Socrates said, "Thou shouldst eat to live, not live to eat".

My life has been a mix of both.

And I am certain almost every human being has been the same at one point in their life or another.

I've lived through moments where food was in control, and moments where I controlled food, including to the extreme.
Anorexia to Binge Eating Disorder to both. 
All control, or none.

(2000, in recovery.)



(2008)


I look back on my life and see how much the thought of food has been a demonic companion of mine; whispering lies in my ear that I was clearly well aware of, but bending my mind such until it won. Scene change and you'll find me hastily making brownies and consuming almost all of it (if I hadn't finished it after the batter was made, claiming if I got Salmonella that it would have been worth it) or running to either a fast food place or the store and buying whatever it was I was craving at that moment.

I've never had a healthy relationship to food.

This past year some members in my family have taken on a healthy regimen and weekly we will update each other on our progress. 

The other day a family member shared:

"Weigh in: I weighed myself on Monday and was down 1.5 lbs, which shocked me because I've been a super slacker lately.... I didn't care to weigh myself this morning (Wednesday) because I binged on tons of junk last night, got sick to my stomach, and soon wallowed away in self pity. :( I'm so mad at myself...I know better and I know where my life will go if I don't whip myself back into shape. I will be MISERABLE and I can't go there again! I just can't!
"My complaints were this: I'm sick of eating the same dang (healthy) food all the time, I hate tracking and I don't want to do it for the rest of my life, why can't I just eat whatever and not have it affect me like how it is with (some) women!? Bottom line is...I am BORED with (healthy eating). It's a pain in the butt to follow, especially for the rest of your life...
"BUT
"I have to keep telling myself that I HAVE to do it or I will be miserable...just like how I feel right now. Sick, fat, and no confidence. :( Anything that's worth having you have to work hard for, it's just life and I need to quit whining and find joy in it again. Who else is with me!? Let's do this!!! Let's give each other ideas on how to find the joy and motivation again! We CAN do it! And if we fall, we gotta forgive ourselves, sincerely, pick ourselves back up and keep going!"

Reading this post threw me back to the many mornings I felt exactly like my family member did. Why did I eat so much, knowing I was gonna feel like crap later, and still did it? Almost every night I would buy the large bags of PB M&Ms (the 18oz bag and if I'm not mistaken that was about 2800 calories) and eat all of it, in one sitting. It was my reward after surviving what I felt like was another a long day with the kids. I then decided to cut out chocolate because maybe that would help me get healthy again. 

Nope. I replaced the PB M&Ms with a whole bag of powdered donuts. 


I used to think that because I overcame anorexia, that it was a free pass to eat as often as I wanted. I hated how my clothes got tighter, how I was exhausted constantly, and how sad I was...but it had to be better than before, right? But where's the control I had before? Why can't I find even a smidgen of that control and use it to eat better?

I would then force myself to go hours without eating until I couldn't take it anymore, tell myself I'd have a small sandwich and before I knew it, was consuming my third Nutella and PB sandwich and now onto making a box of mac and cheese to eat. The whole box if I could keep my kids from seeing it.

My mind didn't understand a healthy control to food. All I knew was how to eat none of it, or all of it.

And so all of it, I did. It must be the better option!

Upon reading article upon article on anorexia as well as binge eating, I've found both are terrible for your health. One is truly no better than the other.

"I have to find a balance", I remember thinking. "How do I have enough control over food without going back to having too much control?" Control is a scary thing to have, when you know you have and can abuse it. 

I feared myself. For I had within me the power to destroy myself. 

.......but was I not already destroying myself?

My sister shared this article with the family, titled, "Why Moderation is a Poo Emoji".

Some foods, for my health, must be avoided.
And that made me sad...letting go of something I loved, something I felt lifted me up, something I could rely on. But no, it was for something much different....

And this is where I wrote a reply to my family member's message:

