Monday, February 4, 2013

Weighing In on Style and Weight Gain/Loss

Happy Monday!
For those of you, who like me, watched yesterday's Superbowl game - wasn't it great?  I thought it would be a blowout, but nope, was a nailbiter in the end!

And Miss Beyonce.  All I can say is Hater's Can't Hate (this is what my daughter says - not sure of its cultural references!)  I am not sure you can find  a more talented, exhausting-to-watch, sexy performer today.  If she had any more left in her gas tank after that performance all I can say is "I want what she's having!"

 

  

Of course, she's doing a lot of hard work to have that boday.  My daughter told me the other day that Tim McGraw is doing 4 to 6 hours a day of exercise to get and maintain his 8 pack. 

And such a good segue to today's topic related to my style and shopping conundrums these days!

Yesterday, I wrote of realizing that the disconnect between my current style satisfactions (or dissatsfactions) were that I was at times riding trends, but those trends, styled by others, did not truly reflect my style as represented by other ways that I was decorating myself.

And as you know, this is partially due to my recent milestone birthday and my desire to move into my 50s "owning" my own style and realizing I do not have the body or mind of a 25 year old.

But there is something else - I have gained 15 pounds in the last two years, due in main to high stress, somewhat to less exercise time, and also I believe, to hormonal changes.

So the dressing for comfort is also related to this weight gain!  Abby asked me yesterday about how those of us who go up and down in weight regularly learn to dress for that.

I went back and found Fabulous Florida Mommy's great post on this issue, called Dressing for the Size You are Now.    It was really helpful to me at the time.

I actually wanted some more comfy pants for the house while I work on losing some of this weight gain, and have chosen fabrics with stretch in them - ponte knit pants, slightly larger button ups.  But I refuse to try and shop for two sizes of clothes, especially since I do hope to lose some of this weight now that I am not stressed, and am eating and exercising better.  But I also know it won't happen overnight.  So I actually went out the other day and bought a very inexpensive pair of boyfriends jeans to help me get through around the house and be able to breathe. 

I am typically a size 6 in Joe Fresh, though I had a size 8 in the arsenal.  This time, I went slightly bigger to a 10.  These are actually too big on me, but the 8 were tight, and when the 10s are belted they are very comfortable and great for doing things around the house.  I just could not justify buying expensive pants that I would only wear (I hope for a month or two).  Places like Joe Fresh or Forever 21 are good spots to buy cheap fashionable styles that you don't feel badly about abandoning!

Having said all of that, even with everything, I may never be my old size again, since by the time I get there again, my body will have changed in other ways.  So the 4s and 6s I might have worn 5 or 6 years ago are probably not going to work for me anyway.  And I can see the importance now of building a wardrobe that has forgiveness for 5 or 6 pounds either way and will be taking that into account as I shop on a go-forward basis.

Right now, my closet looks positively bare - all of the work-related items i am not currently wearing have been relegated to a back closet, as are the things that are too tight right now.  I don't like seeing them there in my closet and so have chosen to move them out. They feel depressing and I don't like to feel depressed when I look at my clothes.  But I don't want to get rid of those things I really love - I will hang on to them for a few months longer in hopes that I will fit back into them.

The funny thing is, I really like this small closet of clothes - it makes me feel very zen-like.  I am less confused dressing in the morning. 


Okay - it isn't quite like this, but I would love to get there!

But how about you?  How do you accommodate those weight fluctuations?  Do you have two sets of sizes?  Anyone else carrying an extra "friend" around with them these days?

Happy Monday and Stay Safe out there!

60 comments:

  1. My weight is up just now too, it's the first time I've really struggled with it in years, I am closing my cords etc with a length of ribbon and an elastic band and pulling big tops over the ensuing mess. Wish I was a natural skinny minnie.

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    1. I am there with you! I am only working at it slowly. Have had enough stress without beating myself about that, but had a bit of a hissy fit about my weight gain on friday, which precipiated purchasing the larger pants to get me through...

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  2. Cool! Thanks for picking up my question.

    I definitely embrace the idea of "dress for the body you have now," and I think that doing so helped me lose some weight and then maintain that loss for a few years now. I have never gotten anywhere near that higher number since then.

