Occasionally I invite guest bloggers that have great knowledge or insight through their expertise that may be relevant to my community. Melissa Murray has a good one here! Enjoy!

Guest Blogger: Melissa Murray

Body imageLife changes and so does our body and style as we evolve. Notice I said evolve verses age!

There are very few people in this world that stay the same shape and size from their 20’s to 60’s. So, let’s get real! You need to have clothes in your closet that fit TODAY and are age appropriate. Living in the past does not bode well for your mental well-being and self body image.

Last year I gained some very unwanted pounds. Hello 40! And let’s face it—I am not a workout maven. So imagine my horror of walking into a closet full of fabulous clothes and NOTHING fits!  My pants were too tight and too short all of the sudden (while I would love to say that the cleaners shrunk my clothes, we all know otherwise), my blazers wouldn’t button and my face certainly filled out (funny thing, people kept asking me if I had done fillers – ahhh, one silver lining). Let me hear an AMEN!

Getting dressed was just painful. Plus, I refused to go buy a new wardrobe because I had a closet full of things I loved! I did buy a few oversized tops with big print and “body shaping slim wear”. I can hear the gasping now because if you know or have worked with me, my philosophy is that if you need to wear body shaping slim wear, you are wearing the wrong size, fabric and style for your body. My point here is that rather than buying things to flatter my new curves, I either buried myself in too much fabric or tried to squeeze into things that no longer fit.

As an Image & Branding Consultant, I felt like I was living a double life because I would preach one thing but not take the necessary steps to boost my confidence by removing all of the clothes in my closet that no longer fit and invest in SMART pieces. Instead, I chose to torture myself every time I got dressed—we’ve all done it—the huffing, puffing, ranting, raving and then the head trash takes over.

Body imageFor the first time since becoming an Image Consultant, I finally understood and could empathize with what some of my clients were feeling and going through.  When I work with a client, I immediately see the beauty and essence of who they are—even before they know it exists. When you can help someone accept their body as it exists today and dress them in clothes that fit and flatter—the transition you see on the inside is equally as breath-taking!

What I realized is that I can’t preach about loving yourself for who you are today and live a completely different philosophy. Walk the talk! The lesson for today is self acceptance. Speak kindly to yourself and about yourself.  When I finally followed my own advice and was more accepting of my body image, the pounds started coming off.

 Melissa Murray is a stylist for celebrities, executives and other high profile individuals.  She is the founder of Styleology Group www.StyleologyGroup.com She has been a featured expert for Fox News, NBC, iHeart Media, Of Eleven Media, KPRi 102.1, Fashion Institute of Technology, Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising and many more.