Sizing Up the Matter

24 Oct
Without you, it's just fabric on a hanger.

Without you, it’s just fabric on a hanger.

Let’s be honest: shopping can be a pain in your newly shaped butt. And I like shopping. But when you’re “skinny now,” you tend to find yourself in between sizes.

No two bodies are the same. My waist makes me a size 8, but my hips still linger in the 10-12 range, depending on the stretch of the fabric. I prefer shopping using numerical sizes because it makes the search more consistent. But clothing makers are starting to shift their wares to alphabetical sizes (XS-XL). ¬†It’s less clothes for them to make in different sizes and leads to fewer returns.

That’s great for them, but here’s the problem: one size does not fit all. Humblebrag, but I’ve always had a small waist compared to my hips. Buying jeans leaves me with two options: a gap at the waistband above my butt or a super tight fit around my hips and thighs. It’s a never-ending struggle, one you’ll have to contend with until you shape your body the way you want it.

We’re in the worst season known to man. Some days are too cold while others are too warm. You have to layer a ton of clothes, then find someplace to put them all when two scarves becomes too many. However, this dreaded time of year does have its benefits.

The layers help hide whatever’s going on while you’re trying to figure out what looks good on your figure. Skinny jeans and a larger top will cover the gap at your back. A big belt can cinch your newly narrow waist over some leggings. These will get you through some rough patches.

But you should also enjoy this time. You lived a size 16 for so long, and now you’re a size 10. There were clothes you never thought would look good on you out there just waiting to be given a chance to shine. You never tried an pencil skirt before? See what it looks like. Cropped tops used to give you muffin-top anxiety? Screw that! You’ve got a flatter belly now that’s just itching to see the sun.

There’s so much to do now that you can fit into a new size. It’s easy to feel defeated even though you’ve done such good work so far. You’ve lost a few pounds, but your favorite clothes don’t fit anymore. Maybe you didn’t like shopping before because it was hard finding things you liked in your size. Guess what, love? You’re not that size anymore. Take this opportunity to see what else looks good on you.

And remember that part: It’s what looks good on you, not what you look good in. The clothes are there to amplify you, not the other way around. These are pieces of fabric cut and sewn to look good on you. Without you, they’re just patterns on a hanger.

What are you itching to try on once you reach your goal weight? How do you deal with in-between sizes

photo credit: Zylenia via photopin cc

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Happy Anniversary!

21 Oct

Work It, Missy

20 Oct

Missy Elliott is one of the most talented people in music. She Pharrell-ed before Pharrell could. Many of her fans, myself included, miss hearing Misdemeanor randomly show up on a track, drop an earworm of a song or astound us with a new music video. Her recent spate of appearances have only made the clamor grow, especially with last week’s tweet.

You remember this Missy, right?

missy

That Missy is no more.

In 2011, Missy announced that she was diagnosed with Grave’s disease, which affects the thyroid system and can affect the nervous system. It caused her to gain a lot of the weight she’d lost and made her step back from the music industry spotlight for a while.

But now Missy is back, performing at Alexander Wang’s debut of his collection for H&M. And she looks fantastic. She said at the time of her diagnosis that she was taking radiation medication. But instead of being beholden to the pill, she took a more active role in her health. Working with her doctor, she’s found a way to manage the condition through diet an exercise.

Life happens. It will throw obstacle after obstacle at you, no matter how prepared you may think you are. An obstacle like an illness can really get you down. You may feel defeated at whatever is attacking your health. But that doesn’t have to mean you’re out.

Doctors, nutritionists and therapists are there to help people go on the offensive about health care. You can work with professionals to ensure that whatever may come, you are doing all you can to keep your health in check.

Is it worth it? I think we could all take a cue of Missy and see if it is. You may even surprise yourself at the things you can do naturally that no pill could.

So congrats to Missy on her 70 pound (!!!) weight loss. Hopefully this means she’ll get to working on an album soon (hint-hint, wink-wink).

Photo courtesy of People

Stuntin’ Is a Habit

15 Oct

The myth is that it takes 21 days for form a habit. I call it a myth because you don’t really know you’ve made something a habit until you’re much further along in the process. Think about it: What did you do 21 days ago that you’re still doing right now? I’ll tick them off for you:

  • Eating
  • Sleeping
  • Working/studying
  • Going to the restroom.

You developed those habits so long ago they’re part of you. What I’ve found on my weight-loss journey is that making your good habits a part of you is key to meeting your goals. And it took much longer than 21 days for that to happen.¬†It’s not called a lifestyle change for nothing.

Making this lifestyle a part of the very fabric of your nature takes a lot courage. It’s easy to stay comfortable in your routine. Eating, sleeping and working are so much a part of you that you don’t realize you’re doing them¬†any more. The same can happen for you when you’ve developed a routine with diet and exercise.

Here are a few ways to make sure your good choices become habit forming.