    It's those smaller fluctuations that get to me. It's "dress for the body that you have today even though it's a bit different from the one that you had last month and is probably a bit different from next month's too" that is stymieing me! Particularly since I'd like to have a nice, long-term wardrobe, and for it to be worthwhile to get things tailored.

    I'm starting to abandon the idea of ever hitting a very stable weight, since I think I'm pretty reasonable with eating and exercise and I still have those fluctuations. Maybe there are certain styles of clothes that I either need to give up on or to buy in multiples.

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    1. Hi Abby - I am curious to get others' thoughts on this too - I think that I went through this monthly and it was definitely hormonal, but sometimes it is simply water gain and loss and it is hard to figure out how to dress that!

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  3. Love boyfriend jeans,they are so comfy and they look great with heels too.

    I never had any weight issues and my weight is the same when i was a teenager. I do a lot of stuff though(kickboxing and TRX),which has def firmed things up.
    How about getting a personal trainer to get you started and help you with weight loss?

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    1. I think I will pass on personal trainer due to budget issues right now, but could i come to Germany and work out with you????? pretty please!

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  4. My weight goes up and down and it is compounded by a knee problem that isn't going away that affects my ability to exercise. I do keep clothes in 2 sizes. I just bought the red J. Crew chino shorts in sizes 6 and 8 and I know I am keeping both sizes. I keep two sets of chino shorts in those two sizes, various colors. I have black pants in two sizes. A few button-ups in same pattern, two sizes. Jeans are my sore spot when I am at a higher weight. Sometimes having two sizes in jeans isn't enough because they are so unforgiving. But I only have 2 sizes so I don't know what to wear when it is cold and my jeans don't fit. I think we have just identified a wardrobe gap (or a definitive need to lose weight! lol). Ugh, I really do hate not fitting into my clothes. Buying for the size I am now does not make me happy at all. When I don't fit into my clothes, it is obviously time to shop for shoes or accessories :)

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    1. haha, Cate! That is why I own way more shirts than pants - shirts are my shoes and accessories equivalent.

      Sorry to hear about your knee. I also have some health woes that exacerbate this issue. It's pretty loaded as a topic, really.

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    2. I hear you both - it is difficult physically and emotionally! I am trying to be gentle with myself on this issue and find as I get more and more rested and feeling more and more like moving again. But I also do not want to be as skinny as I once was - I ended up with quite a wattle on my neck (joys of aging!) I like a meat on my bones at this age! I would be happy to get back into my 6s and stay there!

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    3. WMM, I would not mind being as skinny as I once was lol!!!

      Abby, sorry to hear you have health woes.

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    4. Thank you Cate, you're kind.

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  5. Thanks for the lovely mention, WMM! This is an ongoing issue for me, as I also struggle with a 5-7 pound gain/loss on a regular basis. My 'problem' area is my hips/thighs, and the place I always gain weight first, so that is the area I am constantly looking to camouflage. As of late, I think I have finally come to grips/found peace in the fact that I am always going to gain/lose, and have been adding pieces to my wardrobe gradually that will not only stand the test of time, but will make me feel good about myself at the times I am heavier than I want to be.

    I wear a lot of dresses and some skirts, so the gain usually does not affect how they fit, especially since I opt for either shirtdresses or ones with more of an a-line or fit/flare silhouette that accentuate my waist and hide my hips/thighs. As I say when it comes to body types and perceived figure flaws: "Accentuate the positive, and camouflage the negative".

    When it comes to pants, I own a couple of pairs in a size up from what I normally am or 'like' to be, so that I am not at a loss for something to wear when I do gain. I also own a couple pair of wide leg jeans and a pair of Eileen Fisher wide leg pants that are forgiving of weight fluctuations. I know I can always count on them to fit and feel good, even if I am heavier than I want to be.

    Lately, I have also been wearing longer jackets that come to just above my knee. Two of them are from Eileen Fisher, and one from J.Crew. I am able to throw them on with a tee or tank over a pair of jeans or pants, or over a dress or skirt, and they hide my gain while allowing me to still feel chic.

    Besides dresses, my 'uniform' as of late has been my EF black wide leg pants, EF silk jersey tank, and EF collarless long jacket. I have also been wearing a pair of EF jersey leggings tucked into knee boots, with an EF charcoal grey tunic, and EF Charcoal grey long jacket. The jackets also work well over jeans tucked into boots, or my other jeans and pants, as well. These outfits have allowed me to still feel good about myself with a recent gain, knowing that I have something to wear even though I am not my desired size.

