** I think it is important to clarify a few things before I go any further with this post: I believe people can be healthy at any weight. For me, the weight I was at, was not healthy. I was not active, drank too much soda, and did not drink enough water. I was happy at my highest weight, for the most part, just as I am happy now, for the most part. I do not think anyone has to lose weight to be beautiful. This is about me alone. Every person is different. Do what is best for you.**
I have found the greatest benefit of my weight loss has been outfit related. I always felt like I have had a good sense of style. (Perhaps it was misguided in my youth, but then again, whose wasn't? See examples below)
|Mom, Brother, and me all roc|
|SOOOOOOOOO blond! My poor hair! This was 2002 or 2003. Also my apologies to Brother for bringing him down with me.|
I may have shot myself in the foot here, providing these pictures, and my original point was what again?
Oh right, the added clothes related plus side of not being plus size anymore. I think it is important to go ahead and just lay it out there (HUGE GULP). My back hurt all the time. My feet hurt all the time. I was tired, having headaches, and was snoring! But for me, the point when I reached my limit was when my size 18 pants got tight. I am currently wearing a 10-12. It is shocking to me how much of a difference 34 pounds can make, and how much easier it is to find cute clothes in a mainstream (or even an in-between) size. I really tried very hard to dress in a manner fitting with my style even at my previous size.
|October 2010. A typical M outfit, cardi, tank, jeans, and flats.|
|July 2011. Cardi, tank, jeans, and flats.|
|July 2011. Cardi, tank, belt, jeans, and flip flops. See a pattern?|
|July 2011. Cardi, tank, jeans, flip flops.|
|August 2011. I don't have my cardigan on, but it was in the car.|
|October 2011. I love skinny jeans and boots.|
At the time of these pictures I was wearing a size 16/18. I still think these outfits are cute. In fact, I still have all those cardigans and the striped tank top in my wardrobe. I never shopped at Lane Bryant. I was lucky (for once) that being short allowed me to fit into extra-larges from stores like Macy's and Old Navy. (And thankfully more and more stores are carrying pants up to size 18.) I do think the way the fashion industry treats plus size women is a travesty though. If you are taller than me, or wear over an 18, your choices are cut down significantly. I found that I often had to work twice as hard as my thinner friends to find cute clothes . I am not sure what the designers and stores think about plus sized women, but it must not be much. We aren't all 5'10. Or over 72. I found that many many plus sized stores offered things I would never consider wearing which made embracing my personal sense of style much more difficult.
My style has evolved as I have transitioned from teenager, to college girl, to a working mom/wife/woman. The hiking boots and sweatshirt of the 90's has no place in my current wardrobe. Neither does the too blond hair, over-lined eyes, and tight clothing of the early aughts. Even now, if I shrunk to a 00, I would not wear an outfit like the ones I wore then. I don't know what specific terms I would use to define my style. I like some trends, but am not a slave to them. I like layered pieces, and hardly ever leave the house without a cardigan. I am not afraid of color or patterns. I think stripes look good on everyone, fashion rules be damned. I 100% believe that leopard is a neutral and am glad it is back in the stores. I hate harem pants, clogs, cropped tops, and turtlenecks.
Dress: Loft, similar here
Necklace: Macy's on clearance, similar here
Belt: Off another dress
Shoes: A local kid's resale shop (Or if I was cool, thrifted.)
Cardigan: Target, similar here
Top: New York and Co
Pants: New York and Co
Necklace: Macy's on sale, similar here
Cardigan: Target, on clearance. Similar here
Top: Gap, very old
Pants: Old Navy
Necklace: Clearance Webster by Target, similar hereThe last three pics are from this past week. The overall concept/look is the same as it was before my weight loss, it is just that the options are so much greater. I can easily find pants (well except for the length) and cute tops. I think the only change is that I had been neglectful of jewelry for too long, but am very much enjoying adding little things like these necklaces to my staples.