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Embracing My Corners-New Hair and New Outlook For A New Me

When I hit One-Derland I chopped off half of my hair and did a really fun "side mullet" to celebrate that I'd taken off 53.5 pounds (SW 253.4) and was now officially in the 100's. I felt fun and fresh and excited and at my start weight I never would've had the confidence to even CONSIDER such a drastic haircut. That haircut to me represented shedding the old me and embracing the new! To some, it was just an asymmetrical style, for me it was a symbol to the world that I was new and improved.

Since I did that there have been several different looks that I never thought I'd try. I shaved the sides of my head entirely leaving the top longer and parted to the side; I've had a pixie cut; I've had the P!nk haircut with both sides shaved and the top fluffy and these days I'm rocking a P!nk/fauxhawk blend with the sides and most of the back shaved but a small V that goes down the back of my head. It's ALMOST a mohawk but the V doesn't reach the back of my neck so, not quite.

I'm naturally a "dishwater blonde". Not sure if that's an actual color, but that's what I call it. It's mousy and not quite brown but too brown to be blonde...pretty flat...boring. I started dying my hair black about 5 years ago before I started Weight Watchers, and not to commemorate any life changing event, just because I wanted to try something different. And I loved it! So I kept it; every new style, the color stayed the same. I added some purple and teal high lights once, kept the purple for a while but the all-over color was always black.

Up until recently I've never seen ME in a picture, only the mask of makeup and hair that I worked hard to style and seldom felt totally happy with. But it was better than not wearing the mask...and if someone caught me NOT in the mask on camera I did NOT like what I saw. My skin that was blotchy and broken out with painful pimples and my hair hung straggly and thin. I thought "long hair is feminine" so I kept trying to grow it but it's just not me. Cutting it when I got to One-Derland made me feel more like me. I didn't realize it then but it was the first of many steps I would take towards falling in love with myself. 
My Instagram  is mostly weight loss related but I also document my hair styles there if you want to check it out. 

Then of course there was the bikini  when I realized that I was truly deserving of love and I had a major breakdown and breakthrough...another stepping stone. OK, this event was pretty monumental so maybe this is more of a stepping BOULDER. ;-)

Then I went to Costa Rica and I didn't wear any makeup for a week, didn't do my hair for a week (thank god for that pink bandanna I got at Walmart!) and I didn't hide from the camera. We took A TON of pictures. Pictures I was HAPPY to share with the entire world; sharing them with strangers on Instagram and Connect and friends and family on Facebook and really anyone who asked I'd hand my cellphone like "look! isn't it awesome!?" it didn't even occur to me that I didn't have on my mask in any of those pics. It was just me. Naked skin, completely exposed and I felt gorgeous and more comfortable than I ever have. I used to only feel pretty when I spent an hour highlighting the features I liked and camouflaging the ones I didn't but in Costa Rica I just said "it's too hot for this crap" and I don't regret one single picture that was taken. I love them all. Sweaty, shiny, dirty, makeup free and totally 110% ME.

In most of those pictures my head is wrapped up entirely in my bandanna so you can't see the unnatural black color that stained my strands. The unnatural black color that I had come to love and wear proudly for years! Not seeing that black made me realize how much work I had to do to make it look natural. I needed lots of eyebrow powder to darken them, I needed makeup to look healthy because without it I looked VERY pale, especially around my eyes because my brows and lashes are the same dishwater blonde that my hair naturally is. Then of course blush because I didn't want to look too pale, and if I'm doing brows, eyes, blush I've got to do lips too. I left my house without makeup all the time, I wasn't a prisoner to my cosmetics but when I did I didn't feel like my face matched my hair. I felt like I had a neon sign on my head that said "it's not natural!" it was like I was Mister Potato Head and someone put mis-matched pieces on my face. I didn't make sense. I mean I loved the black! I felt like a rock star and a total badass and I felt like it made my eyes look SUPER green and I liked that it was edgey...but being in CR and looking so...ME...I couldn't help but want that more often. Being edgy was fun but I started to feel like it was getting old. I needed a new image, I needed to shake things up and it just so happens I entered a new weight decade (when the second 2 numbers of your weight change it means you're in a new decade. So going from 150 to 148.4 put me in a new decade) the day I decided to transition from black to blonde.  