    So, I guess for me what works is having a handful of items that are not only classic, but forgiving of my ongoing weight fluctuations. Oh, and I am also trying my best to avoid purchasing clothing that only works when I am at my desired weight, since that happens less frequently than having the added pounds does.

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    1. Forgot to mention that I am also now constantly on the lookout for longer tunic length tops that I can wear over my pants/jeans. I will be able to wear them when I have gained or when I haven't, so they are a 'sound wardrobe investment'.

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    2. I think EF could be the magic elixir! For me, all of my weight goes to my chest and my belly! And anything tight on my belly drives me mad! I have no defined waist whatsoever, so thighs, no butt. I think Tabs once described our mutual body type as beetle like! I think that is more appropos than apples actually, since my arms are thin, too! If I can find the right dress (i.e. which does not make me look pregnant by swooping out from the chest!) it hides a multitude of sins! those dresses are few and far between! I am definitely going to try one of the EF dresses for sure this spring!

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    3. I think your Joe Fresh shift looks fantastic on you. That silhouette is very flattering for your figure.

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  6. Wow- I love that closet shot. I am a closet minimalist and try to pare things down, but that is a whole new level. I know it is just an ad, but that would be very restful to look at in the morning. No choices can be liberating. All women have weight fluctuations, but it is disheartening to reach a certain age and feel a sudden accumulation. I have steeled myself to be stringent between now ant the first week of March because I, too refuse to go up a size. I did buy a pair of comfy jeans for the time being, but I just want the satisfaction of enjoying the clothes I own. I am sure that with your skinny legs you can wear leggings and be comfortable as you work towards your goal. I am trying to be more realistic about sizing and numbers too. I have always worn a 4 or a 6 ever since I was in my 20's. but, if I could fit into a 4 , of course I bought the 4. Now I am more focused on a flattering and roomier fit than the number. Good luck with your endeavor!

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    1. Oh Knityarns, I am glad i am not the only one! I think I should have sometimes bought an 8 instead of a 6! The 6 would often "just fit" but I didn't want to go to the 8 out of vanity. and I never bother to take things to the tailor to "make my own", but I see the advantage of sizing up in waist and then having tailor taper the skirt for my skinny legs! I recently did that with a Calvin Klein skirt and it was worth it as it fit perfectly. My problem is that I am vain. Sad to say, but true. But I really don;t want to chase sizes as much as I want to chase good health and good cheer going forward. I am assuming that as I exercise and meditate, and put good things in, while still allowing life's indulgences, my body will find where it is supposed to be and that size may not be the # I have in my head, but what is right for me.

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  7. Oh, btw, I find work out wear can be forgiving, and motivating- just the thing to put on in the morning for those days off. It is easy to wear, but shames me into exercising. Needless to say, I don't wear it out of the house, because I think that is a slippery slope!

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    1. I agree with you! I dress every day as if someone was coming by! I should start out in my yoga pants however - good idea!

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  8. I am sorts struggling with winter weight right now too. I always seem to pack on a few pounds in the winter. Between the holidays, winter comfort foods and boredom I am holding at least 5 extra pounds. I do need to get motivated so I will be ready for spring and summer. I lost 20 + pounds a few years ago and I am determined not to let the weight creep back up. I had to get rid of all my bottoms and many of my tops Since i had to invest a tremendous amount into a new wardrobe in the last few years, I really can't afford to gain much back or I'll go broke! Good luck getting to the size you feel best in! It does get harder as we age though. Just use your New York trip as motivation.

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    1. Hi Shopping Celle! You are so right! I am being extra careful now as I would like to at least not be bigger by then!!!

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  9. I am in my 20s, but for the last few years have slowly gained weight. I can totally relate to your struggles! I was always very thin but now I am just sorta thin, sorta average, and when I see photos of myself I want to cry. I am well within the "healthy" weight range, but I don't think I look or feel very healthy.

    In comes Jillian Michaels. I am doing her DVD workouts 5 times a week (they are REALLY hard!) and if I can't fit into my size 4 clothing after two months, than I am just going to give up, get rid of all my clothes, and wear sweater dresses with leggings for the rest of my life. Because if Jillian can't make me healthy and fit, then no one can. She is that good! I have so many beautiful things in size 4 from J.Crew that I haven't been able to wear in two years; it makes me so sad. I wish I could put them out of sight like you did!

