OUTFIT | Taking Chances

It is amazing how vulnerable two inches of exposed skin can feel.  

During Fashion Week in February I did something that I have not done in about 10 years:  I wore a crop top, and my belly button was exposed for the world to see.  To some of you this may not seem like a big deal, and to others this may seem over the top and immodest.  

To me; it felt vulnerable and powerful all at the same time, but you have to know the back story though to see where I’m coming from…

Growing up an athlete I was used to being in sports bras and biking shorts on the tennis court for the majority of my childhood and through college.  It felt normal to be in a barely there tennis skirt and a razorback dri-fit top.  Never in my life was I concerned about calories or my weight.  Then something happened my freshman year of college, and I got sucked into this downward spiral of counting calories and eating disorders for the remainder of my college experience.  It was exhausting, and at times overwhelming and I wasn’t sure if I would ever truly view myself as beautiful again.

Even though I was a Division I athlete, and worked out for 4+ hours a day I was extremely insecure my body.  I was becoming a woman, was a professional athlete, had gained a lot muscle and was struggling with weight for the first time in my life.  Continually I felt like if I just lost 15 pounds I would:  get a boyfriend, be happier, feel more comfortable in my skin, be enough…

Is anyone with me on this?

Over the years I have experienced such freedom, and have learned to not only embrace my body, but view myself as beautiful!  It was not overnight, but an uphill journey walked through with community and lots of prayer.  (For anything that really matters in our lives there is no quick fix).

Even moreso I found that getting to that magic number on the scale won’t make you happy.  You’ll always want something more, whether it’s getting to an even lower number on the scale, getting that promotion,  getting married, having a kid, buying a house.  We will never fully ARRIVE, and guess what?  That is more than ok.

And you know what else:  I will never be a size 2 again in my life, and that’s OK.  

For me, walking into the Alice + Olivia presentation in February with my mid drift showing was way more about what was happening on the inside of my heart than my outer appearance.  The “Kat” 10 years ago never would have done this at the size I’m at todaybut I like my size today and I want to be a voice to you, to young women, to the fashion world that says beauty is not a number.

I, Kat am beautiful because of who I am, not what I am, and because of that I am free to walk into a roomful of editors, bloggers, and models that are much smaller than me and stay grounded in my identity and beauty.

Photos by:  Chaz Cruz