.) And now, if I so much as walk past a glass-covered building, my eyes automatically attach themselves to my reflection, usually for several seconds, just to make sure I still look presentable and am not walking funny or anything. I’ve even found myself having a conversation with someone while walking past my reflection and completely tuning them out while I ogle myself. Bleh.

This week, two of my friends sent me a link to the same story — the story of Kjerstin Gruys, a woman who avoided looking at herself in the mirror for an entire year.

You can read the story here but, in a nutshell, Kjerstin spent the better part of her life fighting an eating disorder. After years of therapy, she finally beat her ED. Later, she got engaged and began planning her wedding. While dress shopping, she found herself thinking the damaging thoughts associated with disordered eating and, rather than subjecting herself to the temptation to fall into old habits, she decided to avoid mirrors altogether.

Yes, even on her wedding day.

When I first read this story, I had conflicting feelings: first, I felt ecstatic for her. What an amazing, liberating thing. But then, I felt convicted. Ashamed of myself and my own addiction to my reflection and the fact that I didn’t think to do it first.

And I thought not straightening my hair for 40 days was a big deal!

When I got married, I got ready in a room with no mirrors (the church nursery). I distinctly remember feeling a sense of anxiety about not being able to give myself the once over before walking down the aisle. How silly — the happiest day of my life spent worrying about whether or not I look okay? (And, as if my Christian, children’s pastor of a husband even gave a crap? Let’s be real, y’all; I could have walked down the aisle in a paper bag and he would have said, “I do” anyway, so long as I took the paper bag off later. Blatant inferences intended.)

As a brand new mom, I haven’t had much time to look in a mirror, let alone analyze my appearance in one. Through this process, I’ve come to realize how truly fleeting and insignificant my looks are. This point was proven when just a week after delivering, one of my TV reporter friends (I used to work in TV news, by the way) was doing a story on breastfeeding and texted me to ask if she could come over to interview me. Without thinking, I agreed, and she told me she’d be over in 15 minutes. Then it hit me — I couldn’t remember the last time I’d brushed my teeth, showered, or changed clothes. And here I was, about to be filmed for television.

My apathy was amazing. You should have seen it. I only changed clothes and brushed my hair because I thought I was doing those in our viewing area a favor. I couldn’t have cared any less about my appearance because my new baby was happy, healthy, and fed. Oh, and I’d gotten to nap that day, too. (Priorities, people. Motherhood changes them.) My baby boy had become my mirror; the way he thinks of me — with blind love and dependence — is the way I’m learning to look at myself.

Instead of a new baby, Kjerstin focused on her new husband as her mirror. His thoughts about her were all she needed to engage with. In an interview, she said that, when he looked at her, he saw all the things he loved, not the things he wanted to change. And she wanted to look at herself that way, too. By removing mirrors from her life, she was able to look inside herself and see everything she has going for her. (Appropriately enough, her first dance with her husband was to the song, “I’ll Be Your Mirror”. How perfect, right?)

I’ve actually considered giving up looking in the mirror for Lent before. But I’ve never done it. Just like giving up social media, I’ve always assumed that avoiding mirrors would be “virtually impossible” so there’s no use in trying.

Psh. If one girl can do it for a year — the year in which she gets married — I can do it for 40 days. Maybe I will…

Thanks for your inspiration, Kjerstin! You truly are beautiful, inside and out.

Leave a comment

Filed under commentaries, Photoshop, psychology, the media, transformation

beauty and torture.

The other day I was putting on make up in front of my husband. Usually I don’t do that because Dan hates when I wear makeup, so I like to keep up the guise that I don’t actually wear it by waiting until I’m alone to put on just a tad of concealer to cover my blemishes. But this time, we were both getting ready for an event we were going to together, so I had to lift the veil.

As I was taking the eyelash curler to my lids, I had some interesting thoughts to myself:

This kind of looks like a torture device. I wonder if Dan, or any other male who is unfamiliar with such an apparatus, thinks I’m torturing myself? 

Wait. As a matter of fact, curling my eyelashes IS pretty bizarre, whether it looks so or not. These little hairs aren’t even an inch long. Does anyone notice whether I use the curler or not? Come to think of it, if I catch my eyelid at just the WRONG angle, it absolutely IS torture! I’m torturing myself! Ah!

Why do we do such strange things to ourselves in the name of beauty?

