Sunday, November 15, 2009

I wish it came naturally

Everyone was SO nice about my appearance in the comments on my East Coast Trip post.  I wish I could say: “Oh what?  That old thing?  I just threw it together.”  or “You think I’m skinny?  I didn’t realize.  It must have melted off while I nursed a baby and chased after five kids.”  But alas, that’s not how those things work for me.

It takes effort, planning and help from other people.

First off, the weight loss:

I did the HCG Diet.  It’s pretty extreme, which is why I didn’t mention it when I started it.  I’ve always been a Work Out More, Eat Less girl when it comes to weight loss—never done pills, extreme diets or fads.  But it wasn’t working and I had a few friends who had done this diet two years ago and kept the weight off.  I researched, read the info and discussed it with Ryan. 

I did it, without cheating once (the total key, more than with any other diet I’ve done), and I lost the last 18 lbs of baby weight in one month.  And it’s stayed off for 7 weeks now.  Email me (jessicaromney at hotmail dot com) if you want more info or the name of my supplier =). 

Next, the clothes:

I have been either planning to get pregnant, pregnant or post partum for the last two years.  You know what that means?  There was no purpose in buying clothes.  For two years.  So basically I hated all of my stuff and was kind of lost as to where to start—especially since I was so excited about my new size. So this is what I did:

1)  I have a friend who has LOTS of extra clothes.  She has great taste, is extremely generous and, luckily, has a similar body type to me.  She moved into a smaller place recently and sent me tons of cute stuff, especially in the jeans and dressy clothes department.  Tammy’s donations got me off to a good start. (THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!)

2)  I did some research.  I emailed some friends who I really trust in the fashion department and asked them what were the trends I should buy for fall/winter.  I also asked them if they would recommend any fashion blogs.

3)  I read the (modest Mormon) fashion blogs and just tried to absorb what is in style, what I liked, what goes with what. (Sensibly Styled and Uber Chic for Cheap)

3)  I began a list of the things (scarves, belts, long necklaces, long flowy cardigans, ruffles) that I thought I needed, so I wouldn’t buy random stuff that didn’t really get me where I wanted to go.

4)  I approached Carie and her friend Heidi about getting their help with pulling together outfits from what I already have. (I am BAD at that.  I am a This Is the Shirt I Bought to Go With These Pants So I Can’t Think Of Any Other Combination type person.)  We are still in the process of putting together my new looks (it requires lots of picture taking…) but to start off they asked for my Fashion Manifesto.  In putting it together, I realized a lot about my personal style and it was helpful in solidifying what I wanted to spend my money on this year.

5)  I saved all of my birthday/Christmas gift cards and Bucks Back from the last year, plus some Weight Loss Reward money that I’d set aside.

6)  I went to Nordstrom (the juniors section, where it’s not as expensive) and found a super cute 20 year old worker and said to her:  “I am an out of style mom who wants to look cute.  Can you help me?  I want to incorporate cardigans, scarves, belts and these colors…”  She went to town.  After we found stuff I looked cute in, she helped me figure out the pants, jewelry, layering pieces, shoes I would need to complete the look.  It was such a fun experience and I felt all put together.

7)  I emailed Tammy back and forth a million times about the exact pair of boots I should get (because they are expensive, I could only get one and I wanted them to be right) and when they were on sale, I bought them (Aerosole, if you are wondering).

So you see…it wasn’t easy.  I didn’t have a ton of money, amazing fashion sense, or even a ton of awesome stores to shop at.  What made this all come together was patience, a willingness to just admit I needed help and asking for it, educating myself and being organized.  It totally paid off.

While there are LOTS of things more important that fashion and clothes, I have been an all around more content person because I feel good when I look in the mirror.  Another friend’s mom is an image consultant who basically teaches:  Make yourself look the best you can and then forget about yourself and focus on others.  That’s what I’ve been able to do, because I’ve lost the weight and put some thought into my wardrobe.

Thanks to the friends who advised and encouraged and to Ryan who footed the bill WITHOUT EVER SAYING THE WORD “BUDGET”.  And thanks to you for the compliments!


Abbie said...

All your hard work paid off! I agree that appearance isn't the most important thing by far, but it does feel good to be confident in yourself and the clothes on your body, so you can "forget yourself and focus on others."

mandy* said...

Thank you for this post! Sometimes I feel like I should be able to pull together my fashion and/or health/fitness in a day. Will you be one of my coaches when I'm ready to seriously get things together?? Thanks.

Hollyween said...

Maybe you can help me when I'm ready??

Thank-you for not saying you just threw together your outfits and your pounds melted off. Because ya know what? Even though that actually might happen to 1% of the population, it's not the 'norm' and it's super annoying when said to someone who that doesn't happen to.

The HCG diet intrigues me. Did you do the shots or the drops? Jill's sister did it and though she was already TINY, she lost an additional 10 pounds. Crazy! Is it spendy?

