Sunday, July 22, 2012

Weight Loss, Safety Pins & Thrift Shops

I am writing this blog post, wearing jeans secured with a safety pin.

Left unbuttoned, I can wrap the fabric over on itself and secure tightly with a pin. Throw a longer shirt or a dress on top, and nobody will even know. These used to be my skinny jeans, but now they fall off me. Very good news for a dieter, indeed.

I have lost precisely 19.6 lbs to date since I started my calorie-counting diet back in May (see my post, "Confessions of a Dieter", for more information on my weight loss agenda). Within the past couple of weeks, many of my clothes have become ridiculously big, to the point of looking silly. I've already had to retire a few items. It is a bitter-sweet feeling, and kind of a weird predicament. You see, I have about 30 lbs to go (almost four months) before I reach my weight loss goal, assuming I continue on the current trajectory. But no matter how you look at it, it's quite a long ways to go.

So what to do about my clothes in the meantime? Trust me, I want the weight to keep rolling off. I hate to put any negative energy out into the universe that might prevent that from happening. I don't want clothes to be a stumbling block (mentally or otherwise), which is why this dilemma needs resolution now.

I have participated in the Project 333 (see my post, "Project 333...Perhaps?", for more information on Project 333) for two phases. I love this Project and what it does for my life. I had planned on starting my next phase on July 1, which did not happen. I mean, how can I formulate a proper list when I have an armoire full of ill-fitting clothes? Safety pins can only take me so far....right?

About three weeks ago, the family and I headed over to the Goodwill. I actually snagged up two pairs of great summer pants that juuuuuust fit. Believe it or not, they are already getting loose on me. Not such a huge deal, since I think I paid less than $5.00 for the lot. I am typically a person who will save up for several weeks to afford a special piece of clothing. I am a firm believer that you get what you pay for, especially with clothing. So lately, especially as Fall lines are coming out, I'm having to curb myself from scouring websites and catalogs, planning what will be added to my wardrobe this coming season. But alas, I am coming to accept that this just isn't realistic and won't be happening.

My friend Beverly has gone through a similar weight loss in her life. When I asked her how she handled it, she mentioned having clothing tailored. Of course!! Why didn't I think of this before? I mean, one of the best seamstresses I know actually lives with mother! There are some things (like my skinny jeans) that just won't be ideal candidates to be "taken in". But dresses and skirts are simple to alter; darts can even be added if the alteration is drastic. I've already asked for my mother's help. When I first started shedding pounds, I purchased an adorable navy dress from Free People. (Linda, really dumb move!) I almost instantly "under-grew" the thing to the point where it looked like a tent on me. But I love that dress, with it's bias seams and black ribbon cross straps! Mom just finished the alteration, and it's 100x better. She really is the best.

And so I believe I have my plan. I will continue this course of making-do with what I have, altering those items that make sense, and even safety pinning here and there, as required. I will supplement other items as needed from the Goodwill or my local thrift shop, with minimal investment. As I get closer to my goal, probably in early fall, I will reassess how well this is still working for me, and go from there. I will also participate in Project 333. I will make my list based on the current state of my wardrobe, and allow for switches as clothing needs to be swapped out for smaller thrift shop finds (similar items swapped for similar items, of course). And I think that going the thrift shop route also preserves the integrity of Project 333, since I am simply recycling goods and not over-consuming, putting more "stuff" out into the world.

Although I must confess. Emma and I just got back from a trip to New York City. We visited several lovely clothing shops, but I held steady my course and refrained from buying. However, Urban Outfitters was having a sale on their Cigarette Fit skinny jeans. I tried on a pair in my appropriate size, and fell in love with them! With an extra discount on sale items, how could I resist? The deal was sealed!

Finally, I can retire my old skinny jeans, and say goodbye to one safety pin!