Sweets are My Downfall

I am closing in on week 4 on Eat to Perform and still, it isn’t going as I had hoped.  I have discussed this with my hubby and he still claims that 4 weeks isn’t long enough to know if it is going to be successful or not but I am still on the fence if I will continue or not.  I keep trying to think about where I may be going wrong and the only thing I can come up with is I just eat too many darn sweets.  I have cut WAY back from what I personally would like to eat and have for a long time.  However, the past couple of weeks especially, have been tough as we get closer to Halloween.  And what does Halloween mean?  CANDY!

I have tried to allow myself no more than 1-2 pieces of candy a day and have stuck pretty much with that.  I still have a candy dish full of candy corn in my living room that’s been sitting there for a month (I know, YUCK!) that I have managed not to wolf down and probably will end up throwing away.  I usually eat 1-2 pieces of dark chocolate per day in the form of Hershey Kisses, Hershey Nuggets with Almonds or Dove Promises.  Then, there is the occasion treat at work or a foodie dinner – a mini cupcake here, a scoop of ice cream there, a small piece of cake here.  I NEVER eat all of it and strive to take the smallest serving I can or only eat half of what I am served.  I do refuses sweets every now and again but admittedly, that is few and far between.

But, could these little treats be sabotaging everything else I have changed?  I am still eating 90-110 grams of protein a day and let me just say, as of this week, I am officially SICK of meat.  Sure, you can get protein from other sources like nuts, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt and protein shakes, all of which I eat but I am sick of it all!  I miss things like apple. . .can I eat an apple?  OF COURSE but when I am trying to get that much protein, you kind of have to be choosy about what you eat and don’t eat.  Apples have no protein so that just means I have to balance that apple with a protein source with less carbs.

It just seems like this eating plan isn’t practical if you are the type of person who likes a wide variety of food and not eating the same things over and over again.  I talked it over with my husband last night – we are very bad about including a few, very helpful things in our diet.  Veggies – we are awful about eating veggies.  Not that we don’t like them but it is pretty low on the list of things we think to prepare.  Fish and seafood is another one.  Again, not that we don’t like it but I don’t think either one of us is very skilled or knowledgeable in preparing it so we have a tendency to focus our main protein sources for our meat on chicken and beef with the occasional pork thrown in there.  Also, I know beans would be good too – more carby than meat but still good for the diet and good sources of protein too.

So, I think if I continue this, I need to come up with a better go to list of meals that give me the variety I crave as well as ease of preparation.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a ton of time to cook but the idea of making a giant dish of chicken breasts and rice to eat for an entire week just sounds boring to me.  I will give you the specific numbers after Sunday but I can tell you NOTHING has budged and the body fat continues to go UP.  Totally the wrong direction.  If I can’t get a handle on it soon, Eat to Perform is going right out the window!

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Eat To Perform – Week 3, Not Tracking Well

OK, I went on vacation and let’s just say I wasn’t exactly counting my grams of protein, fat and carbs while I was gone.  Today is officially week 3 on this program so thought I would break it down, by the numbers because as I have mentioned before, I’m an accountant so numbers are my life!

Days on program:  21

Days tracking food:  16

Days ended low on protein goal:  3

Weight change in 3 weeks:  +.1 pound

Body Fat change in 3 weeks:  +.6%

So, let’s look at this – weight is pretty much the same but unfortunately, body fat is increasing, not decreasing as expected which is NOT good.  The more body fat you have, the slower you burn calories which can’t be helpful, as I continue to eat more calories than I normally would.  I didn’t work out on vacation either but here are my workouts since I have returned:

Tuesday, October 20th:  40 minutes on the treadmill, 3.5 average mph

Weds, October 21st:  Free weight workout, 30 minutes

Thurs, October 22nd:  35 minutes on treadmill, 3.5 average mph

Friday, October 23rd:  30 minutes on treadmill, 5% incline, 3.4 average mph

Saturday, October 24th:  Crossfit workout, 30 minutes

Today I am shooting for 40 minutes of cardio and tomorrow will be Pilates.

