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Let’s talk pants

23 Oct

As you know I am a great supporter of support underwear! Given my wobbly bits they’re pretty much a necessity to make the most of all the hard work and they boost my self-confidence no end!

It’s relatively easy to find sexy, fabulous bras but knickers are a different thing. Due to the remains of my tummy which is going nowhere without major surgery, the little pants that come with the bras are not an option!  I’m pretty sure I’m not alone!  So I am in the market for ‘big pants’, of course when we talk about these Bridget Jones springs to mind, yes big pants are not necessarily sexy however when I’m in mine, with my flatter tummy and feeling fabulous I do feel sexy but it would be even better if they looked sexy!

So I have been on the hunt for sexy big knickers, I have some that are made out of thin fabric that leave no VPL which are really good and do hold in enough but what I really wanted was something with a little more ‘pull-in’ but that also looked pretty!

I am pleased to say that Marks and Spencer have made some effort in this department and I now have some with a clever lace panel around the top, they do look good.  However the choice is still very limited, and it is a great pity though that big knickers aren’t given more attention by retailers. I had a little look around the underwear department and the choice in the main is between knickers that will only sit under my tummy and do nothing for how my clothes will look or very functional ‘granny pants’.

Come on retailers you can do better than this, give the girls what they really want!  We want smooth lines under our clothes and underwear that makes the most of our bodies but we also want it to look fabulous and sexy!

Don’t dismiss support underwear though because of how it looks, it is so worth wearing it to control those wobbly bits no matter what our shape or age. Hunt around and try them on with your clothes to get the best idea of what you need to wear and how it works.  I have also found you need to buy the size above what you think, the amount of control fibre in them can make them very stiff, if you go too far and they’re a bit too small, you tend to get an overhang effect as they push your wobbly bits up, this ruins the smooth, slimming effect you’re looking for.

For me they boost my confidence, I’m still coming to terms with how my naked body looks, it isn’t going to spring back to pre-weight gain days, but I love my body and what it  now lets me do and as Bridget discovered, Mark Darcy loved her and her wobbly bits, my  hope is that will happen to me too!

Do you have it in a size 12?

12 Oct

Throughout my weight loss story, clothes have been such an important part.  Getting rid of the old ones, fitting into new ones, being able to wear things I could only have dreamt of!

I was a little ‘off’ clothes after my shopping trip last week but I have an important night out tomorrow and I wanted to feel really good about myself so needed to have a re-focus and get out there and buy something!

There is a lovely independent clothes shop in town, around the corner from my flat, I’ve bought things from them before and the service is great, I needed somewhere I felt ‘safe’.

So I went in and declared I needed a dress.  The lovely ladies went off and came back with a stack of them.  The first one went on and was fabulous, it fits to my curves and I loved it!  I also wanted this season’s sweater dress, it looked like it might be grey or black but I still have an aversion to wearing them, I spent so long draped in dull non-colours in an attempt to disguise and hide myself that I felt I needed to move on.   Luckily after a hunt in the stockroom, a beautiful dark cerise version was found, gorgeous!

Of course I now had two that fitted, I was on a roll!  The final one went on, it was too big, I had in my head that it was a 16, so took it off and had a look at the label, only to find it was a 14!   So after taking a very deep breath, said the words I had dreamt of saying ‘ Do you have it in a size 12!!’   I could have cried!

And yes the size 12 fitted and will be worn on my important night out.  It makes me feel lovely, we did joke in the shop that perhaps the label needed to be on the outside!  I really enjoyed that hour, I’ve learnt my lesson, no High Street for me, it’s depressing, overwhelming and I deserve better!

Oh and I bought the other two dresses as well – that’s my winter sorted!

So my motivation is boosted!   I want to be wearing and enjoying those dresses for a long time. And getting the joy out of wearing a size 12!

My message to you is, that as you lose weight, buy clothes that make you feel wonderful about yourself, even if you are planning to lose more, do it, it will boost your motivation and confidence!  You can always sell them or give them away afterwards – you’ll also get some satisfaction out of doing that.

Making the time

10 Oct

I mix my exercise up now – swimming, the gym, skipping, walking etc etc.  This keeps it interesting but also ensures that whatever opportunities I have available I can at least fit something in whatever the weather or the time I have.

I hear a lot that people don’t have time to exercise, you can find time believe me.  And what’s more I’ve found that as I got fitter I have more energy and other things tend to get done faster,  I don’t want to sit around watching the TV either.  It takes an hour three or four times a week to make a real difference?

