The Devil Isn’t The Only One In Prada

So maybe I don’t wear Prada, but the devil shouldn’t have all the fashion fun. One of the fabulous benefits of weight loss is the need to go shopping for new clothes. I’m not a huge fan of shopping (unless it’s books or antiquing) and don’t venture into malls as a fun way to kill time. However, this was an exciting excursion and I was curious what size I would be needing. I have to mention, I don’t think we really understand what size we are until we’re in the dressing room—and it varies sometimes on the store you’re in. 

My first stop is always White House Black Market. It isn’t because they have beautiful clothes and great sales—it’s the personal stylist that comes with every visit.  No need to be a celebrity to have you’re own stylist here. When I’m in WHBM, I know that they get me and I never feel pressured. My love for this store started one day last December when Charnel walked into my life—or fitting room, as it were.

Charnel is a stylist for WHBM in their Millenia Mall location here in Orlando—a petite woman with a lot of personality and personal style—and, she is fabulous! I had ventured to the fitting room area with a few things and she was there to get me settled. The first thing she asked was my shoe size. I didn’t come in for shoes, but that wasn’t her point. She told me that the only way to determine whether the outfit worked is if I was completed assembled. Charnel was right—it made a huge difference. When I came out of the fitting room to show Michael the outfit, he was floored. 

“You’re getting those shoes! And everything else you’re wearing!”

“Shoes transform your body language and attitude. They lift you physically and emotionally.” – Christian Louboutin

The shoes were a dark blue, patent leather high-heel that seemed to go with everything. Charnel was there to offer her advice when I stepped out and had a few other items in her hand for me. With Michael’s reaction and the good vibes emanating from being in some sexy shoes, I was feeling good. I didn’t readily like what Charnel handed me, but I tried it on anyway. Not only did everything fit perfectly (without her asking my size), but I loved it. This happened several times within the next hour, well past closing time—I hadn’t even realized and no one said a word. However, I quickly apologized when I realized I had stayed so long. 

I didn’t leave with the shoes as my frugal nature allowed only the two pairs of pants and three tops—besides, I had some black heels to go with the skin-hugging, black pants I purchased. 

So naturally, when I was down twenty pounds in weight, I knew where I wanted to go. Charnel was already busy with another client, so another stylist named Kim helped me. She wasn’t as spunky as Charnel, but super helpful. And like my previous visit, I was brought some sexy shoes to try on with my outfits. I laughed when Kim brought me some skin-tight, black leather-like pants in a size four. Just like Charnel said back in December, Kim said, “Trust me.” They fit! Mostly because they were stretchy, but let me tell you, I haven’t worn size four since I was four. 

Charnel popped her head in to check on me constantly, she cheered me on and made suggestions. Her personality is so contagious and she has a way of making you feel like a rock star. Although Kim did an amazing job styling me, Charnel is my spirit animal (as the saying goes). I left with the size four pants, two small tops, two pairs of jeans in size six—and the sexy sandals Kim suggested. I haven’t worn the “leather” pants yet, but I definitely will. 

Having clothes that fit you properly is essential in feeling good about how you look. Sometimes you need a stylist to show you the possibilities, if not, take a friend whose style you admire. I have deliberately avoided the usual choices I make with clothes and try on things that I normally wouldn’t. There is no “age-appropriate” clothing when it comes to how you want to look and feel. When I look in that fitting room mirror, I have more appreciation for what I have worked for and like what I see. 

To make room for the new clothes, it was time to get rid of those size 10-12 items from my wardrobe. At my daughter’s suggestion, we went to Platos Closet—apparently they’ll pay you for clothes in good condition. They didn’t select very many of the items I brought in, mostly the purses and wallets (there was no joy sparked from them anymore, so they had to go too). But, I left there spending far more than they gave me.  I should mention that I was against buying resale many years ago, before I learned the absolute comfort of a worn-in pair of jeans. The reality is that if you go to a reputable resale shop, their selection of clothes are usually in excellent condition, or may even have the original tags still on them. I actually picked up a WHBM top, new with the tags, just a few days ago at one of my favorite resale shops. 

So again, don’t continue to wear clothes that don’t fit you. It will completely taint how you feel about yourself. When I was growing in weight, I reluctantly bought clothes in the appropriate size, but felt better about how I looked—the muffin-top isn’t a style I appreciate for myself. When my weight went the other way, I bought a few things that fit better rather than wear something that made me feel frumpy. This isn’t about what others may think of me, but how I wanted to feel when I left my house. If you feel good wearing tank tops and pajama pants, then do so. It’s all about what makes you feel good. 

“A woman is never sexier than when she is comfortable in her clothes.”

– Vera Wang

If Being Snarky Was A Calorie Burner…

I have been basking in the glow of my 25 pound loss this past week—up until this morning. I feel a tad bit grouchy and disappointed with the scale that obviously isn’t getting on board with reaching my new weight goal. The clever chart on my app that monitors my progress for the month looks like a cardiogram. I know better having done all the work to get from 160 to 135 pounds. There were times when the scale seemed to be malfunctioning and I had to check the battery, and maybe give it a kick or two. My weight seems to fluctuate for a period of time, thus resulting in my attitude being quite snarky. 