"Being healthy, or trying to stay on the bandwagon, is hard. It does get easier with time though. But that's why I allow myself a cheat day. A health-guru friend told me years ago, 'allow yourself three cheat meals a week, or a cheat day'. Now, I can't just do a cheat meal without destroying the rest of the day. But I do like that option. So let's say you and hubs want to go out Friday night and you know you're going to Cheesecake Factory where you're gonna buy fried mac n cheese, a hamburger with fries, and a slice of cheesecake (this is what I always get) but it's your daughter's birthday today and it's Monday. Have a slice of cake and ice cream but on Friday, wait until late afternoon before going crazy with the food.
"I personally hate documenting my diet. Maybe it's because I'm not structured enough but man do I burn out hard with counting calories or carbs or proteins or macros. (Ok, I do count carbs with this diet. Ish.) But I've learned that what really is best is going with what FEELS good. We all know in a moment of desperation what we think feels good is a whole plate of graham cracker cookies (guilty) but it's so important to listen and know your body when it's giving you the "uh-huh" and the "nuh-uh" (how I feel my body speaks to me). And sometimes we have to slap our own hand before consuming the remaining quarter gallon of chocolate milk sitting in the fridge because we must tell ourselves what the next few hours will be if do that. We know it'll bring on the cravings, we know we'll feel miserable. We know we'll end up ruining dinner and buying Burger King because we don't want a healthy chicken breast now that we've got our palate ready for some real good food.
"I know for some of us, moderation is hard or should be avoided all together. I remember (Sister) posting an article a while ago about how sometimes avoiding certain triggering foods is truly better than attempting moderation of those foods when we know they'll throw us off the bandwagon eventually.
"Remember that you're worth fighting for. That your health is worth skipping out on those cravings when they hit hard. Last night I was craving all things chocolate and it was *rough* to not whip something up and escape life during the five minutes I'm consuming something that will ultimately have me living the rest of the evening in regret.
"For some (read: ME, this whole paragraph is ME) food is an escape. It's a 'forget that I have a million bills to pay' and a 'forget that my child is having a hard time and I don't know what to do' and a 'forget that I have three loads of laundry to fold and oh yeah, dishes too'. When I find what I'm escaping from, usually the craving will subside because when you think about it, food only bandaids the problem, doesn't solve it... the problem will always resurface and food will always be there. What we're doing is conditioning ourselves to believe that food is the remedy to our hardcore emotions, when it's not. Sometimes we cave not because the food is good, but because the emotions become too much. So is feeling crappy after eating these foods really worth adding to how crappy we already feel?
"I just want to feel good and look good. I don't think that's too much to ask. And yet, there's times when it feels like it is. My volatile relationship to food is real. It's literally like being in an abusive relationship...but the other person is FOOD. Which makes it sound even more stupid that I allow IT to win. The only mind games from this relationship are from ME, not the food. It's all me, it's all in my head.
"Sorry for the novel. I feel I can write a book about food, diets, weight-loss, fitness and how that has affected me these last few years. I feel like I'm always trying to create a new relationship with food. It's like I make healthy boundaries, something happens, I let my guard down, feel fat/gross, get trampled by my cravings/emotions and then I finally say, 'to hell with this!' and am starting the cycle over again. Good news for me, the cycle can be started as many times as I darn-well please. There's no limit to the amount of chances one can have to try to be healthy. <3
"As I say, over and over, YOU'VE. GOT. THIS. <3 WE'VE. GOT. THIS. I believe in all of us. We're worth it."

Every weekday morning I post a picture on my Instagram story of me before I go to the gym. I started doing that I-can't-remember-how-long ago (maybe a year and a half?) on Snapchat (which I no longer use) to keep myself accountable. How I love the gym! But I was just getting out of a painful rut where I was only attending half the time and doing half the workout. I hated the days I didn't attend, letting myself and my health down, but it wasn't in me to do more.

Posting a daily picture was proving to myself that I was worth getting myself out of bed early for, for me, for my health, for those that I love. I want to prove that I won't quit. I won't back down. I won't let life's crap hold me down from what I love, neither let it hold me back from loving myself.

I must start my day with me, my health. For it sets the mood for the rest of the day and in return, I can give more to others, for I'm not living off emotional/mental/physical fumes.

I've since coined the phrase, "I never regret a workout, but I almost always regret sleeping in".
August 17, 2017:

Yes, I liked my own post! It was HARD getting out of bed that morning. :P

I struggle, every day, with being healthy and eating right. I still look at the mirror and don't like certain parts of my body. I still find myself fighting the urge to buy myself half a dozen donuts (which I will eat all, in one sitting). But I promise you that the longer you keep at it, the easier it becomes. And no, your addiction to food will not change overnight. But you can be one day stronger than your addiction. If your addiction is a monster and you're a mouse, every time you grow in strength, your monster shrinks. Become the monster to your addictions and devour them.

While this post was in draft, Facebook notified me of a post I posted a year ago. Here's what it said:


Ten years ago, I searched incessantly for that "miracle pill" that would have me shedding the weight and feeling great because that's what was promised and therefore that's what I believed. #gulliblemuch? After trying a handful or so of different diet pills, and after noticing how miserable, unhealthy, and in pain I was once the pill bottle was empty, I begrudgingly accepted that I needed to put work towards being healthy, not leave it up to a pill whose ingredients are a big question mark.

