The scary time of year - wardrobe wise.
It is the time when I have to do that thing I dread and dread, the thing I put off as long as I can.
trying on the warm weather clothes
It's when the weather gets nice and warm, and I can no longer hide in my bulky sweaters and thick long trousers. Now I need warm weather clothes. I might need to wear... SHORTS!
Every year I forget about it. Then it warms up. Then I start to sweat outside and feel uncomfortable. Then I drag out the bin and start looking to see what I have to wear fro the warm days.
Not much. Last year I actually bought 2 pairs of shorts. Most of my summer-ish clothes for work will still be ok. Last week I bought a new pair of summer shoes for work and play (sage green Sketchers, love!). I have a couple of dresses that I wear over short leggings.
I found it online, in denim -- mine is very light khaki but this is the exact jacket.)
Unfortunately I have not worn it since that first spring. My back went out, my walking and physical activity just stopped, and while the jacket wasn't too small, exactly, it was just snug enough -- in the shoulders, upper arms, etc -- that I always passed it by when choosing what to wear. But I couldn't get rid of it like I did some other clothes I bought at that time. This jacket? Just too awesome. And too expensive. Too unusual. I could never find another like it. But it is very tailored. I could wear it, but... it was not my most easy option.
Yesterday evening was lovely. It has been warm here (finally) and when the sun was setting it was slightly too cool to be comfortable in short sleeves. I dragged the jacket out and put it on before running an errand.
Holy moly! Not only does it fit beautifully, it is actually a wee bit loose in the shoulders and upper arms!
I am so excited.
|wearing this top, today - this photo at the Ren Faire 2005?|
As I established with the shoes, when I find something I like I wear it and wear it and wear it and wear it. As long as I can. I rarely buy trendy anything except cheap accessories, because I can't afford to have my clothes only last a season or two. Buying clothes is rather traumatic. I'm really really picky about what I buy.
Short story long -- my favorite jacket fits me beautifully now. It hangs perfectly. It is super comfortable, and it is just right to wear to work on these gorgeous spring days. Mostly I am happy because, while I can flex the muscles in my biceps and my stomach and my legs and my backside, and I can see and feel them, I cannot do this for shoulders, chest or upper back. I work those areas, I work them a lot, but I don't see much change (except in the bicep/tricep area). I can't flex shoulder muscles. I am not sure how to do that. It is so so nice to see the positive changes in that area.
But I love it. Was it only a month ago I was complaining that I go to the gym, and I don't look like I do? I think to an "outside" eye, I might not look like I take care of myself physically. After all, my clothes are still plus size and I have not dropped any sizes. The common delusion in our society is fat = lazy, out of shape, don't care about yourself, lay around eating donut holes (ok, I do that). But that is not true. There are fat, overweight people who are marathoners, Olympic athletes, award winning ballroom dancers...
But to me, I look different. Not in my face (is there a weight I can lift for a double chin?!?!). But the rest of me looks different. It's a change that is incrementally, glacially slow. Six months ago I would have sworn if I could not lose 100 lbs in 6 months, why bother? I would have been so very wrong.
This weekend I had.... kind of a hard time. Nothing I care to share online. But it was very very hard. As usual these days (and this is a wonderful habit), when those days comes I hit the gym. Only the gym helps. Only the gym turns off my brain and my worrying and lets me relax it a bit. Since Saturday was so hard, I went to the gym, where I worked even harder than I have ever before. I haven't been babying myself exactly, but with my neck and back pain, I didn't want to overdo it. This time I needed to overdo it. And my phone conked out so I had no music - that means the Scared Fat Girl inside me was blubbering and sniveling and whining to pleasepleaseplease go home, I want to go home, can we please stop now...
I needed to set the weights so high it was hard to do even one rep, let alone a set. I needed to rework the machines to increase my range of motion. I needed to grit my teeth and make embarrassing sound effects (luckily there was no one around me). I needed to concentrate on moving the exact muscle I meant to move and not cheat at all. I needed to go on the bike and instead of moving from 70-ish rpms at level 5 (my standard) to 85ish rpms at Level 10 (my intensity interval), I needed to get myself over 100 rpms at over Level 10, and for longer than 10 seconds.
It was hard. It shut it all off for the 90 minutes I was there. Sadly I needed to go again on Sunday, and I could not do it. I overdid it. My whole body ached on Sunday. I arms, my shoulders, my upper back, all the way down my backside, my legs, and oh of course, my core. Maybe I could have gone, just done a light work out, but that doesn't shut off my brain and it doesn't vanquish those demons that drive me there.
I stayed in bed Sunday. That kind of sucked. But now it is a new week, and my jacket fits, and I know from experience that after I give myself a few days to repair, my strength and endurance will have noticeably improved, bc I pushed myself.
What I really want is for this to remain a regular and important habit. I am still working on NURTURE (my OLW). I am cooking more, using "clean eating" recipes, and adjusting my own recipes (like substituting whole wheat pasta). I have a big container of pistacio gelato in my freezer and it has been there mostly unmolested for over a month. I've eaten a serving or two, but I have not eaten the whole container in lieu of dinner. I still skip meals sometimes. I still like some packaged foods. Now that McDonald's is an occasional treat I do enjoy a weekly trip to the drive thru. I cannot beat my Coke addiction.
I don't now if anyone but me reads these words. But if out there, there is some Fat Girl, someone who feels sick and tired and half dead, someone who feels like there is no point in doing anything (or anything more than whatever might be going on already), I just want to tell you some stuff.
I want to tell you that my gym membership is Planet Fitness. It is $10 a month. Plenty of flabby, chubby people go there. Old people go there. All the young teens from the local high school can afford $10 so they go there. And some very slim, muscular, fit-looking people go there. No one cares what you wear when you go (ok, if you are wearing some outfit that looks like you want to be on the cover of Fitness magazine, then yeah, you look like you are trying to hard to impress. That is not looked on favorably.). It's open 24 hours, and every single day except maybe Christmas.
I go to the gym 1-2 times a week, and mostly on weekends. Getting up at 5:00 am to go work out before I actually go to work? Can kiss my muscular ass.
When I started, I did 8-9 slow minutes on the recline bike, and maybe 5 machines, all at the lowest weight, and I thought I was gonna die.
The hardest part, for me, is the first mile on the bike. The first half mile is a bitch. The first quarter mile is like torture. Then a rhythm is established and it is easy to keep going.
And I did all this despite (and sometimes because) of excruciating back pain. Pain so bad I could not walk more than a block. Pain so bad I could not stand more than a minute or two.
I still have pain. I go to physical therapy. The exercises hurt. I do them anyway.
When you make exercise a regular part of your life - even if it's only once a week for 20 minutes - there is a sea change inside of you. Not looking like a fashion model matters less and less and less. The number on the scale matters less and less and less. Judgement matters less because you know the judgement is wrong.
You know you care about your body, and yourself. You know you make an effort.
And your body? It's like an over eager puppy. It's just waiting. It doesn't want you to hate it. It's trying. Maybe all it can do is breathe. Maybe all it can do is blink your eyes for you. And allow you to read the internet. If you can give it a little direction, it so wants to please you.
Well, my body is like that anyway. And I never knew that. My body has been my enemy for so long... *sigh* I mean, really, I started a
running jogging program and 9 months later I could not even walk a block? For the past almost 2 years I have been in constant pain? Of course I felt like my body was out to get me. Of course I felt like exercise really wouldn't work on ME.
I was wrong. You might be wrong too.