A few months ago, I decided to stop fighting my body. As a woman that is 5’10”, a size 12/14, with a large body composition (yes, I really am big boned, seriously, buying bracelets requires elastic), I was very insecure with my size in many respects, and for years I could hear the guy I had a crush on in 8th grade asking me if I was a man. When you think of femininity and grace, most people wouldn’t think of a super tall chick with curves for weeks and a big (not necessarily fat) body. I really didn’t feel sexy, I honestly just felt like Khloe Kardashian in her chubby days; towering over everyone and struggling to be the “hot sister.”
Naturally, my first resort to sort out this problem was trying to get skinny. I totally cleaned up my diet an eliminated all added sugar, wheat, gluten, dairy, soy, and legumes. I bumped up my workout schedule, and guess what? Nothing happened. Well, nothing weight related. I did lose a few pounds, my skin cleared up, my mind was sharper, and I really did feel amazing, but that scale didn’t budge more than seven pounds, regardless of what I ate, for nearly six months. So then I began the fight with not only eating extremely clean, but also calorie counting. I guess this is a good time to tell you I was on the verge of a Britney Spears circa 2007 style meltdown all the time. I cut my calories from about 1500-1800 calories to about 1200 calories, and every week that I stepped on the scale or measured myself to find out nothing had changed, my family knew to hide the umbrellas in preparation.
I really did fight with my body for a long time, and then one day it hit me.
I am perfectly healthy. I eat better than I ever have, I exercise, and I keep my mind sharp and active…so what the hell is there to freak out about? A number? Someone to tell me I look like a woman? I am running optimally, and this is what my body looks like. Even on a liquid diet, the smallest I’ll ever be is a size 8, maybe 10, tough shit. I could either embrace that or continue to lose my fight against how I am built.
The decision to embrace my body changed my life. I decided to take my height, my curves, and all of my bigger than life-ness, and put it to work. As it turns out, there are people out there willing to pay me a lot of money for the things I spent nearly a year fighting. Case in point, I have wanted to model for years, but I always held off until I was just a little bit smaller. After embracing myself, I walked into an agency and gave myself a chance. Initially, I lied and said I was a size 10, and my agent said “oh that’s a real shame. You are exactly what we are looking for. You’re tall, curvy, and toned… but you’re too small.”
I decided to cut that crap and told her to measure me. Long story short, I bypassed the 2-3 week waiting time necessary to deliberate whether they sign a model, and walked out that day with a contract.
I took a chance on myself, I became the healthiest version of myself, and I stopped letting my insecurities cripple me. My relationship with food has changed as I dont live in a constant state of deprivation for the sake of being skinny. My relationship with exercise has changed because it is no longer something I do expecting to see some drastic change in my weight.I eat well to have nice skin, to feel good, to sleep well, and to think clearly. I indulge selectively, but carry no guilt afterwards because having one flan while on vacation in Florida (A MUST) might cause a small weight fluctuation (which used to panic me), but it will not undo everything I ate to build my health before then.
The reality is, my life has changed now that I live to be healthy and not skinny, because despite what society says, the two are not synonymous.
I have been on the Whole30 for two months (approaching the end of my second round), I work out five times a week, I practice hot yoga at least twice a week, and practice for 20/30 minutes after exercising on non-studio days… I feel healthy inside and out, and yet, sometimes I’m insecure. Sometimes I don’t want healthy, I want perfect, and I am beginning to see that the two will never meet.
Most days I can see my 5’11″ self, with my tiny waist, long legs, and wildly curly hair; and I appreciate the beauty in that, and how fortunate I am to be made the way I am. But as photo-shoots approach and scales/measurement don’t move, all I can see is the extra fat on my long legs, the extra tummy on my tiny waist, and the fact that I am not, and have never been exactly where I want to be as far as my body is concerned.
Unfortunately, today is one of those “you’re not pretty enough, postpone the photo-shoot” kind of days.
So tonight, when I’m exhaling my stress, I will focus on what makes me beautiful. I will focus on my heart, my mind, and my body, in attempts to understand that they work together to make me better, not perfect.
Lucy Loves Life… and getting ready for the camera xx
“There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.”
― Steve Maraboli
I usually hide behind the comforts of makeup, I know what to wear to accentuate what I like and hide what I don’t, and I usually go through desperate measures to tame my wild (and I mean WILD) curls; but not yesterday.
