What Works For Me: A Little Support

Oh swing me way down south
Sing me something brave from your mouth
And I’ll bring you pearls of water on my hips
And the love in my lips
All the love in my lips

–From Truth #2 by Patty Griffin

 I’ve always felt pretty comfortable in my body and, for the most part, I like the way I look.  I’ve written about my face before, and the issues that come with having a weird illness like scleroderma, but that is completely separate from my body.  Sure, I have the odd day where I feel fat or ugly, but don’t we all?  I try fairly hard to look nice, because when I feel pretty, I just feel better in general.

I take fairly good care of myself, and try to eat healthy and exercise.  A little.  I’m not a fan of sweating, and I prefer to be indoors, blogging, if I can.  But that only benefits my head and my heart, not my hips.  Oh, and I love to eat.  I’m from a family of eaters, raised in San Antonio, and still living in Texas, which means I love anything chicken fried or covered in queso.  Or both, in the case of my favorite taco, the Trailer Park (extra trashy, please!) from Torchy’s Tacos.

My body carried two big boys in two years time and worked extremely hard to bring them into this world.  I lifted them with my arms and nursed them from my breasts, and now, I spend a lot of time chasing them everywhere.  I’m 34, and things are beginning to head a bit south, so the time has come to do something about it. Gracefully, as God intended.

One of my most treasured movies is Steel Magnolias, which I love for its incredible quotes that fit so aptly within my everyday life, and this exchange, between Dolly Parton and Olympia Dukakis’ characters,  would cause me to just keel over and die if someone ever said that about me.  Please, Lord, may my backside never look like I’ve got two pigs fighting under a blanket!

My mom “raised me right,” too, so I have invested in a little bit of lycra, and it has made all the difference.

After James’ birth, my body snapped back pretty quickly.  And then I struggled with an overactive thyroid, somewhat common after pregnancy, and lost too much weight.  I walked daily with James when he was tiny, and then throughout my pregnancy with Rhys, but maintaining a workout regimen became nearly impossible once I had two babies to care for all day long.  It’s hard to do cardio with little legs running to keep up.  I try to get in a bit of physical activity when I’m playing outside with them, and I’m hoping to find more exercise time once preschool starts in a few weeks.

But my body has definitely changed, for better or worse, and I’m adjusting to its hills and valleys.  I now have a tummy, where once there was none, and there’s definitely some junk in my trunk, too.  But I don’t feel embarrassed by this, and I’m learning to embrace it.

The lovely Alison, from Wardrobe Oxygen, has written about control undergarments in the past, and because I could not find her recommendation in stores, I found the next best thing.  This shapewear by DKNY has been a lifesaver for me, softly lifting up and smoothing out what needs to be lifted and smoothed, and I feel confident wearing skirts and dresses that are a bit clingy.  And best of all, I don’t feel like a sausage encased in a wrapper, because the material is breathable and stretchy, perfect for the heat of a Texas summer.

I admit I’m a little wary sharing this with you, but when I find something that works, I like to shout it from the mountaintop, or, at least, from my blog.  I’m a big believer in taking all the help you can get to look great, and in this case, it’s turned out to be painless.

(Cakewalk, in a very old Target dress, with a little bit of invisible support.)

Do you have a secret beauty tip or trick that works for you?  Feel free to spill the beans!


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