“Symmetry is pleasing but not as sexy. Einstein is cool but Picasso knows what I am talking about!”
Amy Poehler
At first when I read this quote in Amy Poehler’s book Yes Please, I thought what the helllll does this mean. Then I couldn’t get this quote out of my mind. It became so big, profound, and powerful that it made me look at my body in a completely different way. I think everyone could interpret this quote differently but let me explain why it impacted my self confidence.
Scientists have proven through studies that people prefer those with symmetrical faces and bodies. I love how Amy puts it, symmetry is pleasing but not sexy.. Difference is sexy. In my opinion we live in a shallow society where we have a very twisted idea of what sexy is. We view sexy as a Megan Fox type who looks like perfection in every magazine which are perfectly photo shopped.
Picasso would understand Amy because he lead a beautiful revolution in the early to mid 1900s. He painted pictures of women with unsymmetrical bodies and faces. He painted naked women with curves and flaws. He found the beauty in the imperfection. I wish he was alive today sharing this beautiful movement.
How did I pull self confidence out of these random facts and stories? Let me share with you my body’s journey in the past two years: I was a fit, active individual who loved running multiple times a week often up to 10km a day. Then I became ill and went on a cocktail of medication for a chronic illness to improve my life. Like any medication can do, I gained 70 pounds in six weeks. That is a lot on my 5’4″ frame. This was devastating to my self esteem. I had never felt so ugly and unattractive. I was engaged to my husband and had to buy a new wedding dress that I didn’t love five weeks before my wedding. I had to buy a completely new wardrobe and every picture I saw of myself I cringed.
I’ve lost some of the weight but not all. I had to put away half my clothes because they didn’t fit. But somehow I had to come to peace with my body, I had to gain back my confidence. I am not all the way there but here has been some ways I have begun to change the way I view my body:
1) True beauty comes from the inside: Yes we have all heard this a million times but it has taken on a new meaning for me: people care more about how you make them feel about themselves more than they care what you look like. I want to be someone who makes other people feel valuable and that their thoughts and feelings matter and are respected. 
2) Beauty is in the eye of the beholder: I am not talking about anyone else but me. In my eyes I have to see myself as beautiful, sexy, and powerful. It is when I view myself like this that I am more likely to take the best care of my body. It is then that I can take steps to focus on health over shape.
3) Own the curves: at first during the weight gain I tried to cover myself up with oversized clothes. Then I learned how to dress for my body type. I also try to put in more effort into my wardrobe and makeup at times.. No matter what size you are, you probably don’t feel your best with no make up and sweatpants. How hot do you feel when your look is on point? For me it’s a whole lot!
I’m sure at one point all of us will go through a change whether from illness, medication, aging, or pregnancy. The important thing is to love your body, love who you are, and focus on encouraging others.
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23 thoughts

  1. Thank you for the encouragement Gwendolyn! I’m literally five days into a workout routine in an effort to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight or something in that realm. I always remind myself that God allowed my body to do a beautiful work by carrying two children, but things are definitely a lot different after the second time around. I have days where I just feel frumpy and unattractive, but I know that my true beauty resonates from within and no matter what I can do from the outside, I’m striving to love myself as I am. Always. 🙂 YOU ARE GORGEOUS!

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    1. Thank you so much friend! I think any change in the body can really mess with our heads and hearts! And from working with you, you are a lovely, amazing, strong woman! You got this! Keep up the hard work!

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  2. I finally got a chance to read your latest post(i recently started following you on Instagram). Sorry i have been so busy with baseball. I think you look beautiful. I am size 16 and feel good on my own skin. However, because of illness it’s preferrable that i lose some weight. Even though I am a big girl, i do think i look beautiful most of the times. It helps when you have a husband who loves you just the way you are and i have been size 4 too. Anyway, I can’t wait to read more…blessings! 😉

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  3. I think you are gorgeous and I think you even more beautiful inside! You have already mastered a skill that is so hard for others to master- self confidence and self love. And you are absolutely right- at some point we are all going to be a version of ourselves that we don’t like exactly. Whether it’s pregnancy weight, illness etc. It’s how we rise above it and how we view ourselves and that is the only thing that should matter! Beauty comes from within- ❤

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  4. Wow! Reading this was timely for me. I have a similar story (ex long distance runner who suddenly grew very ill, near death, and has lived with chronic disease as a result) and I can completely relate to the change in body. I can not imagine having had to walk through this BEFORE marriage. Wow. I look forward to connecting in the future… This quote: “people care more about how you make them feel about themselves more than they care what you look like” is meaningful to me. My body has changed SO much. My hair instantly went grey (I use henna) and aged seemingly overnight. My eyes are haggard and sport constant dark circles from insomnia (which is AWFUL). Although I am so very thankful to be alive today, I am still very saddened to see myself in the mirror and then look at my healthy friends and others my age. I’ve rambled….but this post touched my heart. I’m happy to have found you in Peony’s group!

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    1. Hi Jesse, thank you for sharing your amazing story. I totally agree with you that when our body goes through hell so does your mind and spirit. I was blessed when this started to happen I had an amazing fiancé who watched his future bride put on 70 pounds and still stand by me (he is a saint right). I really hope you continue on this beautiful journey even though it doesn’t feel beautiful! You and such an inspiration to me and I think it’s humbling you relate to my little blog. Thank you for reading and supporting!

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  5. Hi gal.. So eloquently put.. I enjoyed it tremendously. You are so on point.. What’s inside a person is the most important. We all go through different seasons in our life’s journey. I know. That I have and have no regrets for them. Each person, each place, each heartache.. Is apart of a greater plan just made for us. It is true that” God will leave you in a situation until you learn the lesson”. A fact .. I know is true.. Keep up the good works… Take care…👏👏👏😊

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  6. Visiting from the Peony Project!
    To be honest, the thing that caught my attention was your name! Are you Welsh? I am about 1/8 Welsh, but have studied the culture, history, and language in college!

    Also, you are gorgeous!

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    1. Oh my gosh that is such a sweet compliment. Gwendolyn my first name is from a grandparent in England. My maiden name is Larsen which makes me Swedish to the bone! Fiola is my married name.. Long story short it’s french and was anglicized! Phew.. Lots of explanation! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog and taking the time to respond!

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  7. This is wonderful and I love that quote from Amy Poehler’s book. I haven’t personally read it, so I hadn’t heard it before. You’re inspiring! I also love your question about “How hot do you feel when your outfit is on point?” LOL it’s so true!

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  8. I really enjoyed this. Yes I do agree we will all be there with those feelings at some point. I’ve been there three times….pregnancy changed my body for the better and worse lol. I know I will never be a size 5 again but I am owning these new curves! I remember going on vacation one year and I said screw it I’m wearing a two piece. When I saw that nobody cared or even looked at me in a bad way it made me realize the only person that was being negative and body shaming was me.

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  9. this is so well said, dear!! i absolutely agree with you and your thoughts on body image. i have gone thru some personal issues with my body as well and now that i’ve reached a point where i’ve accepted how i look, it really is the right catalyst to feeling good about oneself! 😀
    stay positive and stay beautiful!

    Have a great day!
    Animated Confessions

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  10. You are beautiful and this is beautifully written! I love your message – this is something I have to internalize – I’m my worse critic!

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