J Brand Lovestory jeans | size 30, several years old
Calypso cotton gauze top | a few years old, similar by James Perse at Shopbop
Rag & Bone Quinn sandals | true to size
3.1 Phillip Lim large Ryder satchel
I hope you don’t mind that I write a lot on my outfit posts, and that I share personal bits of my life here, because this is going to be a slightly random post, and likely to be all over the place…but what else is new?? I guess I do that a lot!
Anyway, I chose this outfit yesterday because I wanted to try these jeans again and see if I could wear them with my Rag & Bone sandals. I can, kind of. The hem drags a bit, but if I hem these anymore, I won’t be able to wear these jeans with much of anything. And I’d pulled out this Calypso top from a box in my “second” closet recently to see if I’d wear it again this summer. It’s not in the best shape anymore, and it’s quite big on me, but I think it still works, and I love the “popover” style for summer. I’ve worn it a ton in the years that I’ve had it, so this is something I’d like to find a replacement for. That James Perse top I linked to is a contender…
It turned out to be rather ironic, this outfit, because my husband and I watched Carrie last night (he had never seen it, and wasn’t particularly impressed!), and I was struck by how seventies fashion always seems to come back in style during the summer; flared jeans, denim skirts, etc., the sort of boho look that we equate with the warm weather and freedom of summer. I like it. But I also feel quite “old” when I wear this silhouette. I guess because it’s come back around? And feels dated to me? I like the look, and on others it seems more modern, but on me…I don’t know.
And now for something completely different…see my saddlebag there in that first picture? For about 5 seconds I thought about photoshopping it out, or not even publishing it at all, but then I thought that would be ridiculous, and anyway it gives me an opportunity to give you an update on my weight loss progress (or lack thereof, as it were) and where I go from here. My saddlebags are now the bane of my existence. It used to be my hips, or my calves, of my butt, but I’ve come to term with those. Saddlebags, no way. I cannot deal with them, which is why when I wear my James Perse skirts & dresses I ALWAYS wear spanx. I have to because, well, you see why.
They will never go away. They will shrink a little, but they will never disappear. I could be thin, and I’d still have those saddlebags; they’re just part of how I’m shaped. I do accept that, but I also want to work harder to shrink them. Since I lost weight originally last year, I’ve pretty much maintained my weight loss. I gained 5-6 pounds, so now I’m about 155, which is still at least 30 pounds more than I’d like to be, or more than my “ideal” weight for my height.
First, I’m INCREDIBLY proud of myself that I’ve been able to maintain (more or less) my weight loss for almost a year. I’ve NEVER been able to do that before – Pure Barre FTW!! I’ve sort of paid attention to what I eat, most of the time, but I haven’t “needed” to while I’ve done Pure Barre 4 times a week. Now, though, I want to see what happens to my body if I lose 25 more pounds. I want to see what it looks like, how it feels, what I can do with it. I’ve never been “thin” or even at a “reasonable” weight for my height for very long. I’ve lost weight over the years – a lot of it – but I’ve always put it back on and then had to lose it again. Since I’ve done it rather slowly this time, I’ve kept it off and now I can concentrate on losing more, instead of losing the same weight AGAIN. Whoa.
It’s going to be very hard now to lose weight; not that it wasn’t always, but now I’ll need to eat even LESS to lose the same amount of weight as before. But I know I can do it – and in the summer I sort of always want to eat less anyway. I’m really looking forward to seeing more changes, and the feeling of accomplishment that will come from reaching my goal. I’m also building more cardio back in to my exercise regime on my days off from Pure Barre. Ultimately, I’d like to start running again, and once I’ve maintained my weight loss, run a marathon? We’ll see….I’ve been so inspired by Frances’ accomplishment running a marathon at sixty!
Anyway, that’s sort of where I am in my journey, in case you’ve been following along! I never thought I could change my body as much as I already have, so I can’t wait to keep doing it. I want my body to FEEL lean, and efficient, and healthy, and like it can do anything. As I get older, that’s everything to me. I treat it like shit sometimes, I know I do, and I beat up on it, on my saddlebags, my thighs, my calves…but I love it, and I want it to keep carrying me through my life for a long time to come…
Had you not pointed out your “flaw” I never would have noticed. I was too impressed with the fact that you could wear lower rise jeans with a sheer top and look great!
I’m in the same boat .. saddle bags (yuck). I blame years of sitting at a desk for work, plus less then stellar eating habits, I suppose. This weekend I did a mini detox .. just at fruits, veggies, lean protein .. helps get me back on track.
