Frumps to Pumps: Join the Challenge

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Contrary to what the title might imply, this book is not about being more stylish, at least not directly. It’s really about self-care, which has been a big theme in my life lately. I remember that after my son was born, I would feel so depressed if I wore the same pajamas all day. Then, even when I would change my clothes, I started to hate always wearing stretched out leggings and baggy t-shirts. Initially the excuse was my postpartum figure, but soon that reason ran out on me. I always made some effort to look nice for church and for years it was the only day I wore makeup.

Why I Am Doing This

I have no illusions that getting dressed each day in clothes that flatter me and make me feel good about myself will solve all of my problems. But one thing is for sure, staying in my pj’s wasn’t helping and was probably making things worse. Hopefully I’ll be posting here each week as I work my way through Frumps to Pumps. The book suggests that you read part of the motivational (the author’s term for half devotional half motivational book) each day. Personally, I know that is unlikely to happen, so I’m focusing on reading one chapter a week. If you want to pursue this as a daily challenge, feel free. Otherwise you can join me as I work through it at a slightly slower pace. I’m finding this book very encouraging so far. The suggested challenges haven’t always been easy, but I find that when I do them I feel better about myself. On the heels of reading the No-Brainer Wardrobe which focused more on the nitty gritty of developing a cohesive style with a small wardrobe, this seemed like a great way to get at the heart of the matter. So today we begin.

Who Are You?

This chapter focuses on our identity in Christ, was coincidentally (or perhaps not) was a sermon topic at my church  recently. I am a beloved child of God, first, last and always. I am not defined by my brains, my talents or my body, as beautiful as I may or may not think it is. The hardest thing she said that I needed to hear is that we don’t need to try to earn the love of our Father. We already have it and nothing we can do would earn in anyway. I have an achiever by nature, some would say an overachiever. This is part of how I’ve always defined myself. So when I decided that I was going to update my look and focus on creating a wardrobe I would feel good in, I went at it full force, probably spending far more time, energy and money on the project than I ought to. I forgot, at least for a little while, that yes, dressing to please myself can help with my mood and outlook, but it can’t replace the unconditional love offered to me by my Savior and Father God. I needed that reminder.

Inspiration I’ve gathered

I am beautiful just the way I am. God made my body amazing. It may have changed since I had my kids but it is still beautiful. Most of it works well, and I can be grateful for that. I enjoy many activities with it. God made me, all of me to be beautiful. That is who I am, my body is only one part of who I am. I need to focus on all of me and ultimately on the one who made me beautiful, inside and out.

Challenges I’ve pursued

 I’ve been getting dressed. I don’t always succeed, but I’m working towards getting dressed everyday in clothes that make me feel good about myself. If I’m going out, my goal is also to put on some make up. Just enough to smooth my complexion, covering blemishes and dark circles. For me, the magic time is noon. If I haven’t exercised by noon, I change out of workout clothes. The book recommends that the official getting dressed time be before 10 AM. I am shooting to move the time up, kind of pretending that I have a morning meeting (which I sometimes do) so that I force myself to get dressed. So join the challenge. For the next week, focus on getting dressed everyday. Not just throwing clothes on your body, but putting on something that will help you feel ready to face the day. If wearing makeup makes a difference to you, then do it, even if it means the kids have to wait for their breakfasts for an extra 2 minutes. They will survive, and hopefully you’ll be feeling better about yourself and thus in a better mood to start the day.

Additional suggested challenges

The book suggests finding an accountability partner, a spouse, friend or even your kids. Someone to help you remember to take care of yourself by getting dressed and someone to cheer you on as you invest in yourself. Also, try creating a chart or calender and marking off each day that you get dressed. If you make it through the whole week, plan a small reward for yourself, in additional to the great emotional payoff that comes with taking care of yourself. Happy dressing ladies (and perhaps a gentleman or two who has decided to join us), see you next week.

Next: Frumps to Pumps: Know Your Why

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