I'd like to introduce you all to Whitney! I met Whitney through a friend a while back when I was living in LA and immediately I thought wow, this girl is awesome and seems so comfortable in her own skin. I want some of that to rub off on me! Whitney is a real example of what I want my blog to promote and be about, so needless to say I'm so happy I get to feature her! Read below for Whitney's nuggets of wisdom and how she got to where she is today.
Name: Whitney Wood
What would you say your body type is and how have you learned to dress for it?
Hey Addi thanks so much for asking me to be on your blog. I love the content you’re putting out to encourage women!!
I would say my body type is athletic. Growing up I was a huge tomboy and played water polo and swam, so I have always had more of a “football player-esc” frame lol. I used to hate my body and my style was baggy sweatshirts and boxers! I legitimately went to my brother’s graduation in sweats and a sweatshirt haha. Now I would say my body type is “slim-thick”. I have learned to dress for it by just figuring out what I feel the best in. I attempted to dress sexy at one point by showing more skin than need be. It didn’t make me feel good though because I knew that wasn’t me or how I wanted to be seen. I have a slimmer waste but bigger hips and thighs which I have come to love! My booty is my favorite part of my body so I have learned to dress where I feel like I highlight my favorite features. I like to wear more fitted things because I am proud of where my body has gotten. I have lost about 70 pounds in the past 5 years from learning how try to be healthy instead of lose weight. I’ve stopped limiting myself to one style and like to go with what I feel on a given day.
What is your personal style?
My personal style really depends on how I feel each day. I am an athlete at heart so I love anything spandex :) I love to be comfortable and that takes many shapes each day. Some days I love high wasted jeans and body suites while other days I love ripped jeans and baggy shirts. I love to feel sexy and confident in whatever I’m wearing and sometimes that means super bright work out pants with a matching top and shoes!!
You seem really grounded in who you are and really comfortable in our own skin. What would you say is the biggest insecurity you overcame and got you to where you are now?
Well thank you for saying that, it has been an insane journey for a couple reasons. First, I have grown up with an autoimmune disease that has really affected so many parts of my life. The hardest thing has been not being able to get in as good of shape as I’ve wanted for myself. As I have gotten older my body has become less predictable and less able to engage in athletics like I have wanted. If I could, I would be one of those crazy cross fit chicks with rock hard abs but some mornings I can’t even get out of bed.
Second, I have always been a bit thicker than my other friends growing up. In junior high I somehow was besties with cheer leaders who all weighed 90 pounds. No hate at all on cheerleaders, I was just a basketball player and emulated zero cheerleader swag. I was so insecure that I would never look in mirrors. I had this weird mentality that if people saw me fixing myself in the mirror they would think I was ugly and what need would I have for a mirror. Twisted I know, but that has even carried into last year. I would not reapply make up or put on lipstick in front of people for fear of looking vain when they knew I had no reason to be vain. In junior high I had small warts on my hand, so I always wore sweatshirts. I also had two freckles on my neck and a small mole on my shoulder so I would never wear my hair up or wear a tank top. It’s been exhausting!! The past couple years I have wanted to take some more “sexy” pictures and then when I would be in front of the camera I felt like a fake trying to be something I couldn’t possibly be. I would always laugh and do funny things in pictures because people always said I was cute or funny but never “sexy” or “hot”.
Last year I ended a long relationship which has been the hardest thing ever, but I have gained so much confidence from this split. I realized I had the strength to go through some pain to reach a happier me. Ever since then I have never felt sexier, ironically. I would say the biggest insecurity I have gotten over is that no one will love me or find me attractive. I had that and yet I knew there was something more that I needed to be more complete. It’s been the toughest season and yet the most growing and confidence building season in my life. The pictures I included for this are the first set of pictures that I have ever exuded confidence in. I’m not going to lie, I was feeling myself in this photo shoot.
What do you do now if/when those insecurities start to resurface?
I currently am struggling with a sleep issue and it has made me sick and not able to workout for about a month. I have gained 8 pounds and seeing that made me so frustrated. I allowed myself to feel how I felt for a bit. I then gave myself permission to be ok that I was not where I wanted to be physically. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do to change what’s bugging you immediately. When I feel insecure I get off all social media and try to get up and go somewhere by myself or call my friends. There’s nothing like a confidence booster from friends who know you need a little extra encouragement. It’s different every time for me, sometimes a good workout can kick me out of a funk. I am also a very spiritual person so I like to turn on worship music or read some books that speak truth into my life. To be honest, on a morning where I don’t feel wonderful I turn on “Feelin myself” by Beyoncé and Nikki Minaj haha it works!!
I love your healthy outlook on beauty and body image. What is a piece of advice you could give girls/women who are struggling with body image?
The most powerful advice I ever got was at a conference from a life coach who focused on body image. She kept talking about how we engage with self talk. Many of us would never talk to our friends and family the way we allow us to talk to ourselves. I thought over the litany of horrible things I would tell myself daily. How can a body thrive if it’s being repeatedly abused? That woke me up! I want a happy healthy body and instead of feeding it with what it needs, I give my body trash. She then said to stand in front of the mirror naked every morning and thank my body parts for how they help me thrive. Yes, I have thanked my cellulite, the rough patches on my skin, the hair that I don’t want in certain places and my stretchmark’s and let me tell you how freeing it is to celebrate and love on your body. It shouldn’t be so unnatural to celebrate the very thing that helps you function throughout your life. SO, my advice is to stand in the mirror everyday and love and thank all your body parts. You will be impressed at how confident and at peace you will feel. I began thanking my hips and saggy bottom for how well they have supported me and allowed me to walk and I receive more and more compliments about my backside then ever before. I don’t do it for the compliments but my body naturally glows the more I feed it what it needs. Don’t starve yourselves of physical and emotional nourishment. This is the only body we’ve got!
Also, I am not and will never be Beyoncé. Once I realized I had to embrace my own swag, I woke up flawless J Seriously though! I just told myself I’m about to be dope and I believe that I am J
Any last nuggets to share?
There are so many cliché things I could say like “There’s only one you” and “love the skin you’re in” but in reality it’s really hard to live that out every single day. Be gracious on yourself. We all have things we want to change physically and emotionally, but I try to think if I was 20 pounds’ thinner tomorrow what in my life would change? Would every other issue I struggle with go away? Of course not! There’s nothing wrong with not being perfect because frankly we aren’t perfect anyways. Kind of a relief!
You can follow Whitney on Instagram here!