Natalie is a lover of the written word, avocados, beach picnics and champagne. She lives in San Diego with her hilarious and charming husband Brian and scruffy puppy Maggie, and is a Managing Editor for Darling Magazine. You can find her blogging at Thoughts by Natalie, or follow her on Twitter at @natalieborton.
1. Learning. The more I know, the more beautiful I feel. I enjoy reading (books, blogs and magazines alike), traveling and watching documentaries—and I also record nearly every show on Discovery Fit & Health. I love cultivating a beautiful mind (which lasts much longer than a beautiful body) by learning about people, cultures, and especially the way the human body works.
2. My hubby. Brian challenges my mind, encourages me to pursue my passions, leads me closer to God, and makes me laugh more than anyone I know—all things that make me feel radiant, alive and, yes, beautiful.
3. Embracing the natural. I’ve learned that I feel most beautiful when I let my hair air dry and skip my mascara. It makes me feel free to be my authentic self, and takes my focus off of my physical appearance because I spend less time on it.
4. Writing. I love writing truth that encourages other women—especially about real beauty and true identity. It’s how I express myself most authentically.
5. A morning run. Morning is key here, because after 9am my run is sure to be a chore rather than a beauty-infuser. In the morning, the air is crisp and the day is young. I love it when my shoes hit the pavement as the sun is creeping into the sky.
What: Writer and Social Media Pro
Blog: Stop Me if You’ve Heard This One
Hi, E&C-ers! My name is Justine, and I blog about life, love, and awkwardness over at Stop Me if You’ve Heard This One. (Some of you may remember me from my No Fat Talk post back in February.) I’m so thrilled to be contributing to Madison’s “What 5 Things Make You Feel Beautiful?” segment—isn’t it just like her to come up with something so upbuilding and fun?
1. Getting gussied up.
I’m pretty capable in the ways of getting dressed up and doing my own hair and makeup, but I absolutely love having someone else take care of these things for me. Nothing makes me feel fancier than getting my nails, hair, or makeup done, and I’m a pretty big fan of feeling fancy.
2. Physician’s Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum in Ultra Black
When you have eyes that rival most cartoon deer’s, you tend to gravitate toward products that help you play up that feature. This particular eyeliner claims to offer “longer, fuller, more enhanced” lashes. I don’t know if that’s actually true, but I do know that it comes in a user-friendly pen format that makes creating the perfect cat eye a breeze. Sold.
3. An exhausting workout
It might seem counterintuitive, but I never feel prettier than after I’ve completed a grueling long run or a killer lifting session at the gym and am covered head-to-toe in hard-earned sweat. It makes me appreciate everything about my body and how strong it is. (Plus, it doesn’t hurt when I notice I’m lifting heavier weights than some of the boys!)
4. Conair Double Ceramic 1 ¼” Curling Iron
Even when I’m doing my own hair, I always feel my prettiest with big, soft waves. (I can’t help it; it’s my inner southern girl creeping out.) Nature wanted me to have pin straight hair, but a big curling iron helps me get the perfect shape, and this particular model has a ceramic barrel is less damaging to my hair. I’m so obsessed, I even posted a tutorial on my blog about how I do it. Like I said. Obsessed.
I don’t think a single day goes by without my husband telling me how beautiful he thinks I am. His admiration (for my inner andouter beauty) was such a crucial part in my overcoming so many of my own insecurities, and he’s a constant reminder to me of the things I should love about myself. A perfect example? One night, we were cuddling on the couch watching a movie and he started running his hand over my stomach. I groaned and told him to “stop playing with my fat,” and he replied, “That’s not what I was doing…your skin is just so soft…” How could you not love that?
Thanks, Justine, for sharing your 5 things! If you’re interested in sharing your 5 things for No Fat Talk Tuesday, shoot me an e-mail (email@example.com) for more information!
