a new woman

For a long time, I’ve been working on accepting myself for who I am. I don’t succeed very easily at this, due to a high level of self-criticism and some pretty low self-esteem related to certain issues. I am now more aware of what I do to myself and what I do have control over. But it hasn’t been easy.

Just recently, though, I feel like I’ve had a bit of a breakthrough.

I think it started with taking up running. As I’ve mentioned, I trained over the summer with two friends (and a super-cute beagle) to run a 5k. We followed the Couch to 5k program (which I highly recommend) and by golly, it got us from being couch potatoes to completing a 5k. We took our time with the program and extended it several weeks until we could complete the distance. And we ran our 5ks a few weeks ago. Yay for us!

A pleasant side-effect of the running was that I lost about 15 pounds. I did not set out on the running specifically to lose weight; I wanted to get some exercise and feel healthier, and I wanted to accomplish something that would be a bit of a stretch for me. But, of course, I’m not complaining about the 15 pounds.

Losing 15 pounds meant that my clothes did not really fit. I dealt with it through the summer, but when cooler weather arrived, and I pulled out my longer pants, etc., I knew I needed to do some shopping. So, I went out and bought several pairs of pants and jeans. They fit nicely instead of being baggy and shapeless. They’re fairly stylish (I think). And they make me feel good.

With our trip to Italy coming up (we leave in two days!), I also wanted to make sure I had some decent tops – layers, in particular – to wear. I don’t want to be the Ugly American Tourist wearing a fanny pack and over-sized college sweatshirt while touring the Vatican. So I picked up a few things. And then I found my super-cute trench coat (the black one with the large plaid pattern), which makes me feel very hip.

I think my new wardrobe gave me the confidence to go for it with my hair. I am not typically a woman to go for major changes, and I worry a lot about what other people think about me, so this was very uncharacteristic of me to make a very obvious change. I’ve been thinking about changing my hair color for months, but just now I got the courage to go for it. I even picked up some new eye make-up this weekend, since I felt like my coloring had changed a bit with the “new” hair color.

I now feel like a new woman. I have clothes that fit and that look nice, I’m enjoying my new look with my hair, and I can feel the confidence setting in. While things like clothes and hair color are merely on the exterior, I’m feeling a positive change on the inside, one that is helping me to appreciate myself a little more.

It feels really good.

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19 Responses to a new woman

  1. Jenny says:

    LOVE this! and i’m SUPER impressed! a 5K seems daunting to me and YOU DID IT!

  2. Amy says:

    Whoot whoot….Hooray for you Kelly! Congrats on the weight loss, and have a great time on your Italian adventure!!

  3. inventingliz says:

    Wow, congratulations on all the positive changes! Post some pictures of the new you!

  4. Craug says:

    You can do anything you put your mind to! I love you!

  5. I so love this post and am super proud of you. Doing a 5K is amazing, maybe you can help motivate me as I have absolutely zero energy and time right now. Kudos for your courage and I have a feeling this is a just a beginning of changes coming from you!

  6. Brandi says:

    I’m so proud of you!!! I’ve been thinking about doing the couch to 5K program…but have been too busy and unmotivated to do it. I think I may though!

    I have taken the “I don’t care what people think of me” approach lately and it really helps. I don’t feel like I have to impress anyone, just be ME!

    Love ya girl!!

  7. Dale says:

    Who is this Craug? Dad Congratulations on all the changes.

  8. Kala says:

    I’m so glad to read this. I’m dealing with some of the same feelings and I started the couch to 5K yesterday. Hopefully next year we can run a 5K in Baltimore!!

  9. Erin says:

    Congrats on the 5k!!! that is no small feat. Way to go. Congrats on the weight loss too.

  10. Meg B says:

    Congrats to you, making changes is difficult and scary. Sounds like you are putting yourself out there and reaping the benefits! Enjoy your trip!

  11. I absolutely love EVERY bit of this post! I love that you did the program and whoops! lost 15 pounds! How AWESOME is that???!!! And then to keep it off? So great. I LOVE that you had to go buy new clothes, which led to new hair and makeup.
    I am so incredibly happy for you, Kelly.

  12. angela says:

    I thing I’ll try the couch to 5K program.

  13. Christine says:

    Kelly, I am all teary reading this post. I’m just so happy for you!!! I truly consider you a great friend (NOT just a blog buddy!) and reading about how good you feel about yourself… it just gives me goosebumps/tears/smiles. You are such a wonderful, beautiful person (inside *and* out) … I just wish only good things for you, and it sounds like they are coming your way. Hugs friend. Now go enjoy that trip! 🙂

  14. Janet says:

    This post made me smile. I’m glad you are loving yourself right now. That is so important…and not always easy to do. I know I am typically quite critical of myself. This post has motivated to me to make a few small changes to make myself feel better as well (physicially)…as soon as I ditch this crappy cold. I need to get a little more active again. I miss it. Looks like D will be going for even MORE stroller rides soon.

    Enjoy Italy…I cannot wait to hear about it. I’m jealous. I’ve never been there.

  15. Kelly Cole says:

    Oh Kelly, I love this post! I am so incredibly happy for you! I know I “ran” two 5K’s a little while ago but I didn’t do the training part which is the most important part – you did! (Hence why my time SUUUUCKED 🙂 Loving the 15 pound weight loss – you are inspiring me girlfriend! I feel like a hug blob recently so I can use all the inspiration I can get. I agree with CCL – you are beautiful inside and out but YOU knowing that is the most important part. I’m glad you are feeling that way 🙂

    Now go enjoy Italy and don’t worry if you put a FEW of those pounds back on because that’s what Italy is for! You can run those off when you get back.

    PS – Your Craug is such a sweet heart 🙂

  16. Krista says:

    Good for you! Enjoy Italy! So very very jealous…

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