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D34 Why I Find My "After" More Beautiful Than My Before (NO! It's NOT Because I'm Thinner)

So I have the timehop app that shows you pictures or statuses you posted on Facebook a year or 2 or 5 ago...today I found a picture that I took 5 years ago, pre Weight Watchers right around the time I was considering gastric bypass surgery because I felt fat, overwhelmed and out of options. I needed to lose more than 100 pounds and I'd tried and failed before so I was convinced weight loss surgery was my only option so I started the process of seminars, visits with the nutritionist and the surgeon...

Obviously I changed my mind but I already told you that story so I won't tell you again. You can find it on my blog though if you're so inclined.

I saw the picture today and it was crazy! I couldn't believe that was me. I look SO different! My hair, my features, my skin...it was like looking at a picture of someone else but at the same time I could give you so many details about the day so I knew it was really me. It felt good to see it and so I made a side-by-side for #transformationtuesday on Instagram (@writing_my_success_story) with a pic of today and a pic from last week. I got a lot of supportive comments from friends and family, a lot of them echoing the same sentiment "you were beautiful then and you're beautiful now" and I really and truly appreciate that but the truth is I think that I'm more beautiful now.

But it's not because I'm thinner. I don't think thin=beautiful. I know many voluptuous women who are stunning, absolutely gorgeous people inside and out! Just because they are not slender or even athletic does not make them unattractive. They are just as attractive as the size 2 girls I know who have amazing self esteem and confidence.

You see, I believe that's exactly what makes you beautiful. Self esteem and self confidence! An "I'm beautiful not because of the size of my jeans but because of the size of my heart" attitude is incredibly attractive and I'm drawn to people who know they are gorgeous and aren't ashamed of it and I find that slowly but surely I'm becoming one of those girls and I think that's why I find myself more attractive now than I was then.

I didn't need to lose 97.6 pounds to be beautiful but I wouldn't have discovered my strength, determination and physical capabilities if I hadn't lost that weight. If I hadn't peeled off the layers pound by pound I wouldn't have discovered the girl hiding under the fat. I would never have known that deep down inside lived an athlete who likes to run and bike and lift weights! I wouldn't have discovered a passion for health and wellness that I plan to pursue by becoming a certified personal trainer. I wouldn't have known it was physically possible to smile as big or as much as I do now if I hadn't taken that weight off. 

So I don't believe that I'm more attractive or more beautiful now because I'm smaller, I believe I'm smaller because I allowed myself to discover myself!! The weight loss is a result of me finding me!! My friend summed it up perfectly with a comment she left:

It's so funny Tiffany I've known you forever and when I picture you I only seem to picture you now.... You were incredible and beautiful back then too but you are more you now then ever and I think that's why!

It's amazing what can happen when you allow yourself to let go of what held you back and allow yourself the freedom to explore this great big scary world. The transformation I'm living right now is far more emotional and spiritual than physical but the physical part is the part most people see and I can't lie, it IS rewarding but the way I feel is 10 times better than the way I look.

I feel beautiful more days than not and that's the first time in my entire life I've ever felt that way. And it feels good and I deserve to feel good.

-t

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