Today’s No Fat Talk Tuesday post comes to us from Melissa. Melissa is a fellow ISU grad and I feel like I’ve gotten to know her through the e-mails we have exchanged over the last handful of months. Melissa’s story is incredibly touching and personal and I’m so happy to have her share with everyone today. Thank you, Melissa! – Madison
I’ve wanted to share my story for a long time, yet part of me holds back. How do I put into words what’s been such a huge part of my life? Do I really want everyone to see my imperfections? I also wanted to wait until I had overcome and perfected my struggles. But I’m learning that life is an ever changing process, not a state of perfection to be reached. There will be days when I love my body, but there will also be days when I’m not as kind with myself as I should be. Sometimes I feel like I have so far yet to go, but when I stop and look back I see how far I’ve really come. No Fat Talk Tuesday is the perfect opportunity to find encouragement regardless of where you’re at in the process.
I can’t pinpoint when everything started, it was a slow gradual change. In college I decided to start eating healthier and exercising regularly. I had more energy and felt great so I continued, thinking more meant better. Each day I would eat a little less and exercise a little more. The numbers on the scale continued to drop but so did my energy and concentration. I still wasn’t happy with my body and told myself I just needed to lose a few more pounds and then I would stop. This continued for quite some time until I was finally ready to admit I’d gone too far. I promised myself I would make changes, try harder and stop mistreating my body. I wanted to stop and I knew exactly what the problem was, but by that time the habits had formed and I was no longer in control.
Being a food science major also going for a minor in nutrition I had just enough knowledge to be dangerous. I knew exactly what I needed to do as far as food and exercise were concerned, but knowing and doing are two different things. Since I already knew the answers I didn’t want help and told myself I just needed to try a little harder.
I didn’t believe the people who told me I could die. I remember telling them, “Don’t worry, I feel fine. I’m not going to die!” Looking back, I realize what a miracle it is that I’m still alive. Eventually I realized how exhausted I was. I was tired of having no energy, tired of constantly thinking about food and overanalyzing everything I ate, tired of trying each day and failing, tired of hating myself.
To make a long story short I agreed to withdraw from classes and go to a treatment program at a hospital. Thankfully, it wasn’t half as scary as I had imagined it to be. It was almost like going to school to learn how to take care of myself. I learned so much about life and myself during that time. Don’t get me wrong, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever been through. Looking back I realize I’ve finally reached a point where I’m thankful for my experience and all it has taught me.
Happiness is not tied to the size or shape of your body. Confidence does not come from a number on a scale (or whatever else you may struggle with: achievements, approval of others, money, status, alcohol, drugs, sex, etc). My weight has been all over the charts yet I was never satisfied with any number. I’m learning that only God can satisfy my deepest desires and calm my fears and insecurities. True beauty starts deep within from a peace only God can provide. Only He can truly fill the emptiness inside each of us.
Life is a gift to be enjoyed, not wasted obsessing over a body that won’t last. No Fat Talk Tuesday is a reminder to stop the fat talk and enjoy what really matters in life. Instead of working towards unrealistic ideals that will leave me empty, I can choose to embrace my unique characteristics and use my gifts and abilities to enjoy life.
Some days I wonder if I’ll ever really like my body. Then I remember I’ve already wasted too much time waiting for the “liking” and missing out on the “doing”. Confidence and self-esteem will not come at a certain size or number but rather from jumping into the adventure of life. Take a risk, be curious, look for excitement, practice the art of being content and count your blessings are daily reminders I need to hear. While I don’t have this all down yet, I’m learning to find a healthy balance one mistake at a time. We were created for so much more than obsessing over appearance or striving for perfection. Discovering what really matters in life makes all the difference. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
If you’re interested in sharing your No Fat Talk Tuesday story, I would love to hear from you! Send me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information!
After sharing my body confidence story last week, I got a lot of e-mails and questions asking about resources to aid in building body confidence. I thought that for today’s No Fat Talk Tuesday, I would put together a list of some of my favorite sites and books, both old and new, that are doing great work in supporting women and promoting self confidence in the right way. Leave a comment below if you have any other suggestions for people to check out!
Darling Magazine | darlingmagazine.org
Living Proof Ministries | Website
So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore | Find it on Amazon Here
Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth | Find it on Amazon Here
Operation Beautiful | Website
Oh She Glows – Journey To Health Series | Website
Wonderfully Made | Website
My name is Madison and I'm a 26-year-old writer, recipe developer and editor living in the great state of Minnesota. Welcome to Espresso and Cream, and thanks for stopping by!
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