It wasn't until three years after this realization that I made up my mind to do anything about it.

The above post came after I had a conversation with a friend. She would come to me every six months or so and say, "Ok, what is your secret?" and I'd tell her what I listed above, each time. After a couple years of this I said, "Wait, do you think I'm taking diet pills and not telling anyone about it?" to which she replied, "Well, I used to think so...but not so much any more".

You guys, there is a miracle pill. 

It's already in you.
It's the belief you have in you. 
It's the knowledge that you're powerful, priceless, and worth the damn fight.


Ignite the power within.
And watch your whole world change.
Don't let anything or anyone stop you.
Quit caring what others think of you.
Love yourself and you'll find those that will love you too.
(Insert photo that would make a decent thumbnail.
Texas sunset, April 14, 2017)

I am exhausted.

Two kid of my three kids are sick today.
My husband is out of town.
My mind was a running mess last night, so sleep hardly happened, on top of being scared awake by a sick kiddo, and my alarm going off a 5:30am (and getting up after hitting snooze for an hour).

I should be napping instead of writing.

My bed calls for me.

But the call to write won't. go. away. And therefore,
Here I am.

So, Easter.

Growing up I didn't see Easter as different than any other Sunday:

I got up.
Sometimes (read: almost always) begrudgingly.
Put on a dress.
Slapped on makeup. Maybe.
Fixed my hair.
Grabbed my scriptures.
And would always make it to church on time.

And, for the most part, every Sunday we talked about Christ.

What made Easter unique to me was the candy and gifts I'd get; actually I'd expect, on top of a nice dinner, sometimes with a house filled with loved ones.

And this went on all my life.

Cut to today.
Church.

I sit in the front row. I like it here. It's less stuffy up here, although it is a little uncomfortable being right next to the person giving the lesson as many times they look to you when asking a question. However, up here I feel I can breathe and not be distracted by those in front of me.

But these past several Sundays I've found myself tuning out the person speaking and looking in this direction:

And drowning myself in that painting on the wall:

(Christ visiting Mary Magdalene, three days after His death)

These past few years has taught me many things about Christ. But it's so hard to have it summed up in a brief paragraph when a person asks, "What makes Christ special to you? What makes His atonement special to you? How has your relationship with Him been strengthened in the knowledge you have of Him?"

I can't answer with scriptures or quotes as I can with personal experience.
If you ask me, if you want to know Christ better, read the book of John.

What I will tell you is this:

I have come to many crossroads in my life, on my path to finding truth.
I have come to battle every last thing that was told to me as true, and had to go within to find if it really is.
I have waded through the murkiest, deepest waters as I realized that I am questioning everything of my mortal existence; my last 30+ years on this Earth.
Questioning everything I leaned on, everything that I was told would support me in this world and in the heavens.

And unfortunately,
Unfortunately,
I watched as everything crumbled around me. My inner empire, dismantling.
Every "truth" I ran to fell to the ground, only to turn around and find my next place to go, in shambles.
My sky was dark. My world shook. And I was alone.

But underneath it all. Underneath the rubbage, I found solid ground.

"We'll rebuild you, piece by piece," I heard God say to me. We, meaning He, Christ, and me. A team that required action on all parts.

I found that when I've questioned everything, even the most terrifying things to question, one thing always remained: Christ.

Even my believe in God has changed...but in expansion of understanding the Being that He is.

So--"What makes Christ special to you?"

How about that one day, March 2014, when I was hit with some heavy news? News that shook me to my core. News that affected the rest of my empire. News that had what was left of my beliefs cracking and finally, after my attempts to hold those remaining pillars up, I let it go, defeated.
Two days later, while walking out to get the mail, the day dreary and rain drizzling, I could feel Christ walking alongside me and I could feel Him say, "I am sending you this rain, to show you that I understand how you feel. I'm with you, Ok?" He didn't say to suck it up and feel better. No, He didn't say this was for the best. No, he didn't say that the heavy news I accepted was something I needed.
He was simply PRESENT.

What I have found is that:

Christ is a personal Savior.
What you feel He wants for you, is not going to be what He wants for someone else.
...if that were the case, we'd all be born into the same life, the same mindset, the same traditions.

Christ knows too what you need from Him.

I often wonder why Christ appeared to Mary Magdalene first, after His death. I love the idea of He and Mary being married, but not only that, He and Mary having a special bond, a soul connection so deep, that maybe she was led to find Him, as she knew, instinctively, that He would be there.