Curtsy lunges can help in that area, but I always forget to do them 😉
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Grechen Reiter says
isn’t that always the case…no one notices your “perceived flaws” except you. but that’s the more important thing to me anyway, i just can’t wear something knowing that i’ll be fixated on how my hips/saddlebags look, and that i feel like EVERYONE will be staring, even though they’re not. honestly, i also don’t like the way they feel lately – too squishy and not toned at all, so i’d rather they be “contained” anyway.
but yes, i know that i can wear things other women can’t – which my sister points out to me all the time…i should be just thankful for my body, “flaws” and all, because really, no body has any flaw; they’re all beautiful in their own way, and normal – no matter how unique i think my saddlebags are, there are millions of other women who have them too, which makes them not so special, really…
First off, I don’t mind that you are chatty in your posts–it feels like we’re having tea with you and catching up on all your news. The only downside is that you pack so much into your posts, I sometimes don’t know where to start when replying! 🙂 Have you thought about doing more than one post a day to break down the topics into smaller chunks? Just a thought! (Not a criticism at all, at all…)
As for these jeans, I think they look great with the top and shoes, but I’ve just started wondering if wide-leg pants aren’t looking a bit dated. On the weekend I did even more closet purging and got rid of a whole whack of wide-leg pants that I tried on and felt they looked past their prime. I think if you keep the wide-legged pants with a 70s theme as you have done, they look retro. But I for one am on the lookout now for more modern-looking pant legs.
Congrats on keeping off the weight for a year! That’s a really big accomplishment, especially after 40 (as I know all too well). Please don’t starve yourself or make yourself miserable while you try to lose more. We want to keep seeing your smiling face! Good luck!
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Grechen Reiter says
well, i can’t blame the desk thing !! i do sit longer now than i ever have, but i spent a fair amount of my early working years teaching pre-school. no sitting there 😉
Grechen Reiter says
i DO think that wide leg/flared jeans look dated, but it seems like they’re having a fashion moment (again) – they sort of always look the same to me: boho, hippie, summer-y…the problem with a more “modern” bootcut on me, is that it will look straight, because of my thicker legs, etc., not a bad thing, really, but i think that look is sort of dated also. and the new slim flares don’t work on me either…so….
and good idea to break posts into chunks, but that would actually require some forethought 🙂 which i tend to not do as much as i’d like! i sort of get inspired by something, or have a thought, and then just sit down and write it out. maybe i can still do that, but after writing it, break it up…i’ll try to do that next time i have so much to say!!
I think you have a great attitude towards your body. You look fantastic! Love your haircut!
I’m sure you’ve already read everything on weight loss but in case you haven’t approached it from a metabolic perspective you might want to check out Ari Whitten, he has a facebook page that is mostly focused on health and fitness. (and by metabolsim, I don’t mean how many calories are expended by working out). He talks about raising your set point of many calories you can eat and still be health and trim. Another great site is gokaleo.com – for health and weight loss she recommends that no woman should eat less than 2,000 calories a day. This approach is a long term one. Another guy I listen to is Matt Stone of 180degreehealth.- you have to give him your email address though to see his site where he posts his newsletters. He also sends out emails – some people don’t like that though. All these people say slightly different things but they all discuss the importance of eating enough calories to support a good metabolism.
I have been eating low calorie for over 20 years, with some of those years working out over an hour a day 6 days a week and I haven’t done my metabolism or health any favors. so this has been a struggle for me too. I know carrying excess weight can cause problems but so can having a low metabolism.
As far as your body shape goes- you’ve got a trim tummy, there are many that target that area and it just doesn’t budge! Also having an small waist and large hip/butt ratio is considered extremely attractive by men. Not that you wanting to loose weight is to be more attractive to men, just sayin.
Grechen Reiter says
haha! thanks renee for that perspective. i’m interested to read more about it…i think i’ve always tended to have a slow metabolism, but maybe that’s also a result of yo-yo dieting? i don’t know…
and everything i tend to read focuses on calorie restriction for longevity (like the fast diet), but maybe what i’m doing is just reading things that reinforce my “beliefs” already, so thank you for the other resources!! i’m not sure i’d be able to eat 2,000 calories a day though, that is A LOT…
Funny, I think flared denim is now classic–part of most women’s denim rotation. Nothing elongates legs more than flares and a pair of high heels! Stella McCartney and MIH make especially good flared styles–they are my personal favorites. On my 5’4″ frame, I think they are more flattering than skinnies, and they look cooler than a standard bootcut.
I love your chatty posts. We’re not mannequins, we’re people wearing these clothes. I’m always more interested about why people wear what they wear than the simple What I Wore. Best of luck on your weight journey, let us know how we can help. Do you have a specific strategy?
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Love the post! Love the blog!
