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 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!