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Eileen Fisher Made Me Fat July 7, 2009

TK-P0547-GRAPHITESeveral  years ago, I began wearing Eileen Fisher clothing. At the time, I was ecstatic to find elegant, well-made clothes. They were comfortable, and flowing and I felt like they disguised my larger size. For many years it was pretty much all I wore. They are expensive, but I had a few pieces that were the staples of my entire wardrobe. I had one size L black pants with elastic waist and that was my uniform, paired with big boxy tops, or if I was feeling super daring, a cami paired with a big boxy jacket (LOL). I felt comfortable, and grateful that I didn’t have to look totally awful even if I was overweight.

The problem was that I had NO idea how my “clothes were fitting.” I could gain 25 lbs without having ANY IDEA of it, because those black elastic pants pretty much always fit. They probably would even fit me now. I didn’t really have any zippered pants other than some pretty large jeans, but even those depressed me when they got tight. So I avoided the scale, kept wearing elastic pants, didn’t know how fat I was getting AND really never had any sense of fullness when I was eating. Because that elastic could expand, and expand, and expand….

I’ve been reading lately how important it is to pretty much always wear nonstretch, zippered or buttoned clothing. For two reasons – so that you know what size your body is, and so that you can tell how full you are getting. These two concepts really meant nada to me for many years. I just wanted to be “comfortable.” But I had no idea how dangerous that comfort was.

Today I am wearing some pants that I bought recently. They are a tad snug because they went through the dryer for the first time this week. And I’m glad, because they are a reminder to me, as I go throughout my day, that I do not want them getting any more snug. I want them to fit, and hopefully, get a little looser over time.

I never really “got” this thing about elastic pants before. But I do now, and the only elastic I’ll wear now is for workout clothes. Oh, and I bought a new Eileen Fisher “pencil skirt” last week – size EXTRA SMALL (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and it looks pretty darn good. :-)

PS. You have to realize that E.F. sizes their clothing HUGE, if *I* am wearing an Extra Small! But I’m not complaining.

————

I watched the 2nd episode of Dance Your Ass Off last night. On one hand, I liked it a lot (I love disco!!!!!) but on the other hand I liked it less. I noticed that my heart about JUMPED OUT of my chest when I saw a 10-second promo for the upcoming Biggest Loser Season! Woo!

But something about lasts night’s DYAO just seemed… sad to me. I can’t explain it. The psycho crybaby made me very uncomfortable, and I wished she’d gone home. Although I did like the way they all banded together and hauled the tempting “bad” food out to the trash. Good move, but I hated the tantrum that preceded it. She just made me super uneasy.

Also: I was trying to figure out WHY I liked that Lisa Ann Walter judge so much. (the middle one) I felt like I knew her realllly well but did could not place her. I love her but I don’t know why. Well last night I checked her out on IMDB and realized that she (many many pounds ago!) played the housekeeper character “Chessy” on the Parent Trap movie.  She was so super awesome in that movie, and we must have watched it over a hundred times. But she is way skinnier now and that’s why I didn’t recognize her. I’d love to hear her story. So sad about that movie – Natasha Richardson is tragically gone, and Lindsay Lohan is… well, Lindsay Lohan. That was one of the prime kid movies of our daughters’ growing up time. We know much of it by heart.

 

(Undesperately) Seeking Balance June 30, 2009

At one of my WW staff training sessions, the leader warned us all that it was going to be potentially tricky, to balance WW work with our own health and fitness. At the time I didn’t really get what she was talking about. But it hit me last night.

After my traveling weekend, I had plans to go to an exercise class last night. I was realllly looking forward to it. But about an hour before, I got a call from a WW leader that a receptionist/weigh-in person was needed, like right away.

Of course, I could have said no. On the other hand, when one is in a new position it is a good thing to be seen as helpful and responsive. AND, I really feel that I could use as much mentoring/training as I can get. There are so many minute details involved in this job, and I think the more practice, the better. So I said sure.

This was my third training session and my second time doing weigh-ins. My mentor was great in helping me with doing a practice run-through before they opened the doors. I felt a lot more relaxed than I did the last time. I also felt very strongly how incredibly intimate this is, to see someone’s weight like that. It’s so personal. I had a bit of a flash that the little weigh-in booth is not unlike a confessional, but instead of prescribing ten Hail Marys or whatever, we hand them a fresh tracker and the chance to start a new week.

I was less nervous about the myriad little details this time, so I felt like I was able to really focus more on the people. I felt so much tenderness for these people as they performed the ritual removing of shoes, watches, belts, ANYthing before they stepped up. I think it is a really big deal, and important, that WW staff are also WW members. I SO know what they are going through. (in fact, I need to do my WI for this week, and have been procrastinating!) I kept thinking of the Buddhist loving-kindness (“metta”) prayer in my head: (may you be happy. may you be safe. may you be peaceful) But I expanded it a little bit, adding silently: may you be healthy. may you be free of shame.  I kept repeating this in my head in between members.

One woman achieved a big goal she had been striving toward for a long time. She was so happy, and I was so thrilled for her. High fives all around! It was like being a store owner whose customer wins the lottery. It was really exciting! I had four people up for various “recognitions” and I was really so glad for all of them. And for the people who gained, I tried to offer as much support and encouragement as I could. I think I did a good job, and my mentor had some really kind and complimentary words for me afterward.

When I got home, it was pretty late and I had not yet had dinner. I ate and then did not feel like exercising. It was already dark.

AH, I thought. So THIS is the balance thing they were talking about.

I watched the new show, Dance Your Ass Off, which is sort of a combination of Biggest Loser and Dance With the Stars. I am already a sucker for such shows, and this one really really impressed me. It involves a number of very overweight people who are trying to shed pounds AND compete in dance competitions.  For one, these people all had great personalities and were great dancers. Their confidence was so out there, and that put them miles ahead of the general population, as far as I’m concerned.

It’s hard to dance and show your body when you’re not feeling it’s in its optimal shape. But they were all out there – jumping and strutting and shimmying and just going wild with beautiful exuberance. I felt quite emotional while watching them. I am a terrible, self-conscious dancer who has never felt good about how I might look. I feel like I have no coordination and that I just look foolish. Recently a friend of mine had a dance party for her birthday and while I had fun, I also felt like I was the biggest klutz out there.  I only really felt comfortable dancing with my husband. At one point we had to switch partners and I think one of my partners was absolutely incredulous at how bad I was. SO… I am completely awed by the folks on this show who are so good, and they’re definitely choosing a super fun way to get into better shape. My hat is so off to them!!

Today, I am going to exercise no. matter. what.

 

 
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