During these times, I behave as if I don’t care anymore about the weight loss—and not in a good way. I say a lot of bad words (to the scale, mostly) and unsuccessfully not take it out on those around me. Not mature, I know—however, I never claimed to be. What I don’t do is brush off my healthy eating habits or go out and get my favorite ice cream—Bluebell’s Pistachio, laden with an inappropriate amount of Hershey’s chocolate syrup. I treat the day as any other and measure out the food portions, log everything I eat in my app, and keep my body moving. You know, kind of like your teenager having to do chores while mumbling under her breath how much she hates you. 

And, just like clockwork, four to five, or maybe even six days later, I’m down another pound toward my goal. It’s all rainbows and butterflies and I’m skipping in the sunshine—life is perfect. Then, I have some fences to mend around the house as my family seems to be a bit hesitant to engage. So maybe yes, I do get rather snarky. I did it this morning when Michael suggested I get my body moving more. I know he’s trying to help and has only my best interest at heart. 

What he said: “You should think about adding more exercise to help burn off some of the weight you want to lose. Get your heart rate up with some cardio.” 

What I heard was: “If you get off your ass more and exercise, perhaps you’ll lose the weight.”

I even added something along the line of “Yea, I’ll run a marathon and probably lose nothing.” I was on the offensive and there was no reason to be as he knows that I’m actively working toward my goals. I’m just not actively exercising as much as I should if I want better results. I do know that snarky, negative comments do nothing for my weight loss.

But, oh if they did…

Having My Cake and Eating It (But Only the Serving Size)

The goal has been achieved! After months of hard work by way of not stuffing my face every chance I got, I have reached my target weight. I’m down twenty-five pounds!  I know it may sound silly, but I worked hard for this by choosing wisely not only what to eat, but how much. I thumbed my way through a collection of cookbooks, magazines, and websites, making most of my meals at home. I also measured out everything—yes, everything. I can honestly say I’ve never been more dedicated to any cause. I’ve transformed my eating habits, lowered my weight, and improved how I feel about myself. 

October 2019 – 135 lbs
March 2019 – 160 lbs

This isn’t for everyone, I know. Most will say it’s too much work, or that they don’t like the restrictions. Well, it is a lot of work—at first, but then it becomes a daily habit. The same kind of habit we create when we have a bagel laden with strawberry cream cheese every morning with our Almond Joy Creamer and coffee. I’m not saying don’t have these things, but are you measuring out the cream cheese and creamer to the recommended serving size? This is the key to all of this weight loss—moderation.

Like I mentioned in my previous post, don’t say you’ve tried everything if you haven’t controlled your food intake. Yes, measuring out all the ingredients in a recipe and how much you serve yourself is a huge pain, but only at first. If it helps, I played a little mental trick to see if I could guess the weight of the food before weighing it. We all like to be right, don’t we? Absurd? Maybe, but I lost the weight I wanted.

When it comes to “restricting” myself, I did choose to remove most added sugars from my diet. Which wasn’t an issue as I really didn’t drink a lot of sodas, nor did I eat a lot of sweets overall. I had that slice of chocolate cake drizzled with caramel at a birthday celebration last month—I just had a smaller piece than I normally would have (and I did lick the plate). I did have delicious burgers with a soft, sweet Hawaiian buns, but I planned for it. In fact, I enjoyed everything I ate over the past three months. I controlled what and how much I consumed without the limitations of Keto, Paleo, or any of the other diet plans. And, I’m not vegan, vegetarian, or any other specific classification out there. I was smart with my choices.

I have been this weight before (years ago), but it isn’t the same. And, I don’t think I appreciated it as much. However, it’s more than the weight, it’s knowing that I’m healthier than I’ve ever been. When your daily intake of food consists of only fruits, vegetables, meats, and grains that I put together myself, how could it not be? I know what’s going in my food and I can pronounce every ingredient. We have eaten meals out as well, but put more thought into our choices. When the scale reflected those dinners out the next day, we didn’t sweat it because we knew we were on the right track overall.

The best part is that Michael and I are doing this together—which does make everything so much easier. It helps when you have a moment of weakness, don’t feel like measuring out all the ingredients, or even cooking for that matter! In the end, I am accountable to myself, but it helps he looks to me for motivation. He reached his goal too and gives me most of the credit as I make all our meals. He does help in the kitchen sometimes as he loves to use our fancy, new knife to chop, dice, and julienne. Michael also measures out our snacks and puts them into little baggies—nuts, wasabi peas, veggie puff-thingies, and whatever else that isn’t laden with sugar. 

yogajournal.com

I’d like to say my yoga exercise was a factor, but it really wasn’t. A few of weeks went by with no yoga after I strained an already hurt arm being ambitious with a pose. It was that backbend I did with ease when I was a wee younger—a million times—and was successful until the arm gave way. I’ve just gotten back into the grove, but still can’t do a lot of the poses as intended.

We do fit daily walks into our schedule, especially after dinner. Exercise and/or movement does need to happen in some form or fashion. It’s a great time for us to talk to each other without any distractions. I’m pretty sure we have a vacation planned out now.

All this to say, I did it. I promise you that I was the laziest of people when it came to healthy eating—not bad, but not smart. My weakness is Mexican food and I have found ways to keep enjoying it. In the end, it’s all a matter of what you’re willing to do. When you start seeing results, you’ll wonder why it took you so long.