Let me just tell you, lifting 5 years of black is a process and my stylist is a hair goddess. 4 applications of bleach and 4.5 hours and we still weren't done-that was last week. I spent the next 7 days slightly orange and wondering if going blonde was the right choice. I was trying to go for more natural and though I didn't HATE the blorange (blonde orange) I didn't LOVE it either. I started to wonder if I was capable of being blonde and I started to worry that all the hard work she did was going to be forenot. Wonder if after all this I can't be blonde? I can't stay orange, and I'm ready to move on from black!! I don't usually stress about my hair (which is hard to beleive I'm sure because I'm writing an entire blog about it!) but for the past 7 days I've told everyone who says "I like your hair" that "IT'S NOT GOING TO STAY THIS WAY!! It's only orange because going from black to blonde can't happen n one step". I'm sure they didn't care but I did. I spent 7 days in limbo not liking what I had but not wanting to go back to where I came from either. Thankfully today after 2 more applications of bleach I am blonde and LOVING IT!! It is NOT natural at all but it feels more natural. I feel softer, prettier, younger and I don't feel like I have to maintain this edgy facade I created. I'm not edgy. I like animals and country music and I cry about everything, and I'm afraid of the dark...I'm soft. And squishy. But I've also got a fauxhawk which tells people who haven't read this blog "don't mess with me! I might be blonde but I'm slightly edgy!" LOL I feel like it's the perfect combination of who I was and who I am. I love that I can go without makeup and not look sick and I can use a small amount of powder in my brows to fill them in because they're thin but I don't HAVE to. It feels more me. The black felt like I was wearing a costume....and it was fun and it gave me confidence but now I want to wear my own skin and feel comfortable in it!  

I am learning to love myself more everyday without crutches like black hair dye, tons of makeup, Spanx, perfectly posed pictures...all of those things are wonderful and can definitely add a boost of confidence but I want to wake up everyday without all of those things and feel like all the pieces fit...and more importantly I want to wake up every morning and feel pretty!!!
Everyday I am embracing the fact that I am a square peg and I'm no longer trying to force myself into a round hole!!
Step 1: realize that long hair doesn't make me more feminine! It's OK to have short hair. I don't have long, thick, flowing locks and THAT'S OK.
Step 2: realize that I DO have enough confidence to have an asymmetrical funky haircut if I want to! Maybe I'm still more than 50 pounds from goal (at the time I was) but that doesn't mean I don't deserve to have something fun! Step 3: realize that people are going to see me no matter what. I often felt like as long as I didn't go against the grain, people wouldn't notice my size. If I didn't have funky hair, if I didn't wear hot pink lipstick, if I didn't draw attention to myself no one would pay attention to the fact that I was morbidly obese and if no one is paying attention to me, no one is judging me. Step 4: realize that confidence makes you pretty. Not makeup or a cute haircut. Step 5: put on a bikini.
Step 6: share your bikini story Step 7: Take off the mask Step 8: post "naked pictures" (naked skin people!! Naked skin...) for the whole world to see because you feel beautiful despite not wearing your mask.

Step 9: Look at those pictures OFTEN. Celebrate the changes you see in yourself physically and recognize how different you are emotionally.

Step 10: bleach the crap our of your hair and buy some hot pink lipstick so you can say to the world "I LOVE MYSELF". Even if the world doesn't hear you screaming that with your look, every time you look in a mirror you're going to be reminded that you do. And you should.

Step 11: Repeat this mantra daily "I'm a square peg and anyone who doesn't like it I'm gonna 
show em the square root right outta here'!" I can't take credit for that last quote because that was all my friend Crystal. It made me LOL so I had to share. ;-)
LOVE YOURSELF. If you're a square peg, embrace your corners. Trying to squeeze yourself into a round hole because you think that's what you're supposed to do hurts...<3 embrace your unique self and LOVE every quirky little corner you've got!!

-t

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