Saturday evening, I was going through my normal routine getting ready to go out to a holiday party: trying on nearly every combination of skirts, shirts, dresses and heels in my closet and then discarding them on the floor until my bedroom looked like a department store fitting room on Black Friday. I was having a bit of a war in my brain — the angel on my shoulder was saying, “your body is amazing and beautiful and healthy and strong!” while the devil on my other shoulder berated me for honoring my body’s recovery from a sinus infection that week and skipping a few days of workouts.
Then I grabbed “the” shirt from the closet. You know the one: the “skinny” shirt. The one that you will rock with confidence when you lose x amount of pounds. For some people it is a dress or a pair of pants, but for me it is a shirt because I’ve always considered my belly to be my “problem” area. It is a slight midriff-baring, curve-hugging number from one of my favorite designers (Alice+Olivia) in a bright, vibrant shade of blue. In other words… it stands out.
I put on the shirt with a high-waisted (faux) leather pencil skirt and considered myself in the mirror. Right then and there, I knew that I had a choice:
I could embrace my body and my love for the shirt from the moment I laid eyes on it. I could put it on and honor my desire to be bold and feel sexy and confident.
Or, I could put the shirt back in the closet, feel not “skinny” enough to wear it, throw on my go-to black jumpsuit, and let the shirt hang there for another couple of years until I give up on it and sell it to a thrift store.
For the first time in my life, I chose option one. I wore the freaking shirt.
I, actually, went out to a hip L.A. restaurant with a bit of my midriff exposed. And, aside from the initial first few steps into the restaurant, it was not scary at all.
Later that evening as I was recounting the drama of my outfit to a colleague at the event, telling her about how it was time for me to start really owning the body-love that I have been preaching, she said something really true:
“So often we wear something that totally freaks us out and we think that it is going to be so out-there that everyone will be staring at us, but in fact no one notices.”
NO ONE NOTICES.
It is so true.
So many people complimented me on the shirt that night, telling me that the bold blue brought out the color of my eyes. NO ONE commented on my exposed belly.
Now I feel like I have the confidence to wear what I like and dress the way that I want more often… because boldness inspires boldness. And, because I have nothing to hide and no one to answer to.
You know what I did after the party to celebrate?
I went to my favorite Italian spot and had pasta and wine. In my skinny shirt. With my midriff exposed.
I know that this story will bring up lots of thoughts like “that’s good for you, but I could never…” If that is where you are right now, I just want to remind you that you have been gifted with one body to carry you through this life. The way that our bodies work is a miracle. The way that they persist despite what we put them through is a miracle. Every day we wake up with a choice; we can either choose to feel good or to beat ourselves up.
We can choose to be grateful for our bodies and to celebrate and adorn them because of all that they do for us, or we can choose to “punish” our bodies with restrictive diets, over-exercising, bingeing, and hiding them away from the world.
But, perhaps, consider this: you don’t deserve that.
Your body doesn’t deserve that.
It deserves to be nourished and cherished and celebrated. It is your vessel for serving the world. So deck it out in leather and lace, bright colors, bold outfits, red lipstick, or whatever makes you feel good. Because that is what you deserve.
Today’s post is a guest post by Mandy Sciacchitano.
Mandy is a life and health coach in Los Angeles, California. Her passion for serving others lead her to a career in international development fresh out of college, but after serving in the nonprofit industry in the Dominican Republic for nearly 7 years, she realized that nonprofit work was not the only way to impact people’s lives. After enrolling in a transformative nutrition program and empowering herself through optimized health, she became passionate about helping others to do the same, and through coaching people through that program she realized that her service to others extends much farther than just health and nutrition and began offering life coaching services as well. Now in California, she runs a successful health and wellness network marketing business and serves as a life coach, helping young women to create their dream lives and bodies through the practice of balance, authenticity, self-love and healthy relationships and mindset.
She has an undergraduate degree in Spanish and International Relations from the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia, and a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from the New School in New York City. She is currently undergoing the life coaching certification process with Beautiful You Coaching Academy, and in her spare time loves to run, practice yoga, read, and play with her two kittens.
Learn more about Mandy at: www.mandysciacchitano.com