Lauren in GA said...

I am e-mailing you...

I so agree with what you said about there being more important things than fashion and clothes but how feeling put together and content can make you feel happier.

Recently, Evan said something about my eyelash curler...I had just finished saying that I HAVE to have an eyelash curler and he said that it is a want not a need. I (jokingly) said that it is a need because I don't feel presentable without curled eyelashes so I am nicer to people when I feel presentable and thus it helps my spirituality.

You are so sweet to write all of this up for us. I love that you are giving that way...I mean that you don't want people feeling badly about themselves so you are open with how you accomplish difficult things and how it really is work.

brooke johnson said...

You and Ryan are both one fashionable couple. Spencer and I realized just how much help we need after being around you two. You really look great and even better are great! Love you two and all your style.

Tristan said...

It does take a lot of planning and hard work doesn't it? Well it paid off for you my dear! You look fabulous!! :)

the wrath of khandrea said...

and this, my dear, is why i think the world of you.

the wrath of khandrea said...

and this, my dear, is why i think the world of you.

Ilene said...

I'm totally interested in that HCG thing. Never heard of it and now my curiosity is piqued.

This post is so YOU. So well-thought out and researched. I wish I had an ounce of that drive in me.

That being said, I went into a store this past month to look for a family picture outfit and discovered the wonderful resource that sales associates are. Now I have a pair of skinny jeans that I would have never have bought on my own. Baby steps for me.

Natalie said...

Wow! I think that this post is inspiring. You do look great and glowy:). Good for you jessica. all of your hard work definately paid off. By the way, I went to Kohl's and got a few really cute scarves for $3-$7. If that isn't budget friendly i don't know what is:)!

Annemarie said...

I am so with you. Thankfully I have a sister and a few friends who are pretty good at this stuff.
I love your honesty!

Katie said...

This is a great, great post. Love all the fashion tips ideas, links, suggestions, etc.

I too, appreciated how happy and great you looked on your trip away with your hubby! Again thanks for sharing your fashion tips. We are always in and out of pregnancy, after baby weight, and wanting to look good again fashion woes. We all need to be reminded from time to time that it's good to look & feel good.

I love Boston. My husband and I met at the singles ward in Cambridge, so I have a great love of that city. I loved your post about your getaway too.

Jess said...

I love that you posted this - as a mom, I feel so behind the times, and you looked so amazing in all of your pics. I'm going to take your advice and hit the jr's dept and ask for some help.

Where, or where, did you get that GORGEOUS green sweater??

Holly said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing the Behind The Scenes stuff as you prepared for FAB Getaway 2009.

I took HCG when doing fertility treatments but never, ever heard about a diet using it. Interesting. Glad it worked for you.

It's great you had close friends help/share with you and the hip girl at Nordstrom too. The end result was worth all of your hard work!

I really liked what you said about making ourselves look the best we can then forgetting about it an focusing on others. Good stuff, that.

Meridith said...

Wow Jessica! I better understand just how much work it takes for a normal person, such as myself, to get into style. So, I guess I'd better start saving now!

Love you.

Tammy said...

I agree that making yourself feel good can change so many things. Its worth the effort and investment and then you can fee confident and go out and do all the wonderful things you need to do. I am soooo glad you like and appreciate the clothes. I still want a fashion show posting!!!

Kimberly said...

I am so impressed. I could definitely use this kind of help! I would love to see your list if you are so inclined.

Paige said...

I blogged you just so you know.

Leslie M said...

So funny that you hit me because of course I came here from Paige. :-)

This IS a fun post. I think I read in O that fashion changes but your personal style stays with you. My personal style is shoes. I wear jeans and white shirts most of the time (with scarves and skirts or trousers for work) and always fabulous shoes. Look forward to following you!

Adrianne said...

it is a sign of my love for you that i clicked to comment before starting in on those fashion blogs and researching my fashion manifesto. I'm starting to research now so come March I can be as chic as you!

Sally said...

I don't think I ever commented on this, but I thought about it a lot. I get in a rut with clothes and wear the same thing repeatedly. I am trying to care more and try harder, and you have inspired me! So, thanks.

P.S. you do look really great.

Carie said...

I swear, I have not fallen off the face of the earth. Just vacation + dead computer = no blogging.

YOU LOOK AMAZING, but you always have. Heidi and I are still on board but it looks like you might not need it anymore.

I completely agree: a little thought towards wardrobe does give big returns. It takes away the day-to-day frustration so you can focus on things more important than clothes.

For the millionth time: oh how I wish we lived closer.

rachel said...

I just answered my own question!
I know a couple others who did the HCG diet. Don't you have to have major willpower??
You look GREAT!

Kymmie said...

Hi! Just popping over from here: where you've been plugged. And because I love to visit a lovely new site, here I am. First of all, love this entry. Thanks for your honesty. Second of all, how beautiful is your family? Oh, be still my longing ovaries! Thirdly, you look stunning. xx