Stitch Fix #11 – June 2017

I’m back!  I’ve had some good luck with Stitch Fix this year so far but can’t afford monthly deliveries, so instead, I’ve been doing every other month.  My first this year was February, then April and now June. . .and I’m afraid my luck has run out.

I didn’t even take pictures in everything because well, nothing fit quite right.  I asked for casual summer pieces – as always, I am great need for bottoms, which are always tough for me to find just the right size.  So far, SF has sent me some great ones so I was hopeful this time for some cute shorts.  I’ve seen some posted on their Pinterest that were really cute but wasn’t thrilled with the one pair they sent me. Here is the lot of it:

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I posted the pictures in order on the receipt so rather than typing everything out, let me just give you my overall thoughts.

The Report Footwear sandals – super cute and love the color but incredibly uncomfortable.  I have very narrow, thin feet and the top strap was still too tight for me to barely get my toes in.  Once they were buckled, they were even worse with the straps cutting into my ankles.  Uh, no.

The Skies are Blue Marasolay Eyelette Lace Detail Knit Top – this was the only one that remotely fit me, as you can see in the picture below.  Sorry for the weird filters, I have a light out in my bedroom so it was pretty dark in there.  The top is pretty enough and fit me on top but seems a little long and the pattern wasn’t my taste.  It’s a very comfy cotton though and I do like the colors so rather than lose my $20 styling fee, I did buy this item.

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The Renee C Alecto Halter Top – I did like the colors and the pattern but it was WAY too big.  The arm holes were too long and the shirt was just too wide.  Very unflattering.

The Kut from the Kloth Siena Cropped Pants – for those who didn’t see my Fix #10, I JUST bought some hot pink ankle jeans to go with a really pretty mint green tank they sent me.  Why in the world would my stylist think I needed another pair of hot pink pants?  She said in her styling note that it was such a good price and $58 is very fair but not unless they were in another color.

Finally, the Dear John Finnegan Roll Cuff Chino Shorts – I like the Dear John brand and have a pair of super comfy jean shorts I got in another Fix I wear all the time but these were very uncomfortable.  I may have gained a pound or 2 the past few months but the rear and waist were both too tight and I wasn’t wild about the cuff at the bottom.

So, that’s June.  I don’t have another Fix scheduled now until September 1st and we will see I stick with that date.  I’ve found some steals at other stores lately and kind of stocked up on summer clothes so probably will be looking to fall by then.   I picked up this adorable American Eagle romper for only $19.99 on sale, a store I would NEVER normally shop in but went with a friend who likes their clothes.  So glad I did!

AE Romper

I also got some super comfy Ana shorts at JC Penney for 40% off so picked up a pair in black and white.  I swear, I think I could wear these white shorts with half my summer shirts.  I should have bought 2!

JCP Shorts

Finally, a few months ago, I got some cute clothes from Nasty Gal – has anyone watched Girlboss on Netflix?  Well, talk about HUGE fail – the clothing store declared bankrupsy right after the show about it’s creator came out so dumb me, I loved it so much, I got on their website and ordered some clothes before I realized this LA company had been sold to a company in the UK.  Almost a month later, I finally get my dresses but I tell you, they are super cute and really a great price at only $40 each.

Nasty Gal

I adore this dress for summer – it’s super lightweight so I had to get a little slip to wear under it but nothing tight or bind about it and I love the flower pattern.

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I love this dress too and it fits like a glove but I bought it to wear to a May wedding and due to the shipping delay, it arrived too late.  It’s very pretty, very formal looking on so not sure when I will have the chance to wear it.  Hoping another friend will get married (or re-married!  LOL) so I can bust it out.

OK, I suppose that’s enough fashion talk for today!  We will see what SF comes up with in September!

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The Art of Worrying

“Don’t worry so much about tomorrow that you miss the beauty and joy of today.”

I’m a born worrier, it’s built into my DNA and something I’ve fought my entire life.  I have very vivid memories as a child of worrying about all kinds of things – ghosts would get me (but they can’t see you if the pull the covers up to your neck), that the house would burn down, that my body would forget how to breathe (how does it know to just keep doing that???) and as I grew up and became an adult, I wasn’t much better.  I was (loosely) diagnosed with an ulcer at age 18 and in and out of doctors for years with stomach issues that most attributed to a nervous personality.  I paced the floor more times than I can count with a pounding heart, terrified by . . .I’m not sure what exactly.  I have an extreme phobia that I rarely talk about but it kept me paralyzed me almost to the point of being curled up in a ball on the floor.  I’m also a planner and I think worrying and planning go hand in hand – a worrier feels like if they can control more, anticipate more, stay organized and in control over every moment of their life, it’s all going to be OK.  I thought not just days but weeks, MONTHS in advance, planning every moment of every day but spent a lot of time being not just disappointed but devastated when something went wrong.