    I have to second FFM, longer tunic style tops are a GREAT wardrobe investment! I love to wear one when I am feeling particularl yucky.

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    1. Oh JCrew JD - I hear you! I never really had issues till my last child and then I struggled for 8 years to get it all off - lost too much (how odd does that sound) and now am about 13-15 pounds over what I would like to be! I don't have any long tunics - will have to see what I can find!

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  10. Two sets of sizes here. My weight fluctuates as much as 5 lbs in a month due to water retention and bloat doesn't help either. I need to be dressed professionally and that means clothes that fit every single day, no matter what is going on with me physically. We all see those women who wear the smallest size they can squeeze into even when it's obviously too tight. It never looks good, a little bit loose is much better than too tight.

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    1. I agree with you xoxo! too tight looks and feels uncomfortable!

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  11. WEIGHTS & MEASURES WMM, from what you, FFM and all the other thoughtful commenters have noted yesterday and today, it seems healthy doses of self-acceptance, kindness and consistent, realistic choices have a big impact. This past year some pretty drastic lifestyle changes - and some poorer personal choices - had me really battling my perception of my "normal," "I feel pretty (okay)," healthy self. The two things I have learned is how difficult, but helpful it can be to give the boot to that mean little nellie niggle in my head. I wouldn't talk to anyone else like that, so why do (did) I do it to myself every morning? The other is to keep at small, consistent efforts. Instead of beating myself up when I don't make a target, just being patient (not a forte) and do my best to make myself keep at it. I'm still finding new ways to re-build activity into my daily life. But I am trying to make some of that fun as well - walks with friends or their dogs, Wii dance borrowed from the neighbours, whatever is guaranteed, even just today, to get me out of m blah headspace and out of the chair.
    Regardless of shape, size, age or stage, I don't think I know a single woman who doesn't or hasn't struggled with some aspect of their perception of themeselves. Sometimes it is really important to notice what the rest of the world already sees and loves - those legs, that hair, her waist, great curves, what a smile - (usually a lovely whole, not a messy collection of our "flaws"). To pull on what we know makes us feel great and loves us back right now (even if it's only a ahndful of outfits) and keep on trucking. IMO we all have closet "multiples" and if some of them need to come in a couple of sizes (which vary among retailers anyway) for comfort and sanity that's more than OK. Plus I'm totally admiring Ina for KICKBOXING, Cate for her RED shorts, KnitYarns for her resolve, and FFM for her latest, happy UNIFORM. Have a great week all!

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    1. I agree with you GetFresh!
      All my life i had issues beeing short and not as beautiful as others. We/i have to learn to be gentle to ourselves and accept our flaws:)

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    2. I AGREE completely! I think I said earlier this year that I only really started to think of myself as pretty when I saw all the pictures and thought "not bad" - we have to be a lot kinder to ourselves!

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  12. Even if I have always been fairly thin I have always been subject to weigth fluctuations due to water retention. Some days you just woke up and your jeans don't look good as two days before. The problem is it becomes more difficult to lose weigth as we age. While I have always struggled with my thighs, I have always had a very flat stomach, even after giving birth. It seems that in the last couple of years no matter what I do I cannot lose that extra inch that has landed on my belly. I know it seems nothing but when you are used to look down and see flat abs it can be quite disheartening (especially when your husnand keeps noticing too). Anyway, what I meant to say is that exercising won't necessarely make you lose weight but quite the opposite, you are going to transform fat into muscles (if you really excercise hard) and muscles weigth more than fat. If you want to lose weight a diet is more effective, coupled with exercising to "sculpt" your body. But warning: it is very hard to get to the point where you see a tranformation, it has to be very intensive and almost daily. Probably running is the easiest way (I personally hate running).

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    1. Hi Ema! You are right - exercise alone has never done it to me - I always had to cut way back on calories and watch exactly what I eat! oh I would love just an inch on my belly! But then that's the way it always is, isn't it and I know FOR sure, that even having a "flattish" stomach doesn't always mean great body image so I am just telling my belly how much I love it these days!

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    2. Exercise definitely does not reliably lead to weight loss, I agree.

      I do find, however, that being more toned has a huge impact on how I feel about myself and how comfortable I am physically (literally, not just emotionally).

