To all the ladies:

I am writing to all women!  Whether you are skinny, tall, short, a little overweight or a lot overweight.  Those with beautiful bodies and those who wish they could trade with someone else.  Those women who look in the mirror everyday and only see a few flaws as well as those who see countless!  No matter how young or how old; children or no children!  This is for you!

I am a 32-year-old single mother of two who stands on a 5’3″ tall frame that has more than just a few flaws (and yes I am one of those who stares in the mirror sometimes wishing I could trade bodies)!  I have stretch marks from two pregnancies, scars from surgeries and acne, as well as many other imperfections.  I have more gray hair than my mother and then most twice my age.  Hey that is what Clairol is for right!!  For the last 14 years or so I have struggled to keep a steady weight which has ranged between 145 and 160 lbs (although I have surpassed that a time or two) and I have yet to get myself back into my high school blue jeans.  The weight has been winning this battle not the blue jeans ladies although at my age I wish I could say it was the other way around!!  I realized a long time ago that I was never going to be the 105 lbs soaking wet that I was my senior year of high school.  I finally got rid of the clothes and started accepting the fact that after two children and a full hysterectomy a few years ago (endometriosis) it just was not going to happen.  Let’s be real ladies, when you gain an extra 35 lbs than what you are supposed to with your first child the tummy is never the same again!  Although I did great with my second pregnancy, the damage was done and when my doctor told me I had to be cut for my hysterectomy surgery instead of going through my belly button I gave up!

There are some things I have learned through this whole process, especially going through full-blown menopause at my age, and they are:

  1. Although I may never be my high school size again, I have proven to myself that I can still lose weight (40 lbs in the last 8 months)!  Little note:  MENOPAUSE OR PERIMENOPAUSE (whatever you want to call it) SUCKS WHEN IT COMES TO TRYING TO MAINTAIN WEIGHT!
  2. Not every man God allowed to be intermingled on Earth with us is interested in the same kind of woman – they are all different just like we are (although sometimes it is really hard to tell).
  3. I know I have my flaws but I am still seen as an attractive woman by the opposite sex because good men who aren’t looking for absolute perfection are still out there; and
  4. Most importantly I have learned to love me for who I am and how God made me.  My scars on the outside represent motherhood and unfortunately surgeries I just couldn’t escape at my age.  The scars I carry on the inside, well those have made me who I am today.  Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t grow up with a silver spoon (thank you mama) and I did have a hard life for many different reasons, but they made me a strong woman.

Not everything we experience in our lives as women is going to be easy or pleasant to say the least.  We are gonna cry, we are gonna hurt, and scars are going to be left behind when the wounds heal.  One of the most valuable actions we can take as a woman is to embrace our inner beauty and love ourselves for who we are not what we aren’t.  I don’t know everything about life but I do know that if we can’t love ourselves then how can we expect anyone else too?  We all know the old saying “beauty is only skin deep” and most of you are probably thinking to yourselves (or out loud) ‘yeah, yeah, yeah I hear that all the time’ but we all know it to be the truth.  Real beauty cannot be judged by our clothes, our hair, our skin, our bodies, nor how much makeup we wear.  Sure all those things might help us attract more attention or even superficially make us feel better about ourselves.  However, let me be the first to admit and say that NONE of them will matter if we are miserable on the inside!  Our personalities and attitudes are the “make it or break it” in any of our relationships and as women that is what we all need to remember.

So for all you women who struggle day in and day out with your “outer beauty” it’s time to STOP!  Start taking a look at your “inner beauty”!  Embrace and love who you are and stop dwelling on your outward flaws no matter what they may be!

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