That all changed in 2004.  The rock in my world, my biggest cheerleader and biggest critic, my grandma died.  She never indulged my anxiety – she loved me, gave me a safe place but when I started to go off the deep end, she was the one telling me to stop, take a deep breath and really, really think – you are getting worried and upset and SICK about something that may never happen!  I never really understood what that meant until she died but I decided to live my life with more calm, more joy and less worry about what may never come.

So, I started therapy, I quit my job, I got off the fast track, I took 6 weeks off work and went back as an Accounting clerk, 3 good pegs down from my previous job.  I worked my way back up to my current company but I decided to structure my life totally different.  Less worry, less stress, more fun, more joy, more wonder, more new experiences, more time with friends.  I got tattoos, I para-sailed, I pushed myself to try things I never would have before.  Is my life perfect?  Far from it and I still love to plan a good event, I love to research trips and travel, cars to buy, restaurants to try but I don’t freak out if plans go awry and we need to come up with a new one.

Another big lesson I embraced was to learn how to politely and tactfully say no.  No to doing things that I didn’t really want to do but feared I would let someone down, no to things that I felt pressured to do by someone else but didn’t interest me or I just downright didn’t like. Women have SUCH a tough time saying no to anyone but the big secret is, you are a happier person for your friends and family when you give yourself a break, allow yourself the freedom to choose the things that bring satisfaction to your life and let go of the things that bring you stress and sadness.  Trust me – your friends, at least the good ones, will understand and love you anyway.

Finally, having a police officer as a husband will do that to you too – he joined the force in 2008 and admittedly, the transition was a tough one for me, even then but I know for a fact, if he had become an officer in our 20s or even early 30s, I probably wouldn’t have been able to handle it. . .it would have put a tremendous strain on our marriage and my well-being.  But now?  I’m proud of him in a way I never imagined but you have to get over the disappointment of cancelled plans, late nights, missed events and being alone pretty damn fast.  It still isn’t easy some days but whenever I feel the panic rising, I remember to stop, take that deep breath and remember to live in the moment, enjoy the beauty of the day and not waste time and energy worrying about tomorrow.

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Being a Woman

This post isn’t about fashion and it isn’t about fitness – it’s deeply personal and something I don’t think we talk about near enough because we are taught that it’s embarrassing, it’s TMI – too much information yet almost half the population deals with it and goes through it once a month, whether they like it or not.  Their period.

OMG, why does she want to talk about her period?  How disgusting?  Maybe but I bet you ask any woman and at one time or another, she has been deeply frustrated, disappointed or angered by how disruptive it has been to her life.   I’ve worked hard during my 31 years with it to never use it as a crutch or excuse to get out of anything – it’s just a part of life that needs to be dealt with and move on.  For most women, it serves a BIG purpose – it helps them track their ovulation, get pregnant, have children, but for women like me without kids, it really is nothing more than a monthly inconvenience.

I was on the birth control pill from age 16 to age 32 when my husband got a vasectomy.  We both never wanted kids but I assumed we would always change our minds, at some point.  But, as we neared our 30s, my husband kept asking when he could go in for the snip, snip.  Let’s just give it another year or 2, I would say.  Eventually, I realized we were making the right decision for us and over the years, I had trouble finding a birth control pill that worked well for my body.  I always had 1 issue or another and eventually, it was freeing to just be able to get off it altogether.

I was blessed to be fairly regular, have fairly normal periods with little issues.  But, as I neared and passed the age of 40, I noticed some irregularity, I’m never quite sure when it’s going to come and at least 1 or 2 days during my cycle are ROUGH.  Super heavy, very crampy and uncomfortable, so tired I could sleep 10 hours a day and still need more.  Normally, I can care for myself in silence – I work 2 days a week from home so those days would be a breeze, I didn’t have to see or talk to a soul if I didn’t want to.  If it was a day in the office, when it got really bad, I would cut the day short and finish my work from home.  Weekends?  Most of the time if I have plans, I can muddle through the event or get together but just taking it easy or if it got really bad, just skip out on the event altogether.