So, a mere 5 days of vacation, without an incredibly amount of indulgence seems to have hurt my progress a great deal.  I think that’s what I find most frustrating – it’s like you work so hard and struggle to get your numbers down but in a matter of mere days, all of that hard work seems to just disappear in the blink of an eye.

I don’t want to gain anymore weight or I will start growing out of my current wardrobe.  I already am now able to comfortably fit in some work pants that have been sitting in the back of my closet for a year and a half because they were too big.  That is totally going in the wrong direction.

I am going to keep this up for at least another week or 2, hubby is telling me to be patient because he thinks I am doing all the right things now – and see if there is any improvement.  If not, I am going to have a hard time sticking with this.

I can tell you another frustrating part is having to drink these protein shake supplements every day.  EVERY DAY.  It is the only way to eat enough protein and I just get sick of eating the same thing, all the time.  The days I missed my protein goals are the days I skipped my shake and it shows.  I am still eating high protein, medium carb, medium fat meals the rest of the time so I get close but not up to 100 grams and I think any program that is what much of a struggle, isn’t realistic long term.

So, do I just suck it up and accept this is my body from here on out, do the best I can with my workouts and eating and keep letting the numbers slowly go up?  Or, do I go back to cutting my calories, watching everything I eat and making sacrifices on things I really enjoy to stay small?

I don’t know – I really have to think about it.  I say I don’t care what size I am but let’s be honest, that’s really a lie.  I DO care, who wants to have to buy a whole new wardrobe every 3-5 years because your weight is slowing but surely creeping up?  It’s a matter of comfort too – I am comfortable at my old weight and my old body fat, I miss that part of myself as I try to get used to this new body.  I just need to keep my focus positive – on being strong, being healthy, being mobile, being able to do all of the things I physically want to do.  Putting healthy things in my body and avoiding the unhealthy, unnatural and processed items as much as I can.  If I am going to splurge and have my absolute favorite thing – sweets, it is going to be the absolute best quality I can get.  No Hostess, Little Debbie or pre-packaged garbage for me!

Stay tuned – I am sure I am making mistakes with this program and reading the articles, it all sounds very complicated and overwhelming.  But, we all need to remember that every little thing we do to improve our health is worth it.  Putting the focus on ourselves and making our health a priority is an important use of our time, however, we personally decide to do it.  Your time commitment is your choice – I realize I will never be a professional athletic, like some of these people I am reading about and that’s OK.  I don’t want to be.  I just want to be me.

In Anticipation of Stitch Fix #7

I think I have been using Stitch Fix long enough to realize they are not going to deliver me 5 perfect items, no matter what info I give them, no matter how many gorgeous outfits I pin.  Which is fine, really because I couldn’t afford to buy all the pieces every time anyway!  So, as we transition from summer to fall, I am finding myself a little light in the work clothing department, which is what I asked for in my next Fix coming November 6th.  But, with a little time to kill at Target this afternoon, I took my time, walked through the store and put together these 3 outfits, all for under $120 (I did, already own, all of the dress pants shown below so that amount is for the sweaters, leggings and jewelry).

First up, this cute sweater dress and leggings.  I have finally thrown in the towel and realized I am being a little outdated by feeling leggings aren’t work appropriate.  As I look around the office, I see tons of cute, professional looking outfits and they are super comfy so why not jump on the bandwagon?

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I am not a fan of plain colors like black, white, gray, brown without some other pop of color but I made this work for me by picking a sweater with a mix of black and white then adding this fun little owl necklace to it.  I also got these patterned leggings which I ADORE and I think go well with it.

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Next up, this Fair Isle mustard, white and gray weather.  I know that this yellow color is hot this fall and I told myself I would not buy it, under any circumstances but I am sucker for these sweaters so it made it work for me.  However, I am discouraged to discover, the work pants I had planned to pair with it, don’t have enough contrast in it to work with the sweater.  It looks pretty darn plain.

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The pants are a nubby material and have both black and white in it, as you can see from this closeup but I still don’t think I like the look of them with the sweater.

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So, I tried them with a completely different colored pants – tan and I think this is pretty much disaster too.