I look at that image of Mary, how she kneels before Him, no doubt in emotion, let alone to the Savior of the world, and I beg to know what's in her mind.
She reaches to Him and He tells her she can't. "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended unto my Father..." (John 20:17) He sees her, before going to God. He makes it a point to be with her first. He knows she's mourning. He knows she wants Him. And He gives her that. He becomes PRESENT.
How must that have felt, Mary? To have watched a person you love so deeply, who loved you that much (and more?) back, suffer the worst physical, emotional, and spiritual pain as they die before you, with you having no way to save Him from it? How you must have felt His pain, to some degree.
How must it have felt to be relieved to see Him, but upsetting you can't express that through even the most simple of gestures as an embrace.

I wonder a lot of other things as I stare off, into this picture.

Like:
How Christ expressed his love, care, and profound respect towards women while he served during his 30+ years on this Earth.
How Christ didn't see first the sins of those around him, but the soul (1 Sam 16:7).
How Christ, even knowing the sins of others, never judged. But expressed a love so quiet, yet powerful, that it changed lives.

Just as He changed mine. And made me better.

Happy Easter. I wish you, with all my heart, a day full of love, happiness, and warm embraces.
I miss my kiddos being little.
Every time I see a picture of them as a baby or a toddler, I find myself fighting the sobs. Nevertheless, water will fill my eyes.

My kids will ask why I get emotional when I see these pictures.

I will say, "I cry because it makes me wish I could go back in time and hold you all, snuggle with you all real tight one last time...you have grown up so fast. I miss your littleness."

And while that is true...it's not the full truth.

What I really mean is:

I cry because it makes me wish I could go back and in time and first hold myself, tell myself to quit beating myself up over the fact that I felt like a terrible mother, an ugly wife, a miserable friend, a confused child of God due to an unknown anxiety that plagued me so fiercely I could barely function, on top of the wrong medication I was taking that had me a zombie.

Then I would hold my kids, hold them so tight; savoring the moment, a moment I felt too overwhelmed to take the time to do, and tell them just how precious they are to me and how proud I am of the people they have become and how everyday I feel honored to know I have the privilege of being their mom. 

I cry because these are all things I wish I could do, now that I'm outside of that old world, now that I have a different mindset. Now that I'm pain-free, anxiety-free and depression-free.


I'm showing you these pictures not because I feel that being overweight will make you miserable. I have full confidence that if I were leading a better life at this weight, I would have been truly happy, confident, and felt sexy in my own skin. Weight is a number....and no matter the number, it won't bring you any form of happiness, confidence, and feeling of beauty if you aren't doing all that you can not only for your body, but for the growth of your mind, heart, and soul.
Even at my lowest weight in life, I was unhappy and felt good for nothing.

But I cry because I remember how much I hated what I saw in the mirror. I hated that no matter how I did my hair or how I did my makeup, that it was all a bandaid to how miserable I was, forgetting that it was my heart and mind that needed help, not my looks.

I cry because I woke up depressed, every day, counting down the hours until the kids' bedtime just so I could stay up to a ridiculous hour, binge watching TV while binge eating until guilt had me finally crawling in bed, knowing that my day would start in just a few hours.

I cry because I didn't know that it was ok to say to those around you, "I need a break. I need your help. I need you to help me."

I cry because I didn't know that to love myself was what God not only wanted for me but wants for all of us and that to love yourself does not mean you'll become arrogant, vain, prideful.

I cry because I was so confused with how the path I felt I should continue on made me feel repressed and of little value, but was told may have some great reward in the end--if I make it and IF that's even true.

I cry because I felt I was measured best by living in a mold that didn't honor me.
And that I had no value if I didn't endure to the end in this mold.

I cry because I lost friends as I didn't understand how to show unconditional love. 
Because to love someone as they are, with no exceptions, was scary.

I cry because I tried fitting others into a mold which only showed them that I loved conditionally.

Finally, I cry because this mindset was of a person attempting to raise three kids, to teach them how to be the best little humans this planet needs; to love others as God loves them...and yet, I didn't even have the basics within me to stop and love them like I feel I should've.

But then, I stumble across photos like this:

 (July 2007)

And I'm reminded of God's tender mercies. How He helps us where we lack, how He takes control when we feel we can do no more. How He understands our mindset, and also our heart. How He sees that many of us are just doing the best we can, with what we know and with what we have.

And, in looking at my kiddos today, and in looking back on these past few years of finding my truth, and in turn, knowing how best to be present for my kiddos and to teach them the things of importance, I feel quite blessed.