But, sometimes, the stars align to create the perfect storm and that was yesterday.  I was surprised to find my period start 4 days early this month (and last month was 3 days late so I truly feel like I am right in the middle of perimenopause, around 1st into full blown menopause) and unfortunately, these days, it’s almost impossible to tell when my “bad” day will be.  Sometimes it’s the 1st day, sometimes it’s right in the middle, sometimes, it can even be one of the last few days.  I’ve had a big trip to Chicago planned with friends for well over a month now – tickets were bought, travel plans made and I wasn’t about to cancel on all of them at the last minute.  Besides, I didn’t know FOR SURE it would be right on our event day so I rolled the dice, expected the best and planned for the worst.  The worst happened.

On the ride up to Chicago yesterday morning, I could FEEL it coming.  Ladies, you know that feeling?  You’re uncomfortable, cramps are starting, you want nothing more than to just be right next to a bathroom and kick your feet up on the couch – anything to relieve the pain.  I took Advil, like I normally do and it did it’s job but nothing that stop that heavy flow from coming.

We arrived at the convention center, ready for an entire day of nothing but walking.  Walking, walking, feet pounding, pounding All. Day. Long.  I was fine, though uncomfortable, of course, until around 1pm when the Advil started to wear off.  I took more but the damage was done.  It’s not exactly handy or convenient when you are in a giant location, being jostled by thousands of people, having to run in and out of the bathroom every hour on the hour, trying to eat a lot of food when your stomach is in knots and your insides feel like you are being punched over and over again.

How do you explain this to a man?  I wish I could and that they could FEEL it just for a day.  I don’t want to be all woe as me, I’m a woman and I’m cursed but I truly felt like I was yesterday.  By 3pm, I was pretty much in tears and wanted nothing more than to be magically teleported home to my own couch or bed where I could be left and quiet and peace until the pain subsided rather than endure one more moment of chaos and the LONG car ride home.

I lost it.  There is no other way to put it.  I totally and completely lost it on some of the people I love most in this world.  I am sure they think I am insane, I didn’t explain my plight to anyone except my best girlfriend who did her best to help me but in the end, what can you do but just endure it?  Later, I mercifully made it home, I thought to myself – WHY did I feel too embarrassed to just tell my friends the truth, explain what was going on with me?  Maybe if I’d had that outlet and just come clean with them at the beginning of the day, things would have went a lot different yesterday.  Or maybe it would have been exactly the same, who knows?  Hindsight, I would have spared everyone the complication, including myself and just stayed home.  Nothing I did yesterday was worth all that frustration, worry and being uncomfortable all day.

It’s a part of us – something woman can’t get rid or of or walk away from.   Some have a very easy time of it, while others struggle with unseen pain or complications but one think I learned, I am WAY too old to ever shy away from having a conversation about it, sharing with my friends how I feel or about any issues I’m having just because it’s a period.  It’s messy, but it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.  I wish we all could just be more honest and open with each other about SO many things in our lives, rather than being so fearful about how people may judge us or view us differently if we share with them.  Unfortunately, we humans sure aren’t perfect and yesterday, I sure proved that point about myself.  To my friends, I am very sorry for things I said and did and am glad that at least you all, were able to enjoy your day.

Stitch Fix #10 – April 2017

Stitch Fix, you are breaking my heart but in a GOOD way this time!  I had such lousy luck with you in 2015 but I swear, you must have changed your sizing, your stylists, something because once again, you have knocked my Fix out of the park! The ONLY downside – I don’t know about you but for me, all 5 pieces are just a tad on the pricey side, even asking for the most reasonably priced items they sell.  Is anyone else running into that issue? Well, before we condemn them just yet, let me show you all about my Fix this month!

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This girl is winging down to Florida on vacation in about a week and asked for pieces I could take down and enjoy the beach and sunshine.  Once again, I was blessed with Samantha as my stylist and I’m incredibly impressed with her picks this month.

First up, this fun and beautiful Collective Concepts Kailey Dress in Coral, size S with a regular price of $78.  I have it paired with the Seven Hills Laurel Chain Crossbody purse in a soft Grey that matches this dress nicely.  Regular price for the purse is $38.

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I love this dress – it is flowing, romantic and a gorgeous color.  HOWEVER, I admit my heart sank a little when I saw the size was Small and not XS.  I am VERY short waisted and many dresses with a defined waist like this can be too long from shoulder to waist and unfortunately, this is no exception.