Yesterday, I felt really beautiful. I was wearing a bathing suit for part of the day and yoga clothes for the other, with my hair fresh out of the pool in all of its wildness, and nothing but a bit of sun-kissed color on my face. It was all very simple and extremely low maintenance, and yet, it’s the prettiest I’ve felt in a while.
Realistically, I spend a lot of time dressed up, with make up on fleek (whatever that means), and everything from my hair to my shoes need to be perfect; but yesterday, I felt unapologetically myself, with no need to hide, and it’s been a while since I felt so beautiful.
Yesterday, I was carefree, happy, and completely unafraid of being exactly who I am. There is no better feeling in the world than believing I am enough, flaws and all, and feeling as if I am beautiful without “help.”
Why was it so freeing? I don’t know. Maybe I’m just a beach bum disguised in a pencil skirt, and I should consider moving to an island somewhere…
Or maybe it’s time to realizing that hiding behind things that make me feel beautiful, actually do the opposite, and I should take it as a lesson to accept who I am and stop apologizing for what I’m not…
So, if you have been following my blog for the last couple of days and you like many of my followers are thinking, ‘Man, Lucy must be having a rough week…” I’m here to tell you that you’re right. I don’t remember the last time I felt as low as I do right now. My self esteem is in the toilet, and that seems to be tainting everything else.
I have lost myself.I have lost the dressed-to-the-nines, stiletto wearing, wild haired woman that I once was. I was known for the “swag” in my walk, my need to be slightly over dressed, and my class with a splash of sass. Men with sculpted figures and stunning English accents fawned over me and thought I was the best thing since sliced bread, and some how I have lost that. Somehow I don’t feel beautiful anymore, not even to myself.
Anyway, this is not a sad post, but one of change and positive adjustments. My life is at a bit of a stand still, but I plan on taking whatever steps I can to find myself again. I may hate my current circumstances, but I can’t let my hate become who I am. With that being said, join me in my small effort towards a positive change, starting with the three things I am going to change right now.
1. I am going to appreciate what I have in the present
In reality, life is actually pretty upside down at the moment. However, I’ve decided that it is time to see the things in my life that are going extremely well. “Things” being my huge, massive, unbelievably scary dream of going to university overseas. In the last couple of weeks it has become a thousand times less scary, as counselors and peers have walked into my life, and given me the confidence to tackle this overwhelming process, head first. It is all coming together so beautifully, and for that, I am grateful.
2. I am going to find my give-a-damn
It sounds dramatic, but changing the way I dress, changed me…for the worse. I traded in my pencil skirts and well fitted (but never tight) dresses for floor length maxi skirts, baggy blouses, and apparently my sense of give-a-damn. I lost my fight to eat well, exercise, and all other forms of caring for myself. There used to be a time when I carried myself like a boss (for lack of a better word), and I need to get that back. Extreme modesty (especially considering I’ve always been pretty modest) has sucked the life out of me and it time to find a balance. I need to care about what I look like, I need to care about what other people see when they look at me, and I need my sparkle back.
So guy, I am on a mission to get my give-a- damn back. I need my confidence, I need my self esteem, and I need to get rid of the gray cloud hanging over my life, otherwise known as insecurity.
3. I’m going to stop mourning my old life, and work on incorporating it into my current life.
The truth of the matter is, I can’t have my old life back. I was well dressed and confident because I was traveling, I was surrounded by people very similar to myself, and constantly being pulled together and presentable was the rule not the exception. Now…I am a student in a sleepy town and my social circles no longer consist of those types of people (but they are just as wonderful).
Sooo life will never be as it was (and sometimes that’s a good thing)… but I can get my spark back, I can dress the way I did, gain the confidence I had back, and get my swagger back. I can have that and still enjoy the good things I have now, that I didn’t have then.
Hopefully this un-poop-ifys my life, because, dude…I’m over this. I know life is going to brighten up, it always does…but sometimes a girl needs a little game plan to get back to happy land, and hopefully this is mine. Thank you guys for sticking through this little rough patch of a week I’ve had. I will be back to spewing rainbows and flavored water recipes in no time.
We have all seen the movies with the pretty girl that has it all. She is beautiful, sexy, well dressed, popular, in a relationship with some hunky dude, she pays people to do her dirty work (homework, test, job assignments, etc) because she is too stupid to do it, she always gets her way, and she never eats. If I had to name a movie off the top of my head, I would say Mean Girls is a pretty appropriate example of what I mean when I described the stereotypical pretty girl.