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I think a winter white dress pant would be gorgeous with this sweater so I will keep an eye out for a pair but until this, I think this may just get worn with jeans on casual days or out and about on the weekends.

Finally, my favorite find – this delicate light pink sweater, the perfect backdrop to a beautiful statement necklace and earrings.

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I am in love with this set and the necklace was on clearance for only $11.99!

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So, now all I need is for it to get a little bit cooler.  I have been stocking up on these warmer clothes and it has still be in the 60s and 70s the past couple of weeks – not quite warm enough to drag the summer clothes back out but too warm for sweaters and pants.  I know, I shouldn’t complain because in another couple of months, when the snow is flying, I will be dreaming of 60 degree days!

Week 2 – A Little Bit of a Break

OK, so Week 2 on Eat to Perform didn’t go so hot.  Or, it really didn’t go at all.  The day before we left on vacation, I had a work dinner with my boss from out of town so it was pretty much impossible to keep track of everything we had that night – and it was just downhill from there.  I did my best to make smart choices but ate more carbs than I normally do.  Glorious delicious carbs like herb biscuits and cheesy grits and short rib ragu and Kentucky Bourbon pie. . .you get the idea.

The biggest setbacks?  Well, I didn’t work out.  AT ALL.  I took my workout clothes but unfortunately, I have a sort of infected big toe that made walking kind of painful, let alone pounding the pavement for a brisk walk or Crossfit workout.  So, I think the vacation was good for letting it heal but not great for the poundage.  Speaking of poundage, I know I gained some weight and pretty darn fast.  Disappointingly fast.  I stepped on the scale on Saturday and was already up 2.5 pounds from my last post.  I can only imagine where my body fat is.  I wanted to step on the scale this morning but was feeling so incredibly lousy (girly issues), I couldn’t bring myself to stand there.  So, we will get the bad news in the morning.

The other setback?  Wonderful alcohol!  We went on the Bourbon Trail and tried all different kinds and had a glass or 2 (or 3) before bed every night, a few mixed drinks, some beer and ALL those extra calories weren’t helpful either, I’m sure.  I thought about it each and every time I consumed them but it wasn’t powerful enough to stop me.

But, isn’t that what vacation is supposed to be all about?  Relaxing, leaving real life behind, having fun, not thinking about every painstaking calorie or step you take.  I made some smart choices too – I didn’t eat much of the pasta in my short rib ragu but all of the meat, even though it was kind of rich.  I got a delicious bouillabaisse for dinner one night with fresh pieces of fish, mussels and clams.  I ordered dessert one night and only had 3 bites – happy to throw the rest of it away.  It was worth it to me, to pay for those 3 little bites just to see what it tasted like.

And that’s all you can do really, right?  Do the best you can, try and make smart choices, but not be too hard on yourself.  Don’t beat yourself up for the bad days, just start anew the next.  I started anew today and am right back on track.  I walked 40 minutes, hard on the treadmill last night, getting ready for a weight workout now.  I have plenty of grams of protein, carbs and fat left after dinner to have a nice after workout snack and only have 12 more grams of proteins to go to hit my goal.

So, today is a new day.  I will report my weight and body fat change after Week 3, which will be this coming Sunday so we can see if it gets closer to where I reported last post or stay higher, like I can tell it is now (How?  By some tight ass waist bands on my pants!).  I am hopeful that I was headed in the right direction and it will be good practice to keep on this eating plan as we get closer to the holidays.  OMG, did I just say that?  Reality check – only 37 days until Thanksgiving!  AHHHHHHH!

On a final note, I picked up the last few items I needed to complete another Pinterest look.  Can’t wait for the weather to get a little bit cooler (did I just say that??) so I can try it all on.  I have to say, it looks pretty darn cozy and comfortable!

Pinterest Poncho

Eat To Perform – 1 Week Check In

So, I thought now that I’ve been following the Eat to Perform recommended eating program for a week now, I would check in with you and let you know how it’s going.

For a week now, I have been eating at least 1,800 -2,000 calories and at least 100 grams of protein.  I gave myself 1 rest day to not track my calories and not worry so much about jamming protein in.  I still was conscious of what I was eating but not so strict about it.