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As you can see, the arm holes are a little too low, the front, a little too blousy.  It has a handy snap in the front so it keeps the top nice and closed but moving around from side to side, I noticed the wrap portion of the top moving just a tad too far and showing a little too much. . .chest.  I am going to play around with this and see if a tank under would look OK but my guess, since the neckline is so low, is it would just take away from the beauty of this dress too much.  I am 50/50 on keeping it right now but if I were a betting woman, I would say I’m sending it back.

As for the purse, it is a beautiful material – very soft and I love that it has 2 deep snap pockets on the outside and a zippered pocket on the inside with more compartments in that to store things.  However, I am a big purse girl and this purse is too small for my phone to even stand upright – I would have to lay it on the side, which isn’t a big deal but usually not my style.  I already have a red Coach cross body purse that I barely use now but I think that’s more because of the color – this purse would truly match everything.  If I keep the dress, I will keep the purse to get the 25% off.  If the dress goes back, so does this bag.

Next up, the Fun2Fun Carlaton Halter Blouse in Mint, size XS with a regular price of $44 paired with the Lila Ryan Dorianna Skinny Jeans in Dark Pink, size 2P with a regular price of (GULP!) $98.

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I adore this outfit but damn it, Samantha, why do you keep sending me $98 jeans when I tell you NOT to?  Oh, I know why – because they fit like a GLOVE.  I am a sucker for colored pants and if you saw my last Fix, she sent me a pair of turquoise skinny jeans I love as well.  I rationalized that pair, the same way I will these – I never can find my size ANYWHERE, I rarely find colored jeans or pants either and yes, they are expensive but geez, I’m a 43 year old, gamely employed woman.  If you are able, I think it’s OK to step away from Target or the clearance rack at Banana Republic and treat yourself, every now and again. Especially for something you really love.  And I REALLY love these pants.

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The top is just an added bonus – this is where Stitch Fix has made the biggest improvement for me.  In the past, all the tops they sent were giant tents on me – too long, too billowy, arm and neck holes too big but this year, they all fit perfectly.  This shirt covers the rear nicely, the material is light and comfortable for hot Florida days and I paired it with one of my favorite pair of Italian sandals with multi colored flowers.  FUN!  Needless to say, I will be keeping this whole outfit.

Finally, we have the Pixley Milani Knit Tank in Blue, Size XS with a regular price of $38.

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My pictures don’t do the gorgeous colors of this tank justice.  It has bright royal blue, turquoise and white, is a super comfy fabric and for me, just this side of being small enough – any more fabric and this would have been a no for me.  Luckily, it pairs nicely with a pair of long white shorts I have and some Charming Charlie’s navy wedge sandals so I can totally see this for a lunch or dinner out with hubby on our vacation.

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So, as you probably guessed, this tank is a keeper as well.

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If I purchased every item, my total cost including my styling fee already paid would be $222.  If I decide to send the dress and purse back, I will pick up the jeans and 2 tops for a total of $180.  Looking at that number, it seems like a lot of money for a pair of jeans and 2 shirts, especially when I just picked up this dress, fun peasant top and necklace at Charming Charlie’s (have you noticed this is one my fav stores??) for only $52 just last week.

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Is the quality of Stitch Fix clothes better, enough to warrant such a big difference in price?  Maybe a little bit but it definitely gets you thinking about value.  I think one of the things you pay for with Stitch Fix is the fun of the experience, having the clothes delivered right to you and the ability to just send back the items you don’t like for free.  I don’t know, I guess that’s up for each of us to decide, isn’t it?  I know that’s why I quit using the service last time – why wait with anticipation and excitement for your Fix each time, only to not only be disappointed in the cost of the items but not really like any of them either?  Well, I certainly don’t have that problem now – if anything, it’s the exact opposite – it’s tough to send them BACK because I love them all so much.  So much color, really unique items, keep ’em coming, Stitch Fix!

If you would like to try Stitch Fix for yourself, please use my referral code and I’ll get a $25 credit on your first shipment! Thanks so much!

https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/5229780?sod=w&som=c

Stitch Fix is BACK – Feb 2017!