Of course what is important is that you have to want to do it. I will happily hold my hands up and say for many years I could come up with every reason in the book for not doing anything and of course I was very good at saying I was ok with being big and unhealthy so in my blinkered head it was fine not to do a thing about it. It wouldn’t have mattered at any point during that period of time what anyone said or did it wouldn’t have changed anything?

Together with avoiding having to face it, I was also very good at not watching any TV programmes or reading books about losing weight or obesity.  I even bought books but then put them in cupboards, they remain unread to this day.  Watching a programme would have been too close to the truth, I didn’t want to face it so by not watching them I could remain in my safe ‘I’m fine as I am’ world.

I started watching the programmes a few months ago – my particular favourite is ‘Supersize vs Superskinny’; the first one I watched featured a blonde girl who wore black who was massively overweight, when they revisited her a few months later she’s lost 4 stones and was wearing red. She was so like me and I sobbed my heart out.

Maybe if I had been able to face watching them years ago I would have seen someone else like me and found it inspirational?  Who knows, you can’t change the past, all I can do now is build the future.

And this morning I have a bit of spare time so I’m going for a swim and maybe the gym too.

So what’s my message to you, well firstly you have to want to do it in order to make the changes to your lifestyle to lose weight and keep it off. Only you can make that decision?  But it might just be the best one you ever make, it won’t necessarily be easy but there are lots of people out there who can help you get there.

And it is so worth it in the end.  For me this weekend that meant throwing out some of the clothes I was wearing last winter because they’re too big, it always makes me smile now.

Just too much!

6 Oct

I ventured into a city centre yesterday and thought I’d have a little look around some clothes shops to see what was new for Autumn/Winter.  I lasted a couple of minutes, it just totally overwhelming, it wasn’t a pleasant experience at all.

When I was bigger it was so much easier, there were 2 or 3 shops that stocked my size, it was nicely self-contained, very samey and easy to navigate, my objective was to find things that fitted, as the choice was limited there was less of the ‘does it look great’, basic black with a clever choice of accessories was a better solution.  If you’re bigger I’m sure you’ll recognise that feeling?

Of course due to the lack of choice out there, ‘special’ events can be a trial, for my best friend’s wedding I couldn’t find anything suitable and in the end my mum made me an outfit, I remember being very grateful to her for doing that but I never really liked it and longed for something that made me look and feel fabulous.  I did over the years find the odd outfit that did that and there was always a massive celebration!  I did though enjoy shopping and was always the one friend’s called on to help them choose outfits and I was very good at finding exactly the right thing for them, I was a bit of a Gok!   I did though tend to shop for my own stuff on my own, and I did find a lot of things, if you think that when the final ‘big thing’ was sent to the charity shop I’d got rid of over 7 black bags, finding clothes to fit was actually not a problem.

I should be celebrating now, my average size 14 body can fit into clothes from all the major high street retailers, but I actually can’t cope with shopping, I still struggle with what I look good in and if something is the right decision, I can’t do it alone anymore and there isn’t the joy I used to have. I found myself going into shops, looking at a couple of rails and then feeling quite panicked and walking out again.

The problem appears to be the ‘too much’  scenario, I’m used to my own small high street, I’ve had years of being happy with that and it is too much now to be able to change!

The last lovely thing I bought was in a small town in Italy in June, there were probably two clothes shops, this particular top was on a mannequin in the window, it was a hot day and I really didn’t fancy trying it on so I just asked the lovely owner if she thought it would fit me and took a punt on just buying it.  It fitted like a dream.  I can do this type of shopping just not the big place thing.

So whilst losing all the weight has resulted in a lot of positive changes, it hasn’t enhanced my shopping experience in respect to the High Street, but I do now know my limitations and will work with them, sticking to smaller shops and trying on stuff at home.  Me rooting through the rails in New Look or Primark isn’t going to be happening soon!

What are we waiting for?

2 Oct

I spent a long time doing nothing about my weight gain, apart from add to it.

I’ve been asked on numerous occasions since I started writing about my story why that was?   The honest answer is I don’t know, days turned into weeks, weeks into months, months into years and before I knew it there I was at 41 and in quite a state. An element of procrastination together with a fear of failure, if I didn’t start, then there was nothing to fail at was there?  It all feels pretty ridiculous now but hindsight is a wonderful thing!

It does make me sad now to think about the amount of time it took for me to make the changes and all the opportunities I may have missed, some are more significant than others but it is a hard pill to swallow now. However it does make me even more determined not to go back and waste any more of my life.