I want to say, or shout if it helps, the importance of taking time for yourself. 
The importance of finding something that will help you know who you are.
The importance of turning inward and knowing the soul God created that resides in you.
The importance of not allowing fear to control your actions, or worse, to allow it to control how you live your life.

I can finally say that I'm happy. Truly happy.

And that every day is a gift.

I got to where I am at now through the pure grace of God.
I dunno if I ever cried to Him for help during those years, 
but He sure found it necessary to help me.
And He knew exactly how.
Through specific people that I have no doubt He put on my path.
And because of them, I cry.
And because of them, I had the courage to try.
To dare.
To be willing to put Him first, above all else.
And to be willing to dare to try what He tells me to do...regardless of how anyone will perceive it.

I'd be lying if I said it was easy. It has been hard as hell at times. It has been hard to break poor conditions, degrading mindsets,  manipulative relationships, learning to say no, learning the importance of putting myself first, learning to cut people from your life who strive to hold you back, learning that some people only love you to an extent and the after that, push you away...
...just like I used to do.

And with each sunset, my heart cries (if I don't openly). 
Because I was given another chance to see life how God wants all His children to.
I don't even know where to start.
And therefore I already know this will be all over the place.
If you can follow this,
and if you read it all,
you're a rock star.
If you can't,
or don't want to,
I won't be offended.
Consider this post being your mind
all
the
time
.
And people wonder why I have nights of insomnia.

Anyways,

Sometimes I think that everyone who reads my blog knows my history...my history with DYT (Dressing Your Truth), that is.

Not that I have much of a history. But what little I do have, I just assume everyone knows.

Kinda like when the friend you haven't talked to in months is all, "Yeah the packing really is stressing me out since I'm struggling finding affordable movers."
and you're all, "Wait. Movers? Affordable ones? Hold on, you moving? Since when? Where?"

(Does this only happen to me?)

I digress.

But for those who don't know my history, let me bring you up to speed:

Once upon a time I was originally calling myself The Type 3 Woman as, with the help of "It's Just My Nature" by Carol Tuttle, I realized that I was of the Type 3 personality, with a secondary Type 2 instead of the Type 2/secondary 4 I forced myself to live into my whole life. 

If you don't know what Dressing Your Truth is, it's a personality system, plus. It helps you find your personality (or "truth" or "nature") and with it, your sense of style.
There's four different Types of personalities and while we have all of them, we have a dominant Type and secondary Type. Here's a very brief summary of each Type:

Type 1
Element: Air
Keywords: bright and animated
Colors that look best on those with this Type: Pure hues mixed with white

Type 2
Element: Water
Keywords: subtle and soft
Colors that look best: Pure hues mixed with grey

Type 3
Element: Fire
Keywords: rich and dynamic
Colors that look best: Pure hues mixed with black/brown

Type 4
Element: Earth
Keywords: bold and striking
Colors that look best: Pure hues


That book changed my whole perspective on myself, others, and the world. It was revolutionary. I wanted to shout the system Carol Tuttle created from the rooftops.
And I did.
And
here's the rest.
And now I'm just "The Type Woman".
The end.

Actually, I'm "Ladee Lyon"....Ladee, meaning Lady; and Lyon, lion being the animal that is best associated with the Type 3 person.
So,

Although I've become indifferent with the system, I've stuck with DYT as the mold for how I should dress and what colors to wear. It helped me see that I could, in fact, be a red head, although I've had people all my life tell me that I could be. 
But, in my mind DYT was a perfect system--while regular people with opinions on fashion are flawed--and now that I had the "truth" I could dye my hair and have the freedom to rock it.

True to my Type 3 nature, after a while I got a little tired of the system. I wanted to honor it, but I also didn't want to feel tied down to it, giving me space to honor myself. This system gave me freedom to be authentically me, so I should be allotted that freedom, however I choose, right?

Some would say no...
...because some like following set rules, keeping life in the black and white;
where there's a hope for guaranteed exactness.

Sometimes I would find myself frustrated that that red sweater that hangs in my closet is more of a Type 2 red than a Type 3.
"Heck, I'd take a Type 4 red over this color as that would match my outfit better than this thing," I hissed to myself one Sunday morning.

I found many instances where I was frustrated with colors. "Why can't this shirt just be a tad warmer?" I'd say to myself. "If it were, it could probably pass as Type 3."

"Add warmth. Just add warmth!"
It got to wear I didn't care what Type it was, if it was warm toned, I'd take it.

But there's brown.
Freakin' brown.
For a color that I should look phenomenal in, as Type 3 colors are nothing but pure hues dirtied by brown...
...how all Type 3 colors harmonize with brown...
I never look good in it.