It appears despite my absence, quite a few people still check back here.  I’m going to guess this blog still pops up on Stitch Fix searches, even though my last Fix was back in December 2015.  For those who haven’t read all my entries, my last SF foray was NOT successful at all.  I’m 5 feet tall, 110 pounds and pretty much every item they sent me, except for dresses were ill fitting, not what I requested, just odd styles in general and didn’t suit my personal tastes.  I tried, OH BOY, I tried but after 8 Fixes, only managed to find a few pieces I truly loved.  On top of that, my company recently went to casual dress so the beautiful SF dresses I did get are now only pulled out for special occasions.

So, what was the biggest problem?  Fit, for sure.  I need tops most of all – personally, I think Stitch Fix pants and jeans are incredibly over priced but almost all of the tops they sent me were too long and too billowy for my very small frame, the arm holes too big, the neck holes too large.  I sent 90% of them back.  Recently, my cousin pointed out that Stitch Fix sent out a mass E-mail to users, offering a FREE styling fee for the month of February.  It’s been over a year since I tried them so I thought, what the heck, I will give them another shot for free.  AND BOY, am I ever glad I did!

Another source of frustration last time – I would spend HOURS, yes, hours on Pinterest, pinning outfits and pieces I like to give my stylist an idea of my tastes, my style and items I would like.  Time after time, they would send me NOTHING like what I wanted.  In 8 Fixes, I probably had at least 5 stylist and none of them could get it right.  I figured, that’s their business, isn’t it – to take your comments, suggestions, requests and pins and put together pieces you will love?  If they can’t do that, why even bother?

Well, this time, I refused to spend that much time on it – I think that’s why I got so frustrated last time.  I just wrote a brief note for my Fix this time, saying I would like pieces for fun, trendy, comfortable tops to wear for nights out with my hubby and girlfriends and a blazer to wear for work.  That’s it.  My Fix arrived VERY quickly – I requested it be delivered on Friday, February 10th but received it today.  I was shocked when I opened the box and saw not only did I love every, single piece but they all actually looked like they would fit.  Here’s what was inside:

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I love the stylist note and from what I read, this Samantha really does get me.  She looked at my Pinterest page, took to heart the looks I pinned (color, color, COLOR!) and actually put together outfits for me, rather than a hodge podge of odd items that I’m taxed with trying to figure out what goes with what.  This seems like a BIG and important change for SF since my last order.  GOOD MOVE.

First up, the Loveappella Leith Embroidery Placket Knit Top in Burgundy, Size XS.  Regular price of $48.

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The material is perfect for winter – thick without being too thick and nice, comfy cotton stretchy material.  The length hits just right, the sleeves not too tight, the neckline, not too big.  PERFECT!

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The embroidered detailing is so pretty – Boho without being over the top.

Next up, the Just Black Joey Skinny Jeans in Turquoise in size 2P.  Regular price of $88.

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These pants fit like a glove and I am a sucker for colored jeans.  I have asked for them in more than a few Fixes and maybe got one pair, burgundy in the middle of summer. Not exactly seasonal so I remember sending them back.  This pair is comfortable, I love that they offer petite sizes so they aren’t too long and compliment the top they sent well.

Then, they sent the Bancroft Logan Rhinestone Hammered Teardrop Earrings with Turquoise to pull the whole thing together.  Regular price is $28.

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I know, it is tough to see in the picture but they match the jeans perfectly, are simple but pretty and a nice size to be able to wear them with a lot of different things.

Then, the blazer.  I have gotten a few from Stitch Fix before and they were . . .odd.  One was cute but the arms were insanely too tight.  Another had a weird drape to it and I couldn’t get it to lay quite right.  This one is exactly what I’ve been looking for.  This is the Skies are Blue Asa Knit Blazer in Navy in size XS.  Regular price is $68.

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Seriously – ADORE IT.  It fits perfectly, is soft and comfortable in a stretchy material.  Since it’s navy, it will match pretty much anything, including the shirt and jeans they sent.

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Not too long, not too short, this blazer is definitely a keeper!

The final item is the Skies are Blue Claude Ruffle Detail Blouse in orange, size XS.  Regular price is $48.

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This is the only item I’m remotely iffy about but the fit is so great, I’m buying it anyway.  For $48, it seems a little thin but paired with the blazer and a pair of my own ripped boyfriend jeans, it will be a perfect transition from winter to spring.

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For once, the arm holes are perfect, not too long at all and the length of the shirt hits me perfectly, even though it isn’t a petite shirt.  In past Fixes, if they sent a shirt like this, I felt like it was too. . . wide, like it was swallowing me up but this one doesn’t feel that way at all.  It fits comfortable, lays well, like it should.