First thing I discovered, there is still plenty of room in this plan for carbs.  I had a half a donut, I had cake, I had pizza, I had homemade apple crisp. . .but one thing this eating plan does NOT track is alcohol.  Alcohol is a whole different group of calories – it isn’t a carb, a fat or a protein and right now, those are the only things I am monitoring so I have to be careful not to go too far over my calorie guidelines with too much alcohol.  However, I can tell you in this past week, I have on at least 3 days for sure.

Second, as I mentioned before, it is tough to get enough good fats in there.  I am working on that – I bought 1% and then 2% milk rather than skim this week, I bought 2% fat yogurt rather than nonfat and I am eating the whole egg now, rather than egg whites.  I have also added more nuts, cheeses and hubby has jumped on the bandwagon grabbing locally made beef jerky and beef sticks at our local butcher.

I know, I know – all you want to know is, have I seen any results?  Well, I am astonished that in just one week, I think I have!!

Weight change –  Down 2.2 pounds

Body Fat change – Down .5%

OK, so the body fat hasn’t moved down too much just yet and while my goal isn’t to lose more weight, it is definitely coming down.  I heard you have to reach a plateau before you gain a little weight back in muscle then the body fat will start to come down more.  The most fun thing so far is – I AM EATING MORE!

Now, while I’m eating more, I definitely have been working out more too.  Here is what my workout schedule looked like the past week:

Sun, Oct 4th – 2.5 mile walk

Mon, Oct 5th – 45 minute Pilates class

Tues, Oct 6th – Off

Weds, Oct 7th – 1 hour Boot Camp class

Thurs, Oct 8th – 2.5 mile walk

Fri, Oct 9th – 20 minutes of Crossfit and strength training

Sat, Oct 10th – 15,609 daily steps tailgating at a local college campus

Sun, Oct 11th – 7 mile bike ride, average speed, 10.9 mph

I have to keep in mind, yes, it has only been a week but I am hopeful since I appear to be moving in the right direction.  Also, this plan is pretty easy, I can plan out almost my entire day of eating ahead of time to make sure I am going to hit my grams goals.  Please let me also note – I HAVE worked out like this before.  In fact, this has pretty much been my normal routine for years but I have NEVER seen results like this before!  My husband is also quick to point out that he has been saying I’ve been eating too little for a long time. Strictly following MyFitnessPal or Fitbit calorie counters, I am usually right on the money but as Eat to Perform points out, those targets are WAY too low for someone who works out regularly.  I am beginning to see the light!

Now, for week 2, I am leaving on vacation on Thursday and will be dining out a majority of the time.  I may not track my meals but I think as long as I stick with making a protein source my main meal and add things here and there, I should be able to stay on track.  Of course, I am going to have some amazing things available to me (i.e. Bloody Marys at brunch!) so I will definitely be splurging more than usual.

The other issue with be workouts – I won’t be exercising regularly on vacation but will do my best to keep myself moving.  Get up and take a walk before we head out for our days, one day we have planned to go hiking in a local park, sightseeing, hopefully, it will add up.  I told my hubby, we need to try and make it fun and maybe do a burpee challenge one day, just to mix it up.  Note – he will totally kick my ass but at least it will be something to motivate me and push myself more than if I just did it on my own.

So, stay tuned to see how week 2 turns out and how my numbers change by then!

Stitch Fix #6 Follow up

I went ahead and scheduled my 7th Fix for Friday, November 6th.  Think I am a little addicted?  Well, that’s because Stitch Fix IS addictive!  When I checked out with Fix #6, I did my best to be as descriptive on all items I did not buy and included this final comment at the end:

“I know my height is an issue and it’s tough to find things to fit someone so small.  I will take that chance and continue to order but get frustrated when it feels like my stylist ignores my specific dos, don’ts and items I need.  The colors are much better than past Fixes but the items are still styles I do not like but maybe there are only so many items available for my size at my price point.  I will keep ordering for the fun of it but have been doing a lot more shopping to find things I need in my wardrobe on my own.  Also, I use Pinterest exclusively to show styles and pieces I want and need so please check that before sending my next Fix.  Thank you!”