And believe me, I tried. And I tried to force myself to believe I look great in that color, honoring my truth and all....ignoring the obvious because inside I felt DYT had to be gospel truth, in all aspects.



^For the record, this is more of a green-brown and honestly isn't bad at all--I don't wear brown much anymore and therefore don't have any pics of me in that color. I am wearing it in this video though.

The fact that brown didn't work on me irked me just right, on top of what other people have told me in confidence about DYT and how they have felt bullied by a bunch of mean girls in the Facebook groups (the mean girls being Carol and her team), I stepped back from the system, from acknowledging it online, and found DYT to be just a guideline, but still something fun to chat with friends about.

Instead, I did what one friend told me she does every morning:
Dressed the mood.

I used to think this was a sorry excuse to wear whatever you want, saying you're too good for the rules.
A rule breaker.
Rule bender, more like.
And I've found that it is.
And I liked it.

I liked looking at my clothes and saying, "Ya know, I'm feeling this bright blue shirt so, I'm gonna wear it."

The problem I had with that...
...was that there are some pieces that just wouldn't look good on me. 
No matter how much I was in the "mood" to wear it.

Like this shirt.
Guys, 
I love this shirt.
I love this blue color.
I love the contrast it is to the white logo in front.
I love how it fits.
But
It washes me out.
And while you can't tell in this pic (below)


I could. In other pictures that were taken of me in this shirt, it was even more obvious.

Don't even ask how many layers of eyeshadow I put on my lids to try to create a cohesiveness from face to shirt...and it still didn't work.

Yet, I still enjoyed "dressing the mood".

My biggest issue in dressing the mood was finding the right makeup to match.

For instance, this dress here.


I love this dress. I love this whole outfit. But I haven't worn it in months because I grew tired of the eyeshadow I had to wear so that I would look cohesive.

If you want to know my secrets to my style (it's different for everyone!), I use three words:
COHESIVE, this is most important, your style must look pleasing to the eye.
POP, in accessories, color or hair.
and your finished product needs to be WOW.

You see,
some people can wear a cool colored top while wearing warm colored eyeshadow and they don't have a care in the world.
Me,
it drives me insane.
I must match what I wear to an extent.
No, the purple top doesn't need an exact purple eyeshadow.
But it's gotta look aesthetically pleasing!
And since my go-to shadows didn't match this incredible dress, I used a dollar store palette that I like, but truly doesn't work on me....
...unless I'm wearing this dress.

Why should I have a palette of makeup for one piece of clothing that I will wear a handful of times a year?

But again, this outfit, 
eyeshadow included, 
cohesive and all, 
would have me catching myself in the mirror and going, "something doesn't look right."

Maybe I'll change the jacket next time, maybe I'll find better eyeshadow....
I'm always so determined to make clothing work that I hold on to everything until I've exhausted all options and then throw it out angrily, frustrated in my dashed hopes of finding a way to make this piece work for me.

Besides-the-point side note: I told my mom, "I would love to live the minimalist lifestyle--" before catching myself "--except for my clothes. I want to keep all my clothes...aaaaannnd makeup."

One thing I didn't understand, being a Type 3 woman who, 
according to DYT says we intuitively know our fashion, 
and to be fair, the system is right as I am in love with rich, earthy colors, chunky jewelry and accessories, the look of the messy (which I hear that's a Type 1 thing? I swear it works for the 3s),

is that,

I love high contrast, even though I can't pull it off like some friends of mine.

So, naturally, I found ways to make it work.
Usually I have to tone it down with a sweater, or even better,
a denim jacket. #texture


I love how I can break the rules of DYT through sweaters, jackets, and accessories.



Maybe all Types can do that?

The Type 3s can. If you ask me.

Funny thing is,

When I'd mention to fellow DYT friends how I'm well aware I'm not dressing my "truth", I would hear them respond to me with possible reasons as to why I could wear certain colors that don't match the Type 3 system.

I just had to understand the other fashion systems that were out there.

I didn't even know there were such things, once upon a time.


Using Personal Color Analysis and Body Type Systems, friends said, will back up my choice in what I wear...therefore proving that I'm indeed dressing intuitively.

Please Google if you don't understand what I'm referring to...but beware: you'll find yourself with millions of pages to read from, full of information on how to dress your best, helping you know how to dress in way that will have people understanding and honoring you, simply by using your
skin coloring
your body shape
your height
your personality
your hair color
your eye color
your vein color
and the list goes on.
It's all a worm hole. But a fun one! One that I like to dive into every now and then.