Today I stumbled across something on the Internet that takes the torture-for-beauty cake (and doesn’t eat it, apparently):

Image via The Daily What

(From TDW) Disturbing Trend of the Day: In a last-gasp attempt to fit into the THE DRESS, desperate brides-to-be in the U.S. (like Jessica Schnaider, pictured) can now have a feeding tube inserted into their nose that provides a drip of liquid protein and fat (with no carbohydrates) through the esophagus into the stomach. The $1,500, 10-day treatment is effective: The tube delivers just 800 calories a day, and generally results in the loss of at least 10 percent of body weight — and perfect wedding pictures. But… ew?

This makes me so sad. And hurt. And angry. Mostly, though, it makes me want to put my two weeks’ notice in on life on this earth.

I think about all my close friends whom have gotten married recently. I think about my close friends who are talking about getting married soon. I think about my wedding almost three years ago. And my heart breaks into a thousand pieces just imagining any of them literally torturing themselves like this before the happiest day of their lives.

I never watch the show Mike & Molly, but last night it was on while Dan and I were doing chores. The subject matter of last night’s episode was Molly being on an unhealthy juice fast in order to drop several pounds in three weeks to fit into her wedding dress. Sigh. Granted, the moral of the episode was that what Molly was doing was turning her into a crazy person, not at all the person that Mike wanted to marry, but still — the mere fact that this was portrayed on television at all puts the idea into girls’ heads that you can’t possibly wear a wedding dress without obsessing over your weight first. And oh, ha ha ha, it’s a comedy, so let’s all laugh at how silly it is instead of talking about how serious and disturbing it is. Oh ha ha ha, CBS, you’re hilarious.

So how did we get here? How did we get from ha ha ha, silly sit coms about overweight people, to bloody feeding tubes?! Are you kidding me? When will the insanity stop?

Why, oh why, are we perpetuating this? Why are we continually sending out messages that this type of behavior is acceptable and normal? WAKE UP, WORLD. THIS ISN’T OKAY.

I have no more words to offer. Instead, here’s Internet phenom Jenna Marbles on diets, F words and all. Enjoy.

2 Comments

Filed under commentaries, eating disorders, food bytes, life, lindsay vs. food, psychology, rants

tuesday tip — less is more: on lent.

A few weeks ago, after coming to terms with the overwhelming reality that is the amount of space we lack in our tiny home and the fact that we’ll somehow have to accommodate another person come July, I went through my closet and dresser and collected three bags full of clothes (mostly t-shirts, naturally) and shoes I didn’t wear anymore to donate to Goodwill. I was prepared for the lump of old t-shirts I’d give away, but I couldn’t believe I was holding on to so many other obscure items that I  knew I’d never wear again. (Plaid booty shorts? Really? A WHITE DENIM MINI SKIRT? Seriously, who am I even kidding anymore? However, those items do pair nicely with a good t-shirt.)

Last night, I did the same thing with my makeup. I took all four (yes,  four) of my makeup bags and dumped them out on the floor. I pulled apart the items I desperately “need” (if one can “need” makeup, that is) to get by, and tossed the rest. Here’s what I have left after the great makeup purge of 2012:

A concealer stick, a powder compact, a near-empty tube of mascara, and one lip gloss. That’s. It. One item for every bag I had yesterday.

Is a part of me panicking? Not so much about the clothes (thanks, Nathan!) but as far as the makeup goes, yes. Absolutely. I have no doubt in my mind that I’ll purchase more (I mean, seriously, how will I survive without MAC’s seafoam green glitter eye shadow? That was a tough one to toss.) I don’t even have blush. I know that Becky, one of my best friends, is probably rolling her eyes at me right now because, I can hear her in my head, “You can’t just NOT wear blush, Lindsay Shaw!” 

I know, I know. But for the time being, I’m going to not wear blush. And it’s going to be okay.

TODAY’S SELF-LOVE TIP: LESS IS MORE.

The season of Lent is upon us (as in, starts TOMORROW, holy cow) and, for those of you not familiar with it, that means we’re entering a season of self-denial to gain some iota of an idea of the suffering Christ experienced for us, allowing us to grow closer to Him and celebrate His resurrection on Easter more earnestly. I suppose I’m a bit of a procrastinator (let’s just chalk that one up to pregnancy brain) but I’m still praying over what to “give up” this year. As many of you know, Lent always ends up changing my life: in 2010, a trip to the emergency room led me to swear off caffeine forever and last year, I learned to love the curly hair God gave me. Both of those were huge leaps in my journey toward self-love and holistic health, so I never take Lent lightly.

