Adopting a healthier (mostly) lifestyle helped me lose weight, and as a result, I’ve seen big benefits:
- Lower blood pressure
- Stronger muscles
- Greater self-confidence
- More energy for things I want to do
Surprisingly (or not), I didn’t see any real progress in these areas:
- Meeting and, absent any silly pre-nup, marrying George Clooney
- Developing any sense of fashion or style
The former was slightly outside my control (although I did drive all the way to Los Angeles last year), so I’m not surprised it hasn’t worked out well. Nor especially disappointed. He’s already been cheating on me with some Italian woman, so it’s not likely our relationship would have lasted anyway.
I was, however, bewildered by the lack of improvement in fashionistic intelligence. During my 20+ years of plus-size shopping, I was convinced that if I could somehow lose my excess weight, cute outfits would magically appear to me, everything would fit properly, and I would be even more adorable.
Needless to say, that didn’t happen. Oh, I’m still adorable, but it’s mostly on the inside. And I’m okay with that (thrilled, even.) So what if my wardrobe consists mostly of jeans, t-shirts, and workout wear? Who cares if I have four pairs of running shoes and five pairs of flip-flops in my closet, but not one single pair of spiky heels? Not me!
Well, not much. Every now and then, I wish I could match up my adorable inside with my Über-casual exterior, so when I saw this book at the library, I grabbed it like the proverbial drowning woman grabs at a straw.
But since I ‘d already checked out the book, I decided to flip through it for some helpful tips. Surely, out of 330 tips, I’d find something useful!
Results were mixed, but entertaining. For a few minutes, anyway.
Potentially useful tips:
#38: “Never repeat a shape you want to disguise. If your face is round, avoid a round hat. If your face is large and square, avoid a large, square collar or pin.”
This is also true of eyeglass frames, and possibly more useful since I don’t wear hats (other than baseball-style caps) or large pins of any sort.
#73: “The V-neck pullover sweater can look great on every figure type! Wear it long, of course, but not wide or sloppy.”
They had me until that ‘sloppy’ part. Plus, this tip doesn’t do me much good with a) Spring, and b) stores that carry a full line of scoop- or boatneck style sweaters, but I’ll keep it in mind for next year.
#131: “If you are tugging and pulling at clothes–they don’t fit! You shouldn’t even be aware that an article of clothing is on your body.”
I’m guilty of excessive clothes-tugging. Sometimes I’m just hell-bent on wearing something, even when it doesn’t fit well.
#155: “Do not always wear drab colors. You may look a bit thinner, but you’ll feel drab as well.”
As someone who owned almost 40 pairs of black pants at one time, I can attest to some truth in this tip.
#20: “A large, bulky label can create an unwelcome bulge behind the neckline.”
Maybe it’s just me, but of all the bulges I’m concerned about camoflauging, the back of the neck really isn’t a priority.
#27: “Stirrup pants are a great addition to your wardrobe.”
That one had me flipping back to the copyright page. Nope, it was published in 2002. Didn’t stirrup pants go out in the 80s? Never mind that I wore them well into the 90s, I just thought we were done with them. (Juicy Couture says no.)
#35: “Know the widest part of your body and don’t wear tops that end there.”
Not a problem. My shoulders are the widest part of my body.
#42: “Fabrics such as velvet, velour and corduroy actually reflect light–and are therefore not recommended.”
So if you’ve been wearing your velour running suit over your stirrup pants, you can’t say you haven’t been warned.
#3: “Clothes should fit loose and easy at your trouble spots. Do not wear clothes that are too tight!”
#71: “[The] Lycra/stretch Coolmax fabric will stretch practically forever without losing its shape.”
It’s a self-published book. I’m sure a professional editor would have noticed the contradiction. An amateur bulgy person (even yours truly) knows that one should not be stretching one’s clothes “practically forever” if one expects to look good.
#50: “Wear coats a bit on the long side. This is important.”
They don’t say why, and I’m afraid I’m going to inadvertently unleash Armageddon by wearing my hip-length coat.
Unfortunately, I can’t share any tips beyond #176: A brightly colored purse or leather bag can be fun and take attention away from a heavy figure.”
This is when I threw the book across the room. (Note to librarian: It wasn’t damaged.) I may not know fashion, but I do know that my ginormous handbags never, ever hid the fact that I was 100 pounds overweight.
I’m sure the authors of the book meant well, but their best advice was contained in a single tip: #28: “A smile is the fastest, most efficient, most inexpensive way to improve your appearance.
I do this one a lot, and I do look better. Feel better too! (Oddly enough, the people around me seem to feel better as well, making this one a definite fashion-forward tip!)
Those times when I’m able to put together a marginally stylish outfits are nice, but I’ve come to realize that I’m much happier in my jeans and t-shirts than I am worrying about finding the latest trendy clothes in a size/style/color that flatter me. I’m looking at it as acceptance, rather than surrender. What’s most important to me is that I feel comfortable and confident and healthy.
Besides, I’m still adorable, no matter what I’m wearing. (Tip not in the book: So are you!)
But only if a smile is the brightest accessory!