So, much to my pleasure and dismay, I will be buying EVERY item from this Fix! Buying all 5 items saves me $70 so my total price for all 5 items is $210.  Totally worth it to me to have all of these versatile pieces I can easily wear with other things, the gorgeous color I’ve been craving and pieces that fit me well.  I think I will start ordering regularly again but instead of every month, probably every 2 or 3 because heck, if they keep sending me stuff like this consistently, I will definitely blow my clothing budget for the year!  Thanks, Stitch Fix for making the changes needed to fit a small gal like me.

Would you like to try Stitch Fix for yourself?  Please click my link below so I can receive a $25 credit on your first shipment!  Thank you!

https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/5229780

A Whole New Body

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This post is tough to write because I don’t want to sound like a whiner and complainer.  I am a 43 year old woman who is in good health, a few bucks in my pocket, great friends, an even better husband and many, many fun adventures under my belt.  Yet,  I find myself constantly unhappy and it’s all because of this picture above.

It must be said, I am also very short.  I think when you live your life as a short person, usually the shortest in the room you feel like you will stay young forever.  People always mistake you for much younger than you actually are, go on and on about how “cute” you are and of course, crack the occasional short joke (like I’ve never heard THAT one before!).  But, well into my 40s now, I feel those comments and feelings are becoming fewer and farther between.  I feel more seasoned, a veteran of life, just half way through, God willing.

But, one thing that also comes from being short is no matter what anyone says, it is much tougher staying small.  It always has been from the time I hit puberty until today.  I went back and looked over my blog entries from 2012, 2013, 2014 and I was lucky enough at that age, to be enjoying the best version of myself I ever thought possible.  I was fit, I was thin, I loved the  way I looked, I was comfortable in my own skin.  I was very proud to have reached that point because I worked hard to get it – I worked out regularly, watched what I ate very carefully and I truly didn’t feel like I took it for granted. However, when I read through those posts, I do realize I was pretty tough on myself even then.  What exactly did I expect from myself?  Perfection?

Now, at 43, I am struggling more than ever.  Over the past year, I have watched my weight steadily increase, despite my best efforts back up to the weight I was when I was married 2o years ago.  I know, how many out there would KILL to be the same weight they were 20 years ago?  Well, remember when I said 2012 – 2014 were my best years?  They really were.  I was a chubbier girl in high school and college, not fat by any means but definitely heavier than I eventually become at 40.  So, my weight at 23 was definitely low for me at the time but far more than just 2 short years ago.

So, now I have over 5 new pounds to contend with and I just don’t know what to do with them.  Do I work out more – even though I average 5 days a week already and actually get in 6 on a good week?  Do I change my workouts?  Join a gym? Take a new challenging class?  Do I cut back my food even more – even though now, I feel my stomach grow more than it’s full? Is it really worth all that?  Isn’t this MUCH more than the average person does?

I don’t want to give up but I do want to be happy and right now, I am struggling with weighing the happiness of socializing dinners with friends, just one more drink or bite of dessert against desperately trying to lose 5 pounds.  Once I achieve that weight loss, if I did, how long would I be able to realistically hold on to it?  I feel like no matter what I do, it would be a constant struggle that I honestly am just sick to death of thinking about every single day, every single minute, day in and day out.

I told myself – forget about the number, just be HEALTHY.  I think I could, for the most part but tell that to my gorgeous closet full of clothes I’ve acquired over the past 2 or 3 years and the fact I can’t comfortably get into over half of them.  What do I do?  Just let them hang there and go out and buy all new ones? That would be hundreds and HUNDREDS of dollars.  But I’m not sure how much longer I can go on, walking in there every day and staring at them, trying to quickly decide which pair of pants can be me through the day without making me feel like a overstuffed buffalo.

Do I let go of that dream?  Do I step back, accept it and just slowly acquire new, more comfortable fitting clothes as I can afford it and keep living my life?  Or do I recommit to a drastic change in one last effort to be the person I used to be?  I don’t recognize this new body and thank God, I have an amazing husband who just last night, looked me up and down and with a completely straight face said – I actually love your new body!  It’s more curvy, womanly, sexy and not so thin.  He sees me that way, so why it is so tough to see MYSELF that way too?

 

 

My Experience with Eat to Perform

So, I have put off posting this and I’m not sure how many out there really care about my experience but just in case others are struggling, I thought it may be a little of a lifeline for you.