The fact that I haven’t chosen one “thing” to fast yet this year doesn’t mean that Lent is on the back burner for me. If anything, I’m more aware of the sacrifice of Lent since I’ve been sacrificing a whole heck of a lot (food, drink, sleep, money, moments of hormonal normalcy) ever since becoming pregnant. But, here’s the sitch: without getting too preachy, Lent is the perfect time of the year where we can look at the closets of our lives and pick out the white denim skirts and seafoam green eye shadows that are merely taking up valuable space where something greater — Someone greater — could live and enrich us.

Are you giving up anything for Lent?

5 Comments

Filed under commentaries, faith, God, life, psychology, transformation

a shirt a day keeps the drama away.

When I got married, I felt pressured to turn into the perfect wife — one who cooks gourmet meals, keeps a spotless home, and looks damn good 100% of the time, both in body and fashion — even though that’s not at ALL the person my sweet husband married. My new-found Pinterest addiction and my perusal of countless new and trendy fashion/homemakey blogs have done nothing but worsen that pressure. Have you seen this? There are about a hundred thousand fashion/homemakey blogs out there touting the idea that You, too, can be a fashionista! And a stay at home mom! And a Crafty McCraftsALot! And be perfect at all of those things! Just look how easily I do it with my $3,000 SLR camera! 

I think I’m starting to break under this pressure. I’ve regressed. You’ll notice that I’ve stopped trying to blog about my home or food preparations or fashion choices. I’ve retreated into a dark cave of blog-solitude where I merely write about things that piss me off about society versus the things I’d love to work on concerning myself.  By doing that, I’ve created an environment where it’s completely safe for me to fail at all of these things without each and every one of you reading about it. But yep, I’m failing. Here’s how:

  • Dan does all the cooking and most of the cleaning. Happily, I might add.
  • My workout routine has all but vanished since tearing my ACL and becoming pregnant (but hey, the occasional dance class and the weird prenatal yoga DVD I have are at least giving me some peace of mind for the moment. That, and the fact that at 17 weeks I’ve only gained 7 pounds.)
  • And my fashion sense? My “style,” if you will? Ha. Well. I wish I could say I have one. But I really don’t. At the moment, for example, I’m wearing brown sandals with a black striped cardigan. Yep. I know this is wrong. But I’m doing it anyway because I just don’t care.

It wasn’t until I began drowning myself in all these trendy blogs and the black hole that is Pinterest that I really became concerned with this. Here’s what’s been going on in my brain:

Crap. I don’t know anything about fashion. I’m not a real girl. I’m not a good wife. And now I’m pregnant! I’m going to be that embarrassing mom! The one who dresses frumpy all the time! My kid is already hating me for this! But why doesn’t it come easily to me? Why don’t I look at things on hangers in stores and put outfits together? Why can’t I do it? Am I deficient? Did I miss out on some lady fashion gene?

It’s sad that I panic about these things while there are children in Rwanda who die before they’re three. But alas, I do. I panic about my appearance so much so that on more than one occasion, I’ve walked into my closet and thumbed through all 100 of my t-shirts and my eyes have welled up with hot tears.

I must look so stupid!

Well. Maybe I do. You know what, though? Maybe it doesn’t matter.

My friend Nathan (who also happens to be a middle-namer like me, shout out!) did an experiment where he wore the same shirt for 365 days. Granted, Nathan isn’t a girl awash in a sea of trendy wife/mom blogs, but he is a person who recognizes the importance society puts on outward appearances. So, without telling many people, he conducted a little social experiment. (You can read about Nathan’s experiment here.)

Spoiler alter: he lived.

Okay. So maybe I’m overreacting a little bit. Maybe the world will continue spinning if I wear t-shirts and jeans. Maybe it’s not the apocalypse of I don’t have the time to curl my hair in the morning or coordinate patterns (is that what you do with patterns? Coordinate them? I don’t even know.) Maybe life will go on, even if I choose to wear the same shirt for 365 days.

Maybe.

12 Comments

Filed under commentaries, life, lindsay vs. food, psychology, rants, reasons my husband rocks, transformation

my new life as a “plus-sized” woman.

It’s taken me several years to get to this place, but I’m pretty comfortable as a size 10.

I’ve been this size since the beginning of college and I know that it’s not the skinniest  size by any means, but it’s average-ish. It’s not model skinny or plus-sized. It’s right in the middle, I think, and I am happy there. A 10 is perfect for my body build. I feel comfortable. I feel healthy. I feel good.

But as my luck would have it, my days as a non-plus-sized woman are now over. And no, it’s not because I’m pregnant; at 14 weeks, I’m still rocking these snug 10s. It’s because that, according to the fashion industry, anything size 6 and up is now considered plus-sized.

What?

