What Defines Beauty?

My blog is a mess right now! The posts are getting mixed up and there's tons of typos due to blogging from my iPhone.  But I'm not entirely sure anyone's reading, it is more just to get my own thoughts out in print, before they evaporate.  
Over the weekend a male friend of mine posted a link on Facebook, it was for a website honoring big girls.  I looked at a bunch of the photos of these self-proclaimed "chubby" girls, and I couldn't help thinking that they are gorgeous.  Some photos looked like pin up girls, some they we're helping others, some were just candid face shots, all were tasteful and classy.  And I expected to see some negativity in the comments, but I found myself pleasantly surprised to find that all of the comments I saw were positive, even some men saying they were beautiful and sexy.  It got me thinking, what defines beauty?  All of these girls had pretty faces, and their makeup was done really well, accentuating their best features, and their clothes were stylish.  But how is it, when I look in the mirror, my fat blinds me to my own beauty, but when I look at them, their fat is an afterthought to me.  Is it the makeup?  The clothes?  (I do wonder where they get stylish clothes at this size)?  Their hairstyles or the camera angles?  
My guess is that their beauty comes from the fact that they accept their body without apologies.  They don't look meek or disappointed in themselves, they look confident, radiant.  And it made me wonder what makes me feel confident.  I had a lot of confidence when I was losing weight, but looking back now, it wasn't because I was a smaller size or had better hair or clothes.  My confidence came from my morning workouts.  I remember dragging myself to the gym at 4:45am, dreading walking in and seeing everyone, but by the drive home, I was feeling so alive and unstoppable!  Getting the blood flowing feels good, and beyond that warm wonderful feeling, it also makes me less interested in food that is counter-productive.  If that can make met struggle with food easier, it's worth a try.  Yes, it sucks getting up at 4:30am but it's only an hour earlier than I normally wake up.  
Friday when I was lifting groceries into my car, I was painfully aware of how weak my muscles have become from not being challenged.  I don't like feeling weak, it makes me think I am old and becoming frail.  
Since my semester will be wrapping up in less than a month I will have a little more down time to focus on all this stuff more, but for now, I think getting active will be an important connection to my body that will be very positive.  As for food, I am going to continue eating freely, being aware of when I am eating when I am not hungry, and trying to figure out what is driving that, and I am continuing to meditate.  And of course, blogging to help me organize my thoughts about what is working and what is not.  I am planning to read "When Food is Love" by Geneen Roth again because that was a book that really made sense to me, after years of trying to search out reasons on my own and getting nowhere. It sounds crazy to me to jump back into activity after being inactive after so long, but I am looking at it as an experiment.  I will challenge myself to get some sort of activity each day, at least a half hour, but there will not be any restrictions on my food (other than the fact that I don't eat meat). I'm interested to see what will happen, I've tried dieting without exercise before, but I've never tried it the other way around.  The funny thing is, I feel more confident and happy just thinking about working out, but the thought of starting a diet NEVER makes me feel that way.  That is a fairly big sign.  And this is something new, and new is interesting if nothing else!  


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