      I recently started training in the hopes of getting into better climbing shape, and I gained some pounds but look way leaner. It is disconcerting to see the scale number go up, but we've also been measuring body fat and that has gone down - so that helps my brain deal, even though the scale bumps are making me a bit crazy.

      Ema, we have a very similar build. I, like you, can cope with fat on my thighs, but the belly fat is really disconcerting, even in small amounts, not because of what it is, but because it was never there before!

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  13. As you know, this is a hot button for me. I have quite a few pretty things I can't wear at the moment, but fortunately my lifestyle does not requite pencil skirts and tucked in blouses. I wear straight or boot cut jeans and vary the style depending on the scale. The straight jeans in my closet are more forgiving and I know I'm on the right path when the boot cuts feel better. I try to avoid clingy fabric in tops and tees since nothing feels worse than fidgeting with my clothes. I also find wearing casual blazers rather than cardigans is instantly slimming and I walk a little taller when I'm wearing something structured.
    Off topic-I have to tell you that I Rocket Arm's Bar Mitzvah was on Saturday and he was a champ. On Thursday I ended up buying the J Crew brocade top and hammock pearls which I wore with a black pencil skirt and winter white blazer (both in my closet). The outfit was perfect and received compliments from every woman and most men. I was much more comfortable than I would have been in the more body conscious DVF dress that I'd planned on wearing-and I was able to avoid Spanx issues. The top is just loose enough that it flatters your figure without clinging to bits and clumps around the middle.

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    1. Julie that outfit sounds amazing! I'm so happy you found something perfect to wear. You would have been so uncomfortable in the dreaded Spanx all day, I know exactly what you mean.

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    2. Yay for you and Yay for Rocket Arm! Now you are making me rethink that brocade top!! I love that you felt so great! It makes all the difference doesn't it?

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    3. That outfit sounds great, I'm glad you felt good! Congrats to your son (aka Rocket Arm? I do not know the story but it sounds like a good one).

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    4. I agree, Julie! Your outfit sounds gorgeous! I'm glad to hear that all went well, too! :)

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  14. Hi WMM,

    Above all, as GetFresh said, be kind to yourself. I also think that you should not underestimate the effect that stress has had on your body. I know we've had similar losses this year. When I found out that my dad was sick last spring, I ballooned up a good 10+ pounds, reaching an all time high. I avoided the scale like the plague during that time, so I can't tell you the exact number, but I stopped fitting into half of my clothes.

    After he passed away in August, my body just sort of fell apart on me (chronic back pain, kidney stones...all stress-related). I finally started running again in mid-December after a 6 month hiatus. I really believe Ema is right - exercise is wonderful and keeps you healthy, but diet is still the most important factor for weight loss. After tracking all my food and exercising consistently for over a month, I'm starting to make some real progress towards my goal.

    It's no fun to feel too frumpy to fit into your old clothes, but you can make yourself equally miserable if you don't have some nice clothes to wear *now*. I think you were right to buy some cheap jeans to get you through. But if you're really ready to make a change (i.e. you have a healthy eating plan you can follow, you're able to make time for preparing food and exercising, & you can get support from the rest of your household), don't delay. Within a week or two, you'll be feeling trimmer and it won't be too much longer before you're back in your old clothes.

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    1. I hear you Merry Wife! AM in my Gap chinos right now and then am hitting the exercise this afternoon! Have already started eating better, and I think that the sleep thing is really critical!

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  15. Great topic as ever WMM. Funny I've been thinking about this all weekend. The consignment store I used phoned me on Friday looking for spring items so I ruthlessly went through my closet. I filled two giant bags and every single size 0 dress went in there. Anything that is the least bit tight went in there. Lots of things that have bad linings that I'm not going to be able to replace went in there. Every pair of shoes that are uncomfortable, all gone. I feel lighter and somehow kinder to myself.
    The hormonal issues are no joke. I have never had PMS in my life until this last year or so and it is brutal. 5lbs in bloat every month on top of the terrible moods those hormones put me in make comfortable clothes even more important.

    I think as we age we don't do ourselves favours in starving ourselves, then the wrinkles come out like crazy. We also need to get enough calcium and protein to maintain our bones and muscle structures: I am all for being a bit easier on ourselves.

    FFM's uniform sounds so perfect! Well made basics that can handle some weight fluctuations are key. EF pieces are great for that.