I’ve been buying size 10 clothes for the past eight years and never once have my clothes been labeled as a “plus size.” I’ve also never known any of my size 6 friends to experience this, either. Nor my size 12 friends, for that matter.

Do you know the last time I wore a size 6? You probably don’t because, well, you probably haven’t known me to EVER wear a size 6.

The last time I wore a size 6 was in the SEVENTH GRADE.

What would you do if your 13-year-old daughter stumbled upon the misinformation that her size 6 jeans meant that, despite the obvious fact that she wasn’t done growing or maturing or developing yet, she was already considered “plus-sized?” What is this nonsense?

Here’s a video of some CrossFit athletes (many of them a size 6 and above) giving their reactions to this ridiculous claim.

I don’t care if a size 10 is somehow now considered a plus size. That doesn’t matter to me. What matters is how healthy I am and how good and beautiful I feel. No arbitrary number conjured up by a twisted industry can steal that away from me.

5 Comments

Filed under commentaries, life, psychology, rants, the media

tuesday tip — own it.

A week and some change ago, I got a sweet new necessary accessory. Or, as my husband so cleverly coined, a “necessory.” As a result of my ACL reconstruction surgery, for the next five weeks, I’ll be sporting an oh-so-sexy black hinged leg brace. I know I know I know. I’m so trendy. Black leg braces are the new nude legs, y’all. I’m telling you. This time next year, everyone will be doing it.

Okay. Maybe not. But for right now, this is what I’ve got.

Last week, fresh out of the hospital, I took up a  permanent residence on my sofa so I didn’t do much “dressing to impress,” if you will. (Unless, of course, you count sports bras, holey wifebeaters, and plaid boxer shorts the next big thing in fashion.) But at 7AM yesterday, my alarm went off signaling the time had officially come for me to actually get out of bed, get ready, and go out into civilization. Staring at my sad-looking brace-laden leg, I couldn’t help but feel sad. Weak, helpless, and (as screwed up as it is) unattractive and, therefore, a bit depressed.

I really don’t understand how people who live alone survive after knee surgery. There is a special kind of helplessness and humility associated with this kind of recovery. You don’t realize how precious and necessary your knees are until one of them doesn’t work. My husband has to help me do everything. I try to be as independent as I can, but the truth is, I can’t shower without his help. I can’t get dressed without his help. Oh, and my house is in complete disarray. A laundry bomb has exploded. The sink is full of dishes. The carpet is choking on cat hair and desperately crying out to be vacuumed. And there is just stuff everywhere. At this point, everything in my life seems to be out of control and (as I’m sure you can imagine) for someone recovering from an ED, all of this is very frustrating. Being out of control makes me want to do very insane things in order to regain control. (Breathe in, breathe out.)

However!

The fact of the matter is, I can’t do anything about this knee brace for another five weeks. I can’t “walk” (read: hobble) without it, lest my knee buckle under my weight and send me tumbling down, new ligaments re-tearing all over the place.  This brace and the limitations associated with it are part of me for now, as much as it pains me (ahaha I’m so punny.) So. Rather than focus on how much it royally sucks, I’m working it. I’m walking around like this brace is my answer to knee-high boots. The new fall craze! Since it’s black, I’ve been working a black-centric wardrobe. Black accents. Black accessories. Black prints. I love it!

TODAY’S SELF-LOVE TIP: OWN IT.

This reminds me of all the things I’ve hated about my body in the past. My big boobs. My small butt. My giant soccer player thighs. My weirdly distorted ballerina feet. Things that I’ve done insane, stupid, unhealthy things to try to change. If I would have put half as much effort into owning these things as I did trying to starve them away, I could have moved mountains, people. (And no, that’s not some weird Song of Solomon-esque boob pun. Or, rather, I suppose it’s not an intended one. Darn my innate cleverness.)

Whatever you’ve got, work it! Even if you want to change it, and are in the process of healthily transforming your body, don’t hate it where it’s at. Love it. Work it. If you’ve got bangin’ hips, don’t hide them. (Also, I’m mad jealous of you.) Play them up with fun curve-accentuating belts. If you’re, ahem, mountainous like me, have fun with layers and dimensions to spotlight those curves. Do whatever you want.

Just don’t try and change it in a hasty, unhealthy, dangerous way. If you “take off your brace,” if you will, it could be disastrous. You will fall, You will fail. You will be worse off than before. Work what you got, and take the constructive, albeit arduous, steps necessary to reach recovery,  full health, and self-love and I promise you, you will shine.

Cheers, beauties!

2 Comments

Filed under commentaries, eating disorders, life, lindsay vs. food, psychology, transformation