I found I was running to these systems just to find justification in the clothing that I wore.
Which, in typing this, sounds so silly.
(Literally shaking my head at this moment.)

Ladee, just wear that stupid shirt! Who cares, really?

Maybe this is a stemming from childhood. You know, we do the things we do because of how we were raised, right?

So when you are told from childhood to do this,
do that
believe in this
don't believe in that
that is good
that is bad,
it's hard to not see a system you enjoy 
the same way.

So when a system didn't fit right with me, and by this time I'm right sick of changing who I am to fit a mold of any kind,
I would find another system.

And after a while, I found that I was picking and choosing bits from all systems.

One quote I find rattling out of my mouth far too often lately is "take the best and leave the rest".
Take what honors you, what resonates with you, and let go of everything else...
...for you'll only beat yourself over the head if you try to embrace what doesn't.

But part of me still felt there had to be an exact system that would work.
I honestly consider myself to be so basic that there had to be some system out there that worked for me. I'm nothing special when you compare me to others.

Just.
Basic.

So I went with the basics!

Personal Color Analysis.

I had myself "draped".
This is where a Color Analysis professional drapes different colored fabrics on you, to see what colors harmonize with your skin, leaving you to look refreshed, clear, and youthful (at least I hoped so).

Made all the sense in the world.

The one problem that I noticed, which I don't think was a real problem to the professional, but it seemed to be an annoyance for me

was my red hair.

Don't get me wrong, I love my red hair. 


But

I felt as though that became the issue as to finding what colors truly look most harmonizing on me.

Here I've been told all my life that I could be a red head.
DYT backed that up.
And, here I am, loving being that.
To go back to basics, I found, was technically to go back to my virgin hair.

Something I don't really want to do.

Here's a picture with my natural hair showing at the roots.


Because of this, I found that the colors that may look best on me, were being divided into two different categories.

Or "Seasons", rather.

Bear with me on this as I explain. I'm no expert. I've only known about these systems for a few years and am still very much unknowing.

I'll try my darnedest to give you a very condensed understanding:

Just as we have Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter, Personal Color Analysis systems have differing hues/tints/tones/shades of colors that one can wear and categorizes them in these "Seasons".

To put it in short:

Winter: bold, clear colors - pure hues (I call them "staight-outta-the-Crayola-box" colors)
Spring: Easter egg colors - pure hues mixed with white
Summer: muted colors - pure hues mixed with grey
Autumn: earthy colors - pure hues mixed with black (or brown)

To add to the confusion, these seasons have varying levels of bright, soft, warm, and deep subcategories. And each Personal Color Analysis system may use different names (for instance, Bright Spring in one system is the same as Clear Spring in another and I confuse them all the effing time).

I'm going to take a stab at naming some of them. I'm going to fail (forgive me), but to give you a general idea of these Seasons and the magnitude of them, here goes.

There's:
Light Spring, Warm Spring, Bright/Clear Spring
Light Summer, True/Soft Summer, Dark/Deep Summer
Warm Autumn, Soft Autumn, Dark/Deep Autumn
Bright Winter, Soft Winter, Dark/Deep Winter

My draping, although my hair was covered, had those in the draping room stuck between two Seasons:

The one I thought I was, the one friends thought I was,

 Soft Autumn


and the one that may really be,

Soft Summer

I was a conundrum.

I wondered if the decision boiled down to my hair. While I don't believe so, I understood it was a key factor that those draping me knew I wouldn't change...at least for the present time.
"Well, because of your red hair, you could probably pull off Soft Autumn," I was told. "Is that what you want, to be a Soft Autumn?"

"No", I said back. "I want to know what looks most harmonizing with me." Remember, basics? 
I wanted to know if that darn pink shirt that I pull out of my closet on a whim is indeed going to be an effortless part of a fluid morning, not a morning where I'm stuck trying to figure out how to add accessories and the right makeup to make it look good on me...only to find myself frustrated with it all until I either change my top or tell myself to deal with it and feel awkward the rest of the day.

So the Soft Autumn drapes go back on, a pause to look at me, a pause to find harmonizing between face and colors and I'd get a YES, 
the drapes come off and the Soft Summer goes on, pause to look at me, pause to see harmonizing, and I get another YES, and so this repeated a couple more times.

I continued as a conundrum, until finally

Soft Summer was decided.


When the idea of me being a Soft Summer came up in the draping, I must admit, I felt deflated. While some of the colors do look incredible on me and I found myself dreaming of wearing a fancy, fitting, long satin dress in that wine color, I saw these colors on the whole as boring.