1. Set a schedule.¬†A plan of action is a great first step toward meeting your goal. If you work a regular 9-to-5, then you’re better off than some freelancers. You know when you need to get up, when you need to get to work, when you get off and how much time you have left over in the day. You know how long it takes to get ready in the morning, how long it takes you to get to work and how to bypass traffic on the way home. That means you know where the pockets of time are for meal preparation, workouts and rest. Those of you without a set schedule are going to have to let life work its way into your weight-loss plan. You may need to first set your meal prep, workouts and rest times and¬†let the rest of your day fit in as needed.

2. Plan your meals. Rest day is the best day for meal prep. You’re not overly exhausted from the hurting you put on your body¬†in your workout. You’ve got time to really take inventory of what you have in your cabinets and what you may be in the mood for during the week. You have time to glance through your cookbooks and see what new recipes will work for you this week. And you have time to browse the grocery store instead of a rush job where you forget things. You may find a nice piece of fish on sale you can broil later. All of this is to say having your meals (especially lunch) ready¬†saves so much time when you’re getting ready to leave for the day.

3. Make your goal your No. 1 priority.¬†You love your family and friends. And being homeless isn’t on your list of things to do. Now that that’s out of the way,¬†take stock of what’s really important to you. Do you really want to lose weight? Do you really want to maintain? Are you looking for ways to cut the unhelpful things out of your diet? If that’s true, then you’ve already made your goal a top priority. Create a vision board or “Being Mary Jane” it and put Post-it notes all over your home. Keeping a daily reminder that you’re doing this for a reason will keep your eyes on the prize

4. Understand there are 24 hours in a day. So you’ve set your schedule and you’ve planned your meals. But life happened, and¬†you overslept¬†and missed your morning Zumba class. Someone at work ate your sandwich, so now you don’t have anything to eat. So what? There’s still time later in the day to burn a few calories. You may not ¬†be able to make it to the gym, but you can surely find a way to get moving around the house. Or you could take a long walk at lunch. Or you could to any number of things that you were supposed to do anyway. We all share the same time clock, and yours says there’s still time to get it in before the day is over.

5. Don’t accept failure as an option. Simply put: if where you are isn’t where you want to be, do what you have to do¬†to get there.

These good habits will become less and less stressful the more you do them. But you’ll be so pleased with yourself when you accomplish your goal.

What habits have you picked up or broken since you began your weight-loss journey?

Double the Fun

13 Oct

High school football season is almost over, but many of your quarterbacks, linemen and safeties spent many a day practicing twice a day. Not just menial practices, but full-on, balls out, grunting practices. They do this for endurance, stamina and to better prepare them for the real work that comes with a game.

On my weight-loss journey, I’ve learned the importance (and the pain) of two-a-days. When I began, I was using the “Extreme Fat-Smash Diet” plan, which is rigorous in both diet and fitness. For three weeks, you’re doing at least an hour of cardio a day, with that workout sometimes being¬†split in two. It’s what I’ve been doing for the past few weeks as I’ve returned to beast mode.

I like working out in the morning so I can have my evenings free. If I have a two-a-day, I’ve got to either sneak off in the middle of my work day to go to the gym (nearly impossible) or go after work, killing my social plans. Plus, you’re going in on a hard workout in the morning only to do it again later in the day. Then you’re likely working out again in the morning.¬†What no one tells you about the split workouts is that it can wear you out.

It’s a lot to take on, especially if you’re new to exercising. But it also offers you an opportunity to try something different. Let your two-a-days be the chance for you to switch up your routine. It is ridiculously easy to fall into the trap of doing the same kind of workout over and over. This not only stagnates your progress, but it makes the exercise portion of your weight-loss plan mind-numbingly dull.

There are¬†four types of cardio workouts that I usually do, but I’m always open to trying new things (you saw me hang my my hips from silk fabric). I’m primarily a runner, but I also go to spin class, use the cardio equipment at the gym and pop an exercise DVD. Whenever I have a two-a-day, I’ll do two¬†of these. But on the next two-a-day, I’ll switch out one for another.

But maybe you’re not on a cardio kick. One day could be leg day, then the next is abs. One day you’ve got kickboxing class, then the next is swimming. One of the keys to success with any weight-loss plan is shocking your body by¬†doing something different. If your body becomes to used to one thing, it won’t work as hard to burn the calories. Challenging yourself to try new things is very important.

Though I dread two-a-days because they’re a time suck‚ÄĒplus they funk up two sets of workout clothes, creating more laundry‚ÄĒI understand their benefit. If you find yourself stuck in a rut with your workout plan, a two-a-day could be the trick you need. Separating your workouts by at least six hours in a day helps to keep your metabolism up, which helps to burn calories. And isn’t that the goal on your weight-loss journey?

So, give it a try. You may find out a couple of quick workouts a day suit you better than a long slog in the morning.

Have you ever had to do two-a-days? What do you do to switch it up?

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