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    1. You are right Dani! I hadn't had my period for 5 months and then voila, all of a sudden have it again - so I know I am going through all kinds of PMS-y, bloat-y issues! Now that I am not completely exhausted, I am introducing exercise in a kind and gentle way so I don't suddenly do too much and then dump it. I do believe it will all come together!

      Your consigner must love you!

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    2. That happened to me too WMM - I thought I was finally on the way to being done with all that (don't you have to wait a year without a period before you can say that?) and then boom! starting all over again!

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    3. Patricia - I think that is the universe laughing at us! A well styled life (see her comments below) had it right: men are much more fortunate!

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    4. Dani, that must feel so good to have divested yourself of all those things! It is inspiring to me that you bit the bullet like that.

      PMS, ugh.

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    5. I know - Dani makes me want to go back and look at my closet again....

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    6. Yup it feels great, I've bought so much stuff these last few years but I only want to keep the stuff I will actually wear. And I think you noted from reading that Wardrobe book WMM, that trends come back but in different ways, there's no use hanging onto something thinking it will come back in style.

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    7. Yes - You are where I am right now! I am even thinking of selling the notorious cheetah skirt!

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  16. Ah the dreaded weight issue! I also struggle with that 5-8 pound weight yo-yo. FFM hit some fabulous points!! Love them.
    I absolutely insist on buying for the body I'm in now!! As my body shifts I have needed to change the silhouette of my clothes.
    I also swear by EF pants with stretch for the up and down. EF originally marketed for the woman to be able go to yoga in the morning, work during the day, then dinner out all on the same outfit. I'm not sure I can stretch it that far, but I've come close in some of her outfits with accessory changes :-)). Her entire collection doesn't work for me so I pick and choose. She's doing more asymmetrical pieces which are very creative, maybe good for you. She has a knit, light weight jacket this spring with frayed edges...very classic/creative. And short, so works if you are on the shorter side.
    My body type doesn't work with EF tunics. I'm 5'4" tall and in tunics I end up looking larger, not smaller because I am an inverted triangle (no hips, slim legs, wider on top). Totally agree with you, the pregnant look is not a pretty sight in my 50's. Also being 56 my weight slams right around my middle now so tight waist bands are the bane of my existence. Every pant I own has some stretch. Even my jeans.
    Dresses can be more forgiving, but for casual day wear I tend to prefer pants.
    I've had to stop wearing some shapes and move onto others that work with my morphing shape. I'm fit, I eat well but things are just all in different places now.
    Hats off to the motivated who can kill themselves working out, I'm just not there. My priorities are healthy weight that is sustainable. It's just sustained in different spots now and higher than I like so I camouflage what I can't change and accept the parts I can't...my neck for instance.
    It's funny when you imagine men having this discussion. They just wouldn't. They are used to having clothes altered to fit them because rather than blame their bodies, they accept that the fit issue is with the garment. The tailor really can be your best friend. I buy for the largest part of me, like you did, and take the rest in.
    All brands have a fit model with specific proportions, if you find a line of clothing that fits your shape and style, hallelujah!!
    I have found salvation in stretch fabrics and changing the brands I buy. Skinny Minnie's abound and are what our society adores...been there but no more. I haven't given up, I've changed what I find acceptable. That doesn't mean I wouldn't like to loose 5 pounds, it just means I'm thrilled I don't want to loose 50 pounds and I'd rather enjoy me now than beating myself up.
    I love the feel of a Zen wardrobe, but with "creative" as part of my style recipe, I hold on to accessories and striking pieces a very long time. They aren't trendy and so remain in {my} style for years. They always look fashion forward because of their uniqueness.
    Changing lifestyles has made me flush a lot out of my wardrobe, but they've moved to boxes until I have the resolve to donate them. Good job moving them down the hall!
    Now for my next chapter :-/) I'm heading back to read your yesterday post. It's been a weekend of merriment filled with wine, food and laughter. Gotta love those stretchy pants.
    Oh I forgot, I am very leery of starting my day in sweat or yoga pants because I find myself in them at the end of the day and wonder what the hell happened! Beware, there goes danger.

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    1. Pkay - great points and you made me laugh out loud with your last comment!!!

