Monday, July 28, 2014

I feel prettiest when…

This saying isn’t new.  It’s all over social media.  But this summer it really began to hit home.  I recently wrote a post about body image, and I came across this beautiful post by Chelsea [Sunny with a Chance of Sprinkles] about self love.  It got me thinking…

When do I feel pretty?

When I was young I felt pretty in a beautiful dress.  Easter and Christmas dresses were a big deal growing up.  My grandmother would often visit from Mississippi and we’d spend all day in search of the perfect dress.

I spent most of my middle and high school years in a dance studio.  I rarely felt pretty, but I often thought if I was skinnier, I might have a chance at being pretty.

In college I felt pretty when I dressed up and went bars.  The right top and makeup can make anyone feel pretty, right?

When I met my husband, Adam, he thought I was pretty.  He complimented my physical appearance as well as my inner beauty.  It was only then I started to see glimpses of “pretty” in myself.

Becoming a mother made me feel pretty in a whole new way.  A human grew inside of me for 41 weeks and I gave birth to him!  Sure, plenty of women do this every day…but when you think about it, it’s pretty amazing.  When I’m in mommy-mode I’m in my groove and I know I was meant to be a mother.  It’s where I’m most confident.  However, in those rare moments I found myself alone, I struggled to accept my new body.

It wasn’t until I started running that -for the first time in my life- I started to really feel comfortable in my own skin.  Now I’m proud of my post-baby body and not just because I’ve lost weight.  Running makes me strong and healthy.  It makes me more confident and less critical.  Running helps me be a good mother.  It lets me spend time with my family.  Running has allowed me to meet all kinds of wonderful people [in blog world and real life].    It’s opened doors to challenge myself in ways I never dreamed possible.  That’s when I realized it– I feel prettiest when I run. 

Now if you were to drive past me running, your first thought might not be “whoa! hottie!” and that’s okay.  Running makes ME feel good inside and out, and that’s why it makes ME feel pretty.  So here I am at my prettiest– no make up, no editing [except for cropping & text], just a few miles and some sweat.  Am I perfect?  Absolutely not, but I feel pretty damn pretty.

When do you feel prettiest?  Has your answer changed over the years?
And to encourage a little self-love, what’s one thing you are LOVING about yourself right now?

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