I probably should mix up what I ask for – maybe go with some pants next time but I need what I need, right?  I will look around on my own if I have time in month but just in case, I asked for pretty much the same thing again.  Here is my Stylist Note for the next one:

“Need fitted business/work tops, sweaters or short cardigans only, no long/boxy cuts. Still would like fall/winter dresses that could be professional for work or dressed up for going out. Have a lot of purple/maroon for fall so need other cold season colors-orange, bright red, royal blue, kelly green, pink, etc. Would love pretty scarfs to pair or maybe a short blazer. I have a lot of looks on my Pinterest page I like. Prefer not to tuck in shirts so the shorter, the better.”

I will keep reading other Stitch Fix bloggers and enjoying the items and experiences they have, I will keep using Pinterest to find outfits I like to give myself shopping ideas and I will keep hoping that maybe my next Fix will be better.  But, I have to admit, I couldn’t afford to buy all 5 items in my Fix every time they went them so probably for the best I get a mix of things I love and hate – easier on the pocketbook because it would be tough to send back things that looked and fit fabulous every time.

If you would like to try Stitch Fix for yourself, please use my referral link below and I will get a $25 credit when your first Fix ships.  Thanks so much for reading!

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Stitch Fix #6 – October 2015

Doorbell rang around 1pm this afternoon – my Fix had arrived!  If you remember from my last entry, after taking a sneak peek at my Fix after receiving my shipment E-mail, I didn’t have very high hopes and I am sad to say, they were mostly confirmed. . .with a few exceptions.

First, let me say, I was VERY impressed when I opened the box and saw the colors.  Totally gorgeous and exactly what I am looking for:

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My stylist note was short and sweet and honestly, not very informative or helpful  And once again, I have a new stylist.  I think that makes my 4th or 5th in just 6 Fixes.

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Before we get to each item, I would have to say my biggest disappointment this time is with the price point.  If I were to buy every single item in this Fix, at the retail price they are asking for them, it would be a whopping $370 for 5 items of clothing.  That is just ridiculous.  Of course, if you were to buy all 5, you get the 25% discount but that takes it down to only $257.50, still, a LOT of money.  Luckily, I didn’t have to worry about that.  So, let’s get down to it and find out why!

If you remember my stylist note, I asked for work clothes – fall dresses and fitted shirts and sweaters to wear with wide legged trousers I already own.  For the most part, they totally ignored my request, once again but they did send me 2 dresses so let’s take a look at them first.

First up is the Collective Concepts Kinsley Dress in Dark Pink, retail for $98 in size Small.

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Out of the box, this is very startling dress.  The pink is VERY hot pink and the black, which is hard to tell is sparkly.  So, unfortunately, while pretty, not exactly what I would consider work, business appropriate – more like party, evening wedding.

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It’s a fit and flare dress, which I love after my mint green dress from a few Fixes ago but it fit very oddly.  First, the waist is very tight for a small and then, in order for it to fit correctly, you need to be a good 2 – 3 inches taller.  Once I got it zipped, it was so baggy around my top that it gaped horribly.

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Definitely RETURNING.

Next dress is the exact one I found online during my sneak peek. The Collective Concepts Rialto Dress, retail price for $88 in size SP.

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Again, I love the color, perfect for fall.  I wasn’t sure about a sleeveless but with the right sweater, it could work.  My dining room light is casting a weird yellow glow on it but trust me, the colors are beautiful.  I also greatly appreciated them trying to send me a petite but unfortunately, this one isn’t petite enough.

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Short enough, for sure but something funky is going on with this top.  It is just TOO darn big.

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I knew as soon as I pulled it out of the box it would be too big and as predicted, the top is literally falling off me.  I am not exactly small chested either – not big chested but not small either and just did not look good at all.

So, this one will be RETURNED too.

Then, they tried to throw a pencil skirt at me.  Again, I said one of my criteria was that I did not want any piece I would need to tuck in my shirt.  A nice Facebook friend pointed out that I could buy a fitted crew neck sweater and wear it with a pencil skirt and a statement necklace and it could be quite cute so I decided to be a little more optimistic about it.

