The Beauty of Choice


A few years back, I got to know this amazing blogger, August McLaughlin. She started out as a blogging mentor and quickly became a friend. I am honored to be participating in her Beauty of a Woman Blogfest for the third year in a row!

For me, the beauty of a woman isn’t in trying to meet some ideal size or lose a certain number of inches.

It’s about making choices. Deciding who you want to be and becoming that person.

Making decisions that are right for you.

I’ve always done well in this realm in the academic and the career, but never with my body.  Or at least only in spurts.

The last few years, I felt like I was stuck inside this body that I had no control over it.

I accepted that this was just how it was and I gave up.

Then I saw someone older, who was struggling with far worse chronic conditions, and he looked and felt amazing.

And that’s when I realized I had choices.

Difficult decisions I could make.

The ability to change course was mine, if I took it.

So I did.

For me, it’s been about focusing on becoming stronger. Exercising more. Slowly and gradually increasing my workout time each week.

 Choosing to make better decisions about where to allocate my time & choosing to get up from my desk and move more.

Little choices that add up.

With food, it’s been about speaking up and speaking out. At restaurants, I focus on meals that are better for my eating regimen. I ask them to make substitutions or not put things on my plate.

I take charge of my eating.

I say no to dessert.

Then I go home and have some fruit.

It’s a daily struggle to make good, healthy decisions, but it makes me feel stronger and healthier.

Most importantly, I am an active participant in my health. I make choices. I don’t sit on the sidelines and accept things as they are. I change things.

If something doesn’t work for me, I speak up.

And to me that’s what makes a woman beautiful.

When she takes charge of her life and charts her own course.

Whether it be with her health, her career, her social life, or her family.

A beautiful woman knows how to set boundaries, embraces no, and learns when to say yes to the opportunities in her life.

To see more inspiring posts, please visit: Beauty of a Woman Blogfest 2015

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48 Responses to The Beauty of Choice

  1. Little choices do add up, Kourtney. Great job on putting yourself first! Keep up the good work.

  2. davidprosser says:

    Well done for choosing to take control Kourtney. You’re the only one who knows if the decisions you make are right for you and no-one has the right to change that.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  3. Temptations are everywhere, Kourtney, so I applaud you for all you’re doing. I read last week’s post, too, and I had no idea you struggled with a chronic condition. I think it’s common knowledge that clean eating and regular exercise are key to good health, but statistics show us most choose to not to do it. We humans are lazy by nature; taking shortcuts and the path of least resistance is always the preferred method. I’m glad you’ve decided to take charge. It’s the harder course, but you’ll never regret your choice! xo

    • They are Gwen. And my family loves to eat out. So I have to exert a lot of will power and effort. Yes, it’s something I always felt ashamed of. There were times I pretended I didn’t have it because I hated explaining it or being different. But then I realized this is just a part of being me and I have to embrace all of being me. But it’s hard work to stick to clean eating and regular exercise. It’s got great benefits but those short term hits of sugar are hard to give up. Me too. You played a huge role in inspiring me too. Watching you get back into running was something that got me thinking about changing my choices too. 🙂

  4. When a woman learns to take control of her thoughts and her destiny, it is definitely beautiful. YOU are beautiful.

  5. We are the only people who control what goes into our bodies. Good for you empowering yourself with choice! I’m also in the BOAW fest at

  6. Carrie Rubin says:

    This is wonderful. Taking charge of her life and care of herself does indeed make a woman beautiful. And it’s also inspiring to others.

    Great post, and I love your blog’s new look. (At least I think it’s new. I often read posts on my iPad or iPhone and don’t get to see the background.)

  7. This is so great I’m going to print it out and put it up somewhere 🙂

  8. Standing up for our needs, health and preferences is so empowering! Good on you, Kourtney. I love that you’re focusing on self-care in this way, along with strength. And I’m insanely grateful to call you friend! Thanks so much for participating in the fest!

    • August, you inspire me with your strength and commitment to speaking up. You’ve definitely influenced my choices. This is such an awesome tradition you’ve started. I’m thrilled to be able to participate.

  9. “A beautiful woman knows how to set boundaries, embraces no, and learns when to say yes to the opportunities in her life.” Well said, Kourtney! Great post!

  10. Bravo! I have been buying bags of fruit to eat when I get the urge to nibble so I can stay away from the cookies and cake.

  11. EllaDee says:

    I can see how important this is for you and love you striking off confidently on this journey. Keep sharing, keep notes, keep writing about it…

    • It’s weird how I felt like asking for what I needed was “rocking the boat” or “being difficult”. It’s something I’ve been spending a good amount of time thinking about. Coming up with an action plan to be who I wanted to be. I spent a ton of time building my mind and working on academics and writing, but having a solid body connection was always a weakness of mine. Will definitely keep you updated on my progress. Thanks!

  12. Ally Bean says:

    “A beautiful woman knows how to set boundaries, embraces no, and learns when to say yes to the opportunities in her life.”

    So true. It’s not your physical size or your desire to please other people, it’s knowing + being who you are meant to be. That’s beauty.

  13. KM Huber says:

    Strong, thoughtful, confident post. I have one of those chronic conditions and know what you mean about pretending it isn’t there. It is but so am I. Inspiring words. Thank you.

    • Thanks so much for stopping by Karen! They are really hard to deal with. And it’s something we have to deal with, but it feels like something we have to cover up. What a simple truth–“It is but so am I”. Hugs!

  14. Brilliant post Kourtney.. and here’s to all the right choices in our lives.. Love and Hugs your way xxx <3 Love Sue

  15. jmmcdowell says:

    Temptation is hard to resist, and well-meaning family and friends can make a situation worse without even realizing that’s what they’re doing. Taking control of our lives and choices is truly a beautiful thing to do. 🙂

  16. Jan Morrill says:

    All the things you listed are, to me, the beauty of growing older. It’s taken me some time to learn these lessons. 🙂

    • I can definitely see how they can relate to becoming older and wiser. But I’ve known lots of people who were really good at taking care of themselves in their 20s and made great choices back then.

  17. Great words here about beauty and how you make the choices in your life, Kourtney!! 🙂

    • Thanks Christy. Sometimes it can really feel like life happens to you and it’s easy to feel powerless. But we have so much power over our lives. It’s scary what we can change and do when we focus and work at it. 🙂

  18. This is an important post. Much applause.
    Little things, little steps are the only way to make long term changes. And even the tiniest change will make a difference – and give confidence to keep going. Hooray for you.

  19. I love your new header, by the way. Great post. I think you wrote out a good list of what makes a woman beautiful. They all come with age and experience, don’t they?

    • Thanks. I hadn’t updated the blog theme in years and felt like it was time for a change. I loved my old format but I wanted more color. It’s funny for me these things definitely came with age, but I also think it has to do with self confidence and other things not being there. I’ve known younger women who were very secure in who they are and made great choices for their health and their wellbeing.

  20. Sounds like you’ve really taken charge of your life, Kourtney. Bravo.

  21. This is really empowering. We should all take charge and chart our own course!

  22. Gry Ranfelt says:

    Making choices and sticking with them is the most pro active thing one can do and it’s great to see more and more women doing it 🙂

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