Do Me a Solid, Be Kind to Yourself.

 Here I am with my very stylish friend and acupuncturist, Brad Thompson. You'll learn more about him and his personal style in a future blog post. Keep your eyes peeled! And, you'll learn more about my outfit as you read the post below. Enjoy!

Someone recently told me that Dr. Deepak Chopra once quoted a study that found that the average person thinks approximately 65,000 thoughts per day. And 95% of those thoughts are the same thoughts that person had the day prior. I have no idea how much of this is true, but it got me thinking about the way we talk to ourselves about our bodies and our sense of style. 

For whatever reason, things are especially busy right now. And, like most women I know, when things get hectic, our bodies change, our weight increases and we start to feel less than stellar about how we look each morning. Earlier this week, as I struggled to ensure that my ensemble wasn't showing off things I'd like to keep secret (hello extra 5 pounds!) my husband pulled me aside and told me that he didn't like hearing me criticize my body. Well, Dr. Chopra, if I'm repeating this sort of self criticism every day, I'm in trouble over the long haul.

Thankfully, I have an incredible husband, a closet full of options and the wisdom to know how to dress my best and be kind to myself. Sometimes, we just need a reminder from someone else. With that in mind, I'm your someone else. 

So, here are a few tips to feel beautiful, even when you really don't feel like getting out of bed (or out of your yoga pants.)

1. Listen to others.

 From the Citizen Rosebud's Secondhandfirst blog. I heart vintage finds.

We tend to hear people loud and clear when they are critical, but we often dismiss their compliments or kind words, especially about our appearance. Luckily, we live in a digital age. The very generous Citizen Rosebud gave me the chance to guest post on her blog. One of the comments from readers was very sweet and I plan to reread it if I'm having a challenging day.

Take a look at your Facebook comments, your emails from friends and colleagues and perhaps even notes you receive in the (gasp!) mail. I'll bet you've got some powerful and sincere compliments in there. Flag them. Print them out. Refer to them whenever you need a pick me up. 

 Ladies who lunch. A few of the members of the Poplin table at YouthCare's 39th annual luncheon.

2. Put it all in perspective.

Yesterday's YouthCare Luncheon and today's Graduation Ceremony for the Barista Training Program were a powerful reminder. I may be worried that my skirt makes me look bigger. Someone else is worried because they don't have a support system, let alone the physical resources they need to thrive. Sure, first world problems, right?

This isn't about feeling guilty. Please don't do that:)  We show ourselves (and the world!) that we appreciate our bodies and respect ourselves by taking every opportunity to look our best. After all, not everyone has that chance. Embrace it. 

3. Set yourself up for success.

 Seeing the waistline is helpful.

 Topshop Diamond jacquard midi skirt. Nordstrom. $96.

Okay, so I was having a rough morning and the husband gave me a very thoughtful pep talk. Next step? Put on something that I KNEW would deemphasize my stomach, which happens to be where I carry my weight. I bet you are thinking a nice black skirt. Oh no! I went straight for a structured full white skirt with a great waistline. I tucked in my top and added wedge heels. The skirt showed off my waist and the heels elongated my frame. Plus, because the fabric was a stiff polyester/ cotton/ elastane blend, it did not cling to my stomach, actually creating the illusion that my stomach was smaller. Plus, white is high impact in the Northwest where folks don't wear it very often. 

In the end, I think I just discovered one of my new favorite go-to outfits. You can see it in the photos I've included and since it is *new* I've also included details to get one for yourself. 

A lesson for you and me, Dear Reader: We spend a great deal of time being kind to others, teaching our kids to be kind to others. It's equally important to be kind to ourselves. Enjoy your weekend!


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