If you know me, you know I am committed to working out regularly, watching what I eat, trying to make good food and portion choices and keeping on top of my health as much as possible.  When I started gaining weight, for what felt like absolutely no reason, I came across a Facebook feed post about Eat to Perform.  You can go back and read all of my related posts, if you have the time and want to learn a little more.

In a nutshell, they are selling (literally) a philosophy that basically states, if you are any kind of athletic or work out regularly as well as watching your weight, you probably are under eating to get the results you want.  There also is a formula that helps you figure out the correct mix of protein, fat and carb grams along with a little explanation of how the formula works on their website.  I used this formula to come up with my target grams for each, along with a target calorie to consume, which was approximately 200-400 calories higher than I had been targeting before.

I stayed with this program for 2 solid months and maybe they would argue that’s not long enough.  That’s fine but I know by the end of those 2 months, I was so miserable, I just couldn’t do it any longer.  Not only had I NOT lost any weight or body fat, I actually gained about 3 or 4 pounds and 1-2% body fat.  I was also so obsessed with lowering carbs and increasing protein, I was drinking protein shakes almost every single day to try and reach my protein gram goals.  Now, I have NO idea what caused me to gain so much weight – so much that I reached a new high weight for the 1st time in about 4 or 5 years, despite Eat to Perform telling me that I was starving myself.  Was it the protein shakes?  Was my body getting too much protein for my size, despite their formula?

I didn’t change my workouts at all – well, wait, that’s a little bit of a lie.  I actually tried to INCREASE the intensity of my workouts because Eat to Perform tells you by eating more, you will have more energy to get the most out of your workouts.  I never experienced that energy boost in the slightest.  And the kicker to the whole thing is, unless you buy into their program for the low price of $9.95, there is no way to talk with anyone who created to program, ask question, not even on their Facebook page and the hundreds of teaser articles they post.  I tried to comment a few times, asking others for their experience and was told I could find out more if I paid.

So, I just quit.  I was unhappy, uncomfortable, felt deprived and never looked back.  I lost a couple of pounds within the first week and unfortunately, due to a stomach flu last week, am now back within 2 pounds of my goal weight.  I now eat carbs and not feel like I want to kill myself.  I haven’t had a protein shake in about 2 weeks and despite just investing in oh. . .about 60 of them, I’m not sure I will drink them much anymore.  Maybe once in a great while after a really intense workout, like a boot camp class.

I don’t know what the magic formula is to weight loss – is it Weight Watchers, Fitbit tracking, Atkins, Paleo, gluten free?  I think it’s different for everyone.  It’s what you can live the rest of your LIFE doing, not just for a finite period of time.  There is no goal you will reach and then you can just go back to what you were doing before.  You do – and the weight will just come back.

I get it, we all change as we get older and to help myself with that aspect of my health, I have gone back on herbs that I was taking late last year and early this year, to help keep my metabolism on track and my hormones from fluctuating quite so much.  But in the end, I will keep doing what I have always done to be healthy – watch my portion control, avoid the bad foods I can do without, eat the ones I can’t sparingly.  I will keep walking and tracking my steps on Fitbit, I will keep trying new classes to keep workouts interesting, I even would like to give myself a new goal for 2016 to run a 5K before the end of the year.  I have tried running before, with absolutely no success but I really want a new challenge and feel like this will give me something to shoot for.  If I am finally able to run a mile continuously, for the 1st time in my life at 42, well, then I’ve achieved another, new fitness milestone.

I have stopped tracking my calories daily, for a time.  If my weight starts to go back up again, I might do it again but it gets so tedious, doing it every single solitary day, it feels obsessive and ends up being all you think about.  I think it’s very helpful when you are first starting to try and lose weight and change your lifestyle, to give you a better idea of what to shoot for, what a portion looks like, learn the nutritional information of what you are eating to make better choices.  But I know all this, I have done it off and on for YEARS.  I can tell you the serving size and calories by memory for almost any idea on the shelf in the grocery store.  I just need to keep reminding myself to make good choices, but also not beat myself up so much when I don’t.

I won’t give up, I won’t give in, nothing is more important than how you feel, how active you are, how much you can move your body and how comfortable you are.  I plan to hang onto that as long as humanly possible, making it as fun as I can in the process.

So, back to the drawing board in 2016.  I hope you stick with me for the journey!