This is the Margaret M Christiana Pencil Skirt in Teal Green, retail price of $78 in size XS.

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This is a heavier material and a darker color than I was expecting.  And to be honest,  right now, I have absolutely no top in my wardrobe that goes with anything like this so for simplicity sake, I paired it with a plain grey T for the picture.

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The only compliment I can give it is that’s it comfy.  It was a wide elastic waist band that is very forgiving but almost too accommodating.  You can see my little tummy roll there and it is about 3 inches too long, hitting well below my knees so not flattering at all.

This skirt will definitely be RETURNED.

So, I am thinking – where are my fall work tops and sweaters?  Fall, winter – I am thinking sweaters, cardigans, long sleeves and they sent me this tank top instead.  Again, I adore the color but not what I was looking for – AT ALL.

This is the Brixon Ivy Galvez Lace Inset Blouse, retail price of $58 in size XS.

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The detail is very pretty and intricate but I don’t know how many more times I can tell Stitch Fix that I want more fitted clothes and to quit sending me this boxy stuff.  Yet, it just keeps on coming. . . .

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I paired it with the wide legged trousers I needed shirts for and as you can see, it’s a mess.  Yes, I could tuck it in but again, remember?  I asked them for no shirts that need to be tucked in.  I swear, if I did, it would look like my waist band was at my boobs, that is how short waisted I am.

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Ends up, it really doesn’t matter because once again, the top is way too wide anyway.  For all those out there who think they can’t try Stitch Fix because they are too big – THINK AGAIN.  Remember – this is an extra small shirt.  I think their sizing runs at least 1 size bigger than they say, so this really is a small or even a medium in some other stores.  I have a few more thoughts on that but will save them until after my last item.

So, I pull the last thing out and see it is a long, flowing cardigan.  Again, a specific item I included in my stylist note NOT to send.  No, long flowing tops, ponchos or cardigans because they usually do not fit me right.  But, I figured, what the hell, I will try the sucker on.  If I can’t find at least one item I like, I will be out the $20 styling fee for NOTHING (well, not nothing because I would once again complain to Stitch Fix and make them refund it, as they have for about half my Fixes so far).

My final item is the 41Hawthorn Abrianna Long Sleeve Knit Cardigan, retail price of $48 in size XS.

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Out of desperation, before I had any other thought, I slipped the sucker on and was amazed to see that it ACTUALLY FIT.

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I couldn’t have been more shocked. From the moment I put it on, it fit like a glove.  It hung right, fit on my shoulders right, the sleeve length was perfect and it was soft and comfortable. Sounds like a win, right?

Not so fast – I asked for WORK CLOTHES.  I would never wear this to work because it only looks right with skinny jeans or leggings.  As a general rule, I try not to wear those to the office because I work in a CPA firm and while I could get away with it, I just don’t think it looks very professional.  I just bought a TON of casual clothes so didn’t really need anymore and unfortunately, already have another 2 or 3 tops and sweaters in this exactly color.  But, because I don’t want to lose my styling fee, I am going to KEEP it.

So, once again, I find myself asking the question – do I press on and see if they can come up with more clothes for me or do I just give up?  I enjoy the experience of the delivery, of trying on the clothes at home and the uniqueness of the items, heck, I have even eased up and don’t stress if I don’t like all 5 things.  But when the fit is still so bad, I just can’t help but believe they just don’t have a lot of items for me.  If I keep returning things and telling them exactly why they didn’t work, will they eventually figure out better items suited to my frame?  I have a hard time believing that is possible when I get a new stylist every Fix.  Wouldn’t you need to have the same one over and over again who is familiar with you and understands how you are built?

I will think about it and probably schedule another Fix but may push it off or cancel it altogether.  I need time to consider my options and now that I received basically no work tops, yet another shopping trip to try and find some reasonably priced items for this fall and winter.  I cleaned out my closets as I moved from summer to fall and got rid of a lot of things so the rack is looking mighty bare.

Thinking about trying Stitch Fix yourself?  Please use my referral link below and I will receive a $25 credit on your first shipment!

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Thanks so much for reading!