I’m now looking forward to winter and getting down to work.  It’s a weird old situation, since I came back from Italy the sun has shone and today, the 2nd October I have been out in my flip flips in 25 degrees plus of beautiful weather!  Winter still seems a long way off however the BBC weatherman assures me it will make an appearance mid-week so my beloved flip flops will be consigned to their new role of slippers with only their memories of their summer of travel!

So if you do want to lose some weight, just ask yourself the question, what are you waiting for?   And if you want a reminder about getting motivated, take a look at my previous post on Motivation.

 

At your Age?

27 Sep

So I’m back from my trip, loads to Italy, loads to tell you about and I’ve been busy writing while I’ve been away. There is also going to be a new blog about my experiences over the summer so watch this space!

The one thing that has really inspired me on all my trips are the women of all ages who are keeping active and the difference that it makes to their lives, they have ranged from 30 to over 70 and are all loving it!

Many of them have had limitations, either because of injuries or just age – but nothing stops them from keeping going and they all look great because of it.

One of the things I’ve been thinking about a lot recently is the aging process, it can’t be stopped, it does present challenges but it also brings with it opportunities, as I now lurch into my mid forties, I am more confident about my body than I have ever been before.  I spent my teens struggling with being too thin, too flat chested, all the normal angst I guess. My twenties of course brought illness  and massive weight gain, my thirties, well I think I have well documented what happened  then! So my forties are proving to be a very positive experience.

And when I look at these wonderful women who are older than me I am filled with optimism and joy about future of my body and fitness, not in any way dreading it. Yes there are big changes to come but I am hoping that if I can maintain my health and fitness that I can see it through in a more controlled and continue to have a good relationship with my body.

My body will change with age, it’s not going to stay the same but I now know how good being fit and healthy can make me feel and the amount of confidence that has brought me.

Ladies – I thank you and I hope to be swimming topless in the pool when I’m 60+!

Packing and Re-prioritisation

11 Sep

I’m really lucky, I’ve been having the summer of my life and now I’m at the end of what has been a wonderful and fulfilling time but hopefully I’m at the beginning of an exciting future.

Losing the weight changed more than just my appearance, it started off a whole new way of thinking. My job had changed post surgery and was no longer making me happy, it felt like the right time to make some changes.

Maybe it is an age thing, maybe the universe was in the right place, maybe I was, but whatever it was, I found myself handing in my notice excitedly, there wasn’t anywhere near the panic I expected, I was after all giving up a job that paid relatively well and was stable enough but it wasn’t enough.

I had some savings, but I wasn’t interested any longer in material stuff, I could have moved or bought a new car but I wanted something else. I was fitter, happier, stronger and healthier than I had probably ever been and I was craving experiences.  So I bought myself the summer, the weather could have been better but it hasn’t mattered that much.  And it’s been wonderful, what is even more exciting and important though is that I have finally had time to get to know the new me, I’ve spent time working that out and what it means. I had no idea at the start that it would prove so significant.

So the summer has entailed mountain climbing, beaches, sunsets, pilates, Tuscany, sailing, walking,  photography, writing, reading, climbing walls, being life coached, new friends, old friends, bouncing and feeling just about as alive as I could be!  I’ve seen and done things that wouldn’t have been possible in my old world and I am very grateful for that.

And on Tuesday I fly to Rome for the final bit of the journey I promised myself, I have a beautiful apartment booked to receive me, the camera batteries are charged up, the notebooks are ready and the iphone has photo and guide book Apps downloaded.  The train then takes me slowly up the coast to Tuscany for another week of pilates, food, cooking, wine, swimming and limoncello.

And on the work front, things are falling into place, there’s no panic, just a feeling of anticipation for the future. It might not be easy but in some ways that doesn’t really matter, I have different priorities now and I’m determined not to lose sight of those.

On a less positive note, on the horizon I already know that there are going to be some sad times ahead, as a family I hope we’re ready for them. It reinforces my thinking that life is so very short and you do need to grasp onto all opportunities, or life will just pass you by. I spent a long time doing that and I have no intention of letting it happen again.

What I have learnt is that sometimes we need to stop and take stock. If we don’t we may never really see what could change.  It might not be as radical as leaving your job, it could just be giving yourself some time in the day to reflect and focus.  And of course this has all a bit of a reward for the hard work over the last couple of years, it’s been quite a trip!

So bring on the future (and the sunshine and the limoncello!).

The photos – The view from the Kanzelwand (2078 m up), me on midsummer night, in the pool with a bottle of limoncello. and one of my favourite sunsets of the summer, totally unexpected, around the corner from home and quite stunning, it took my breath away.  And a final thought, why does limoncello not taste the same in England as it does in Tuscany??

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