      I agree - tunics in general are not my friend. Today's uniform is nice and easy, chinos, polka dot sleeveless top, a wool navy cardigan that hits hips and some funky necklaces. any of the jiggly bits are hidden! I will say, in my mid 40s I got down to a size 0, I see pictures from then and i honestly look older than I do now - you can see every wrinkle! I filled them in with wine and chocolate! I am like you, now simply interested in health, which is the only reason I would like to lose a bit of the middle - lessen chance of diabetes, which runs in my family amongst the overweight, so am always on guard for that!

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    2. OMG..I went to read your post yesterday, thank you BTW, came back here to see I'd written a bloody book!!
      Sorry. I'm mouthy apparently. I really must get out more :-). Adore polka dots myself!! Sounds like a fab outfit.
      I love that you filled the lines in with wine and chocolate! Woman after my own heart.
      Have a great day,
      Jennifer

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    3. Better wine and chocolate than hot dogs and french fries!! Many many thanks for your help!

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  17. Hi WMM, I'm another one who would like to lose some in the middle. I was always very slim indeed, then put on a bit of weight in my 40s. I didn't mind that one bit, but with the 50s have come 10 additional pounds and that doesn't feel good. I am tracking my weight (using myfitnesspal.com) and trying to exercise most days. I find the tracking very helpful - makes it easier to avoid certain foods. However, it's hard to make these changes when you've been used to eating whatever you like for most of your life!

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    1. Patricia - great idea - I know there are apps - I will go and look for one right now!

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    2. I've used a site called FitDay at times to keep track, and it really helped me a lot. I haven't used it over the past several months, but after just a few weeks of recording my intake, I could better judge portion sizes, calories, etc.

      The thing that helps me the most to lose weight is to cut back on my carb intake. I usually do not eat any bread, rice, or pasta after lunch, and if I know I'm planning to on any given day, then I don't eat any of them for breakfast or lunch. That way I am still getting adequate grains into my diet, but I don't 'overdo' it with the carbs, which always causes me to gain weight.

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  18. I am a firm believer that you SHOULD dress the body you have now. You will definitely feel better about yourself if you do. Go to ebay and see if they have two of your favorite pants in a larger size and a nice price. Diet and exercise -What works for me is stop drinking your calories (I do drink wine and an occasional rootbeer). Before you eat (meal or snack) get a glass of water (no ice..not cold...plain ol water) and chug it. I hate water. You'll pee like crazy the first week but you'll flush out your system, hydrate your body, and eat less. Don't be hard on yourself. You look great in your pictures and we all know how the camera "adds pounds".

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    1. Hi BB - I am loving you for the "add pounds" comment!! I think the camera may be right on, but I am believeing you!

      Will start trying that water trick today! i love all these tricks and ideas from everyone!

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  19. I forgot to say that I love that wardrobe picture up there. Although whoever styled it likes green and white an awful lot.

    I have a similar one saved for inspiration: http://g-cdn.apartmenttherapy.com/1436931/BirchWhiteElfaDecorReachIn_x_rect540.jpeg (sorry, I don't know how to make the link pretty).

    Truth be told, such a tiny wardrobe is perhaps a bit incongruous with the goal of being kind to oneself and keeping both some bigger and smaller clothing on hand! Though, part of being kind is being realistic and getting rid of some things à la Dani!

    This is a great conversation, I have been mulling it here and there throughout the day and checking back to read more.

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    1. HI Abby! Unless they were all REALLY fabulous things! I always laugh when I see those kinds of closets with 6 things in them! I like your closet inspiration, too - and more colour!

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  20. In my 50's, I tried to accept the weight I had put on due to some stressors and hormonal changes. I found (and this is just me) that I was sort of "fooling" myself, not happy with photos of me that I saw, etc. So, now that I'm 60, I decided to get rid of the weight, and I have. I don't have the same body that I had at 30, but that's OK, I just wasn't feeling good being overweight. It's hard though, and I have to be diligent so it doesn't come back on. I weigh myself every morning, and if I'm up a pound, I get it off that day. So no, I don't have two sizes in my closet, for me, too much permission to fluctuate in weight. But, I don't buy my stuff tight either, I want to be comfortable in my clothes.

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    1. Good for you Kathy! I was so good at that for so long and I have to get back at and feel good within reason! Right now I sort of feel like I have an innertube inflated in the middle and frankly it is not comfortable!!!

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Kindness is a virtue...