Because you are BEAUTIFUL

I love how this picture turned out for the website. I strategically picked out this picture to have the words "because you are beautiful" written on it. Why? Because it is quarky and weird-just like me. I'm a natural introvert and it's definitely out of my comfort zone to post pictures, let alone, write a blog about myself or post videos on Instagram for Willow & Jae Boutique. But, I want all women everywhere to know they are beautiful just the way they are!

It's been a long journey for me to develop self confidence. I didn't always have confidence in myself. Let's face it those adolescent years, and even the young adult years are BRUTAL. The pressure to be who others think you SHOULD be, or look how others think you SHOULD look is constantly being beat into our minds. For years I thought my size defined me. I'll let you in on a little secret, IT DOESN'T! Honestly, you could stop reading right now and I would be 100% happy that at least you leave my page knowing your size doesn't define who you are. But, if you want to know how I learned the HARD WAY, then keep reading.

It wasn't until I had a daughter of my own, that I realized my actions were affecting not just me, but her. As embarrassed as I am to write this, I feel this story is necessary to get my point across. When my daughter was 2 years old, you know-at that stage where they mimic every move. We were in my bathroom, I was trying to get ready for work while she was giggling and being quite entertained as she was looking at herself in the mirror. Then, I noticed something, she was pinching her tummy. Thinking she was just being goofy I said to her, "Silly girl, what are you doing over there?" She looked at me and only said one word, "FAT". I felt like I had been hit by a diesel truck. Was I really so self involved that I was doing that in front of her? It was in that self defeating moment that I changed. Although, at 2 years old, she didn't understand what she was doing, she was repeating what I was doing...and that was enough for me to stop.

I stopped focusing on what I thought I should look like and started focusing on how I wanted my daughter to feel about herself. Once I turned my focus on her, I was able to see my beauty too. Around the right people, self confidence is contagious and It will continue to grow every day. Surround yourself with people who love themselves and know who they are. Are there still days that are harder than others? Absolutely! But I will never go back to the girl who thought her size defined her self worth!

With time, I have developed a love and respect for myself that I didn't have before. Yes, I work out and try to eat healthy, because I LOVE myself and part of loving yourself is taking CARE of yourself. I have learned to be grateful for what my body can DO rather than despise it for not looking a certain way. My body has given me 2 beautiful children and for those 2 reasons alone, I will never take my body for granted again. My name is Whitney, I am a size 12, I have stretch marks on my hips and I am beautiful just the way I am. 

Love your self, because you are beautiful, just the way you are. 

XOXO,

-Whitney