I am so sick today. My head feels like it's full of concrete, my sinuses are stuffed beyond capacity, and my body feels like it weighs 10 tons. It's not a good day for Momma. On the other hand, my kids, (who lovingly passed this gem of a virus on to me), have recuperated from their weekend of sickness and are at the top of their games. They are both bouncing off the walls and itching for excitement- something I just can't give today. However, Miss Abigail seemed up to the challenge, so I let her feed herself her bottle for the very first time today. She did great! Milestones milestones milestones.
I know a girl who hates everything in her closet. She wakes up dreading the ritual of getting dressed. And don't even get me started on how much she hates getting ready for a special event. It always ends in tears and chocolate. There are a few reasons for this:
She buys cheap stuff.
She buys without a plan or goal in mind.
She thinks she can only afford ugly stuff.
She's been overweight for years, and, although she hates to admit it, doesn't really think she deserves nice stuff.
She's on a budget, so she can't buy all the stuff she really wants.
She's a stay at home mom, and to her, somehow her daily schedule of laundry, dishes and getting puked on doesn't quite warrant a sexy pair of jeans.
Here comes the big one: Even if she thought her day DID warrant a sexy pair of jeans, she questions if she could possibly look sexy in them.
She's lost 37 pounds in the last four months, has another 90 to go until her goal is met, and doesn't feel like buying tons of stuff before then.
I. Am. That. Girl.
Low self-esteem? Check. Low budget? Check. Closet full of clearance rack business attire from my working days and maternity t-shirts from the more recent days? Check. Plus sized jeans that I took in myself because I lost almost 40 pounds and am too cheap to go buy a pair that actually fits? Check. Zero jewelry? Check.
Obviously, I've got a problem. It's a clothes problem. It's a mirror problem. It's an me problem.
But like the majority of problems, thank God, there's a solution. Or, in this case, many small solutions. Really, what better time to start revamping my closet and finding my style than when I'm 1/3 of the way towards my goal weight? Now is the time for change.
Which is why I couldn't have been more thrilled when my good friend Jenna wrote a post TO ME about MY wardrobe and how to revamp it. I mean yes, she posted it on her blog and other people will undoubtedly read it and be changed for life, but let's be honest, it was written to ME. My name is in it and everything.
A few notes about Jenna and I: We met because we both blog about food. She, about Paleo living, and I, about the importance and benefits of cooking for your family at home, formed a coalition of sorts when we blogged together for a time. (and it was a good partnership, wasn't it Jenna?) Also important to note: Jenna and I could not be more different. She is petite, 5' 5'', gorgeous, has a boyfriend, dresses impeccably, and has a little bit of a potty mouth when she gets excited. (It's true.) I am, um, not petite, 5'11'', pretty, have a husband and two kids, I dress like I'm embarrassed of my body, and I use words like "merciful heavens" and "frickin' frackin'" when I get excited. (It's true.) Despite our differences, though, we've got a mutual respect for one another that is priceless, and she knows I'll always be an avid reader of The Paleo Project. It's a great thing we've got going.
Which is why I studied the post she wrote in response to my question: "So, I hate my wardrobe. I don’t have the money to revamp the whole thing
at once- what are some good tips to boost my style-points without
busting the bank?"
Some people would be totally freaked by this question. Some people would skip over it and pretend they never got the email. Some people would give a half-baked answer like "buy a belt" and call it good. Jenna is not "some people". Nuh uh. Jenna is fearless. Jenna is dedicated. And, you guys, Jenna is brilliant. In a post dedicated to me and my troubles, (I am just so blown away that my name is on her blog!), she spelled out to me exactly what I need to know to slowly transform my closet into something to be proud of.
What I learned from Jenna and discovered in myself along the way:
I need to stop being so hard on myself. I mean really, I've lost almost 40 pounds. I started running. RUNNING. Yeah, be impressed, because it's impressive. I'm well on my way to looking like how I feel: healthy, vibrant and alive. I'm pretty much awesome.
Because I'm awesome, I deserve to look awesome.
I don't have to spend a million dollars on a wardrobe. I do have to shop with a plan in mind, though. No more going to the store and buying whatever fits off the clearance rack. For example, I need a blazer. So, when the money is there, I'm going to go to the mall, and I'm going to buy a frickin' frackin' blazer. I'm not going to buy the first one I find, I'm not going to to buy a t-shirt instead because it's cheap. I'm going to find a blazer that looks good on me, that makes me feel good, that is of quality craftsmanship and construction so it lasts, and that would make Jenna proud. Why? Because I deserve it, that's why. And then? Then I'm going to save up for a pair of jeans. And then a pair of boots. It might take me 5 years, but I'm going to be proud of my wardrobe.
I can wear jewelry. Now, you guys, this is a scary thing for me. I feel dumb in jewelry. It makes me feel like I've got a sign on me that says, "hey, look at me!" Up until today, the last thing I wanted was for people to look at me. No more of that. Yes, look at me, I'm empowered and beautiful.
It's not rocket science. It's not difficult to build a wardrobe you like. Have a plan. Know the basics. Be creative. Then wake up in the morning excited to wear your clothes because they're awesome.
Today was an "Aha!" moment for sure- a day of encouragement, enlightenment and excitement.
Today was the day I realized I'm worth the effort.
Sometimes, my kids make me want to pull my hair out. It can feel like when I finally get one happy, the other is screaming. Sometimes, I want a break.
But then there are moments like these, when they're both calm, both peaceful. This moment lasted about 3 seconds before big brother was ready to be done with the cuddling (see second photo) but while it lasted, I was one happy momma.
I food journal, and I truly believe it’s like the best thing ever.
first let me say this: (and please, still love me after) I have an
addiction to food. No, I’m not saying “I’m addicted” in the cute way
that food bloggers say it. I really, truly, terrifyingly, am addicted to
food. It FEELS good to eat it. It improves my mood. It’s how I handle
emotions. Bottom line: my relationship with food is unhealthy.
I’ve got that on the table, I can explain why food journaling helps me.
It keeps me from eating so damn much. It’s not about guilt, it’s about
honesty. With myself. How many times have I said to myself, “I didn’t
eat that many cheetos, I’m still good on calories for the day” without
counting or measuring or writing it down, when in reality if I had
actually paid attention, I would see that I ate close to three cups of
cheetos, and gained a butt-ton of weight in the process. (dramatization,
but you get the point).
So for me, journaling keeps me honest. It keeps
me aware. It keeps me healthy. But let’s say a healthy person, with
healthy eating habits, and a lack of self-lying habits- let’s say they
want to know if they should food journal. My answer: whatever is right
for you is right for you.
Does it feel good to write it down? Sweet. No?
This photo has a special place in my heart. It shows my dear husband, Mike, standing next to his amazing freestyle handiwork. Now, you should know, my husband used to build houses for a living. The man built me a house in our first year of marriage, and has continued to blow my mind with his mad skills (with a hammer) ever since. There are times, though, like today, when Mike doesn't feel like helping me out. It's times like these that I treasure- a moment for me to point out to him just how clearly his negative attitude is showing through his work. Needless to say, he was unimpressed. He was even more pleased with me when I begged him to smile for my photo-of-the-day!