I’m just a fool for flares. Your playful personality shines through in your posts. I feel like you’re very authentic with us, and you share not only your shopping expertise but your life. Personally, I love the expressive way that you write. It’s engaging and entertaining, too! As for our perceived “figure flaws,” I think we all need to soften our sight.
I had to scroll back and see what you were talking about with the saddlebag. The truth is, I didn’t notice until you pointed it out. We have to be kinder to ourselves! Of course, I say that and I’m full of crap. I obsess over my tummy tire. I hate hate hate it!!!! And I’ve had a “pooch” since I was skinny. It’s always there.
So, a little “Val” story…and this is difficult to share????: I was sitting on a bench in sunny East Hampton today, waiting for my husband to come and pick me up after my manicure, and I was so surprised to see several men drive by and do double takes. ( It had to be the lilac nails!) I mentioned to my husband,”I think I got checked out today,” and he said,”So, why would that surprise you? You’re beautiful!” (OK, so this is where I started crying…)
Then, after we returned home, I checked out my Facebook page, and my good friend Suzette shared a post from writer Anne Lamott about body image and how we spend so much valuable time worrying about something so inconsequential in our pursuit of perfection instead of doing the things that make us joyous, like writing. I’ll put the link here and feel free to delete or shorten it. It’s your page!????. https://t.co/wSSgzEu4lX
I love the way you write. I feel like you talk to us as though we’re old friends just running something by one another. Love yourself, cuz you’re amazing!
“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life.”…Anne Lamott
Grechen Reiter says
thanks lisa – right now, my strategy is just to cut out all the crap i’ve been allowing myself like chips (even “healthy” crap), popcorn, almond milk ice cream…and get back to just eating FOOD. no added sugar, etc.
then i’ll start back monitoring my calories in and calories out, but first, i need to re-train myself to eat only real food – i think that will help A LOT. and i keep remembering some of the things you wrote about in your post about how you maintain your weight/health; i found that advice very helpful…i’m not at the point where i can weigh myself as frequently, but i will get there 😉
Grechen Reiter says
awww…your husband is wonderful, and he’s right 🙂
i love anne lamott – i started reading bird by bird actually when i took ozzie to the emergency hospital for the last time…and i haven’t picked it up again, probably because that’s where i started it…i’ve heard her on oprah radio frequently, and love what she has to say, so i’m interested in reading more. have you read her books?
she’s right about perfection, i know that. and i also know that those voices in our head that tell us we’re not pretty enough, or thin enough, or whatever enough are WRONG. but mine have such control over me at times, that i give in and hear them more loudly than i hear the truth. that’s where i need to pick WITHIN up again – that book was very good at explaining those voices and how to work on silencing them.
Thanks, Grechen. It can be really tough to accept positive feedback when you suffer from depression, like I do. I hear it, but is don’t believe it. And yes, my husband IS wonderful! (We’ll be celebrating 32 years of marriage on the 29th!) He and my 16-yr old daughter have been taking such good care of me since I hurt my back again.
I’ve read almost ALL of Anne Lamott’s books. There’s just something about her unflinching honesty that gets me every time. I love her work!
Oh, and this is a totally random thought, but I wore quite a bit of eyeliner and mascara yesterday, and thought of your comment about the “difficulty of removal factor” when I washed my face last night (I could picture a lineup of Olympic style judges holding up cards: 7.5, 4…from the Russian judge, of course ????, and a 9.5 from the American judge!). Actually, I used Tatcha Camellia Oil cleanser and every last spec came off. I think ANY oil cleanser or long-wear eye makeup remover would do the trick.
Thanks so much for the kind words — running is not for everyone, but I’m happy to inspire others with the idea that we can work toward goals of more activity — and that it can be really rewarding to find out what our bodies can do!
And I love your honesty in your posts and the way you go beyond Visibility through OOTD to pull in other parts of your life and yourself. My first impression of these photos was just of how crisply, comfortably, and personably attractive you look in this outfit — my eye was definitely not drawn to any supposed flaws.
I did a weight loss thing last year through WW, and I’m trying to re-calibrate at the moment, since I’m not going to be able to count on marathon training forever. . . . (and there’s a real danger of assuming I can eat what I want because I’m a runner).
Grechen Reiter says
this is the thing i find so amazing; that my body can DO what it does when i go to pure barre. when i started, i literally NEVER thought i’d be able to hold the plank for 90 seconds, or stay on my tip-toes in thigh work…and i used to be a “runner”, training for a half-marathon, but i sabotaged myself, and absolutely used my running as an excuse to eat whatever i wanted. i didn’t feel particularly good when i was running either. i did enjoy it, and i’d like to add it back in to supplement pure barre, but i don’t think i’d ONLY want to do that.