I am extremely over the misconceptions made about the “pretty girls.” I am guilty of assuming these things when I see girl I consider to be “too pretty,” but one day I woke up and realized I was that pretty girl. Before you carry on reading this thinking that I am full of myself…hear me out…
As a young girl, preteen/young teenager age, I didn’t have a whole lot going for me. I was always just a little bit too fat, my teeth were crazy, I had no idea what I was doing with my makeup, my sense of fashion was a train wreck, I wasn’t doing all that well in school, boys bullied me relentlessly (middle school jerktards), and my overall self confidence was garbage.
I used to watch the naturally skinny girls with clear skinned smiles who had the boys drooling over them as if they were the lepers. Immediately I attached the stereotypical, Mean Girls, pretty girl label on them, because it almost made me feel better to have a reason to hate myself, and them. I envied them, I wanted nothing more than to be the pretty girl, and then one day….
I lost loads of weight, got my braces off, watched endless makeup tutorials until I got it all right, learned to dress my figure, earned my perfect GPA, shut all those boys up, and learned to love myself. Oh. M. Gee. I became the pretty girl. I became the girl everyone loves to hate…and you know what…it sucks! It sucks, SO hard!
Why? Well, let’s examine the pretty girl stereotypes and destroy each one to fully discover why it is that I wish I had braces again….
1. Pretty girls get all the attractive guys.
WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. I remember feeling a bit irritated by an innocent comment made by one of the few pre-teens I have as a Facebook friend.
I posted this photo and she commented with “You’re so pretty Lucy. Tons of guys are probably head over heels for you!” I laughed…and then got angry as more and more people began to like her comment.
Why? Because part of me thought she should be right. Part of me thought “I look freakin’ hot today, and everybody who has ever seen Mean Girls knows I should be adored by every male that lays his eyes on me?!” But there I was, and the other part of me was thinking, adore me? Dude, I’ll take like me, or even speak to me.
My break up with Simon was fresh, and her comment poured salt in the massive wound that was my heart, because regardless of how pretty she thought I was, it wasn’t enough to make him love me. I felt pretty, and beautifully empty. My beauty didn’t buy me love, it really didn’t even buy me happiness. I busted the myth that pretty girls always get the guy, because in reality, at the height of my attractiveness, I was more alone than chubby/ugly/frumpy Lucy ever was.
I’ll go a step further and say that Simon fell in love with chubby/ugly/frumpy Lucy, and broke up with the pretty girl version.
2. Pretty girls have loads of friends
They say that every group of friends needs the ugly girl to make them all look better…well, I was the ugly friend. I was the ugly duckling in a pond full of swans. I thought I had loads of friends because I have a cool personality, but as I became the pretty girl, I realized that was not the case. I stopped being their charity case, and became the girl their boyfriends wanted to hang out with. My friends turned into “haters,” and I wasn’t quite sure what I had done.
Years later I realized that it had nothing to do with me. My personality didn’t change… I was still the overly weird girl, who wasn’t afraid to release my man laugh if the joke was good enough. I just became a threat, and they began to tear me down and make me feel as if I was the problem.It was then I realized that I needed friends that were secure in themselves. I needed friends that would encourage me to blossom and reach my full potential.
I needed friends that would compliment my outfit, tell me I looked pretty, and be genuinely happy for me instead of spitting it through gritted teeth. It was and still is very hard for me to ever think anyone could be jealous of me (because I am still half Oompa Loompa in my mind) but after a few major hits to my self esteem, I began to realize that being pretty does not win you friendship, it brings jealously from most, and genuinely wonderful friendships from the rest.
As the pretty girl, I have less friends than I ever have, and I am happy with that. The friends I have now want to see me succeed,they want to see me happy, they build me up, and one by one, I add another genuinely wonderful and loving friend to my group, cautiously.
3. Pretty girls are stupid.
A few weeks ago, I met with the honors program coordinator at my college. I was bubbling with excitement, as I waited for my meeting with her to finalize my induction into the honor society. I dressed in my usual Lucy fashion (I tend to err on the slightly overdressed but professional side of things), did my hair in a pretty, but modest style, and kept my make up as subdued as possible. I walked into her office, handed her my transcripts and my portfolio, and shook on the inside as she reviewed all of my information.
“You’re too pretty to be in this honors program,” she said in a joking manner with a slight chuckle under her breath. At first I smiled with her as I took it to be a compliment, but a few hours later, it actually really insulted me. I was really hoping she would’ve commented on something important, like, ooooh my GPA, the exam results I stayed up until three in the morning studying for, or even my community service with domestic violence victims. But instead she felt the need to tell me I was too pretty to have the sort of accomplishments that I had.
