Dress Your Best: Taking a Wholistic Approach

June 27th, 2011 § 15 comments

Dress Your Best Week

 

Sources:

Dress – Banana Republic Outlet (pre-pregnancy worn here)
Tank – Maternity, Target
Sandals – Target
Necklace – AE, years and years ago
Bag – Dots, bought in high school
Wooden bangle – thrifted

Endnotes:

In my last post, I embraced my pregnant belly as my ‘Best’ for Dress Your Best Week. But as I was trying to come up with my other ‘Bests’, I realized that I have to take a more wholistic approach this time around. Last year, when we picked our top five things to celebrate, I remember naming things like my legs, my hair, and my smallish chest. This time, those same aspects of myself have been distorted and changed by pregnancy.

My legs, which I loved for being shapely as well as toned and powerful from many miles of running, are still strong but no longer resemble the legs they used to be. I’ve gotten cellulite where there was none, they’ve been retaining water and looking and feeling puffy, and they no longer even accept the thought of being squeezed into heels. It’s all flats, all comfort these days.

My hair, which I always loved for being full and curly, is still full and curly but is now betraying me in that it’s gotten increasingly grey and I’m powerless to hide that. I started getting grey hair a few years ago and have consistently colored it as a way to hide that. Since being pregnant, I decided to skip the chemicals in hair dye and wait the nine months before getting another dye job. As those pesky wirey white hairs spring up all around my temples and forehead, I feel like I’m increasingly made to look older and more weathered than I am.

And, alas, that smallish chest that allowed me to easily fit into any top and not think twice about going on a run. Yeah…those changed about two months into the pregnancy and will likely continue to change (read: grow) as time goes on. Sigh.

Floral Dress Detail

I’ll spare you the laundry list of everything else that’s changed and will cut to the chase; perhaps this is what happens when you get older. Perhaps this is what happens to all women, regardless of whether you’re going through pregnancy or your body is just changing with the passing of time. Hopefully, as this happens, you realize that it’s not about pin-pointing that ‘perfect’ feature of your body but rather about embracing the whole and what it does for you. So I’m taking a much more wholistic approach here and celebrating my body in its entirety.

This same body that gives me a million and one reasons to feel frustrated also gives me just as many reasons to be happy and grateful. It’s been carrying my baby to almost full term now (and having had several friends for whom this has been a problem, I know not to take that for granted). It’s still propelling me forward on my bike, on walks, at yoga class, and in the pool. It’s healthy and resiliant and this, too, I know to value. And while it’s changing in many ways, in just as many ways, it’s still me. It’s still the same body that ran a marathon, that used to have a waistline, and that once long ago thought grey hairs and cellulite a thing of motherhood and adulthood. Well, here I am, on the threshhold of motherhood and certainly with both feet into adult life, so I might as well embrace all aspects of this stage. As my yoga instructor has us say at the end of each class, I bow down to the divine within me and I celebrate this body for all that it is.

Dress Your Best Week

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§ 15 Responses to Dress Your Best: Taking a Wholistic Approach"

  1. Mia says:

    I’ve had grey hairs since I was around 14, and in the eight years intervening, they’ve increasingly taken over my head (to the point that I have a racing stripe that curves around the back of my hairline). So don’t feel old from your greys! Greys are distinguished and interesting, even if they are wiry little buggers sometimes. :)

    It’s great to see you dressing joyously during your pregnancy–at least, it looks joyous to me! Good on you for embracing it in all its changes.

  2. sundaze says:

    Great post…loved the perspective!

  3. MONKEYFACE says:

    I love this post and your whole approach. ;) I turned 30 this year and have probably been paying too much attention to the for-better-or-worse ways my body has been changing (sometimes I feel like I should change the name of my blog to Hello, Neck Wrinkles!), and it’s really refreshing to kind of just step back and remember that the whole thing is just a shell. And I’m really grateful for the changing ways it carries and protects me.

  4. Petra says:

    Thank you so much for writing this post.
    I am pregnant right nor (week 17) and am admiring you and E. how you manage to look stylish and polished with this ever changing body of yours. I am not yet half way through my pregnancy and already fealing terribly heavy and ungraceful – but am loving my body more than ever.

  5. Katharine says:

    Thank you for this beautiful post.

  6. Terri says:

    the yoga instructor is telling you right…and that baby is a very miraculous being.

  7. lisa says:

    Wonderful post–I’m three months pregnant and starting to experience some of the changes you describe here. It’s a challenge to understand and embrace who this new being (me!?) is…but it’s also a pleasure. Best wishes for a happy, healthy birth….

  8. Inder says:

    Great post! I had an uncomfortable pregnancy, and was never particularly thrilled with how I looked or felt as a pregnant woman, honestly. But I appreciated what my body was doing for me, and that although my back hurt and I couldn’t wear heels (and on hot days my ankles were like tree trunks), my pregnancy was normal and uneventful. You don’t have to love being pregnant or feel like you “glow” to be thrilled about bringing new life into the world.

    In the long run, I think the hit my vanity took was actually really GREAT for my self-image. Because I realized, it’s not about loving or hating individual body parts. You get one body in this life, and you might as well make the best of it. Having a baby puts things in perspective. Less of my identity is wrapped up in my body and how it looks, and more of it is in my relationships and connections. Which does not mean I don’t enjoy wearing cute clothes that fit me, of course! You’ll get your waist back.

  9. admin says:

    Thanks for all your really nice comments everyone!

    S.

  10. I’m also expecting and nearly fell over when I read the first half of your post, exactly the same things are happening to my hair and legs!! Pregnancy gives us the chance to accept body changes and aging naturally, because very often there’s nothing much we can do to prevent it (especially during!). And, for me, as with Inder, that’s not always a bad lesson to learn.

  11. LE says:

    I agree that pregnancy helps you to look at your body as a whole entity. Almost every part of your body is affected by pregnancy, and continues to change postpartum (personally, my ribs, feet, waist and breasts all stayed bigger.) At the same time, you are growing and nurturing a new life within your own body. How cool is that? Pregnancy, breastfeeding and parenting made me appreciate the strength and usefulness of my body in many new ways.

  12. Laura says:

    This is a great post and you look lovely. It’s also quite impressive that you can make use of the same dress having a radically different silhouette.

  13. Nadine says:

    Gorgeous post, S. You are lovely inside and out. :)

  14. AJ says:

    Lovely post. Thanks for sharing. I started gaining some white hairs when I was 20 years old. My grandmother told me they were just signs of all the wisdom from my life experiences. I try to remind myself of that whenever I get frustrated with them!

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