Shirt: Old Navy Skirt: Target Flats: Payless Necklace: Gift from sister-in-law
(Yep, I was falling over in this picture...)

So, for my job this summer, I'm required to wear black or khaki bottoms.  Shorts, which are necessary in the hot and humid Minnesota summers, have to be longer than your fingertips when your hands are at your sides.  I rarely wear shorts, and only have a few pairs, none of which fit the criteria for my work.  This weekend, I decided I was going to find some shorts and capris to wear this summer.

I went to several stores to try on different options.  Four stores.  Well over 20 pairs of shorts and capris.  Different styles, different cuts, different sizes.  NOTHING WORKED.  I walked out of each store nearly in tears.  I said to Kevin, "I can't find anything that fits me.  Shorts look terrible on me.  Why can't I just wear dresses and skirts all the time?"  I haven't felt that discouraged and awful about myself in a long, long time.

See, I've struggled with my body for years and years.  In college, I survived an eating disorder.  I went to therapy to help me correct my thought patterns and to manage my perfectionism and need for control.  It took about four years of counseling to get through it all, but I officially "graduated" from therapy last spring.  While my eating patterns have been in control now, the voice behind the eating disorder is still loud and clear in my head.  It has been hard for me to get my body into a healthier weight (which I know is something I need to do) because I'm afraid any amount of diet shifting or increased exercise will trigger the disordered eating again.  I don't eat particularly terrible now, and I exercise 3-4 days a week (I'm training for a 5K!).  However, my body hasn't changed, and I'm getting upset about it.  Trying on pants this weekend was really difficult for me and just solidified all the negative and discouraged feelings I've been having.

In the past week or so, some of my favorite blogs (Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen, Katie at Hems for Her, and Nicole at Writes Like a Girl) have written about self-confidence, self-esteem, and body acceptance.  Their posts came at the most appropriate and relevant of times for me.  I encourage all of you to check out their blogs, if you have not before, and look at their recent posts about these topics.  It is inspiring to read the stories of people who have overcome these negative feelings and learned to love and accept themselves.  I desperately want to get to that point.  I want to be an inspiration to other people who have or will walk in my shoes.  I just need to get over the hurdle I'm experiencing now.

I think this is one of the things I love most about blogging.  I have connected with insightful, beautiful, and confident women of all shapes and sizes.  They have shared their wisdom with me and have been brave enough to expose themselves.  They appreciate personal style but acknowledge that there are real people and feelings behind the clothing they wear.  I have learned their stories and now, it is my turn to share mine.

Linking up with Literate & Stylish for the Pantone Color Challenge today :)
literate & stylish

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