I would love to say that it is just her, but to be honest, there is something about a woman that knows how to apply a bit of make up, pop on a pair of spanks and hold an intelligent conversation that really freaks people out. I am very ambitious, I have very well formed opinions, and there are very few things in this world that make me happier (or more heated) than a conversation with a person who challenges those opinions and forces me to think. So for her to just whittle me down to pretty face and assume that I couldn’t possibly be as smart as the transcripts in front of her described, was infuriating, insulting, and above the rest, disappointing.
4. Pretty girls have the perfect life.
No. No. No. There are some days I wish I could just be the version of myself I was too busy hating. Sometimes I wish I could go back and enjoy that time in my life. I wish I could go back and tell fourteen/fifteen year old Lucy that her idea of perfection wasn’t going to win her the handsome boyfriend, a million friends, and loads of respect. I wish I could tell her that there is more to life than that. I wish I could tell her that sometimes being the pretty girl makes life harder than it needs to be. I wish she knew that the clear skinned girls she hated in high school were not nearly as fortunate as she gave them credit for. Most importantly, I wish she knew that happiness, true love, genuine friendship, and respect, are more important than straight teeth, clear skin, and a number on the scale.
You will always find that girl who seems to have the perfect life, but as I’ve just told you, things are not always as they seem. Being the pretty girl doesn’t make life better, as a matter of fact, sometimes it gets worse. Be encouraged that you are worth more than what you look like, because pretty girls have awful days, sometimes awful lives, and no amount of physical beauty can fix that. By the same token, there are pretty girls that really do have it all going for them, but just in case you haven’t picked up on this yet, it wasn’t their face that brought them that life.
Work on yourself, so that when you finally achieve your perfect life, you will be beautiful from the inside, out, instead of just on the outside like a Mean Girls character. Work on yourself, become who you want to become, and I guarantee that the right guy, the right friends, and that picture perfect life you dream about, will find it’s way to you, sans burn book.
P.S. #5 Pretty Girls Don’t Eat
I love ice cream, and burgers make me giddier than a school girl.
If you feel the need to live on a diet, I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems, but being hungry ain’t one.
Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind Foundation, Concealer, and Dark Spot Treatment.
As you can see, the concealer is about one shade lighter than my skin, and the dark spot treatment is two shades lighter (and slightly pinkish), which makes it a wonderful highlighter for contouring.
You can get the full trio at any drug store, Target, or Walmart for about $40…an amazing price considering that is about how much you would pay for one luxury foundation.
Elf’s Golden Bronzer:
Like I said, I’m not the biggest fan of this, but until I find better, it’s not terrible. I bought this bronzer from Target for about $3.
Wet n Wild’s Blush:
I love, love, LOVE this blush. I got this particular one at Walgreens for $2.49 on sale, but they’re usually about $3 (oooh big spenda!). I can’t say enough good things about this blush. If anything, I would make it a little less pigmented…it’s that serious people.
Wet n Wild’s Eye Shadow Trio:
I mean…can you see that pigmentation?! Let’s go ahead and give them a round of applause. This trio is $2.49 as well, get your hands on it! I’m getting way too excited about this, so I think it’s a good time to move on…
Maybelline’s Expert Wear Eye Shadow:
Not my favorite palette in the world, but definitely pretty stunning for a natural, yet slightly shimmery, summer time look. I paid about $5 for this at Target.
Physician’s Formula Eye Brightener:
Not too much to say about this, other than I do love this highlighter and have used it pretty diligently for a couple of years now. This particular shade is a bit tricky to find in stores, but you can always find it here for about $8.
I will pretty much use any drugstore mascara.
Covergirl, Maybelline, NYX, Max Factor…they all do an amazing job with mascara and they all range from about $6-$11
Maybelline’s Color Sensational, The Buffs Lip Color and Covergirl’s Just Bitten Lip Stain:
I LOVE this lipstick in Stormy Sahara. It is just stunning, I mean..I am speechless. You can pick this beauty up for about $7.50 from any drugstore, Walmart, Target, or Ulta (they are having a buy one get one 50% off, check it out!).
Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone carries this stain anymore (not in the US anyway), and I’m not going to lie, I’m a little heartbroken…. especially since I snapped the balm off of my favourite one while filming this video. If you live in a place that still carries them, do your self a favor and stock up (and send me some)! You will not regret it!
I hope you enjoyed this, and even got a little chuckle out of my bloopers. If you have any ideas for future blog/vlog post, please do not hesitate to contact me!