Hello and welcome to my very first blog post on HBeyou.com. My name is Hillary and I am so glad you found me! I’m excited to share my stories and inspiration with you. Sit down, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy this first post about why I decided to start this blog, what I hope you get out of it, and how I hope it makes you feel.
I remember the day well. It was December 31, 2015 and my family and I were vacationing in Maui. I remember waking up that morning and feeling excited because my husband and I were taking our four children Zip lining that day. What I wasn’t told was that I’d have to get on a scale to make sure my weight didn’t exceed the maximum weight that the cables could handle. I panicked. I thought to myself, “I am the heaviest I’ve ever been and I’m scared I might not be able to go because of my weight.” As I reluctantly got on the scale, I was relieved to see that I made the weight requirements but I was only one pound away from having to stay back from enjoying this day with my family.
The next day as I was sitting on my hotel balcony enjoying breakfast with my husband, I started to cry uncontrollably. I remember the vulnerability I felt as I told him why I was upset. You see, I had never discussed my weight with my husband because I was embarrassed. I knew that I had a problem and I needed to get it under control. As I sat there and told him how ashamed I felt that I’d gained over 80 lbs over the past few years, I saw a man who looked at me who saw beyond the weight. He saw the beauty within and told me these exact words: “You have and always will be beautiful to me. But the only time when you’re not beautiful to others is when you look sad or miserable. You can be heavy all your life and still be beautiful if you just smiled. How are we going to make you happy again?” As he said those words, a light went off in my head. Was I really miserable? What made him say those words? Did I give off a black cloud every time I walked into a room? Do I really look like those people who I look at and think to myself, “She’d be so much prettier if she was just nicer?” As I reflected that day, I started to realize that he was absolutely right. For the past several years I had let my weight and the way I feel control my attitude, my presence, and my entire well-being. I used to wake up every morning and loath the fact that I’d have to look in my closet at five sizes (yes, five different sizes) and wonder what I was going to wear that would make me feel a fragment better than how I felt that morning. It was a vicious circle, sort of a “Groundhog Day” experience where every single day was the same.
My husband suggested I start documenting myself in pictures. “You always dress well, why not start taking pictures of yourself in different outfits and see how that makes you feel?” And that’s exactly what I did. When I got home from my trip, I dressed up every day and started to document a different outfit that I would post on social media. Instead of fighting my body composition I embraced it and what would happen next was something I never imagined; I was inspiring others to feel good about themselves and aside from the birth of my children, it was the most rewarding feeling I’ve ever had.
My attitude started changing. I smiled more and started to lose a little weight in the process because I was motivated to wear more of the clothes in my closet that I had collected over the years. I looked forward to getting out of bed and for the first time in my life, and I had lost weight the RIGHT way. Eating less and moving more. I loved the fact that my followers enjoyed my daily fashion posts and I couldn’t wait to make them feel inspired each and every day. My world around me was next to perfect. And I had a husband who was proud of me.
Just as life was starting to move in the right direction, I received a phone call on April 29, 2016 at 2:45pm from one of my husband’s coworkers telling me they found my husband deceased at work. He had died of a brain aneurysm. Just like that, my world had turned upside down instantly. It was like my entire life was ripped out from under me. The last thing I wanted to do was post about fashion so I took a break. I just didn’t feel it was right to post fashion shots as I was mourning the loss of my husband.
One morning (about three weeks after his death) I mustered up the strength to go to the gym. I didn’t have a ton of energy, and I almost quit in the middle of the workout. Just then his favorite song came on and I powered through the rest of the workout with a smile on my face. It was that day that I also wore a necklace that was given to me from a friend that had the words, “Strength” engraved on it. I took this as a sign that he’d want me to move forward with something that made me happy and made me feel great about myself. Since his passing, I’ve continued in honor of the one person who inspired ME to be a better person. Today would have been my 2-year wedding anniversary. Instead of being sad on this day, I wanted to celebrate it with something I built during my marriage when he was alive which is why I decided this day (August 31st) to launch my blog.
So enough writing – let’s get down to what this blog will be about:
Daily fashion inspiration for females of all ages: You see, I’ll never be tiny. Therefore, I am dedicating this blog to the girl who wants to feel great about her beautiful curves. Tiny girls are welcome too! We don’t discriminate here. Bottom line is we all have one thing in common, no matter what size we are, we need to learn to love ourselves before we can truly be happy.
Fashion tips and tricks for the curvy girl: Where is the best place to shop for plus sizes? What kind of boots fit wider calves? How do I wear cute tops without showing my bra? Everyday answers to curvy girl probs. You will find them here and I hope I can help.
A few of my favorite things: Each week I’ll write about products that I stumbled across and that I’d love to share with you (please note I do not receive endorsements from any brands – everything I recommend is based off of personal taste!)
The Red Stiletto Diaries: This is a section dedicated to my late husband. A journal of thoughts, feelings and inspirations for young widows who may be joining this club we all don’t want to be a part of. Let’s get through this together. You are not alone.
Also check out my shop page: Here you will find links to great brands that understand the everyday woman and what she wants (and we don’t want circus tents, that’s for sure!!!)
I hope to become great friends with you and inspire you to be your best. Because you deserve it. We deserve it. Let’s get started!!