"I feel like these colors make me blend into the background while Soft Autumn gave me that WOW factor, that POP...but you know, maybe I can wow with these colors. I think I just need to tinker with them a bit, let the palette soak in," I mentioned to Mom. Mom, an unbiased perspective.

Surprisingly, I found I already had many pieces of clothing in Soft Summer, but I thought they were Soft Autumn. So that was a plus.

And Soft Summer's brown is like my new favorite color.


A greyed, purpley brown. Stunning.


So I put faith in the basics.


And found I really liked it, and others praised it too.


(Note: Due to the lighting I use when taking these photos, the colors appear brighter/more saturated than they truly are. I always attempt to correct them before posting.)

This worked well for my day-to-day outfits...as all I wear is a T-shirt and jeans.


But this didn't work so well when it came to the days where I did dress up.
In that case I would dress the mood.


And then, I found myself growing dissatisfied.

More like, unhappy.

After a while I realized that I didn't like going by only the basics.
And that while I really liked the colors of my Season, I felt it didn't truly match ME.

My whole essence.

For such muted, dull, semi-rich colors,
I felt my personality wasn't those adjectives.

Which then had me going back to DYT.

The Type 3 woman wears rich colors, rich autumn, earthy colors.

But according to professionals, those don't look correct on me.

So is DYT right in the sense that it doesn't matter if your type's colors match your coloring as it's better the colors match your energy?

I was starting to think so.

But I knew I wouldn't be happier fitting myself back into that box either.

I like knowing that I have a Season of colors that harmonize with my coloring.
And I'd like to add that to my DYT Type's coloring and style.
But with the freedom to wear what I damn well please and when I want to.




This has been quite a journey.
A journey of self discovery.
Of spiritual discovery.
A journey of self love.

While this post probably sounds like I've been a lost soul, escaping into the depths of DYT, PCA and other systems, I can't say that you're wrong. But I don't necessarily think you're right either.

I've had an incredible amount of fun and excitement on this journey. It never got depressing or obsessive for me, it was all bit by exciting bit
and to put this post into perspective, I'm recollecting the last four or five years to you all.

But in this process, I found me. My whole truth.
It's almost as though I found me at the same time I realized how I feel about all this.

Hmmm, interesting, actually.
The timing in that.

My findings: these systems are all wonderful guidelines that I will keep tucked within the file folder of my mind, to pull out when I find it necessary.

But for the rest, I'm using the talents I have within. And to be fair, these systems helped aid in gaining and increasing these talents. I guess you could say that I've gone from dressing the mood to dressing with heart.

I don't like hindering my style and fashion to a measly set of colors or designs when there's a vast amount of all.

I mention, time and again, how much I love colors. How I literally love standing in front of walls of paint swatches and absorbing all the colors around me. There's a happiness that words will never do justice for, that fills my heart and soul at that moment I look around at the gradients.

So why should I forgo the majority of them just because I'm told they don't look good on me?

I feel that would be shaming the talent God gave me. That I'm not using it to its full potential, acting as though I know better about His gift, by using systems that were made with the best of intentions, but maybe aren't the systems that are meant for me to live solely by.

Take the best, leave the rest, and baby, use your heart.
For Christmas, my friend Jami surprised me with this palette.

Because she's the best.
Because she seems to have this knack to know what colors would look great on me.
Because she firmly believes that some of the best makeup you can find is at the drugstore.
I agree with her on that one...only because I've never bought expensive makeup to compare. #Cheap With the vast amount of makeup knowledge she has, I'll take her word.


Ain't this purdy?

I've worn no other eyeshadows since opening the package. I'm sold. I'm committed. Give me these colors for the rest of my life and I won't sway from them.

I considered doing make up videos using this palette on my channel, but for whatever reason, I can't seem to motivate myself.
Actual Reason: The past makeup videos I have done I've been grossly unimpressed with how I portray myself.
I come off sloppy, unintelligent, distracted...even though those three words make great adjectives to my day-to-day life, that doesn't mean I need to be like that on camera, for crying out loud. 
#MotherOf3
(#WasLikeThisBeforeChildren)

But then another part of me is all, "Well, you're being REAL, so."

...so, in other words, I may do these makeup looks in the future, on my channel.
#TheStruggleIsReal

But for now I'm going to show you how to make a subtle, but sexy, smoky eye, using three colors from this palette.



If you'd like to see a video of me with this exact look, click here! In this video I talk about how I create the perfect eyebrow color to match my red hair; answering my most frequently asked question.

Do you have this palette?

What are your thoughts?

What are your favorite colors?